DiM | “Higher” by Unspoken

CCM Edition.disapprove

September 12, 2016. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Higher” by Unspoken which currently sits at #19 on 20TheCountdownMagazine. This song is all about how awesome I am, or will be, because I’m committed to “lifting God higher”. It’s an anthem for “being committed to being a great Christian”.  It’s a Law song, with no Gospel.

Unspoken VEVO Lyric Video

Lyrics (via KLove)

I gotta try to do right when life’s doin me wrong
Gotta shake the dust off my feet and keep marching on

When trouble weighs me down brings me to my knees
Lord my needs are many but that’s a pretty, yeah a pretty good place to be

Don’t blame it on the preacher cuz the preacher done told
The devil’s got a target on my heart and my soul
But let me tell you brother what the devil don’t know
The lower I go the more I’m gonna lift you higher higher higher higher

(chorus)
I’m gonna lift you higher higher higher higher higher
God Almighty, You are Worthy higher higher higher higher higher

I may never get money
I may never have fame
But if I’m ever in the spotlight
I’ll point it back Your way
Cuz standing at the top was never ever my goal
But if you put me on a mountain then I’ll tell the whole world
Singin hallelujah, til I hit the dirt oh

(chorus)
I’m gonna lift you higher higher higher higher higher
I’m gonna lift you higher higher higher higher higher
God Almighty, You are Worthy higher higher higher higher higher

Hallelujah He is worthy Hallelujah He is good
Hallelujah He is worthy Hallelujah He is good
Hallelujah He is worthy Hallelujah He is good

Leave me in rags and ruins and I’ll praise you through it
Clothe me in glory and riches
I’ll praise you just the same
All that I have
All I’ve been given
All of my life’s ambition is to worship
is to honor is to bring you praise

(chorus)
I’m gonna lift you higher higher higher higher higher
I’m gonna lift you higher higher higher higher higher
God Almighty, You are Worthy higher higher higher higher higher
God Almighty, You are Worthy

Publishing: © 2016 Centricity Music Publishing (ASCAP) / CentricSongs & 2 Hour Songs (SESAC) / Jon Lowry designee
Writer(s): Chad Mattson / Seth Mosley / Jon Lowry

Discussion

The start of this song is the singer. This song falls more in the decree and declare camp than it does in the confession of Christ and Him crucified for our sins. What I mean is that this song is all about boasting of what the singer will do for God no matter what He throws at him. If we are going to boast in anything, it should be in Christ, not in we claim we will do for Him. I think this is largely due to a misunderstanding of Paul’s writing in 2 Corinthians 11-12. Paul is engaging in snark to explose the ridiculousness of the Corinthians buying into the lies of the so-called “super apostles” who abused them and took advantage of them. But the part that is being missed can be found in the following section:

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (ESV) Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

You see Paul was addressing the church that had bought into the boastings of the “super apostles” who presented Paul’s weakness, humble appearance and speech, even his charity as disqualifiers. Paul then points out that he has found contentment with his weknesses, because of the grace of God. So, while he does find strenght in weakness, it’s not his strength, it’s the Power of Christ through the Grace of God. Even then, he is boasting gladly of his weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon him. We see a similar concept taught by James.

James 4:6-10 (ESV) But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, butgives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts,you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Humble yourself. How is that done? Well, by meditating on the Law of God (draw near to God) which convicts us of sin by the working of the Holy Spirit unto repentance. The Gospel of God then forgives us of our sins and cleanses of unrighteousness. Rather than make bold declarations of what you’re going to do no matter what God throws your way… humbly spend time studying God’s Written Word, and trust God the Holy Spirit to work in you, building up your faith in Christ Jesus. God will lift you up. It is God who began a Good work in you, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit.

The best line in the song is Hallelujah He is worthy Hallelujah He is good, but even that refrain is masked by the simultaneous verse being sung… a verse that brings attention back to the singer.

Regarding the phrase I’m gonna lift you higher, and the repetition of the single word “higher” there’s a vague confusion about what that phrase means. You see, there is a sense of “lifting up your banner” which is turn of phrase for announcing your Name, or raising up the battle standard in a military formation, for identification and communication. But there is also the question of “higher than what”. Higher than all other things? Christ has already been lifted up above all things, all of creation is submitted under His feet, the heavens, the earth, and under the earth. Our praises don’t do any objective lifting up of His Name any higher than He has already been lifted up. So this line ends up turning back inward… I’m going to make God the most important thing in my life… higher, higher, higher. But the truth is, you won’t. You’ll fail. You don’t faithfully uphold the first commandment, your flesh is at war with the Spirit. You’ll need the Gospel in the very next few minutes of reading this. Praise the Lord that the Gospel will be still be there for you, for the forgiveness of sins.

Conclusion

If you’re convinced that the point of worship is to boldly make promises you can’t keep to God in hopes that makes Him happy with you, then this song is right up your alley. While we do fully believe there was nothing but good intent in the writing and performing of this song, it is confused and overly self-focused. Praise the Lord for Who He is and what He has already done for us, and for what He has promised He will do in Eternity. His grace is sufficient. Christ is already lifted up and seated at the Right Hand of the Father. King of kings, Lord of lords, the Alpha and Omega. In closing, let us read through Paul’s wonderful proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in his opening of the Epistle to the Ephesians.

Ephesians 1:3-23 (ESV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should beholy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will,according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestinedaccording to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you,remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

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