w/m Jonathan Lindley Smith / Mia Fieldes / Zach Williams
If you’ve been walking the same old road for miles and milesIf you’ve been hearing the same old voice tell the same old lies
If you’re trying to fill the same old holes inside
There’s a better life, There’s a better life
If you’ve got pain, He’s a pain-taker
If you feel lost, He’s a way-maker
If you need freedom or saving
He’s a prison-shaking Savior
If you’ve got chains, He’s a chain breaker
We’ve all searched for the light of day in the dead of night
We’ve all found ourselves worn out from the same old fight
We’ve all run to things we know just ain’t right
But there’s a better life, There’s a better life
If you believe it
If you receive it
If you can feel it
I must admit, this is a song that surprised me. I heard the song when it first came out and enjoyed the “southern rock” style and catchy melody, but for months, never gave it much of a thought as a congregational song. Then, in an attempt to include more top 10 songs in our repertoire, I saw this song sitting in the top 3 and figured it would be worth giving it a shot. I had low expectations, but when the band started playing in practice, and the singers started singing, it really clicked. It also connected with the congregation, and now is one of our favorite new songs in the set lists.
One of the most popular themes of today’s Christian songs is the life-changing work of God in our lives. Every true believer connects with that message because we all have sinned against God so grievously, and been saved from so much that it generates a strong desire to worship and glorify our merciful God. The song is simple, but so often are our feeble prayers of gratitude for God’s goodness.
If you’ve been walking the same old road for miles and miles, If you’ve been hearing the same old voice tell the same old lies. These lines remind me of Psalm 1 and the man who walks in the counsel of the ungodly, stands in the way of sinners, and sits in the seat of the scoffers. Before we are saved, we are children of the devil who listen to all kinds of lies from the evil one. Over and over, we listen to and follow bad advice that only leads us to despair. If you’re trying to fill the same old holes inside, there’s a better life, There’s a better life. As an unbeliever, there is an emptiness that the world’s “solutions” cannot fill, but when we find the Way, Truth and Life, everything changes.
If you’ve got pain, He’s a pain-taker. Only a Christian knows what it means to “Cast our cares on Him because He cares for us”. That is a joy the unbelieving world cannot experience. We will go through pain, but that pain makes us more like Christ and therefore, is for our good. We can have peace through the pain because we know and serve the “Pain-taker”. If you feel lost, He’s a way-maker. The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord. Through His Word, He leads us as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
If you need freedom or saving, He’s a prison-shaking Savior. If you’ve got chains, He’s a chain breaker. This is speaking to the lost and tells of the state they are in. The unsaved are bound by chains, they are not free (their will is cursed and bent away from God), they need saving because they are in the prison of sin. Only Jesus can set a person free from this bondage.
We’ve all searched for the light of day in the dead of night. Even the lost scrounge around in the darkness trying to find “enlightenment”, but as Roman 1 makes clear, they wind up serving the creature rather than the creator. This is why there are so many false religions out there. This is why so many serve themselves and deny God. We’ve all found ourselves worn out from the same old fight. While the first line seems to be speaking to unbelievers, this line, seems to be speaking to believers who are tired from the spiritual battle we engage in everyday that can wear us out from time to time. We’ve all run to things we know just ain’t right, but there’s a better life, There’s a better life. Both believers and unbelievers can relate to this line as we all make decisions that are led by the flesh, but only when we are filled (controlled) by the spirit will we do what’s right.
If you believe it, If you receive it, If you can feel it, Somebody testify. The final lines I want to look at are the lines in the bridge. The first two are objective. Faith is a gift of God. We believe, and we receive grace from God and that is something to testify to in our words and actions (Romans 10:9-10). My only problem is the line “If you can feel it”. Yes, there will be feelings that accompany our walk with the Lord, but those feelings aren’t always there. We don’t want to be faithful and give testimony to the work of the Lord only when we “feel it”. God is worthy of our praise on the mountains AND in the valleys. Granted, when we are “feeling it”, it is easier to testify of God’s work in our lives, so we should never miss that opportunity!
Bill Itzel has been a worship leader and singer/songwriter for almost 30 years and is based in Westminster, MD. His family tours and leads worship, not only in their home church (Mt. Airy Bible Church), but around the country. This is a blog about congregational worship and the latest news in the The Itzel's ministry.