The War is Over by Josh Baldwin is the newest Bethel Music release. The worship leader’s first solo project for Bethel was inspired by his cross-country move from North Carolina to California. The album tells a story of embarking on an appointed journey accompanied by the hope and promise found in Christ.
Baldwin’s journey and the album echo Abraham’s life. Baldwin connects with the Old Testament patriarch in “Abraham.”
On this altar, on this road
You have called me from my home
The weight I carry is not my own
Spirit move this heart of stone
The sojourner’s song continues in several tracks including “You’re My Home,” “Peace,” and the spirited opening song “Get Your Hopes Up.” Baldwin never strays from his anchor, Jesus Christ. Even in the traveling songs, Jesus is the focus. This serves as a reminder to the listener that no matter our circumstances, Jesus is our source of hope.
Christ before me, Christ behind me
I am firmly held
In His mercy, never ending
I’ll remind myself
(“Get Your Hopes Up,” Baldwin)
We are all on a journey, a search for home. Jesus tells us he is the only way to the Father, the only way to heaven (John 14:1-7). Baldwin weaves the gospel message throughout the album. In “You Deserve it All,” he honors the sacrifice of Jesus’s life in exchange for ours: “The Father laid down His son // From darkness to light, death lost to life.” In the title track, he continues the story of redemption, “The blood of Jesus overcomes // It is finished, He has won.”
Josh Baldwin’s album does that thing worship leaders do–it directs listeners’ attention to God. The songs aren’t flashy or over-produced. Baldwin’s voice never strains to hit mega-notes. He delivers his heart smoothly, as if worship is second nature for him. The southern acoustic sound rests comfortably around psalm-like lyrics.
In fact, I listened to the album several times before I could formulate my thoughts about it. The War Is Over rests so easily in the background, it filters unnoticed into the soul like sunlight through a window. It is the kind of album you leave on during your morning prayer time or play during dinner to set a worshipful mood. The music and the musician never demand your attention, but invite you into a worship experience.
The War Is Over Track Listing
1. Get Your Hopes Up
3. You’re My Home
4. The War Is Over
5. You Deserve It All
8. Holding On
9. Found In You