The songs on Ignite tell the story of a people’s church. All kinds of people are involved: young and old, rich and poor. You’ll get the flavour from the Jesus Army’s intro in YouTube. Like many churches that want to follow God and hear His voice, we’ve been on a journey over the past few years. This collection of songs and videos give a glimpse of some of the signposts and milestones that have lined that road.
In Need Of A Saviour
Any journey in God starts with needing Him. We can’t make it on our own. ‘In need of a saviour’ was written to express the heartcry of a lost generation – it’s the heartcry of all of us. We’re all lost until He finds us, and even then we don’t stop needing Him every step of the way As one much older song says, however many ‘dangers, toils and snares’ we’ve come through, it’s only grace that’s brought us safe that far, and only grace can lead us home.
Spirit Of The Ruler
It’s a paradox: we can’t take one step of this journey without God, but God doesn’t just want us to be carried: He wants us to rule with Him. He wants us to work with Him – in prayer, in action, in sweat and laughter and tears – to bring the love and justice of His rule down to earth. We may fall short of this awesome call most of the time, but God keeps on calling us. ‘Spirit of the ruler’ was written in response to that call.
The ideal Christian can be stereotyped as superhuman. Up at dawn, praying; always poured out for others; always saying ‘yes’; always giving, giving, giving. In reality, that isn’t how it is. It wasn’t like that for Paul the apostle who writes ‘We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself’ (it’s now in our bibles – 2 Corinthians 1:8 – but can you imagine that verse on a fridge magnet?) It wasn’t even like that for Jesus, who sweats blood in the garden of Gethsemane. The truth is that ‘even the youths may get tied and faint’. That’s when we need to look to God again. The song Unsearchable, based on a poem by Isaiah, expresses that.
Fresh Faith, New Anointing
A couple of years back in the Jesus Army’s journey, God was saying: ‘Fresh faith, new anointing’. It’s all too easy for life – even life serving and following God – to become routine and stale. Disillusionment can take root when things don’t turn out like we’d wanted. Cynicism can set in. Sometimes disappointed people set up camp at the side of the road and decide to travel no further. Some turn back. This song was written to encourage, to reinvigorate – to call us to carry on.
On any road, there are times you can’t see far ahead – a bend in the road or the crown of a hill obscures your view. At other times, you catch a glimpse of where you’re going, like that ancient traveller Abraham who lived ‘looking to the city whose designer and builder is God’. It’s the vision of the beautiful church. It’s God’s dream – and it’s become our dream. It’s the destination and the quest. It’s inspiring to be reminded of that – as the hymn, ‘Beautiful church’, sets out to do.
Blaze Fire and Touch The Flame
Captured by a vision of beautiful church, we journey on. Yet sometimes that glorious vision seems almost to mock us. Far from being a beautiful church, we’re all too aware of shabby sins which spoil the church. Vision can seem a long way from reality. ‘Blaze fire’ and ‘Touch the flame’ both call us to remember how very much we need God – to reignite, to return to the fire, to burn bright again.
Watch the video for Touch The Flame at https://youtu.be/qK7AVRMDeuQ
Jesus Christ I'm Returning and There Are Many Things
The journey is a shared one, and it’s important to hear God’s call "together". We’re a people, not just a collection of individuals who happen to be on the same road. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have to make our own responses to God’s call. There are no passengers on this journey. These two songs of repentance, ‘Jesus Christ I'm returning’ and ‘There are many things’, express the intimate moment when a person turns back to God.
I Open My Heart
Overcoming disappointment, crushing cynicism, reaching for fresh fire: it all sounds pretty heavy, pretty serious – and it is! But then there are those moments of sheer ecstasy, of total gratitude, of joy. The journey becomes a dance again – because God is, quite simply, amazing.
Can you spot the difference? Does a life with God look any different to a life without God? Is it worth setting out on this journey? The song ‘Difference’ answers with a big booming ‘Yes’. God has made a difference, a huge difference. ‘When I open up to You it makes everything right. You know my heartbeat...’
So what’s at the end of the journey? Where’s it all heading? Answer: a party! The party to end all parties – the bible calls it the ‘Wedding Banquet of the Lamb’. Tears may be shed along the road, but it’s worth it when you realise where you’re heading. Jesus Army events often end with exuberant celebration, and this song is a favourite at such times. Because the party starts now. And it’s only going to get better.
Watch Party Time sung during one of our celebrations at https://youtu.be/gz3Uzn_bAt0
This is a journey into love. It’s the Jesus Army’s constant hope that the crowd on the road would grow, the fire spread to others. Four (previously unreleased) bonus tracks express this passion to reach out to every kind of person – without prejudice. ‘Attractive spirit’ gives voice to a growing confidence in reaching out – we’ve got something worth sharing. ‘Rise’ is a call to the underclass, the marginalised, to come and take their place in a church they can make their own (this track also backs the video of the same name). ‘Jesus brotherhood’ is an old Jesus Army tune, re-released with a contemporary feel (it backs the Jesus Army intro video). And ‘Dancing shoes’, like ‘Party time’, is a raucous song of celebration. We’re on fire, alight – ignited.
Watch the video for Rise at https://youtu.be/grObmyfguZ4