INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST
Matt Redman: Your Grace Finds Me
By Hannah Goodwyn
One of the most prolific worship leaders of our time Matt Redman is at it again. The Grammy and Dove Award-winning artist has released another album filled with songs that will likely make their way onto your church's worship set list soon.
Your Grace Finds Me explores the grace of God, pulling you in to intimate and joyous praise of Jesus Christ, our redeemer.
Recently, Redman shared with CBNmusic.com a little insight into some of the songs on this new record, delving into the themes of prayer, joy and our dependence on God.
What's the story behind the title track off your new album, Your Grace Finds Me?
Redman: I wrote this song with my friend Jonas Myrin in a little chapel in England where we often song write. The song is an attempt to sing about the wide spectrum of God's grace. The grace of God found us at the cross – and that is the centerpiece of all we believe, but that is not the end of the story of grace. For His grace keeps on finding us – the undeserved goodness of God showing up in our lives. You can find it in the newborn cry and find it in the light of every sunrise. You'll find it in the mundane and on the mountaintop. And more to the point, it finds you.
God is gracious even when we don't recognize it. Was there ever a time in your life when you didn't see God as merciful? If so, how did grace find you?
Redman: I think I've always had a sense that God is 'for' me, and with me. Even in my childhood, I went through some tough situations, but kind of understood that the goodness of God was still hovering over my life. But, yes it's true to say that often we don't recognize the grace of God that pours down on us. Whether they're aware of it or not, no one has ever lived a day without the grace of God at work in their life somehow. Psalm 145 says, "The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all His creation." In other, words, to some degree every living person gets showered in the goodness of God, whether they acknowledge Him or not.
The album's first song, "Sing and Shout", sounds like it was fun to sing with a big crowd. Being reflective and reverent as we worship God is right and good. But, how important is it to have fun while we praise?
Redman: I think that, biblically speaking, joy and reverence go very much hand in hand. Psalm 95 tells us 'come let us sing for joy' and then soon after 'come let us bow down in worship'. Leviticus 9:24 says "they shouted for joy and they fell facedown." Psalm 2 says 'rejoice with trembling". So this is a pattern in scripture – that joy and reverence are not opposed to each other, but actually in the most healthy worship they go hand in hand.
Thinking of your new song, "I Need You Now", answer this: Why do you 'need' God?
Redman: I am fragile, and life is often turbulent. Of course, the beautiful thing is that weakness in the life of faith is not a thing to be despised – for God's power is made perfect in our weakness. The frailty of who we are invites the greatness of who Jesus is. Oswald Chambers said it like this: "Complete weakness and dependence will always be the occasion for the Spirit of God to manifest His power."
The lyrics on "This Beating Heart" declare that our hearts beat for our Creator. Sometimes, we have to will our minds to believe that. Our hearts stray. Do you ever fight against that?
Redman: I think that worship is always a choice. There'll be times where worship flows so freely and easily from our lips and lives. And there'll be other moments where worship is a very definite and gutsy choice. We may be in a place where the last thing we feel like doing is to trust and glorify Jesus – and yet in that moment our offering of worship can become a powerful weapon. I find that in those moments where I don't feel like worshipping, and yet, based on the worth of God, make a definite choice to rise up with praise, there's so often a breakthrough.
"Jesus, Only Jesus" makes no apologies for naming Christ as the only way to life eternal, the only path to peace. This song speaks to His good acts and good nature. How does He match against counterfeits and misleading beliefs?
Redman: I'd have to say that He is 'matchless.' To my mind, nothing or no one else even comes close. C.S. Lewis talked about the fact that in the end, idols always break the heart of their worshippers. But the opposite is true with Jesus. He fulfills and satisfies the hearts of those who make Him their highest praise.
"Let My People Go"… You call acts of compassion and social justice a worship issue, not a charity issue. You quote, in your devotional for this song, theologian Jurgen Moltmann, who said, "Peace with God means conflict with the world." What do you mean by that?
Redman: In the rest of that quote Moltmann says that, "faith, wherever it develops into hope, causes not rest but unrest." What he means is that there comes a point where we see injustice around us and are just will not put up with it anymore. We have so speak up or act upon it for the sake of Christ and His kingdom of justice. I love it when I see acts of justice that were born from a heart of worship. They are not just acts of charity; they are acts of devotion.
"Benediction"… This ancient blessing still rings incredibly true today. And it goes beyond denominations, beyond differing liturgies. What do you hear when you sing these words? What do you hold onto in this prayer?
Redman: I love that these words from Numbers chapter 6 are a universal prayer of blessing. They can be prayed over anyone. They seem to fit any situation. You could pray this to end a funeral or a wedding. You could say it in an office or a warzone. You can pray it over the rich, the poor, the sick or the healthy. I often now sing it over my kids at bedtime. So I guess that's what I like about this prayer of blessing. There are times when we're run out of words, or can't seem to find the right ones to say. This prayer is such a useful tool for those moments.
Hannah Goodwyn serves as the Entertainment producer for CBN.com.
For more articles, visit Hannah's bio page.
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