a10. Love So Strong

Jason Dowty | August 11, 2018

On the face of it, this is a pretty simple pop song reflecting the excitement and freshness of new-found faith.

The song is about the freedom and limitless possibilities we have in Christ having been set free of the chains that previously bound us (‘and all I can be, since your grace set me free’). This is a reference to Ephesians 2-8: ‘For it is by grace you have been saved’.

‘You broke the chains’ is inspired by Psalm 107-13 and multiple other Bible references: ‘He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains’.

‘You split the sea’ is a clear reference to the parting of the Red Sea in Exodus, a miracle that also represents the way Yahweh used Jesus to open a path between man and God that had previously seemed like an impenetrable barrier.

There is no better proof of the opening of this new relationship between man and God than the gift of the Holy Spirit that indwells within believers that first appeared as tongues of fire among the apostles at Pentecost (‘you lit a flame inside of me’).

While the song is lighthearted, a closer listen will reveal it includes personal commitments and longings of real substance.

‘Seasons change, but my hope is rested in you’ is a pledge to follow God regardless of the changing seasons of my life, whatever they may bring.

‘Adonai, make this heart a hope’ is a prayer for God to turn my life into a beacon of hope for others, while ‘lead me home, so my one direction is you’, is a plea for God to help me follow the narrow path to salvation by focusing on him and him alone.

‘In my surrender, I’ll do your will’, is another solemn pledge and (while I didn’t write it knowingly based on a particular scripture) the entire chorus actually reflects the message of Psalm 116-16: ‘Truly I am your servant, Lord; I serve you just as my mother did; for you have freed me from my chains’.

This verse explains the difference between salvation by grace alone and salvation by works, with the Bible telling us that our natural works and servant hearts should be offered as an expression of gratitude, rather than as an attempt to work our way into God’s favor (something that could, in any case, only be achieved through Jesus’s perfect offering at Calvary).

Words and music copyright Jason Dowty 2016