Behind the Song --- Rise Above Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Words and Music by Daniel Chookaszian
Approximate date written: 2005
Isaiah 2, Philippians 2, Revelation 22

From the CD "Testimony"
Lead vocal by Daniel Chookaszian
Backing vocal and keyboard by Ben Snyder
Electric guitar and backing vocal by Don Chookaszian
Bass guitar and backing vocal by Steve Smith
Drums and percussion by Will Brown
Acoustic rhythm by JP Chookaszian


During my time at Moody Grad School, one of my professors required that we read the entire book of Isaiah and Jeremiah in one sitting each. I was on break in Colorado, so I went to the park with my Bible and started to read. Four hours later, I was finished, and my mind and heart were filled with overwhelming truth from God's Word. It is a great feeling to be so filled with God's Word to the point that you can't get it out of your mind. It's like leaving the feeling you get when you leave a movie and you can't stop thinking about the various scenes in your just saw.

When I returned from the park, I was overwhelmingly impressed with the idea that there is a Day coming when all the pride of man -- everything that man owns, has created/built, thinks he is, and trusts in -- everything that is lifted up and prideful -- will be brought down by the Lord, so that He alone will be exalt. On that Day, the LORD alone will be exalted.

As I thought about this Old Testament prophecy through the lens of the New Testament, Philippians 2 immediately came to mind. Here in Philippians, the Apostle Paul quotes the passage from Isaiah 45:22-23 in which God declares, "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear."

Paul applies this passage directly to Jesus Christ, stating in Philippians 2:9-11, " Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Paul teaches elsewhere that the coming of the Lord will be with fire with His holy angels, and John's Revelation of Jesus Christ teaches us how the nations will respond at His revelation.
Even though this will be time of terrible peril for the nations, for those who know Christ, it will be a Day of blessing and celebration. Therefore, for the Christian, the return of Christ is a Day we long for, look forward to, and hope in, because it will be a day of salvation for us. The song "Rise Above" reminds believers of these truths -- that this world and all it has to offer are going to be destroyed, and that our hope should be in the Lord and in His coming Kingdom.

The bridge of "Rise Above" is a prayer cry from Revelation 22:20. Is it is prayer for the Lord to come quickly. Peter teaches us that as we look forward to the day of God, we speed its coming (2 Peter 3:12).

Covering all of this doctrine is the verse that originally impacted me from Isaiah 2:17-18, "The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day, and the idols will totally disappear."

As worshippers of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is our privilege of bowing before Him today, looking forward to His coming today, longing for His return today, and honoring His Name and glory above all things in our lives today. "Rise Above" is also a witness to non-believers, in that proclaims the truth of the return of Christ, and therefore warns them to take their trust off of their idols and put it in Him.

For all of us, no matter what situation we find ourselves in, we can pray and ask the Lord to make His glory rise above in our lives.

The Lyrics:

verse 1
At the Name of Jesus every knee will bow
At the Name of Jesus every tongue will confess
That Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father
And all the pride of man will be humbled in His holy presence

chorus
For the Lord will make His glory rise above!
For the Lord will make His glory rise above!

verse 2
And the Day is coming when the earth will melt
Yeah, the Day is coming when the sky will tear up
And the Lord will be revealed in fire with His holy angels
And every nation will cry out in fear at His awesome, holy presence

chorus
For the Lord will make His glory rise above!
For the Lord will make His glory rise above!
For the Lord will make His glory rise above!
For the Lord will make His glory rise above!

bridge
Amen, come quickly, Lord!
Amen, come quickly, Jesus!
Amen, come quickly, Lord!
We're praying, "Maranatha, maranatha!"

chorus
For the Lord to make His glory rise above!
For the Lord to make His glory rise above!
Come, Lord, and make Your glory rise above!
Come, Lord, and make Your glory rise above!
Rise above! Rise above! Rise above!

posted by Daniel Chookaszian 6/15/2010 on 06/15/2010

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"Lift Up"

Words and Music by Daniel Chookaszian
Approximate date written: 2004
Psalm 121:1-2, Lamentations 3:41

Paul teaches us to speak to one another with "Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs." As a worship leader and songwriter, I couldn't help but notice that although many of Psalms express pain and sorrow to the Lord, fewer of our worship songs contained lyrics with the same level of honesty. Sometimes I think we feel like we need to be strong in front of each other during church services by not admitting the desperate nature of our need to God, at least publicly. So, I felt like the church was in need of a song that publicly confessed to God (and to each other) our experience of pain, trouble, and anxiety. Lift Up is a song that raises these pains and sorrows of life to the LORD, alongside our love and praise. This mixture of joy and sorrow, blessing and pain, is often seen in the Psalms. Life is often a combination of strength and struggle, and what we learn from the Psalms is that it's not only okay to bring all of ourselves to God in this way, it's what God wants.

Peter says, "Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." Jesus says, "Do not be anxious, for your Father knows your need before you ask Him." God cares so much for us; He is not expecting us to be stoic and strong on our own. He wants us to bring our cares and to Him. He knows our need and wants to answer our cries for help.

Lift Up's first verse is designed to usher the individual worshippers before the Lord with their heart issues of trouble, hurt, anxiety about tomorrow, love for God, and a desire to see permanent change their lives. The second verse moves worshippers into corporate identification with the body of Christ. It is a corporate prayer for each other, which brings the individual worshippers into the recognition that they are part of Christ's body, and that the problems, suffering, or pain they are experiencing are not unique to themselves alone. It is often through identification with Christ's body that we find strength, recognizing with Peter that "our brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings." We are not alone in our difficult experiences. Christ is here to help us, and so is His body, the church.

The chorus leads the worshippers to take their eyes off of their situation, though, and lift them to the Lord, whose sovereign throne is in heaven. It leads them to lift their hands to the Son of God, who came to earth to be one of us -- Jesus, the Word who became to dwell among us and become obedient to death on the cross for our sins. The chorus leads the worshippers to lift their inner hearts and minds to the Lord Jesus Christ, asking Him to change them on the inside in the midst of their situations.

The bridge of Lift Up also incorporates the common idea of "crying out" found in the Psalms. It is an individual and corporate cry for healing from the Lord as the worshippers pray, cry out, love, praise, and lift up their entire lives to the Lord. The Lord often brings healing and transformation to men and women who come to Him with all of themselves in this very posture of worship.

My prayer is that the individual worshippers who comprise the body of Christ will find greater levels of healing and grace as they lift up all of who they are to the Lord in corporate worship.

Lyrics:
Lord, I lift up my troubles ~ Lord, I lift up my pain
Lord, I lift up my hurts to You, God ~ may I never be the same
Lord, I lift up tomorrow ~ Lord, I lift up today
Lord, I lift up my love to You, God ~ may I never be the same

As I lift up my eyes to You ~ whose throne is in heaven
As I lift up my hands to You ~ who came to the earth
As I lift up my heart to You ~ to change me from inside
As I lift up my mind to You, Jesus Christ

Lord, we lift up each other ~ Lord, we lift up our praise
Lord, we lift up our church to You, God ~ may we never be the same
Lord, we lift up tomorrow ~ Lord, we lift up today
Lord, we lift up this time to You, God ~ may we never be the same

As we lift up our eyes to You ~ whose throne is in heaven
As we lift up our hands to You ~ who came to the earth
As we lift up our hearts to You ~ to change us from inside
As we lift up our minds to You ~ Jesus Christ

We lift up our eyes to You ~ whose throne is in heaven
And we lift up our hands to You ~ who came to the earth
We lift up our voices ~ singing Your praises
Praying You'll come Lord, come Lord, heal us in this place

As we pray, as we cry, as we lift, as we love, as we praise,
Come and heal us in this place, Lord
As we pray, Lord ~ as we pray, Lord, come and heal us in this place

Lord, we lift up our troubles ~ Lord, we lift up our pain
Lord, we lift up our lives to You, God ~ may we never be the same....

posted by Dan Chookaszian on 05/28/2010