Popular singer/songwriter Tom Petty passed away last week after a highly successful career. One of Petty’s most loved songs was titled ‘I Won’t Back Down’. Some of the lyrics go like this:
Well, I won’t back down
No, I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down
No, I’ll stand my ground
Won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground
While Tom Petty was probably singing about the injustices and human challenges we have to face, the Apostle Paul says something similar regarding the spiritual challenges and battles we encounter as God’s children. He says, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand (Ephesians 6:13). The imagery is that of a well-trained soldier, planting his feet firmly on the battle field and refusing to back down. In other words, Paul may be saying, ‘Don’t back down’. Ever!
The forces of darkness are coming against the church, and humanity as a whole, with ‘all guns firing.’ They know their days are numbered as the coming of our Lord draws near. The senseless killing of over 50 innocent people by a lone gunman in Las Vegas last week bears witness to this. It is at a time like this that the church of Jesus Christ and individual Christians should stand firm, find renewed hope, minister to the hurting and refuse to back down.
In Daniel chapter 6, Daniel was on the verge of a promotion of a lifetime. The powerful Darius decided to appoint 123 rulers to govern his Kingdom with Daniel being the likely candidate for Prime Minister. This would have won Daniel many perks and privileges. It may have come in the form of a brand new vehicle (the latest chariot?), unlimited power, added bonuses, maybe even a lifetime pension. That’s when envy set in as the other powerful and corrupt officials rose up as one against Daniel. Their evil and devious machinations placed Daniel in a precarious situation. He would have to either back down from his commitment to God or face the ‘lions’. (Why they thought of lions to do their dirty work I’m not sure!!)
As we well know, this brave man of God, Daniel, refused to ‘back down’ and God worked an amazing miracle. He sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths and protected His servant. Maybe He tranquilized them, maybe He assigned them to a 12 hour fast, or maybe they just lost their appetite. Whatever may have happened, it was a powerful work of God! I once had the privilege of following an inspiring teaching session by Pastor David Wong, in which he shared this quote in one of his notes. It said, ‘The lions could not eat Daniel because he was too much backbone.’
Application: ‘Don’t back down’
Are you facing lions in your life right now? ‘Don’t back down’ in the midst of fiery trials because God is always on your side. Romans 8:31 asks the question, “…If God be for us, who can be against us?” Therefore if satan mimics The ‘king of beasts,’ know that the ‘King of Kings’ will give you victory. If he comes as ‘a roaring lion’, stand firm in the power of ‘The Lion of Judah’. Whatever happens, ‘Don’t back down’.
Finally, let us be encouraged by the words in James 4:7 that says, “Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” So, whatever fiery trial you may be facing today, ‘Don’t back down’.