Award-winning songwriter Brian Doerksen shares insights behind some of the most
beloved songs of our time as he provokes readers to love and war
What is true worship? It can elevate us into the presence of God, renew and refresh our spirits, and offer the deepest expression of love for our Savior. Yet worship can also be a call to arms, a battle cry, a salvo in an ancient spiritual war that continues today. In his first book, Make Love, Make War: Now Is the Time to Worship (David C Cook), award-winning songwriter Brian Doerksen challenges Christians to make their lives an offering of radical worship.
In Make Love, Make War, Doerksen shares the stories and inspirations behind some of today’s most influential songs of worship, including “Come, Now Is the Time to Worship,” “Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing),” and “Refiner’s Fire.” While offering special tips for aspiring songwriters, Doerksen also reveals rich truths and insights about the nature of God, His calling for us, and how we can wage spiritual war and share His love through a life of radical worship.
Introduction from Make Love, Make War:
©2009 Cook Communications Ministries. Make Love, Make War by Brian Doerksen. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.
The picture was surprising and striking.
It wasn’t the kind of picture one would expect to see in the middle of church worship on the Lord’s Day.
This picture, like an open vision, looked like one of the memorable scenes from the hippie movement—a number of bedraggled-looking young people holding up a sign.
The sign read “MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR.”
As I continued looking, something strange started happening. One of the words began to change before my eyes. Now the sign read “MAKE LOVE, MAKE WAR.” And as soon as that one word changed, I sensed the presence of God; He was now holding the sign.
Four words shaped into a clarion call, a prophetic sign to brave and free worshippers everywhere.
Could that be true?
Could God possibly be saying something that provocative?
I believe we know that love and war are at the heart of everything inside us and everything going on all around us. We know that we are in the middle of an ancient war. We sense that there is nothing that Satan hates more than the worship of YHWH by those who are faithful to the Lamb. When we worship, we do what Satan abandoned long ago—and the Enemy does everything he can to stop us from worshipping, because when we worship, he remembers. He spends more than a little energy convincing us that there really is no war going on, and that the sum total of our life’s calling is to be nice.
He is greatly relieved when we drop our swords and retreat from the battle.
He laughs when we lose heart and fall away from loving God.
God is saying something provocative—but not something that causes us to fall. He’s provoking us to rise up!
What we see on the sign reveals what we believe about God and His character.
If the sign read “MAKE WAR, NOT LOVE,” what would that tell us?
The God that is revealed in the Scriptures would not be holding that sign! Not only do we need love, but we also need to realize that love has to come first—and it needs to be the kind of love that Jesus came to reveal.
It may be easy for us to smugly look back on the hippie era and say, “They focused on the wrong kind of love … and the wrong war.” But we should realize that our generation has done the same!
That’s why I believe that God is holding up the sign I saw to our generation.
God is calling us to love, and He is calling us to battle. And the war to which God calls us is always waged for the sake of love!
There are many ways to express love and to participate in the battle. It’s the way we live our lives; it’s the way we serve, defend, and protect. One of the ways I make love and war is through music.
I had no idea that I would become a songwriter. I just started walking with God, and the songs followed. Some of the songs were honest and intimate expressions of love. Other songs were desperate cries in the middle of the battle.
And that’s one of the amazing things about songs in worship; they powerfully focus our expressions of love and war. Sometimes a song is a love song, a way of expressing our devotion to the One who redeemed us. Love songs are going to fill eternity as we journey deeper and deeper into intimacy with our God. Other songs awaken and strengthen us for the battle—and those songs are sometimes sung and played with such intensity that even our enemies hear them and fear! I resonate with the true story recorded in 2 Chronicles 20. The worshippers went ahead of the soldiers, and as they worshipped, their enemy’s hearts melted with fear. That kind of worship is still happening today. That’s the kind of worship I want to spend my life on: worship that is passionate, intimate, and full of the presence of God!
I want to spend my life in worship as an act of love and war.
I hope and pray that the stories behind these songs and the truths they sing will awaken your heart to “MAKE LOVE, MAKE WAR” for the glory of God!
Here is a chance to win a signed Epiphone guitar as well as other great prizes!
Visit HearItFirst.com to enter the “Hear It First, Read It First” contest and promotion for Brian Doerksen’s book, Make Love, Make War, sponsored by David C Cook, Integrity Music, HearItFirst.com, and Gibson/Epiphone Guitars. By visiting HearItFirst.com, fans and readers will be able to enter to win prizes, as well as download free music video performances of Brian Doerksen (i.e., “It’s Time” and “Holy God”) and free sample chapters from his new book.
Prizes include a set of worship CDs from Integrity, a signed Epiphone guitar and an Epiphone amplifier! Visit hearitfirst.com/BrianDoerksen!
Make Love, Make War: Now Is the Time to Worship by Brian Doerksen
David C Cook/August 2009/ISBN 978-1-4347-6682-3/253 pages/softcover/$14.99