Story Behind the Song - Kingdom of Heaven

So I was just writing about building God’s house, and how easy it is to find myself building my own house instead. Building my kingdom instead of His. Being that I am a pastor, but also a Christian musician, it’s easy to get my kingdom and God’s kingdom mixed up (confession time again!). It’s not bad to be successful, but it’s dangerous ground when my goals for success start driving what I do, as opposed to my relationship and obedience to God’s call on my life. So I’ve been trying to refocus on what it means to build God’s Kingdom.

I’ve been wanting to write about some of the new songs that I wrote, and KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is one that I co-wrote with a great friend and guitar virtuoso Jacob Moon.

About 3 years ago Jacob and I were at a songwriters retreat in the mountains of Whistler, BC (tough life I know!). Thanks to a ministry called INCARNATION we were blessed to have the opportunity to hang out for a weekend with some theologians and other wonderful songwriters like Bob Bennett, Steve Bell and Carolyn Arends. What a time to learn and write music! We were inspired to write about the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN because we were learning about how we pray for God’s kingdom to come (Matthew 6:10, the Lord’s prayer), but that God’s kingdom has also already ‘arrived’ through the INCARNATION of Jesus (God in the flesh), and the mystery that Jesus lives within us through the presence of His Holy Spirit. Because of this ‘the kingdom of Heaven’ is already here - within us, and we need only live it out so that it will continue to come to fruition.

In Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Jacob and I wrote about that.

So let the children come, and sing a holy song - for theirs the Kingdom is, and all the glory His.

The chorus became significant for me to, since there was a time in my life where I was paralyzed by fear and depression. My favorite bit of theology is that God is a Trinity of 3 ‘persons’, the Father, Son and Spirit. One very important thing about this is that it says God is about ‘relationship’. The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father and the Spirit makes them known to us. In other words God is ‘Love’. And we know that ‘Perfect Love casts out fear’. So we wrote: There’s freedom from darkness and fear, the Kingdom of Heaven is here.

A special thing for me that happened when we recorded the song was that my friend Tim Neufeld, lead singer of STARFIELD agreed to come in and sing a guest vocal. So Tim sings on the 2nd verse and through to the end of the song. And may I humbly say, it sounds great! So, two great friends and favorite people of mine were involved in making this song a meaningful reality. We also sing this song often as a worship song in the church where I am worship pastor Vernon Alliance. So I feel like it is giving voice to some important theological truths, and I hope it helps us understand them a bit more. That God became one of us, and then sent us His Spirit to live within us, so that we could truly be part of realizing His Kingdom coming and His will being done, in us and among us. So that we could sing with truth:

All who now weep will rejoice, sing to the Lord with one voice, glory hallelujah there’s freedom from darkness and fear, the Kingdom of Heaven is here.