Okay, so normally I would not advocate using Tom Petty as a source for deep theological meaning, but I do believe God can use the most unlikely ways to make the world hear His message in new ways. One of the best ways has always been through music (at least in my opinion). Check out these lyrics by Petty. The song is called ” I won’t back down”.

Well I wont back down, no I wont back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I wont back down

Gonna stand my ground, wont be turned around
And Ill keep this world from draggin me down
Gonna stand my ground and I wont back down

Hey baby, there aint no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I wont back down.

Well I know whats right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin me around
But Ill stand my ground and I wont back down

Hey baby there aint no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I wont back down
No, I wont back down.

This sort of sounds like sanctification and perseverance of the saints to me.  How beautiful for the believer to echo the same thoughts in his own walk. I won’t back down even if the gates of hell are thrown open and every demon comes at me. I won’t back down and be turned around by a world that works so hard to drag the believer down. Drag him down through materialism, sin, idolatry, adultery, lies, cheating, lust, laziness, etc. (Romans 6:12-13)

Just like the lyrics say we have only one life and because of the presence of God’s Holy Spirit, we know what’s right. We are to write God’s commands and precepts  on the doorposts of our life and meditate on them day and night. Teach them to others and live them out; even in the midst of a world that strives to demean and undermine them. We won’t back down. (Deut 6:6-9)

But we do back down all too often. Life ain’t easy as Petty says and we sacrifice God all too often at the pleasure of our own wants and needs. Is it wrong to want pleasure and joy? Absolutely not. If it was than Christianity would have no adherents and we would have no reason to rejoice over the salvation of Christ in our lives. It would not be good news but rather bad news! What is wrong is desiring our will more than God’s. What is wrong is desiring our pleasure more than God’s. Life ain’t easy and that is usually the biggest obstacle to persevering in the faith.

Lastly (or more correctly, firstly) we persevere because God enables us too. The song above is entirely man centered. Petty says he will make it because of what he can do and because of his willpower and his determination. The Christian is God centered. If we continue and work out our salvation it is because God is doing it for us and because God gives the willpower to us to do it and because God predestined us unto salvation. (2 Cor 3:18; John 6:38-40; Ephesians 1:4-6)

And in light of that wonderful, glorious truth we should all be bold in the Gospel and shout triumphantly “Hey I will stand my ground. And I wont back down.No, I wont back down.”

For Christ’s sake and His name,

KTG




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