Tony Cummings reports on the PLANETSHAKERS' single "Only Way" and the spiritual battle chronicled for music director Joth Hunt
Planetshakers have, as churchgoers around the world will know, become one of the leading producers of modern worship since their formation in 1997, and with over 30 internationally acclaimed albums and their tireless touring, their youthful synthesis of pop, rock and dance music has brought the message of Christ to literally millions.
Their latest release is the single "Only Way". Released globally through Venture3Media (V3M), it was recorded at Planetshakers conferences in the Philippines and Malaysia in January and was written, produced and mixed by the aggregation's long-time musician director, guitarist and keyboard player Joth Hunt. The song has also become an encouragement to the multi-talented worship leader as he has battled with cancer.
Said Hunt, "I've seen other people go through this, but never thought it would happen to me. It wasn't great timing. I feltl so called to go to Asia, but this was a roadblock, something that was planning to stop me from going."
A doctor told Joth that he would need surgery to remove the cancerous tumour and that he would be bedridden for at least two weeks, which would mean he would miss the tour. After breaking the news to his wife, together the couple decided to believe for a miracle. "It was at that moment that I began to seek God, put on worship in my headphones, and declared that God is able to make a way when there seems no way," which is the very declaration the song "Only Way" makes - a song Joth wrote just before finding out he had cancer.
Commented Joth, "These are the kinds of statements I put in songs, because I know that other people are going through challenging times like this. But now, they never rang more true to me, personally." With the help of Planetshakers Church Senior Pastor Russell Evans in finding a doctor to get a second opinion, Joth met with the new doctor on a Thursday and the next day he was in surgery - just six days before his plane would leave for the tour starting in Manila.
The Planetshakers team were unaware of Joth's battle with cancer until in the Philippines a week-and-a-half after the surgery when he spoke to them. Said Joth, "I had to testify how good God is. The enemy didn't want me to be here tonight. But he lost. God had the victory over it." The lyrics of "One Way" go, "Doesn't matter what they say to me/I believe in you/So I praise/Jesus I will give you praise/Doesn't matter what may come at me/I believe in you."
Said Joth, "God had me write that song a week before I knew this was going to happen. It was the perfect tool God helped me to use to declare victory over the situation. It's easy to sing these songs week-to-week, but when you are actually going through it, these lyrics become more. . . they become an anthem."
When CT, x-ray scans and blood tests came back clear, Joth testified, "There is zero cancer in my body because God closed the book on that. The struggle of this journey is over. . . God has taken care of it. So thankful to God!"The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.