Written by: Laura Chambers (3/8/2016)
Our lives are defined by seasons. The cold winds of winter; the fragrant beauty of springtime; the humid air of summer; the bright colors of autumn. Despite a few anomalous weather patterns that suggest otherwise, these seasons are usually pretty clearly defined on the calendar. It’s the other seasons of life whose beginning and ending remain elusively just beyond our control. The seasons of want, longing, sorrow, spiritual dryness…we plead with God for them to end so we can return to the joy we knew before.
But is there any value to these moments? Bethel Music believes the answer is yes. Not only do our trials draw us closer to the Lover of our souls, they also bring believers together to comfort and encourage each other in testimony and song. To produce soul-stirring music that draws us towards surrender and reminds us that God is good whatever the weather inside and outside. With that in mind, Have It All calls us to bring our best to Him, with complete devotion to our calling as believers.
“Shine On Us” pictures God as a source of light that awakens us to new possibilities we haven’t yet imagined. When He illuminates us, we are able to refract and reflect His light in the world. We don’t have to be afraid of the darkness with God to guide us. I especially like the imagery used in verse two:
“Heart of stone into a prism
Light of heaven flowing through me
Black and white to vibrant color”
“Faithful To The End” reminds us that we are created, treasured and protected by a faithful God. When we recall how far we have come, always with Him by our side, we can place our confidence in His care. Lifelong worship is the only sound response to such a faithful love. “Have It All” begins with the chorus, and fittingly so, as the song is about complete surrender. From there, the song expresses the joy that comes from giving Jesus everything we are, just as He gave His life for ours. Ruined thusly, we continually lay down our entire experience for him. It is the highest aspiration we can hope for. “Colors” asks God to impart color to our existence, possibly continuing the theme I mentioned earlier from “Shine On Us”.
“Be Enthroned” brings our voices into harmony with all who have ever praised God from the beginning of time. Our praises become a throne for Him to sit upon. Having seen the proof of His love in that He gave everything for us, He is the only worthy one. This is my favourite track of the album. “Pieces” praises God’s nature for not being fainting or faltering. Instead of only giving us some of His love or some of His power, we have all of Him available to us. Depicting God’s love as that perfect ideal seen in 1st Corinthians 13, it is one that cannot be stifled one iota. I consider it a challenging exercise to write this kind of lyric, one that moves beyond simple praise choruses and elaborates on an unusual line of reasoning. “Lion & The Lamb” takes these two well-known descriptions of God (which at first blush appear to be diametrically opposed) and crystallizes them into one perfect Saviour, who is both willing and able to fight for us and die for us. Nobody can stand in His way or come before Him without bowing. “Thank You” asks how one can possibly express gratefulness to Someone who has gone well beyond what we would expect of Him. Though He could have just stood back and left us to fend for ourselves, He never has and never will. His appearance in the middle of our wreckage changes everything.
“Praises (Be Lifted Up)” takes a step back from the complex turns of phrase and simply praises God’s name, continually lifting it to new heights of glory. “Heaven Come” responds to the images of heaven we glimpse in the natural world all around us. And for all the loveliness we can see, it’s only a fraction of what’s to come. Just being in God’s presence makes us long for more. “Sweet Praise” allows the audience (this is a live recording, did I mention that?) to praise God in whatever words they wish to. The sweet strains of violin music coupled with steady drumming give this moment an urgency, a fervour that helps to convey the emotions that must have been running high at that point. “Son Of God” reminds us that we can all come to the cross where Jesus died and find love and hope there. While seemingly a place of grief, it also becomes a home for us. He has overcome by being the sacrificial lamb and we are victorious in Him.
“Greatness of Your Glory”’ s tune reminds me of Matt Maher’s “Lord I Need You”. The end of every verse points us to Jesus as the personification of love and hope. I especially like the first two lines of the chorus (“God from God/Life from life”) as they simply yet deeply express who Jesus is. “Mercy” celebrates the assurance we have that Jesus would rather extend mercy to us than judge us for our sins. Because we are forgiven and cleansed in His blood, we can receive it and be sure of our resurrection to come. “Spirit Move” depicts a sense of knowing that the Holy Spirit is about to do something in the lives of those calling on God. Aware of this, our desire should be to welcome God’s power into our lives. There are some things that only God is capable of, and we must be willing to allow Him to. “Glory To Glory” ends off this album with a soaring melody which fits with the song’s theme of continuously being raised to new heights by Christ, whether in a spiritual sense (higher levels of holiness) or the physical (being raised to new life in the end). Once Jesus has touched us, we never go back to being the same person we once were, but climb ever higher instead.
Have It All is a well-rounded blend of the simple and profound, the quiet whispers and the triumphant shouts. Whether quietly pondering the mysteries of God’s grace or erupting in exultant celebration, Bethel Music’s collaborators speak truth to every season of life, in order that we might remember that Jesus has overcome. There is no more fitting response than surrender.
Released: March 11, 2016
Label: Bethel Music
- Shine On Us (4:32)
- Faithful To The End (6:36)
- Have It All (6:30)
- Colors (4:33)
- Be Enthroned (8:30)
- Pieces (5:39)
- Lion & the Lamb (4:40)
- Thank You (5:54)
- Praises (Be Lifted Up) (7:33)
- Heaven Come (8:23)
- Sweet Praise (6:16)
- Son Of God (4:50)
- Greatness of Your Glory (6:38)
- Mercy (5:52)
- Spirit Move (5:05)
- Glory To Glory (5:24)
16 tracks, 96:55
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