BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#362 - "God My Rock" by Brenton Brown
The unchanging faithfulness of God fuels this new release from the international worship leader.
 


Renowned modern worship songwriter/artist Brenton Brown releases his fourth full-length album, God My Rock, Oct. 2 from Integrity, with distribution in North America by Provident Music Distribution. 
 
God My Rock marks Brenton's first live solo record and first live worship project since the Vineyard UK's release of Come Now is the Time and its all time best-selling album Hungry. The album features six brand new songs and new versions of many of Brenton's worship classics all recorded with his band, The Worship Republic (bassist Daniel Ornellas, drummer Ben Showalter and guitarist Scotty Murray), in Dayton, Ohio in front of 4,000 energized high school age students at a Dare2Share event. 
 
The songs on God My Rock came to life at this youth evangelistic mobilization organization event earlier this year and follows a two-year touring stint for Brown and his band that started at Hume Lake Christian camps. "The pace and energy of this album," says Brown, "comes straight from so many of these amazing times of worship we've spent with middle and high schoolers over the last two years." 
 
Leading up to the recording, longtime friends Brown and Paul Baloche teamed up to pen the anthemic first radio single and title track from the album. In addition to the title track, many of the new songs on God My Rock stem from local church roots, reflecting Brenton's relationships and partners in ministry.  
 
Brown wrote an "altar call" song--"Jesus Take All Of Me (Just As I Am")--out of that moment, while they penned a "communion song" at a worship leaders' retreat with Saddleback's Travis Ryan ("Jesus My Victory"). A "doxology" developed at a Baptist youth camp an hour outside of Lubbock, Texas ("Send Us Out"), and a "pre-sermon" song was written with Harvest Bible Chapel worship leader Andi Rozier ("Word of God"). 
 
Along with these compelling new songs, God My Rock features favorites like "Hosanna," "Glorious," and "Humble King," as well as a newly crafted "Everlasting God" that merges with John Mark McMillan's "How He Loves." The album also includes newly recorded and previously unreleased tracks "I Saw the Light" and the popular Americana version of "Like the Angels." I had the opportunity to interview Brenton about title track "God My Rock." This is what he shared with me.  
 
Please tell me the background message behind the song "God My Rock."
 
I co-wrote the song with my good friend and fellow worship leader Paul Baloche. Taking a queue from the famous hymn of old, "Great is Thy Faithfulness," we wanted the message of "God My Rock" to point to the unshakable truth of God's reliability. 
 
Everybody knows the saying that there are only two things for certain, death and taxes. We certainly know that death is a sure thing and we live our lives that way. There's something more certain than death and taxes, and that's the reliability of God's Word. What He says and what He promises, He delivers. 
 
In Deuteronomy, God protects His people. They didn't lack for food or drink or clothing. He did all of that to show them that we don't live by what we can accomplish, we live by every Word of God. That allows us to exist and to live and to be sustained. Jesus quotes that Book of the Bible when He is tempted by Satan in Matthew 4, "man shall not live by bread alone, but by the every Word of God." The whole album is centered around this idea. 
 
One of the things I love about God is how aware He is of our weaknesses--even more aware than we are I think. The truth is we can't do anything we put our minds to. Sooner or later, no matter who we are, we are eventually confronted with our own mortality--our own limits. We are weak and fragile and the time we have here on earth is very small. Unfortunately we tend to be mindful of this humbling truth only when we encounter tragedy. That's where the song started, from Psalm 73:26. I love that God reminds us that our strength is a gift from Him. When I'm surfing, I repeat the phrase "God my Rock" three times. Paul Baloche came up with a melody that connected to that phrase from Psalm 61:2. The song finished reasonably quickly after that.
 
Did you base the song on any Bible verses? 
 
Psalm 73:26: "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
 
... Psalm 61:2: "From the ends of the earth I call to You, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
 
...and Psalm 94:22: "But the Lord has been my defense, And my God the rock of my refuge."
 
What's the take-away message for listeners about the song and the album?
 
Doesn't this stir your heart to praise? I know it stirs mine. I've said it before, and I know it sounds strange, but I am so proud of our God. I am so proud of His consistency, His compassion, His awesome and unlimited power. But even beyond His power I am moved by the mercy and compassion He has for His people. This is a God worth following, this is a God who stirs my heart in adoration and worship. Even when we stumble, God still holds us. It is a comfort to me, He is the strength of my life and of my heart. 
 
At the Dare2Share event, I will never forget the lady who ran to the front even before Will Graham had finished speaking, asking, "Is this real? Is this happening? Can I get saved right now?" as I was sitting backstage getting ready for Will Graham to make his appeal at a Billy Graham Evangelistic Association event.  It was so moving and unforgettable. I was so grateful when the lines "Jesus take all of me, I run to You, I run to You" came to me, in a small way capturing the specialness of those nights.
 
Lyrics:
When my heart is overwhelmed
I will look to You alone
God my rock, God my rock, God my rock

You will stand when others fall
You are faithful through it all
God my rock, God my rock, God my rock

In the blessing, in the pain
through it all You've never failed me

You are the strength of my heart
You are the strength of my heart
I can rely on You, I can rely on You
You are the joy of my life
You are my song in the night
There is no one as true
Jesus I trust in You

When I've struggled to believe
You have not let go of me
God my rock, God my rock, God my rock
Carried through the darkest storms
You have held me in Your arms
God my rock God my rock God my rock
 
Matthew Henry's commentary: "David, in this psalm, as in many others, begins with a sad heart, but concludes with an air of pleasantness—begins with prayers and tears, but ends with songs of praise. Thus the soul, by being lifted up to God, returns to the enjoyment of itself. It should seem David was driven out and banished when he penned this psalm, whether by Saul or Absalom is uncertain: some think by Absalom, because he calls himself "the king" but that refers to the King Messiah. David, in this psalm, resolves to persevere in his duty, encouraged thereto both by his experience an by his expectations. He will call upon God because God had protected him."
 
I have loved the hymns "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" based on Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" since I was a young child. As we ready our hearts to celebrate the birth of our King Jesus, Brenton Brown's great new recordings and re-writes of these hymns of the faith can be found in these energetic live recordings of "Joyful" and "God My Rock." 
 
These great new worship anthems are a wonderful way to lift up our voices in praise and adoration of our Savior. He came to Earth to teach us how to be more like Him and to die for our sins to save us. Share the love of Jesus with your unsaved friends and family members and tell them the reason for the "hope and joy" in your heart, Jesus! 
 
What a powerful reminder that we are not meant for this world, but to live God eternally in Heaven. Commit to Jesus your adoration and offer Him your heart and your life as you sing along with this great song "God My Rock."
 
(You can listen to 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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