Is it true that God is “never gonna let me down”?


Is it true that God is “never gonna let me down”? 

Well – that depends.  Unfortunately, to some extent, it depends on who you are.  Not because of who you are, but because of what you understand of what the statement means.

You see, it’s from a worship song.  If you know that, you’re already (maybe) one step ahead of someone who didn’t know that. The person who wrote the song presumably knows and understands the answer to my question. 

The worship leaders in church who are leading the congregation in singing the song – they probably know the answer to the question, and hopefully they also understand why the answer is what it is. 

However, given the format of services, and the “need” to get people out of church before we exceed our time limit for paying attention – worship leaders rarely take or have the time to explain the songs to the ones they lead in singing it. 

That leaves us – the people who aren’t part of the worship team – to come up with our own conclusions as to the meaning of what we’re singing.  And that’s why the answer to whether or not God is “never gonna let me down” depends so much on who “me” is!  It’s not God’s fault.  It’s “peoples” fault – certainly not limited to, but also certainly including the “me” who sings the songs without learning what they are really about.

Since everyone now reading this is aware of the origin of the phrase “never gonna let me down” in my context, let’s take a look at the words to the song.  Oh – wait – maybe the title would be good too?  

King of my Heart

Verse 1

Let the King of my heart
Be the mountain where I run
The fountain I drink from
Oh He is my song
Let the King of my heart
Be the shadow where I hide
The ransom for my life
Oh He is my song

Chorus

You are good good oh
You are good good oh
You are good good oh
You are good good oh

Verse 2

Let the King of my heart
Be the wind inside my sails
The anchor in the waves
Oh He is my song
Let the King of my heart
Be the fire inside my veins
The echo of my days
Oh He is my song

Bridge

You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down

Ending

When the night is holding on to me
God is holding on
When the night is holding on to me
God is holding on  1)King of My Heart; CCLI Song Number 7046145; Copyright: Meaux Jeaux Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing), Raucous Ruckus Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing), McMillan, Sarah

OK – that’s a start.  Now – another question –

Where do the words to a worship song come from?

Where do the words come from?  Not just this song – King of My Heart – but any worship song.

Yes, the people writing the songs need to come up with music and words.  For a lot of worship songs, the words – in some form – come from Bible passages.  In the case of this song, they come from the following verses –

Isaiah 33:16

Isa 33:16 this is the man who will dwell on the heights,
whose refuge will be the mountain fortress.
His bread will be supplied,
and water will not fail him.

Psalms 68:16

Ps 68:16 Why gaze in envy, O rugged mountains,
at the mountain where God chooses to reign,
where the LORD himself will dwell forever?

Matthew 28:16

Mt 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.

Psalms 49:8

Ps 49:8 the ransom for a life is costly,
no payment is ever enough—

Match the verses to the song

Next, let’s look at the song again.  I’ll add an abbreviation at the ends of the corresponding lines in the song so you can tell which verses apply.

Verse 1

Let the King of my heart
Be the mountain where I run  –> Is 33:16, Ps 68:16; Mt 28:16
The fountain I drink from     –> Is 33:16, Ps 68:16; Mt 28:16
Oh He is my song
Let the King of my heart
Be the shadow where I hide
The ransom for my life             –> Ps 49:8
Oh He is my song

Chorus

You are good good oh
You are good good oh
You are good good oh
You are good good oh

Verse 2

Let the King of my heart
Be the wind inside my sails
The anchor in the waves
Oh He is my song
Let the King of my heart
Be the fire inside my veins
The echo of my days
Oh He is my song

Bridge

You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down

Ending

When the night is holding on to me
God is holding on
When the night is holding on to me
God is holding on 

 

Have you got that? It appears that very few of the lines from the song come from the Bible.

But wait!!

You should be asking – at least wondering – where did I get those verses from?  How do I “know” they are correct?

That’s a great question.  I got them from a web site – the same one I got the words from – http://wordtoworship.com/song/14921.  And where did they get the verses from?  Well, they actually answer that question on their site –

Auto Scripture tags are automatically added by the site if they use the same wording as bible verses. It definitely adds some references that no human would think is relevant but in my experience does a good job at adding a few key references. It’s something I tweak from time to time. Scripture tags are added by users (real humans!) so they should be much more reliable.

Uh Oh.  The verses I listed above were “Auto Scripture” – not from any person.  At this point, you may be asking why I even bothered to put in anything from this site.  It’s exactly for this reason – to let you know that finding out what the song actually means isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do.  What I just told you in this segment could be all wrong.  And if it somehow is correct, even a little, it’s only be chance.

Let’s try again

Let’s try again – with another worship song site – www.worshiptogether.com.  This time, it says the following verses apply –

Psalms 136:1

Ps 136:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. Ps 136:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.  His love endures forever.

Psalms 100:5

Ps 100:5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Interesting.  Neither of these verses was chosen by the “Auto Scripture” feature of the previous site.  Further, the only lines from the song that appear to have been from these verses is the chorus.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything on this site that tells how the verses were chosen / assigned to each song.

Another dead end as far as really knowing what the song meant to the person who wrote it.

One last time

Let’s give up on the random sites found from a Google search and try something else.

This time, we get –

Sarah McMillan on ‘King of My Heart’: 
“This song is about the tension we often find ourselves in this life. At the time I wrote this song, I was processing the divorce of my parents and at the same time experiencing the overwhelming joy of having children of my own. Both experiences changed my identity so deeply. I wrote ‘King of My Heart’ to remind myself that there was no joy or sorrow that could dilute the pure goodness of who God was. Everything I thought I lost, could actually be found in the Force of His goodness.”

Wow – that really says something.   

Where’s it from?  It’s from John Mark McMillan’s Facebook page.  He’s listed as co-author on the song credits.  It doesn’t appear to be on Sarah’s page.  So this is what the song meant to the author.  And it’s not all that easy to find.

However – it was worth finding.

Why does it matter what the author meant?

For someone who’s rarely, maybe never, been to church –

Someone like this may not have a clue what this is about.  This is especially true for the words of the bridge –

You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down

The words are repeated with the intent that the congregation meditate / pray about them while singing them.  The bridge is always simple – so it doesn’t take much effort and doesn’t take away from the prayer that should be going on.

But for the person who’s new to church – it could sound like the magic genie.  And that’s certainly not the case.  This becomes especially clear when we hear that the person who wrote the song was going through the difficulties we just read about.  Just one of them could have been enough to crush someone’s spirits – but both of them happened at the same time – and look what she wrote.

For someone who has been turned off by the church –
or has friends who have had that experience

Someone like this could hear that bridge and be thinking – “here it is – promising everything and it’s just not true”.

And so they are turned off – without ever realizing that their own situation may not be anywhere near as bad as the person who wrote the song.  And – not knowing what the song meant.  Turned off when the possibility to bring them to a true realization about God may have been so close.

For a regular church attendee

A person who attends church regularly – but still doesn’t know the back story behind the song – it’s perfectly reasonable to think that this song is written by someone who has had their life blessed by God and is celebrating that.  Which she is – don’t get me wrong.  But does the person singing the song know that Sarah wrote this song, not in spite of what happened in her life – but exactly because of what happened – and what God is doing for her?  I doubt that very much.

Remember what Jesus told us

Most of us know and remember this –

Jn 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

And, we know and remember this –

Mt 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Add to that what Paul wrote –

Ro 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Notice – in for that previous paragraph I said “add to that“.  Those weren’t three passages to be taken individually – but to add together.  And – to be lived.  

That’s what Sarah was doing when she wrote the song King of My Heart.  

It’s something I’ve only recently been able to say that I could do.  I don’t mean be “happy” in a sarcastic way, like “Whoopee, I have troubles!” – or to blindly say something like “I’m having problems so God must love me”.  No – it’s to have troubles and to really be able to feel that Jesus is with you – and to feel peace like you’ve never felt before.  And then – at the same time – really rejoice – way beyond happy – and know that God isn’t gonna let me down.

Conclusion

So – have you figured out what the song means?

Have you figured out what “never gonna let you down” means?

Here’s a clue – or a confirmation –

Here are two passages that tell us the same thing – but one is quite clear, and the other requires us to know what it means –

Jn 14:12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

and

Mt 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Got it?

We will receive what we ask for – when we ask in Jesus’ name – with the result that glory will go to the Father.

God is “never gonna let us down” when we live our lives like this – asking / living in Jesus’ name – for the Father’s glory.  No matter what’s happening – but maybe even especially when everyone else looks at us and can’t figure out why we rejoice in our lives, because that most surely brings glory to the Father – and not to us.

Post-script to –> Why does it matter what the author meant?

Comments that were left on John Mark McMillan’s Facebook page included these –

  • I love this song! As a church interpreter for the Deaf, I am struggling with the phrase “echo of my days.” Would a correct interpretation be “my whole life reflect Jesus?”
    • John Mark McMillan “What lasts beyond my life”
  • This song is related of my past the same situation. But thank God he is really good.kind and everything. 

  • Just lost my mama to cancer a week ago. While I know she’s with the Lord, the loss is hard. This song really speaks to that place of aloneness [sic] in my heart and the ache of missing her and my daddy who I also lost to cancer 18 years ago. The nights have been long and hard – He’s still holding on! Thanks for this.

None of these people would have felt the same, had they not known what the song was about.  It touches them in a way that is highly unlikely if sung without any background info on why the song was written in the first place.

I’ve had people wonder why I write about some of the things in my life.  But I’ve also had people tell me how it helped them  I’ve said before, if part of the reason I’ve gone through what I have is so I can help someone else understand where God is in it – and help them reach out to Him – it’s more than worth it.  Knowing that – understanding it – believing it – living it – that’s what the song is about.

References   [ + ]

1. King of My Heart; CCLI Song Number 7046145; Copyright: Meaux Jeaux Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing), Raucous Ruckus Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing), McMillan, Sarah

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