Spiritual Themes in Jesus Is King
I’ve listened to Kayne West’s album, Jesus is King, about a dozen times and I just downloaded it this morning. I can’t tell you what these songs mean to me. For 14 years, I have been writing, speaking and proclaiming Jesus Christ. Is anyone listening? Does anyone know the value of Who I’m proclaiming?
Then Kayne West comes down like a wrecking ball. Listen! Listen! I have the keys to truth, peace, happiness and life. His lyrics are anointed. His songs are filled with the well-spring of the Holy Spirit. Plus, the songs are honest, creative and awesome to listen to! This album is established on the Cornerstone of Jesus Christ, and I pray that Kanye has a treasure trove of eternal rewards because of it!
Here is a breakdown of the spiritual themes I see in each of the 11 songs on the Jesus Is King Album
Track 1 “Every Hour”: Spiritual Theme – Praise God
Praising God blesses us. God is the only one who deserves praise. People were not created to be worshipped. In fact, worshipping someone will only harm them in the long run. They will burn up under the praise that only God is holy and perfect enough to receive. God doesn’t need our praises. The Bible says that all of creation praises Him. We praise God because our joy, our peace and our purpose are found in praising Him (Isaiah 63.7).
“All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name” (Psalm 66.4).
Track 2 “Selah”: Spiritual Theme – Jesus is the Answer
Selah means to pause and praise, and that’s EXACTLY what this song does! Probably my most favorite song. Kind of like communion when we focus on the bread (broken body of Christ) and wine (His blood poured out for the salvation of the world). I listen to it over and over again because it proclaims that we are FREE in Jesus Christ. Free from bondage, free from sickness, free from lack, free from heartache, free from separation from God.
Jesus is the ANSWER! He is the Mediator (Job 9.33). We will never be good enough to walk before a holy God. God gave us free will to love and obey, knowing that we would fall short. But He had a Redemption Plan from the beginning of time. The Tree of Life (Jesus Christ) next to the Tree of Knowledge (our free will) in the Garden of Eden (God’s Presence). Jesus redeems all the actions committed outside of His will and He favors all the actions done in His will. We can’t lose! And we can have a relationship with God even in our imperfect state because Jesus took our sins and gave us His Holiness. Then we can have God with us (Emmanuel) in the form of the Holy Spirit in us (Ezekiel 36.27)!
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8.36).
Track 3 “Follow God”: Spiritual Theme – Jesus Fills the Void
So many people think the hole in their heart is because they don’t have certain things: the cash flow, the bigger house, the awesome marriage, the Grammy Award…the list goes on. But what if you have it all? What if you have EVERYTHING the world has to offer, and it still does not fill the void. People live their entire lives blaming everything else for their unhappiness, thinking that their lack of purpose and meaning is because they don’t have “things.” However, we have purpose in Jesus. God created us with meaning for this time and for this culture, and we must seek Him to find it and live it.
Christlike is living in love and truth. It’s living in the freedom of grace even though we will make mistakes. It is knowing that we have His perfection, and it’s not based on our own merit. It’s living based on the Finished Work of Jesus Christ alone. We have been made righteous through Jesus, not our own efforts. When we make mistakes, it does not take our righteousness because we have new mercies every day (Lamentations 3.22-23).
Track 4 “Closed on Sunday”: Spiritual Theme – Stand for Christian Values
“…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24.15).
I sense a parallel between the stand that Chick-fil-a makes for Christian values and the stand that Kanye West is trying to make for his family. Yes, it may seem inconvenient for the world (closed on Sunday), but it is the protection of God over his home that he’s making a stand for what is true. I love his devotion to his family because a father’s stand is so needed in our fatherless culture today.
Jezebel was an evil queen in the Old Testament (1 Kings 16). She was completely out of control and not under the authority of God. She took what she wanted. She lied. She seduced. She was the antithesis of Jesus. Jezebel was the epitome of evil selfishness. The world’s culture has this spirit and tries to seduce people into a selfish lifestyle of self-satisfying actions that hurt the people around them. What people find, though, is the Jezebel Spirit always leads to destruction—she was thrown from the window and dogs ate up her bones. It is not when we take that we are blessed; it is when give freely because we have been given so much through Jesus Christ.
“ Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10.39).
Kayne also explains a truth that many Christians wrestle with. Our enemy is not the people in front of us hurting and ridiculing us. There is a spiritual battle that is unseen, and people who are not yoked to Jesus can be used by the enemy at any time to do his bidding. We can love others, knowing that the evil is coming from the enemy who is directing their words and actions. However, our weapons are not found in our own strength, but the reliance on God, the Bible, prayer and love through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 10.4).
Track 5 “On God”: Spiritual Themes – All Things Work for Good
There is a lot of emotions and thoughts in this song, like a mesh of hardships and blessings that compose a life of a celebrity, specific to Kayne. But I think the awesome aspect of this song is that no matter the good or bad, it’s On God. This to me means that we have a Savior who is walking with us through the good times and bad times. And no matter what, God can use ALL things—the good and bad—for our good.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8.28).
That is why even when we are rejected or we lose, we can still claim the victory. If we obeyed the will of God, we know that God will redeem our loss. We know that He will make up for our rejection. So many people fear being rejected or losing, so they never try anything at all. They never take a risk in accordance with God’s will, and they don’t give God something to redeem and bless. We must “go hard” and trust God by not fearing the opinions of others.
Sometimes we will win. Other times we will lose, but God will redeem ALL actions done in obedience to God’s Word. Our loses are never eternal. In fact, if we lose in accordance with God’s will, we can trust that He will create a victory through our obedience. Don’t forget. Jesus obeyed to what seemed like a defeat (death on the cross), but God took that defeat and created the biggest victory in all of space and time—the redemption of the world through Jesus’ Finished Work on the Cross.
“The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God” (1 Corinthians 1.18).
Track 6 “Everything We Need”: Spiritual Theme – Eat from the Tree of Life
God’s Kingdom is the opposite of this world. What is last is really first. The one who serves is really the master (Matthew 20.16 & Matthew 23.11). We have two metaphorical trees from which we can eat fruit. The Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil is using our free will to taste evil. As we consume more sin, our eyes become more and more open to the sickening effects of it. We can become addicted to the knowledge of lust, covetousness, greed, pleasures, jealously and pride. It will become an uncontrollable spiral of feasting on evil until we finally realize that it is killing us, our relationships, our purpose and our life.
Or we can use our free will to eat from the Tree of Life, Jesus Christ, Who is the presence of God’s love, goodness, joy and peace on this earth (Psalm 34.8). When we feast on Him and His Word through prayer, Bible reading, consuming Christian resources, etc., we become empowered with the things of God enabling us to accomplish the great things He has established for our lives.
When we are about to consume things of this world, we need to ask ourselves: Is this rooted in the Vine of Christ or is it part of the schemes and distractions of the world? Sometimes we need to “put this back on the tree,” because it is the tantalizing, sugar-coated false fruit of the enemy. God wants us to enjoy life. He wants us to have fun and celebrate. As we consume from the Tree of Life, we will find joy and peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4.7).
The truth is that we have “Everything we need” and more through the abundance of Jesus Christ that is rightfully ours because we are coheirs with Christ (Romans 8.17).
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10.10).
Track 7 “Water”: Spiritual Theme – Jesus is the Living Water
Jesus is called the Living Water. It is interesting that America has an abundance of water, but we are a dehydrated people because we consume drinks that are not pure water. We have the freedom to consume the Tree of Life anytime, yet we are so distracted with the things of the world that we don’t taste of the millions of Christian, faith-filled resources we have at our disposal. We are spiritually dehydrated! The Bible says we are earthen vessels that need to be filled. We need the Living God in our lives (2 Corinthians 4.7).
I love the lyric: “Take the chlorine out of our conversation.” So many times, the world tries to use an assortment of means to purify people, to help them, to heal them, to empower them. However, Living Water doesn’t need additives. It is pure and clean and has the power to bring heaven down onto earth. Jesus is the Living Water and only He can transform our lives.
Jesus, flow through us
Jesus, heal the bruises
Jesus, clean the music
Jesus, please forgive
Jesus, please reveal
Jesus, make us well
Jesus, help us to live
Jesus, give us wealth
Jesus is our safe
Jesus is our rock
Jesus, give us grace
Jesus, keep us safe
“Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his hear’” (John 7.38).
Track 8 “God Is”: Spiritual Theme – God is with Us
This song gives testimony to what “God Is” in our lives. The Bible says that we overcome through the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12.11). A Testimony is a declaration of God’s faithfulness in someone’s life. This testimony helps people see God in a real, tangible way—not simply an allusive God in the distance. God walked this earth through Jesus Christ. God has experienced our heartache through Jesus Christ. We don’t have a God who doesn’t know what we are going through. Jesus walks through the valley of our pain with us. We are not alone. We have God with us, Emmanuel (Matthew 1.23).
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4.15).
Loving Christ is not about religion. It is about loving our God who loves us so much that He would interact with us in three personal ways. 1) Creator, God designed us with meaning and for a purpose. 2) Counselor, through Jesus, we can have the Holy Spirit guiding us. 3) Savior, Jesus came into this earth, taking our sins into the grave and resurrecting with power. We have been made new. Our sins are cleansed. We can now have a relationship via the cross.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5.17).
Track 9 “Hands On”: Spiritual Theme – Jesus Loves & Saves Us
Jesus says we are yoked (Matthew 11.29-30). A yoke represents two working as one. This means we are never alone and our actions do not have random repercussions. Our actions are either good or evil. There is no in-between. We will be yoked to Jesus or the enemy. Anything, even the seemingly “Christian” things we do, have no eternal value if they are not yoked to the Vine of Christ. For this reason, we need to seek the Holy Spirit in all our decisions—big and small—to ensure that they are yoked to good, not evil.
Jesus told a parable about the Good Samaritan. There was a sick man dying on the side of the road. The religious people wouldn’t help him because he was a foreigner and he was close to death (the dead were considered unclean). So instead of allowing love to lead them to help the man, they allowed the religious spirit to cause them to ignore the man. The Religious Spirit would rather appear perfect than to help the helpless. The Religious Spirit is evil and needs to be identified and overcome. We all fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3.23). None of us is perfect, and we all need a Savior. We can love others as Jesus loved them without worrying about losing our holiness. We have been made holy through God alone, so no one can boast of being good enough (Ephesians 2.9). Jesus allowed Himself to become sin for us because He saw all of us on the side of the road dying (2 Corinthians 5.21). He put aside His Holiness and humbled Himself in this world in order to save us.
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2.8).
Track 10 “Use This Gospel”: Spiritual Theme – God is our Protection
The Gospel (Good News of Jesus Christ and His Finished Work on the Cross) is our protection. We can’t have a relationship with God in our imperfect state. Through Jesus Christ, though, we receive His righteousness because He has paid for the punishment of our sin by dying on the cross. Now we can have a relationship with God because we have been made right with Him (Romans 3.22). Proof of our righteousness is the Holy Spirit in us, which couldn’t be possible if we haven’t been perfected.
“And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us” (1 Corinthians 2.12).
Now since we have the Holy Spirit, we can have protection in our freedom. We can replace rules with relationship and condemnation with acceptance. As we lean on the Holy Spirit every day, He will guide us in all righteousness (Psalm 23.3). Once we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior via our faith and His grace, the relationship we have with Him will continue after death. Heaven is the presence of God. Hell is the absence. God doesn’t send us to hell. We send ourselves when we reject the only door to Him, which is Jesus Christ (John 14.6). However, once we have the presence of God in our life on earth (the Holy Spirit), we will be in His presence in the next life (aka heaven). Meaning our relationship with God through Jesus Christ continues from this life to the next.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future” (John 16.13).
Track 11 “Jesus is Lord”: Spiritual Theme – Jesus is Lord
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2.10-11).
No matter who you are, what you do and what you believe, there will be a time that the entire world will be spread out like a blanket, and we will all have a front-row seat to the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings coming to His rightful place as King of this world. But by then, it will be too late for many. This life is like a vapor, over in an instant, but eternity is forever (James 4.14). Jesus is our Only Way to have a relationship with God in this life and the next. We can either bow before Him in this life by faith, or we will bow to Him in the next life by sight.
“At just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords” (1 Timothy 6.15).