SONG STORY // All That I Desire

Posted by Chris:

Last year I attended a Worship Leader Conference led by long-time renowned global church worship leader, Paul Baloche. After over two decades of writing music, Paul’s fingerprints and vocals are still making their way through churches all across the world. I still remember as a teenager leading his song, “Open The Eyes Of My Heart” during our youth services on Wednesday nights. Paul is an incredible leader both musically and spiritually. His humility and his love of Jesus is so evident that if I sat in a room with him and he led “Open The Eyes Of My Heart” for an entire evening it would be one of the most worshipful experiences of my life. It was actually his song story about “Open The Eyes Of My Heart” that I carried with me out of that conference and would eventually give way to our newest song, “All That I Desire.”

As a worship leader and a songwriter, I have come to learn that there is nothing more important to either than my relationship with the Father through being in his Word and being in prayer, and it was on this evening, Paul explained that he was just spending time praying, “Lord, open the eyes of my heart,” “I want to see You,” and literally this song came out of that prayer. It’s such a simple song and yet it has carried across over twenty years of congregational worship. How in the world is that possible? There are few songs I listen to on a consistent basis that date before the early 2000’s, but “Open The Eyes Of My Heart” is one of them. And I have to qualify that with the word listen because I lead plenty of songs in church that pre-date most of our lifetimes. But in a world where contemporary worship music is debated every step of the way, this song is one of the few left unscathed. I believe it’s because this song is one hundred percent authentic in every sense of the word. The apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 4:22-24, “22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Authenticity is every day putting off the old self and putting on the renewed self through God’s grace just as much publicly as privately. When I see Paul Baloche lead or hear him speak about God’s grace in his life, I understand why his songs resonate with so many. He is truly authentic.

Over the last few years I have spent time reflecting on the words and lessons of worship leaders that have spoken at various conferences. Along with Paul Baloche’s story on how some of his songs have just come out of prayers, I forever am reminded of the words of Vertical Church Band’s Andy Rozier when he said, “You can’t teach what you don’t know, and you can’t lead where you don’t go.” (Ironic that Paul Baloche and Andy Rozier are now both leading worship and writing music for Harvest Bible Chapel.) And so I strive every day to find that time where I dig deeper with Jesus, where I seek out the Father’s will through the Word and through prayer – because I have no right to step out on a church stage on Sunday morning and lead others to the Throne Room if I am not consistently there myself.

I have a small music studio in my home and I am ever grateful for the quiet space it allows me to have. There is something about going into a space in your home and closing the door and having the sense that you are cutoff from the rest of the world that allows you to clear your mind and focus on Jesus. A few months ago I was spending time in prayer and I thought about Paul Baloche’s experience with songwriting through prayer. And so I began to write down my prayer. I want more of You. Give me more of You, Jesus. You are all that I desire. With every breath draw me closer to You. Those lines became the foundation of “All That I Desire.”

You opened my eyes to see Your face
You opened my heart to show Your grace
And I surrender everything
You opened the skies to light the way
You opened the seas to keep me safe
And I surrender everything

Oh (Jesus) I want more of You
Give me all of who You are
Oh Consuming Fire You’re all that I desire

You came here to seek and save the lost
You poured out Your love upon the cross
And I surrender everything
You carried the weight of all my shame
You left it behind inside the grave
And I surrender everything

There’s no mountain high there’s no ocean deep
To keep You from drawing me close
Not a moment flees when I’m on my knees
That You aren’t drawing me close
Every breath I breathe every space between
I feel You drawing me close
Every word You speak You are beckoning
Jesus You’re drawing me close

Oh Consuming Fire You’re all That I desire

“All That I Desire” releases on Friday, July 28th, 2017.

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