I Found Jesus in a Pop Song (‘Like I Can’ – Sam Smith)

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It’s a four hour drive from college to my house, and since I’ve had my own car, I’ve been making the drive solo. I don’t mind the drive at all; four hours is easy compared to some people (like my roommate) who have much longer trips home. The distance is all relative, and I’m thankful to have 4 hours instead of 10+.

In preparation for making the drive by myself, I like to create a few long playlists on Spotify so I have enough music to get me where I’m going. I usually stick with my country mix playlist that has grown to over 8 hours of music (an achievement I’m all too proud of), but I like to switch it up with some Christian and pop music as well.

For one of my more recent drives, I had made a playlist with some new mainstream, popular songs that I’m not as familiar with (like the country playlist, that I know pretty much all of), so I could test out some new songs during the drive. It was just a playlist full of pop songs like any others.

Which is why I was not expecting to hear God speak so clearly through one of them.

It’s not unheard of to hear stark similarities between love songs and Christian songs (or love songs to/from God), but once I heard Jesus in this pop song, I couldn’t’ un-hear it, and I wanted to see if I’m not the only one.

Now, before you go thinking I’m crazy, listen for yourself. If you’d like, click here to listen to the song I’m talking about, and click here to read along with the lyrics.

Hopefully it’s not just me, but let’s break down the lyrics and take a closer look at ‘Like I Can’ by Sam Smith:

He could be a sinner, or a gentleman
He could be a preacher when your soul is damned
He could be a lawyer on a witness stand
But he’ll never love you like I can, can

He could be a stranger you gave a second glance
He could be a trophy of a one night stand
He could have your humour, but I don’t understand
‘Cause he’ll never love you like I can, can, can

Do you hear it yet? When this song first came on, and I heard Sam Smith singing about all these other guys and saying “but I don’t understand, ‘cause he’ll never love you like I can” I couldn’t help but hear God calling out to me, asking how I could fall for these other guys, when no one will ever love me like he can. Even if the guy seems to be just what you need, you’d still be missing a much bigger piece. Even if he’s a great guy, his love is not the greatest there is for you.

I have never felt God talking to me so strongly in a secular song. If that didn’t sell you already, the next lines will.

Why are you looking down all the wrong roads?
When mine is the heart and the salt of the soul
There may be lovers who hold out their hands
But they’ll never love you like I can, can, can
They’ll never love you like I can, can

Like, what?! “When mine is the heart and the salt of the soul”?! Who wrote this song?! This sounds like a modern-day version of a psalm.

At this point, I’m just gonna assume you’re on board with me and interpret this as a love song from God himself.

He’s asking why you’d ever need to look for love anywhere else, when he’s the one who created your heart and holds it (and come on, does “salt of the soul” – ‘salt of the earth’ ring a bell?) and reminding you again and again that nobody can love you like he can. You can keep trying to find fulfillment in other suitors, but they’ll never compare.

A chance encounter of circumstance
Maybe he’s a mantra keeps your mind entranced
He could be the silence in this mayhem, but then again
He’ll never love you like I can, can, can

He could be a great guy for you, or maybe you’re caught up in his trance, but regardless, he’ll never love you like I can. It gets me every time!!

(chorus repeats)

Okay hang tight, here’s where it gets real good:

We both have demons, that we can’t stand
I love your demons, like devils can
If you’re self-seeking an honest man
Then stop deceiving,
Lord, please

Motion to close the floor, there’s no denying it. A reference to the devil and a mention of the name “Lord”?! One or the other could be coincidence, but together? There’s no missing the divine intervention here.

He knows there are demons (remember: Satan is a fallen angel), but if you’re truly looking for “an honest man” look no further, and stop trying to hide from the truth of his love for you.

And it ends with the chorus again:

Why are you looking down all the wrong roads?
When mine is the heart and the salt of the soul
There may be lovers who hold out their hands
But they’ll never love you like I can, can, can
They’ll never love you like I can, can, can
They’ll never love you like I can, can, can

He’s asking you to stop looking in all the wrong places for the kind of love and fulfillment that only he can give you, the love he offers you day after day, if you choose to accept it.

Even if you find the right love, without God in the equation, you’re still missing the point.

They’ll never love you like I can. No one else can take his place. No one else can fill you so fully. No one else can love you like he can.

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This post was something different for me, but I really hope I’m not the only one who hears it this way. If you liked this post, please leave a comment below, or let me down if there are other songs where you’ve had this type of encounter!

Thanks for reading, happy Monday friends!

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13 comments
  1. It never ceases to amaze me how God will speak to His children. We just need to make sure our ears are always open to hear Him! Glad you have your “listening ears” on!

    1. That’s a beautiful way to think of it!! I’ve really been trying this year 🙂

  2. Awesome! I hear Him all too clearly in certain songs that aren’t meant to be Christian. Glad I’m not the only one haha. Have you ever heard Piece by Piece (piano version)? That’s one of them that makes me want to cry with how true it rings with God.

    1. I haven’t it I’ll definitely give it a listen tonight!! 🙂

  3. Wow! I need to check this song out!

    1. yes definitely!!

  4. Wow, God totally spoke to you through this song! I love that you said “Who wrote this song?!” That cracks me up, because it really does sound like something straight from the word. I read in a book last night that we can never search for people to fill the void that only God, a divine and perfect power, can fill. We need a reminder, even if it’s from a pop song, from time to time!

    Much love,
    Ashley | dearash.com

    1. Thanks for the sweet comment Ashley I’m so glad you hear where I’m coming from!! God really does work in mysterious ways and I’m always thankful for the reminders, even if it’s something as unexpected as this!! Blessings! 🙂

  5. Don’t you love that God is not limited? I sing “Hungry like a Wolf” by DuranDuran. I like to tell God I’m on the hunt down for him.

    1. Haha I love that!!

  6. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who hears God speak in the strangest ways! I just love how creative He can be. Great post!

    1. Yes girl I’m glad someone gets it!!🙌🏻 thank you!!

  7. I find lots of love songs would make great worship songs!

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