Our God Reigns

Album: I Exalt Thee (1983)


  • This worship song was written by Lenny Smith, a music publisher who runs New Jerusalem Music. Smith attended seminary for seven years, but found himself in the secular realm, working as a high school teacher. After getting fired four times for espousing his religious beliefs, Smith became a carpenter and house painter.

    In 1973, with his marriage on the rocks and his job prospects dim, he sat down one night and read a passage from Isaiah 52:1. The verse read:

    Therefore my people shall know My name. Therefore in that day I AM the one who is speaking, Here I AM.

    Smith was struck by the phrase "I AM," and reading further, came to the phrase "Your God Reigns!"

    Putting it all together, Smith believed it was a God telling him: "I know it's been a really bad scene for you, but now I AM here!" He composed the song on the spot.
  • After Smith wrote this song in 1973, he couldn't find a publisher for it. Word spread of the song when the minister Bob Mumford brought it with him in his travels. Smith's original version had just one verse, but when the song found an audience, folks started adding their own. Smith didn't like this - it was his song and he wanted to write the words, so he came up with five more verses.

    Over the next few years, the song became a church favorite and was recorded by a wide range of artists, including Evie and Pelle Tornquist, Marilla Ness, Maranatha! Music, Kenneth Copeland, Gaither Music and Kingsway Music. Lenny Smith has also recorded the song with his five children in their family acts, which have recorded under the names the Danielson Famile and Danielson. Phil Driscoll's version is Smith's favorite. (Get more of Smith's thoughts on the song here.)


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Andy McClusky of OMDSongwriter Interviews

Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"They're Playing My Song

The Nails lead singer Marc Campbell talks about those 44 women he sings about over a stock Casio keyboard track. He's married to one of them now - you might be surprised which.

Art Alexakis of EverclearSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer of Everclear, Art is also their primary songwriter.

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Greg talks about writing songs of "universal truth" for King Crimson and ELP, and tells us about his most memorable stage moment (it involves fireworks).

Chris TomlinSongwriter Interviews

The king of Christian worship music explains talks about writing songs for troubled times.

Barry Dean ("Pontoon," "Diamond Rings And Old Barstools")Songwriter Interviews

A top country songwriter, Barry talks about writing hits for Little Big Town, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean.