BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#333 - "Strong God" by Desperation Band
Jon Egan chats with NRT's Kevin Davis about the lead single from the New Life Church youth band's latest project.
 


"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." - Mother Teresa
 
Led by Jon Egan, Desperation Band was birthed out of the student ministries of New Life Church in Colorado Springs. They have recorded multiple albums with Integrity music, including Who You Are, the critically acclaimed Everyone Overcome and the band's first studio worship album Light Up The World. In addition to Desperation Band albums, they have also been featured on three New Life Church recordings: My Savior Lives, Counting on God and the most recent church album You Hold It All.
 
Made up of several committed musicians, the band often travels to conferences, churches, and concerts throughout the country. They are best known for writing songs like "I Am Free", "My Savior Lives", "Amazed", "Here In Your Presence", "You Hold It All', "Overcome" and more. Several of these songs have been covered by mainstream Christian bands and many songs are sung in churches throughout America and around the world. Their songs have been covered by Jeremy Camp, Newsboys, NewSong and Phillips, Craig & Dean. 
 
I had the great opportunity to interview Jon Egan about "Strong God," the latest single from Desperation Band's sixth recording, Center of It All
 
Please share the background message behind the song "Strong God."
 
It was the last song added to the project, and it's funny how it works, but it quickly became one of our favorites. It all started when our Pastor Brady Boyd tweeted from Psalm 68:5, the portion saying: "A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy dwelling," and it stirred something up in me with all that God is doing all around the world through His church around the world rising up to meet the needs by caring for the widows and the orphans and the less fortunate. We've seen some incredible things happen by living that out in our local community. 
 
I also had this incredible encounter with a widow in Uganda where the Lord was speaking to me that our own healing and freedom comes from giving healing and freedom to others. I had seen it firsthand helping someone on the other side of the world. I don't do this often, but I started writing a song based on that verse. I started into this theme, and if you read Psalm 68, it's already in a song form. 
 
Verse 32 says: "Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth; Oh, sing praises to the Lord."  The verses started writing themselves. I got together with Meredith Andrews, and we opened up that passage, and started fleshing out some ideas. Next we wrote the pre-chorus, "This is God in His holy place."  The melody of the chorus was in my head for a while and I wanted the words to match up to the intensity of the message. Then Jason Ingram got involved, and we share a passion for the anthems. We love watching the Church rise up and have their view of God grow and expand. I went to Jason and asked him to help me write the bridge, and we came up with "There is no higher, no, There is no greater, no, There is none stronger than our God!"
 
Which Bible verses best connect to the message of the song? 

Psalm 68:5: "A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation."
 
...and Psalm 68:18: "You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the Lord God might dwell there."
 
...and Ephesians 4:8: "Therefore He says: 'When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.'"
 
What's the takeaway message for listeners? 
 
We love how the bridge proclaims the biblical Truth: "There is no higher, "No," There is no greater, "No," There is none stronger than our God!" When we sing it we are really shouting out the "No" in response that there is none greater, none higher, and none stronger than Our God. I've seen nothing turn the Church around more than giving them the tools to help the orphans and the less fortunate around the world. The idea of this song is very near and dear to my heart personally. God is the "Father to the fatherless, Defender of the weak." I just knew we had to sing those words in our church.  The chorus is a call to us as believers to respond to those great Truths about God with our praise. Truth is Truth whether we're feeling it or not. I love as a worship leader to put the words in the mouths of the people no matter what they're going through. Let's proclaim something greater and truer than our personal circumstances.
 
Father to the fatherless
Defender of the weak
Freedom for the prisoner
We sing

This is God in His holy place
This is God clothed in love and strength

Sing out lift your voice and cry out
Awesome is our strong God mighty is our God

With us in the wilderness
Faithful to provide
Every breath and every step
We see

There is no higher, No
There is no greater, No
There is none stronger than our God!
 
Matthew Henry's commentary: "As a gracious God, a God of mercy and tender compassion. He is great, but he despises not any, no, not the meanest; nay, being a God of great power, he uses his power for the relief of those that are distressed, Ps. 68:5, 6. The fatherless, the widows, the solitary, find him a God all-sufficient to them. Observe how much God's goodness is His glory. He is a Father of the fatherless. Though God be high, yet He has respect unto the lowly. Happy are those that have an interest in such a God as this."
 
Desperation Band has always been more of a ministry than a band. Jon and the guys believe that true change comes when people lay aside their agendas to encounter the true and living God. They are passionate about the presence of God and they don't hide it. They are well aware that music will never impact souls…only the power of God. They don't perform or entertain. They want to join with real people to worship a real God. The Desperation Band exists to partner with His Kingdom and to pray as Jesus told us… "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." 
 
Jon's mission is all about singing songs that reflect what it means to have freedom in Christ. This song really sets me in the proper mindset to praise God for His amazing gift of Creation and for loving me so much that He gave His life away for all that was lost. I've been collecting Desperation Band since From The Rooftops which features "I Am Free," so it took me awhile to get used to the studio recordings compared to the energy from past live recordings. If you like ambient worship like The Glorious Unseen and the softer songs by Delirious and Hillsong UNITED, then you should like the standout songs of Center Of It All by Desperation Band, especially "Strong God" and "Center Of It All" which I can imagine singing with fellow believers.
 
As I spoke with Jon about this great song, we realized that the verses and chorus really encompass amazing biblical truths. From the truth of Genesis 1 that "God spoke and the light appeared," to the assurance of Psalm 68:5: "A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation." We can also reflect on the promise of Psalm 68:18: "You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the Lord God might dwell there" and the fulfillment in Ephesians 4:8: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men."
 
This great new worship song "Strong God" really sets me in the proper mindset to praise God for His amazing gift of Creation and for loving me so much that He gave His life away for all that was lost. I love singing out the lyrics: "Father to the fatherless, Defender of the weak, Freedom for the prisoner, We sing, This is God in His holy place, This is God clothed in love and strength, Sing out, lift your voice and cry out, Awesome is our strong God, mighty is our God!" Amen!
 
(You can watch Jon talk about the song here.)
 

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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