Three time Grammy-nominated Christian Artist David Crowder in releasing his new album “I Know a Ghost” said he decided to use the word “ghost” instead of “spirit’ as a means of startling people into spiritual reality. The new record is a modern blend of bluegrass, country, electronic-synth, gospel and Southern hip-hop. I’m a bluegrass, country guy, so I don’t naturally gravitate to all his songs. But I appreciate how Crowder’s style reaches a wide audience. Personally I consider David Crowder a a modern day artist, who has a prophetic edge to his music.
His music forces me to a deeper, more reflective place in my journey through the spiritual wastelands, as I relate to lost pilgrims. Substituting “ghost” for “Spirit” is an attempt to reach a skeptical audience. “There’s something about the word ‘ghost’ that makes your everyday person feel more comfortable than ‘spirit,'” notes Crowder, “because there’s less church language attached to it.” As humans we are, “continually scratching at something.” Crowder rightly observes, “there is something innate in us that is searching for the beyond.” I personally attempt to use very little “church” language. I attempt to “scratch” for the soul, where the echoes of transcendence are found.
In his music Crowder “shift our perceptions and realigning our awareness of what is real.” It is an attempt “to recolonize our imaginations.” In his lyrics there is a strong belief that no one is so far gone that redemption cannot reach them. “We come from God and we are going back to God, and it is His Breath, His Spirit that’s in us that causes us to vibrate in wonder when we recognize the beauty of his Creation and the relentlessness of His redemptive pursuit.” I try gently, to make reference to what is beyond and listen for sounding from the soul of another person. Done in love and gentleness, it often gets a person thinking about their life with God.
A song on the record is entitled “Ghost.” “This ghost is a fire.” The phrase “get ready” is repeated. To me, it has a prophetic tone in both the lyrics and sound. It is a reminder that the Spirit of God is going to fulfill the purposes of the Father, through His Son, by the work of the Holy Spirit. John said of Jesus, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Matt. 3:11). When the Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost, Luke tells us, “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separate and came to rest on each of them” (Acts 2:4). The presence of God can be with fire (Ex. 3:2). Revelation 1:14 describes Jesus with eyes “like blazing fire.”
In “ghost” the following phrases are found in progression. “This ghost is a fire” – “His ghost is inside you” – “Get ready, there’s a ghost in the room” – and finally “We’re ready for you to set things right.” This sequence reminds me of the early church in prayer as they face opposition. They prayed, “Now, Lord consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:30). The results of the prayer are found in the next verse (31). “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
Men – the Holy Spirit (Ghost) is like fire within you. He’s asking us to get ready. Our prayer should be, “Come Holy Spirit, we’re ready.”