The Meaning and Story Behind Oceans by Hillsong

oceansI had been listening to “Oceans” by Hillsong for awhile, but it took me a lot longer to decide to finally do a video for it. I grabbed a camera and headed to the beach while I was in Nicaragua.  A tripod was nowhere to be found, so instead I used a chair with an upside down trash can on it. I positioned the camera and got in the spot I drew in the sand, but my music was not loud enough to hear. The only source I had was an old iPhone 3, but the sound of the waves overpowered the volume of the device. I walked back to the camp, grabbed a cup to increase the sound, but it still did not work. I decided to wait and try again in the morning.

When the morning came, I went out on to the beach again. The tide was out, and it was relatively calm. It was great! After I finished the shot, I checked my camera and realized I could not use half of the footage. The temperature outside had changed and fogged the lens on the camera. By then, we had to leave, so my filming for the day was over. I went out again the next morning and had the same problem. I cleaned it a few times between shots, but it was still an evident problem. Eventually, I just decided that I had enough takes.

After a few days of filming, and then carrying the memory card around for the remainder of the trip, I finally made it home. My computer updated, which caused my video editing program to stop working. It was incompatible, and I began to think I would never get this video done. Because of this, I was forced to go out and buy the software. Thankfully, the gift cards I needed for it were buy one get one 30% off, and I am finally back in business.

After all the editing, and still not being fully pleased with the result, I am finally done with Oceans by Hillsong.

 So what does this song mean?

I have always loved the themes of water that can be found in the Bible. You have floods and rains and oceans and storms. It’s great. I compare grace to the ocean all of the time. It’s more than abundant, and both can sweep us away in one solid swish. We are drowning in grace.

The cool thing about this song is that it takes it even a step further. You can find meaning in the song without even pointing it at grace. See, we live so much of our lives in a bubble of comfort. We don’t like to live by faith or do something dangerous. We think “Oh if only God could move something in my life. Stir up my soul,” but we do nothing to facilitate that. Read Matthew 14It’s the story of Jesus walking on water, and it matches the song perfectly.

Wouldn’t it be great to be Peter? I would like to think I would do what he did, but chances are neither I nor you would. We aren’t Peter when we walk by someone who’s crying or living on the street. We aren’t Peter when someone new comes to church. We aren’t Peter when someone challenges our faith. We aren’t Peter in the moments that matter the most.

We are trapped in a comfort zone. We are stuck in our boat because it feels safe. Those storms out there? They aren’t for me. I’ve got blankets and Oreos here; there’s no way I’m walking out into the unknown. I can find God here in my nice do-nothing space. It’s peaceful.

You’re singing Oceans, but are you crossing borders?

I want to encourage you to go out there and try new things, but not in the Eat Pray Love kind of way. I want you to let Oceans be your prayer of service.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk to wherever You call me. Send me further than my feet could ever walk. My faith will be made stronger when I stand in Your presence.

Leave your comfort zone and serve in the mission of Jesus. Being bold and doing things you’ve never done before will be hard, so having a strong faith will be important. You will need it if you want to keep your eyes above the waves.

It only takes one step, one decision, and one calling to walk out to where your feet may fail.

Will you leave your boat?


14 thoughts on “The Meaning and Story Behind Oceans by Hillsong

  1. God has used this song greatly in my life.
    I went into the ocean and was quickly swept up in a riptide. I was out pat the surfs and getting tired. I swam as hard as I could, but just kept getting further from shore.
    I had a talk to the Lord floating there. It seemed it went on for hours as I talked of regrets, sins, blessings and life. I asked the Lord if this was his plan for me. His plan for me to die.
    The Lord just told me to try to swim to shore again. This this time, the waves worked with me.! I was back on dry ground with my family in a few minutes! Talk about praising Jesus!
    When I got home from that vacation , what do you suppose was the first song I heard? Yes, Oceans was just released and playing on the radio. I have never been the same since. ♥️🙏


    You call me out UPON THE WATERS
    The great unknown where feet may fail
    And there I find You in the MYSTERY
    In oceans deep
    My faith will stand


    17 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth UPON MANY WATERS

    5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.

    7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

  3. Superb…… Really I’m blessed by the words here….. Appreciating u for doing the same more…. God bless you abundantly.. Thank you

  4. I came across this post as I was looking for the story behind Oceans , it is really beautiful what you do! Translating it into sign language and sharing your thoughts around it. Thank you ! Keep up the inspiring work!

  5. Hello Trevor.

    I’m calling from France. Your song Oceans in American sign language is beautiful. You have a good gift the Lord has given you. It is as beautiful sign language.

    I know this song and sings in French sign language. I often listen when my life is full of hardships. This is how a Christian lives. This song brings me so much support through Jesus is with me and I fixed my gaze on him.

    Be blessed.

  6. Hi Trevor,

    I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the efforts you put into making the video for “Oceans”. I can imagine how frustrating it must have been for you, being that you had a lot of difficulties in the process of making the video. However, Michael and I both loved the video footage, and Michael commented on how the sign language added so much more to it. Although you said you weren’t completely satisfied with the final results, be encouraged that GOD took the part that you thought was imperfect, and was still able to use it to perfect HIS will and bless many. I noticed how one person on Youtube said they thought the fog added to it. I agree.

    May GOD continue to bless you with HIS richest blessings for your determination and efforts. 🙂

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