I’ve been writing Catches based on songs from my album, “Casual Crimes,” and so far we’ve looked at “Time for You,” “All Fall Down,” and “I Will Still Love You,” and Marti asked me yesterday, “So what’s next?”
“A Changed Man,” I said. “A Changed Man” is a song I wrote after coming back from a two-week trip to South Africa that indicated a change of heart in a determination to overcome old habits of avoidance and denial. Marti thought about that for a few seconds and then came back with, “… and what’s the next song?” In other words, she’s still waiting for the changed man that came back from South Africa to show up.
Ingrained habits and old tapes are hard to shake. I hate to admit it, but things I was struggling with years ago are still part of my struggle today. Dealing with our sinful nature is a little like dealing with an addiction: it doesn’t go away; you just learn, by calling on the Lord to not let it have power over you. Will we live the change that God works in us, or go back to the same well-worn grooves of self and sin, like a broken record that still plays?
Living the change starts with believing the change and then walking in the change by the power of the Holy Spirit. So for this reason, we’re going to go directly to “Everything Matters” — a song about doing just that. It’s about waking up to the world around us, the needs of others, and the daily battle to walk in faith in the power of the Lord. It’s an immediate song for living in the trenches of life.
To be sure, this is less of an announcement of a great victory as it is an admission of the struggle, and a song to basically kick myself in the butt in order to get off of it, believe my new life in Christ, and live accordingly, in a constant affirmation of the life of Christ in me and a denial of the flesh.
I am reminded in this regard, of the comment of an old Christian warrior who had been softened by grace, yet still spoke of the personal battles he fought regularly with his old self. “You mean to say,” I said one day when we were walking and talking about this, “it doesn’t get any better?” At which point he stopped in His tracks, captured my eyes with an incredulous look on his worn and aging face, and said, with a grin, “Do I look like it’s getting any better?”
We don’t ever get to a state where we don’t have to walk by faith anymore, or to a place where walking by faith becomes easy. Until we die, we carry around this “body of death,” as Paul calls our old sin nature, “so that the life of Christ might be seen in our mortal bodies” (2 Corinthians 4:10-11). That life is the change we’re talking about, and we walk in it by faith. That life that we see in the midst and in spite of ourselves is the life we live by faith.
So I introduce you to a world where “Everything Matters,” and encourage you to click on the “Casual Crimes” album cover and give this song a listen while you follow along with the lyrics. Real change comes by faith — never by our own doing. God is eager for us to step into the changed life He wants you and me to live.
Words and music by John Fischer & Dan Russell
Keep my eyes open
Keep my hands on the wheel
Wake up again and I’m so far behind
I turn my head and it’s one more time
So hard to keep all the things in my minds
So easy to lose what you had me find
Watching the news and it’s no news to me
A world breaking apart what can one heart do
I take your hand are you here next to me
At least am I starting with you
Year after year all this time gives me proof
I stumble I fall into your love
I call out your name O God help me to see
Your gift of life my life to lead