Sovereign Over Us

Album: Sovereign (2014)
  • According to the Songfacts dictionary, the word sovereign means "supreme ruler or head." When we asked Michael W. Smith about the title of his Sovereign album, he told us that when this Bryan Brown, Aaron Keyes and Jack Mooring penned worship tune was pitched to him he was "just blown away."

    He added: "We just thought lifting just that first word, 'sovereign,' just seemed to pop. I mean, it's many reasons, but that's one of them. I think everybody in general at Capitol Records and everybody in my camp thought that would be an appropriate for a this record.* It sort of encompassed everything about the album."
  • The three songwriters were Bryan Brown, a guitarist who plays with Matt Redman on the road, worship leader Aaron Keyes and Jack Mooring who is the keyboardist for the Christian rock band Leeland. Keyes recalled the story of the song on his blog: "The three of us sat down to write together and the verses came out first, these ideas of there being significance in the seasons most difficult in our lives. We wanted to sing honestly about the fact that we hurt, we weep, we mourn, and even in those times we can rest in the sovereignty of God. But not only can we trust in his sovereignty, we can know learn more about his character in those seasons."

    "The chorus came immediately after the verses, with the confident declaration that even though we hurt and struggle, his plans are still to prosper us, and He's mindful of us," he continued. "Of course this is from Jeremiah 29:11, I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. God's heart for his people is to prosper them, to give them hope."

    Finally, the bridge," Keyes concluded. "Even what the enemy means for evil, You turn it for our good. I spontaneously sang that in worship a while ago, and it never left me. It felt like it fit with the rest of this song, and so we put it in there. This lyric obviously incorporates the Romans 8:28 promise, but even more so the Genesis 50 line from Joseph to his brothers–who'd functioned as a hostile enemy to Joseph, mistreating, betraying, and abandoning him to slavery. Joseph's reaction upon seeing them years later is: 'As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.'"

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