Stop Singing Oceans.


In a manner unlike a normal Annie-post, I’m gonna get my preach on here, people.

You’ve got to stop singing Oceans.

(Here’s the song if you want it playing in the background as I tell you to stop singing it.)

If you are in a contemporary worship church, then you probably sing it. If you listen to Christian radio or keep up with the CCM world, then you probably know it. And you probably love it. I do too.

“And I will call upon Your Name, and keep my eyes above the waves…”

Beautiful stuff.

But you’ve got to quit singing Oceans.

And hear me, I am absolutely not saying anything against the performers, or writers, or musicians, or Hillsong. I’m cheering for them. They have created something incredible.

But this isn’t about them. It’s about you. And me. 

And it’s about when we sing the bridge of the song.

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me.”

“Take me deeper than my feet would ever wander, that my faith would be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior.”

Here’s my problem.

If you will ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to where your trust is without borders, do you actually mean that? Because it could look like giving money away. Or it could look like being kind to the mom no one else will talk to at soccer practice. Or it could be fostering even though you aren’t sure you’re equipped. Or it could be asking that girl on a date even though you are scared. Or it could be standing up for your faith when your neighbor makes fun of Christians. Or it could be moving to a foreign country or less-affluent neighborhood or just moving to a different table at lunch.

You are asking God to take you to where your trust has no borders. You know what that means? You have to leave your borders.

Economic borders.

Social borders.

Geographic borders.

Religious borders.

Racial borders.

NOTHING in those two lines of lyrics is going to feel good when you are going through it. You are singing, with your hands raised high, for God to make you uncomfortable… and then you feel the nudge- the nudge to buy a coffee for a homeless man or confess a sin to your small group or share about something that happened in your past, AND YOU DON’T DO IT.

I don’t either.

And every time I hear that song, I feel convicted for the way I sing it but refuse to live it.

Do you get that?

See, you and I are willing to sing the song on Sunday because it feels good, but will we move when the Spirit leads on Monday?

If it is deeper than your feet would wander, it’s going to be unknown and scary and uncomfortable.

Do you know what it is like outside of the borders? It is wild. And unpredictable. And dangerous.

Also? It’s exhilarating and life-giving and exactly the kind of brave people God wants us to be.


If you are only singing the song and not living the life, stop singing Oceans.

If you will really read the lyrics, if you will know what you are singing when you sing, and if you will listen to the Holy Spirit and follow when He leads you deeper and farther, then buckle up and sing your heart out, because it’s going to be a beautifully messy ride.

. . . . .

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