In this guest blog for Louder Than The Music, UK singer/songwriter Luke Warehem takes us behind his new song 'Refuge'...
Jesus is our refuge, he is our rock, he is our hiding place. And if there is a message we need to hold onto now it is that!
My name is Luke Wareham, I am a singer/songwriter and worship leader based in Bristol and have recently released a new song Refuge with my friend Matt Caddick. Refuge is a song for the broken-hearted, based on Psalm 34:18 and inspired by a journey of grief in my own and my fiancée’s life through the experience of losing loved ones to Covid-19 and terminal illness. My prayer is that this song would speak hope and truth at this tough time.
I have been reflecting recently whilst leading worship for online church, in such a different environment to what leading worship was like pre-lockdown, on why it is so important we worship even in these testing pandemic times and here are some of the reasons:-
1. We are designed to worship - our priority should be to worship God in all we do and to be in God’s presence, that shifts our focus onto Jesus rather than worldly troubles and enables us to fix our mind on things above. Tim Hughes recently when reflecting on why we worship wrote, that it's time to kill our ‘obsession with excellence’ when it comes to worship saying ‘I think we need to allow more space for the Spirit to speak, more of the prophetic, more space to hear from people in our church’. Worship not only changes us but also the world around us, allowing us space to encounter God.
2. Worship aligns us with the truth of who God is and who we are - I am inspired by a quote from John Ortberg that says ‘I need to worship because without it I lose a sense of wonder and gratitude and plod through life with blinders on’. We should go to God with every situation we face and allow him to speak into our everyday life situations.
3. To behold God - Jeremy Riddle says that we should ‘present our whole being to God in worship’ and I strive to be like that. When we worship God we become more like him and we come into his everlasting presence that heals, restores, brings freedom and gives us strength when we feel weak.
David writes in Psalm 34:18 - ‘The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit’. This verse, whilst reflecting on the importance of worshipping God in these lockdown days, has become my go to verse.
Matt and I wrote these lyrics in response to our own grief and as a song that would proclaim the truth of Jesus as our refuge, our rock, our hiding place, to the broken-hearted.
Your eyes are on the lowly
You never fail to hear
The cries of those who call
To you for mercy Lord
Your heart is with the humble
You never fail to save
Those who make your love
Their rock and hiding place
You are my refuge you are my
Hiding place my hiding place
You are my comfort you are my
Hope and grace my hope and grace
Your arm is ‘round the broken
In weakness you are strong
You take our tears and sorrow
And pour out streams of love
Your word is ever speaking
Is ever giving life
You’re speaking to our darkness
And calling forth your light
No one who hopes in you
Will ever be put to shame