Written by: Laura Chambers (7/12/2015)
No one is immune to fear. It can strike everyone from the five year old child who thinks he sees a monster in his closet to the soldier about to go off to war to the old woman who believes she is losing her memory. It tells us we are doomed to a life of pain, struggle, and need with no chance of escape or relief. That in our darkest, most desperate moments, there is nothing we can do and no one we can turn to. Fear lies to us. And with that in mind, Moriah Peters sets out to drown out fear’s falsehoods by inspiring our confidence in God’s love and ability to sustain and comfort us in our trials.
“Brave” is Moriah’s prayer for courage to stand up and face her fears through power that only comes from God. The descending cascade of the chorus contrasts with the soft timidity in the verses to create an audible comparison between her distress and the boldness she gains to put her foot down and take a stand. “Oh Fear (My God is Near)” is a message of defiance to the devil, reminding him that he’s lost and God is victorious. Instead of letting his lies dictate what risks and roads we take, we should remember our freedom in Christ and live accordingly. “To Leave It All Behind” details the rightness of giving everything to Jesus when we choose to make Him our Lord. Whatever we surrender is worth far less than the rewards of our sacrifice. You can hear the relief in her voice as she celebrates the freedom in choosing to “lose” what is a struggle for so many.
“You Carry Me” joyously looks back at the dark moments in a way that is only possible for those who can see themselves in Jesus’ arms all along. Our feelings of abandonment are so far from the truth and only come when we look ahead instead of burying our face in His shoulder. “Stand Strong” is an encouragement to those who are being persecuted for their faith. Despite the massive obstacles we face, we are called to draw on God’s strength and refuse to back down. The cost of giving in is far too great. “I’ll Wait For You” dramatically shifts gears to a sweet love song that portrays two people who drifted around each other, never guessing they’d wind up together. It’s the kind of song that deserves a music video – I can see the story play out in my mind’s eye.
“Don’t Want To Live For Me” chronicles a moment of decision; the realization that a capricious, self-centered existence is dissatisfying and will never accomplish anything of worth, The choice is ours to make: whether we God’s will above our own or not. Again, there’s a sense of release here. “Born To Be Free” calls us to accept the freedom that is possible in Christ. You were made for more than the prison you’ve locked yourself in. It feels like a refreshing rain shower cleansing away the filth and trail dust from your soul. “Waterfall” describes the intense comfort there is in realizing that God’s grace looks past our sins and inadequacies and showers us with love. How refreshing to know He washes away our shame and loves us unconditionally. “Give Me Jesus” kind of encapsulates the message of this album into simple pleadings for nothing but the Lord. Until now I’d only heard Jeremy Camps’s version, but this one’s okay too. Lastly, it’s a repeat of “Brave”, this time with an extra hip-hop part from Andy Mineo. It kind of gives the album a final spirited punch in the air.
Throughout Brave, we are called to take risks; the risk of loving, standing up for what we believe, trusting God, sacrificing our desires for His. The cost is high but the call is higher. Moriah Peters delivers a jolt of audacity and a cup of comfort at the same time, reminding us that nothing is too hard for a God who is always close at hand.