AWAKE MY SOUL // Song Story by Pippa Baker
Songwriting is a really powerful concept. I realised this more fully with the writing of this new record. Songwriting literally puts words in people’s mouths. It offers people a language to express themselves that they might not have had before. However, in communal settings when a worship leader is asking the congregation to sing along with a song they’ve written, they don’t know how hard that might be for someone to sing. That’s why we say, “sing out your own song”. It’s not to make us feel awkward (although that can definitely happen!), it’s about asking “what is YOUR offering to Jesus? I can’t offer it for you!”
In Ephesians 5:18-19 it says ‘be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.’ This scripture is what Awake My Soul is about – we can declare the truth of the Bible, we can sing hymns that have been written, but we all need to be awakened to the beauty of the voice inside of each of us, that is infinitely unique, intricately different and entirely unrepeatable.
Somehow there is a trap to be like other people, to sing like they do, to look, sound, even behave as they do. So often we succumb to this temptation. Fear can trap us, we can box ourselves in - afraid to be seen in case we are judged, mocked or we receive a patronising look from another.
That doesn’t sound like the beautiful promise from Jesus of life in its fullness, does it? There is such a necessary choice that we need to make - to step out of this place of fear and into a deeper place of freedom.
I love worship songs that instruct our souls to ‘come awake’. It’s a cliché in Christian circles because we’ve heard it so much but there is a reason why things become clichéd – because they are true. I AM asleep half the time; when I sing “awake my soul”, it’s like I’m saying to myself “WAKE UP! See how good God is! See who He says you are! Don’t be asleep anymore!”
You were created to not just sing along with other people’s songs but to allow the personal melody of your life to be heard by God. You were created as a voice, not an echo. My desire in life is to care less about what people think and be more concerned with giving my Jesus the praise He deserves, and only I can do that.
Some could see this song as just another narcissistic anthem that points to us. This song is supposed to point much higher than this perspective. It’s deeply about Jesus – about the need to personally awaken to the truth of who He is, to the reality that as Christians He’s chosen our hearts as His home, and He’s created us for a unique and wonderful life. This is the place that we can sing from – a place of safety, confidence and security.
“Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety” - Proverbs 29:25
P.S - how darned sweet are Steve Szymanski’s guitars on this track? Big up bro.