Written by: Laura Chambers (3/2/2017)
Where on Earth did we get the idea that success can only be measured in dollars and accolades? On Earth, of course. When all our attention is fixed on attaining status and possessions, we miss out on the real rewards of life. The blessings of being weak, broken, humble, persecuted, mournful. The joy of coming to the end only to find it’s actually the start of something new and glorious. Greg Sykes has experienced this phenomenon personally. His Integrity Music debut EP Reverse shares the lessons he has learned, as well as honest commentary about his struggles with insecurity.
“Just The Beginning” urges us onward with the sunrise of a second chance. Sometimes we need a friend to speak these words for us to believe them, to see the things we can’t. God is going with us and before us every step of the way. This short track clocks in at 2m33s, giving it the feel of a prologue that presents the main theme of our lives from now on in simple words. “Reverse” turns over rocks on the seashore to find unexpected life and mystery underneath. Though we may have our own ideas about how God’s supposed to work, we invariably find we’ve underestimated His ability to work backwards and move forwards at the same time. The music pulses steadily like the beat of God’s heart, amen-ing every statement. “All I Need To Know” reminds us that God’s plans for us are always the best possible thing. He remains with us throughout confusion, fear, and darkness. We don’t have to understand or be sure of anything else but Him. Ironically, a song called “Impossible” assures us that nothing is when God says He will do it. Having experienced God’s grace firsthand, Sykes knows he can stand up to his enemies in the power of God, whatever form they may take. The final track “Need You Now” confesses an inability to transform apart from God or remain static with Him. Sykes invites the Spirit to drown Him in power and shatter evil’s hold on him. The song goes out on a triumphant note with the last line of the bridge – “You put death to death forever”. If ever there was a reason to have confidence in someone, this is it.
If you begin a journey up the mountain only to tumble all the way down the hill into the valley, you’re in good company. And I don’t just mean all the other unfortunate people who experienced similar setbacks. God will be waiting for you with a smile, a hug, and a hand up. He’s going to do things a little differently. Reverse shifts gears and attitudes alike, opening our eyes to a perspective so foreign to our way of thinking that it seems crazy. In reality, it’s anything but.