DiM | “Ever Be” by Aaron Shust

CCM Radio Edition.

disapproveApril 26, 2016. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Ever Be” by Aaron Shust which currently sits at #17 on the 20theCountdownMagazine.

On my first listen to this song, I was immediately confused by the mystical lyrics. It’s not clear if the song is a love song to God, from God, or if it’s going to be a love song for earthly marriage. As I read the upload comment, I realized it wasn’t likely to improve. This song earned a quick and solid “Disapproval”. While this song finds itself on the CCM Radio charts, I’m fairly certain there are churches using this song in their worship services. I don’t think it fits that purpose, either.

Published on Feb 22, 2016. 

I’m excited to be sharing the official lyric video with you all! Throughout the Bible, the love God has for us is likened to the devoted covenant of a marriage. He vows to love us forever and this song (from Bethel Music) is an outpouring of worship in response to that love! His praise will be ever on my lips!

So it comes from Bethel Music, and we’ve said before that we consider Bethel to be a heresy house. Moving on from that point, we see they have their analogies backwards. Earthly marriage is the imperfect foreshadowing of the relationship between Christ and the Church. So when we speak of God’s Love for us, it is the Perfection, and we are the imperfection, our concept of the marriage covenant is the imperfect picture of God’s Perfect Love. Why is this a problem? Because this sort of confusion leads to an overly emotional/sensual/experiential pursuit of “God’s love”. God isn’t found in our emotions, He’s found in His Word.  God often describes His relationship to His people as that of a marriage, but each time He does so (except at the Last Day when Christ returns for the Church) it’s to point out our infidelity, our adultery (idolatry), and our sin.

Official Lyric Video

Lyrics (via K-Love)

Your love is devoted like a ring of solid gold
Like a vow that is tested like a covenant of old
Your love is enduring through the winter rain
And beyond the horizon with mercy for today

Faithful You have been and faithful You will be
You pledge Yourself to me and it’s why I sing

(chorus)
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

You Father the orphan
Your kindness makes us whole
And You shoulder our weakness
And Your strength becomes our own
Now You’re making me like You
Clothing me in white
Bringing beauty from ashes
For You will have Your bride

Free of all her guilt and rid of all her shame
And known by her true name and it’s why I sing

(chorus)
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

You will be praised You will be praised
With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord
You will be praised You will be praised
With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord
And it’s why I sing

(chorus)
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Ever be on my lips, ever be on, ever be on my lips

Publishing: © 2014 Bethel Music Publishing (ASCAP)
Writer(s): Words and Music by Kalley Heiligenthal, Gabriel Wilson, Chris Greely, Bobby Strand

Discussion

Ugh, this song was painful to sit through. Having to listen to Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips eleven times is just… overkill. And it doesn’t say anything. Are we talking about eternity? Well, yeah, we will be praising God forever. Are we talking about temporally? Well, you’re lying. In fact, while you’re repeating this line eleven times, you know what you are not actually doing? Praising God. You’r talking about what you may be / will be doing, but not actually doing it.

While we are on the subject of Praise, why will the Bride (the Church) be praising Christ forever? Because HE SAVED US. Does this song explain that? No, instead it presents God as a fairytale night in shining armor who shows up out to rescue us from our shame and guilt so that we can be called by our true name… I wonder if the Never Ending Story is driving the imagery in this song with the whole true name thing. Anyway, it presents a romanticized rescue as if God simply waved His hand and all the guilt and shame just went *poof*.  That isn’t the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Romans 5 (ESV) | Peace with God Through Faith

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Death in Adam, Life in Christ

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This is why we Praise the LORD our God and Savoir. We have no need to romanticize or conjure up some emotional experience when we have the Truth of God’s Word clearly proclaiming and displaying God’s immeasurable and incomprehensible Love for us. The Holy Spirit will bring life through God’s Word and there will be moments when your emotions will line up with your faith and you’ll get that warm glowy feeling, or breath that deep sigh of relief that calms the soul… but when those emotions are not under control, and not submitted to the Scriptures, the Truth of this promise doesn’t change. God’s love doesn’t change, it doesn’t go away, when your emotional high wanes and you’re left having to deal with everyday life. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, unshackle your faith from your temporal and fleeting emotions, and hold fast to the external, Written Word of God, remember your baptism, and the Lord’s Supper, and trust in these means to feed, grow, and sustain your faith. Your emotions are so easily manipulated and stirred, they are a poor anchor for your faith… and your sinful, carnal flesh wants desperately to do just that, to get you completely focused on your emotions, your feelings, your circumstances, your impressions, your felt-needs.

There are a few truthy statements in there… God is indeed the Father to the fatherless and it is His kindness that makes us whole. The overall messaging, though, isn’t about what God’s Word says about Him… it’s about stirring up the imagination and moving their emotions about.

Conclusion

When this life is finally over, and our Lord Jesus Christ returns for His Bride, we who are found in Him will indeed praise Him forever and ever. It is certain. Does that make this a good song? No. This song is emotional goo. While it is presented as praise to God, it’s actually just intended to stir up the crowd into a mystically charged emotionality so that folks can walk away feeling they accomplished something spiritual… it is intended to create a good work of inviting the Presence (allegedly of God the Holy Spirit) into the place, so those present can all feel emotionally loved by God. Scripture doesn’t describe fitting worship in this way. In fact, such fleshly worship is often attributed to false gods.

I’d like to close today’s post by looking at what God’s Written Word has to say about what lay ahead for those who are in Christ Jesus by Faith. We’ll look to the last 2 chapters in Revelation.

Revelation 21 (ESV) | The New Heaven and the New Earth

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

The New Jerusalem

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement. The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Revelation 22 (ESV) | The River of Life

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Jesus Is Coming

And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”

“And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Amen, Indeed.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

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