Make Room – Behind the Lyrics

May 22, 2021  |  maliarogers

Photo by Eleanor Demore

“Shake up the ground of all my tradition, break down the walls of all my religion. Your way is better.” 

We’ve been singing these words in the bridge of the song “Make Room” the past few weeks and wanted to share some of our thoughts on the lyrics before we sing it again this Sunday. 

Colossians 2 says this:

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ…And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”

We first introduced this song a few weeks ago during communion as a song of confession, surrender, and declaration, declaring that Jesus’ way is better. Surrendering everything at the feet of the cross: the lies we believe about ourselves and others, the idols we worship and allow to rule our hearts and our time, the ways we have added to and subtracted from the truth, the burdens and doubts we carry with us even though we’ve been declared free as children of God, and the list goes on. 

Shake up the ground of all my tradition, break down the walls of all my religion…”

 As believers we often can fall into the trap of legalism and following our own personal “religion.” We fall into old patterns of idolatry, adding to and inviting things into our worship that have no place there. Even in our well intentioned quest to do or say the “right thing” we often miss the mark. No one is exempt of these temptations and we all fall into them in one season or another. 

However, God graciously reveals Himself to us. He moves and works in our hearts to bring us to a place of complete surrender to Him. We read in James 4, “submit yourselves therefore, to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” 

In Colossians 2, Paul writes to the church in Colossae warning them of the false teachers among them preaching the message of “Jesus and,” reminding them of the true message of salvation.

The words in Colossians 2 ring true for the church today. So we confess these things together, corporately and personally. We surrender all of the things we try to bring to the table at the feet of Jesus, and we declare that Jesus’ way is so much better. We confess that religion for its own sake has not and cannot lead us to Jesus. We confess that our apathy toward the imperatives in God’s Word has led us away from Him. And we confess that Jesus’ way is better. Better for us, better for our church family, and better for our place in this world. 

This is why we sing these words in the bridge, “here is where I lay it down, You are all I’m chasing now. This is my surrender, this is my surrender.” May we lay down our ways and make Jesus our only aim. May we surrender our ways, lay down our crowns and our ambitions for building our own kingdoms, and follow Jesus instead. His way is better. 

Written by Malia Rogers