Written by: Laura Chambers (4/19/18)
It’s been said that the only thing which is constant in life is change. But after years of constancy, change has the potential to cripple if not handled properly, particularly if the change is life-altering. After long time lead singer Matt Hammitt departed Sanctus Real, nobody would have been surprised if the band had folded in favor of pursuing new individual projects; it happens all the time. Words like “obvious”, “natural”, and “expected” were not on the band’s radar, however; instead, they asked God what His plans were and waited for His answer. Two years later, after adding a new lead singer, Dustin Lolli, Changed is the culmination of all those prayers. Sanctus Real’s rebirth serves as a reminder that although our circumstances may change, the truth that underlies everything never does. Indeed, the transitions we experience only tug on our hearts, inviting us to be further transformed into Christ’s likeness.
“Your Love Is Loud” expresses the evidence of God’s love in terms of sonic volume. We are reminded that however powerful the other voices demanding our attention may be, there is one sound that has the ability to seek us out, dominate our attention and exorcise the darkness from our souls.
“Survival” hungers for a life that moves beyond just barely getting by towards complete freedom. Though there are places we can’t go back to anymore, there’s something more awaiting us on the road ahead; freedom and passion.
“Safe In My Father’s Arms” speaks from experience, assuring listeners that there is nothing that compares to belonging to Jesus. It’s an open invitation to experience the refuge He offers, regardless of who you are or what you lack. The song has a bit of a tropical vibe to it; play this on your way to the beach this summer. (Maybe you can get a singalong going…)
“Confidence” admits to the inadequacy we all bring to the table when we’re asked by the Lord to do something difficult. Rather than using it as an out, well, that would be too easy. We’re challenged to rely on His strength instead. Bringing to mind Biblical heroes who displayed extraordinary faith, the chorus is a prayer seeking God to give us those same attributes. He’s the one who’s actually doing the fighting, after all; ours is to give Him the glory. When we remember this, we can boldly stand up to anything and anyone in our way. Doesn’t hurt that the song’s pretty catchy, either.
“Hide And Seek” drops the title in the first line of the song, and oddly enough, it’s to declare that we are not playing this game with God; He pursues us wherever we go, rather than letting us out of His sight and coming along later with no clue about our location. God is willing to do whatever He has to, go wherever He must for our sakes. It’s kind of a love song, I suppose.
“Unrestrained” shows how the love of God can reflect our nature and His, causing the differences between us to stand out. Though we may be apprehensive about stepping into the middle of it and letting His love change us, once we choose it, all we want is to be His instruments.
“Changed” confesses dissatisfaction that the process of becoming a new person is rife with stops and starts, progress and regress. The truth is that although we’re not as different as we could be, who we are at any given time is a definite improvement over the way we once were. This is the kind of encouragement we can all use when we blow it big time. Hearts entrusted to God only improve with time.
“Hello Love” is sort of a letter making our re-acquaintance with the love of God after a long peroid of silence on our parts. Though time, miles, and milestones have passed in the interim, leaving us to question why we ever left Him, we will always find rescue waiting for us on the other side. Yet another song that samples lyrics from “Amazing Grace”; it never ceases to amaze me how bands can continue to pull that off in a way that doesn’t feel forced.
“My Hope Is In The Lord” cheerfully reminds us to trust in the solid, lasting foundation God provides, rather than the things we own, the people we surround ourselves with, or their opinions of us. It has the feel of a hymn, but it’s really more of a pilgrim’s travelling song, or a motto to live by.
“Breaking Point” departs upon the act of surrender precipitated by the admission that when we wind up straddling faith and doubt, legalism and liberty, filth and cleansing, it’s that feeling that we are on the verge of being pulled apart which moves us to give our hearts to the Lord.
Becoming the person we are made to be is a lifelong process. There are no shortcuts or cheat codes, and a lot of what happens really isn’t up to us. The one area we have control over is how we respond to the challenges God allows in our lives. Do we surrender to our own will, that of others, or His? If we’re not moving forward, we’re sliding backward. Sanctus Real offers us a road map to making sense out of the new seasons we find ourselves in. Changed explores the emotions that drive us to the brink, the options we have upon arrival, and the potential benefits of choosing wisely.