Behind the Song: "The Passion "

Listen to the song below

Here’s an honest question:

Have you ever found yourself singing lyrics about your level of devotion to God during a corporate worship service that you knew weren’t entirely true of you? Let’s “up the ante” a little bit. Have you ever found yourself with a microphone in front of your face and a guitar slung around your neck leading people in singing lyrics about your level of devotion to God that you knew weren’t entirely true of you?  


It happened to me this past weekend. We taught the song “The Passion” by Hillsong across all of our campuses this past weekend at Eleven22. 

Now, full disclosure: I really like this song. It’s well-crafted melodically and lyrically, and it’s rooted in sound theology. It’s extremely singable and easy to learn…and it moves me emotionally. It ticks a lot of boxes.

But singing the bridge lyric stings a little: 

“I give my whole life to honor this love. By the Lamb who was slain I’m forgiven.”

My whole life? That’s a lot. Immediately when the words rolled off my tongue I felt like Jesus himself tapped me on the shoulder and said… “really?”. 

Then comes to mind all of the un-surrendered kingdoms of my heart.  The simple stuff that dwells on the surface, like the curt conversation I had with my wife about our kid’s dirty room. Then there’s the complexity of forgiveness not offered in the wake of offense still held on to. It’s all in there, and it all falls into the category of my whole life. 

“The Passion” does an amazing job of drawing the worshipper’s attention to the sacrifice that Jesus paid on their behalf, and leaving them feeling the weight of what following Jesus in response feels like.  Although I can’t say with complete honesty that my whole life is completely surrendered to God at every moment, I’m grateful that this song reminds me that this is what Christ is calling me to. I’m also grateful that His consistent kindness is compelling me to a deeper level of surrender along the way.

Words in songs matter, and these are good ones. I would encourage you to be challenged in the same I have been as you sing these lyrics in our corporate gatherings.



Contributed by: Pastor Michael Olson


Authentic Worship


Do you ever walk into church and think, “I just don’t feel like worshipping today?” Have you ever pulled yourself out of bed on a Monday morning and didn’t want to speak to anyone much less…worship?

When I’m not “feeling it” I look to the book of Psalms. There are times when it appears that David does not feel like worshipping. Psalm 13 begins “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” Then, a few verses later he closes with “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.” There are so many writings in the Psalms not too dissimilar from this one. Lamenting turning into blessing and praise. Maybe David is on to something. But practically, how can we change our feelings and attitude?

In Psalm 103, David gives some wise instruction on how to move into a mindset of worship. Psalm 103 is believed to be a hymn of praise that reflects on God’s interaction with His people from creation to exile in the time of Moses. It is a hymn of thanksgiving for their survival in the desert due to God’s steadfast love.   

David begins by saying, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!” But, how do I bless the Lord? He encourages us to “forget not all His benefits” then lists quite a few of the benefits of God. “Forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.”  When I read those words my mind goes to a place of gratitude for Jesus and the treasure He is to me. Remember what God has done IN you and FOR you. Take an inventory of God’s goodness, mercy and steadfast love towards you and speak words of thanks to Him through prayer, song or by simply telling someone.

It’s a practice of looking to scripture and my own journey for stories of God’s faithfulness then recounting them and giving Him honor. It’s a discipline. It’s a commanding of your soul to bless the Lord. Try it now. Command your soul to take inventory of God’s goodness towards you. Thank Him for it. 

1Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Psalm 103



Contributed by: Eddy Foye


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