How Obeying God Helped Rivah Find her Voice

Under her real name, Bec Laughton, Brisbane pop artist Rivah was a headliner at Easterfest. Then, for a while, she disappeared. She told Alex she’d been with God in the wilderness, on a journey to find out what came next. ‘It was an intense and beautiful journey,’ she said, ‘and in the process, I actually got picked up by major labels for the first time, which was really exciting.’

But as well as improving her song writing, Rivah was also improving her relationship with God. Though she was a pastor’s kid and always loved God, she admits she didn’t always obey Him. As boring as obedience sounds, she says it’s the key to life. ‘Obeying God = happiness.’


Listen to Rivah’s chat with Alex on Vision180


‘I feel like we excuse some stuff in the Bible, which is honestly there for our good. And we excuse it thinking, in this day and age, we have the pill.’ After a few unhealthy relationships, she realised that God tells us to save ourselves for marriage for a reason. ‘So I finally started honouring Him with that part of my life in 2013. And I feel like I was born again, again, and had a new lease on life.’

In honour of her rebirth, and the new musical direction it inspired, she wanted to perform under a new name. She hoped God would rename her, like he did for Abraham. ‘And then my manager, who was not a Christian, was like: “Hey, what about the name Rivah? It’s like Hebrew or something for Rebecca.” I was like: “Lord, I feel like that’s You.”’

She’d had other options in mind which seemed cooler, but she knew this was the name God had chosen for her. ‘I never want what’s cool to be my motivation for music. I want it to be God ordained, and let Him move through me.’

One of her new songs, Cheerleader, came out of a song-writing session where she was feeling down and alone. ‘It’s what God was singing to me, but I’m singing it to you now. And it’s saying how He’s always got your back, and He’s like your number one cheerleader, even when everyone else falls away.’

Rivah’s work is turning heads in the mainstream. Her song Flood is being used in a French fashion commercial. She’s been played on Triple J, where she also recently won a spot touring Australia with the Rubens. But she knows where her success is coming from, and she won’t let it distract her.

Her latest single, Worry ‘Bout It, was actually inspired by the famous passage in Matthew Chapter 6 which begins, ‘Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink.’ (Matthew 6:25 NIV) It goes on to point out that God dresses the flowers more splendidly than King Solomon, even though they do no work.

‘In this day and age,’ Rivah said, ‘we feel like we need to be achieving, and working, and doing all this stuff to get validation. Obviously God doesn’t want us to be lazy, but it’s not our efforts that help us achieve anything anyway. Jesus died to save us, because we can’t be perfect without Him. And if we try and be perfect without Him, we’re negating the cross!’’

I want it to be God ordained, and let Him move through me

God keeps opening doors for Rivah, but she knows some opportunities could lead her astray. She’s been offered auditions on talent shows like The Voice and American Idol, but she’s turned them down so far. ‘The shows are kind of more about fame and instant celebrity,’ she said. ‘And that’s not why I do music.’

‘It turns music into a competition, which I also don’t agree with. Everyone has a voice, and everyone has something to say. And what I’m saying is more important than the acrobatics that I’m doing with my voice. So that’s why I haven’t done a show so far. But I think as I get older, I feel like my heart is more towards ministry. And I’m like, it is good exposure for me, talking about Jesus. So that would be my motivation if I did it.’

Rivah doesn’t plan to quit music anytime soon, but seeking God’s Kingdom and His righteousness will always be her first priority. ‘The more you’re in the music industry, the more you realise how fickle it is, and how much greater worshiping God with music is.’

The next step on her journey will be a move to New York, but though many of her trips there were inspired by musical opportunities, it was a church that made her want to stay. The first time she visited C3 NYC, she knew it was where God wanted her. ‘My heart is to go back, serve there and keep writing music.’

Rivah’s debut self-titled EP is out now. We can’t wait to hear what she does next.

Get Back Up: 1

‘Though I have fallen, I will rise.’ Micah 7:8 NIV

You know those Eeyore moments? Those days when you feel like a downcast, despondent donkey? They can even happen right after a great success. Counsellors tell us that for every high there is a corresponding low. Sometimes they’re caused by disappointment in others. When someone lets us down, we can experience anger or annoyance.

When we lose a job, or a friendship takes a nose-dive, we can feel depressed. But we can also feel that way simply because we’re not getting enough rest, proper food, and exercise. We’re getting run down and burned out.

Sometimes the cause is chemical. When the brain’s chemical messengers—neurotransmitters—are healthy, we are too. But when some of those transmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, are absent, low, or imbalanced, we struggle and feel depleted. Sometimes medication may be needed to correct the chemical imbalance.

But the cause can also be spiritual. Jesus said that Satan comes to ‘steal, kill, and destroy.’ (John 10:10 GNT) That’s why the Bible says, ‘Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against… the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.’ (Ephesians 6:10–12 NIV) Often spiritual warfare is either the root of our problems or is making them worse. So each morning when you get dressed, be sure to put on your spiritual armour and draw on ‘His mighty power’ throughout the day. When you’re down, that’s how you get back up.

SoulFood: 1 Chr 17:1–20, Heb 11:4–12:3, Ps 18:20–29, Pro 4:18

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019

Today’s Readings

1 Chronicles 17:1–20 ()

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17:1 Now when David lived in his house, David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent.” And Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.”

But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: It is not you who will build me a house to dwell in. For I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up Israel to this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from dwelling to dwelling. In all places where I have moved with all Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ Now, therefore, thus shall you say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be prince over my people Israel, and I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall waste them no more, as formerly, 10 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I declare to you that the LORD will build you a house. 11 When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, 14 but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.’” 15 In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.

16 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 17 And this was a small thing in your eyes, O God. You have also spoken of your servant's house for a great while to come, and have shown me future generations, O LORD God! 18 And what more can David say to you for honoring your servant? For you know your servant. 19 For your servant's sake, O LORD, and according to your own heart, you have done all this greatness, in making known all these great things. 20 There is none like you, O LORD, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

Hebrews 11:4–12:3 ()

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By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20 By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Psalm 18:20–29 ()

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20   The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness;
    according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
21   For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
    and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22   For all his rules were before me,
    and his statutes I did not put away from me.
23   I was blameless before him,
    and I kept myself from my guilt.
24   So the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
    according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
25   With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
    with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
26   with the purified you show yourself pure;
    and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
27   For you save a humble people,
    but the haughty eyes you bring down.
28   For it is you who light my lamp;
    the LORD my God lightens my darkness.
29   For by you I can run against a troop,
    and by my God I can leap over a wall.

Proverbs 4:18 ()

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18   But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
    which shines brighter and brighter until full day.

Fri 01 November, 2019


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