“God’s Not Dead (Like A Lion)” Songwriter
for a Generation Sick of Singing Songs
by Melissa Riddle Chalos
To believe, in the thick and thin of your life, that there is an invisible, immortal God orchestrating redemption beyond human imagination... to SEE your belief become reality completely dismantles life as you’ve known it. Everything is undone.
But in the ruins, there will be singing...there will be healing.
Perhaps best known for penning the modern worship anthem “God’s Not Dead (Like A Lion),” recorded by David Crowder Band, newsboys and others, Daniel Bashta, a missionary kid who grew up immersed in ministry all around the globe, speaking life and hope into a dark world has been his life-long passion. Educated at the Worship Institute of London and heavily influenced by the ministry of Soul Survivor, Daniel’s path of ministry reads like an intertwining stream. Currently serving as worship pastor at RiverStone Church, just outside of Atlanta, GA, he launched GoMotion (www.gomotionworldwide.com) in 2009, a non-profit ministry that marries music, media and missions for global impact. And in 2013, he will launch The Roar, a missions training school aimed at the “rapid deployment of mission pioneers.”
“With GoMotion, it’s an ever-evolving story,” says Daniel. “We’ve done documentaries, partnered with organizations all over the world, producing new worship, missions agencies... but there’s so much more we hope to do. With The Roar, our greatest accomplishment would be to see the Great Commission become the Great Completion.”
And yet, with all these ministries taking shape, the immortal, invisible God refines the fire inside the man, and from within that fire emerges worship.
Produced by Jonny MacIntosh and J.T. Daly (Paper Route), The Invisible filters the prophetic cry of 2011’s The Sounds of Daniel Bashta through a primal new lens. That impassioned call to wake this generation has been tempered by a season of hope and healing in his family’s life and in his new role: fatherhood.
“[The Invisible] is a deep record for me,” Daniel says. “I’ve been moved from this John the Baptist cry, from waking hearts of this generation to an unknown place. When I became a dad, God poured out this brand new anointing over my life, gave me this father’s heart, and for me that’s massive, epic.... The church needs more fathers, more pastors... There’s so much hurt happening all around us and not enough nurturing fathers among us to reach out.”
With each new song that emerged, he says, “I was completely wrecked with this idea that it’s not enough to wake dead people up. We’re here to help steer their lives, to show them the real Jesus, to represent the journey we’re all on. Our personal worship should come out of that.”
“I want it all, not just a portion, give me your presence, not just some feeling,
stir up my passion with more of conviction...” –from “I Want It All (Just Give Me Jesus)”
Musically layered yet sparse with Daniel’s explosive, raw vocal interpretation, The Invisible isn’t so much a corporate worship album as it is a full-tilt revelation that it’s time to get real. “I Want It All (Just Give Me Jesus),” inspired in part by Melody Green’s book, No Compromise, sets the tone for the entire project.
“My whole life, I’ve been part of these revival meetings, seen healings, all these crazy, beautiful things happen,” Daniel says. “Even in all that, I’m still searching for the real Jesus in my life. I don’t care about feelings. I want the real Jesus. ...The Invisible is full of songs for a generation sick of singing songs,” he continues. “They don’t really care about building mega churches. They care about revolution. They want to see their cities changed. God is looking for a generation full of conviction.”
“I speak to barrenness, I command life within, open up your walls,
hope conquers all, let hope in.” – from “Let Hope In”
A song of healing written from a personal place of desolation, “Let Hope In” expresses the literal, spiritual devastation of infertility and the miracles that sprang out of their desert.
Married five years, Daniel and his wife, Taylor, like millions of young couples, had experienced infertility and were checking into their medical options. Beneath the surface, they knew God had always planned for them to adopt. So instead of waiting for answers that might not come, the Bashtas created their family profile with Polaroid pictures in a composition notebook and turned it in to Bethany Christian Services on a Thursday afternoon. Within a few weeks, they got a call: a birth mother had chosen them to be her baby’s family.
Around this same time, Daniel had written “Like A Lion,” an anthem that would, financially, make adoption possible. “When God places a mission inside of you, when he gives you a heart for something, he’s faithful to take care of it,” Daniel explains, “in ways you can’t even begin to understand.”
Months later, in the hospital on the day of their son Phoenix’s birth, the Bashtas would begin to get a glimpse of the care with which God had been writing their story. “We were sitting there with the birth mother, and my sister brought in a little lion. I told Phoenix’s birth mom, ‘We don’t do teddy bears in our family; we do lions.’ And then she told us a part of her story we had not heard. She’d been given an ultimatum: either have an abortion or get out of the house. So she moved to Atlanta, heard about Bethany Christian Agency on MTV and had the courage to walk in and check it out. Around that same time, a friend took her to Passion City church, she said, and some guy on stage (Chris Tomlin) started singing some song about a lion and a roar. She remembered it clearly because during that song, she felt a presence come over her. ‘I never knew you could feel God, like I felt God in that moment,’ she said. She sat down and started journaling the lyrics to the song, ‘Like A Lion.’
“We all started crying in the hospital room,” Daniel says, “To know that my son has such a calling in this life, even before he was born, that his dad’s song was being sung over him... I thought I knew what God was capable of, but we experienced his faithfulness in such a miraculous way.”
And that miracle led straight to another. Within a few months, the Bashtas were pregnant, later giving birth to a daughter, Bravery Annette, now 11 months. They’ve already started the process for their second adoption. “God’s the pilot, so we’re just going to jump on board and see where he takes us,” Daniel says. “We’re not getting any sleep anyway, so let’s just do it. We can sleep in a couple of years!”
Sleep-deprived and undone by the Invisible, the Immortal showing up in their lives, the Bashtas are forever changed. “Healing works like a river,” Daniel says. “When it takes place, it’s not just in one little area of your life, healing brings life to every area of your life. I think that’s the beauty of this record: it represents the healing that has taken place in our lives.”
Song after song, The Invisible gives voice to the faith of a generation willing to be “ruined for God’s glory,” to choose conviction over control and open the door for miraculous, redemptive work of God to infiltrate everything. To open blinded eyes to the wounds of the world, to open arms wide to the unloved, to reach out to take them in.
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