I am the queen of playlists. I love them. There must be a dozen of them on my iPod. I tend to categorize by the time of my life: 80s, high school, college, Michigan (for when we lived in Michigan... it was a big music time for me), and the like. I have a playlist for my novel (because I work better with a soundtrack) and my praise and worship one as well.

It's in my praise and worship playlist that you'll find an unusual song: "I Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty. As my daughter likes to say, "It's true!" I think it may well be the greatest spiritual warfare anthem ever written (even though I'm 99% sure that's not what Tom Petty was thinking when he wrote it... :-) ). Whenever I feel like the devil is beating me up, I cue up that song and remember that God is my deliverer and that I have been set free and that "He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world" and that God never intended me to back down from the enemy--He intended me to stand and fight or, at times, simply to stand. (I'm thinking Ephesians 6 right about now.) It's a good thing to remind the devil that "you can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won't back down." For me, it's a shout-from-the-rooftops anthem of my strength in God and my determination to be what He's called me to be.

So, before I start to quote all of the words to you, I'll get on with what I want to say. I used to be agoraphobic, and I lived for ten years in incredible fear. Oddly enough, one of the things that I feared most was sickness. So now, on several occasions when Satan has wanted to try to keep me from doing what God wants me to do, he's used sickness to attack me. Sometimes, that's my indicator that I'm doing exactly what God wants me to do. (Hey, why not use the enemy's tricks against him? He's just confirming it when he attacks me.)

Well, this pops back to yesterday's Third Day post. I've tried for years to see them, and I knew this time would stick. I knew I needed the corporate worship and to sit under some anointed music. And, of course, just before we left for Montgomery, I started to feel sick. By the time we got to the venue, I was nauseated and had a yucky stomach and sweaty palms and felt totally feverish. Not my idea of fun. I wanted to go home and go to bed, but no way. I knew the attack when I saw it and I chose to fight it. I chose to tell Satan no. I chose not to back down.

We were about half an hour early for the show. While we were waiting, they were piping in music, the vast majority of it was Christian rock/alternative. So I'm laid back in my lawn chair, praying for God's help and telling the devil no, when they blasted out my favorite Tobymac song, "Ignition." It was fun to hear it cranked up so loud. It got my attention.

The song after it was really, really low and quiet; I could barely hear it. But then... I caught part of the melody. And I sat straight up. My friend Kelly was next to me, and she's a music geek like me, so I grabbed her by the arm and said, "Kelly. Is that... Tom Petty?" (This gives me chills...) She said, "Yeah. It's 'I Won't Back Down.'" I just sat back in my chair and grinned so big I know that half of the people in Montgomery's Union Station thought I was crazy.

God so ROCKS MY WORLD when He does stuff like that. Here I was in a private battle and thinking that I was not about to back down, and God sent me my unlikely "fight song." Right before a Christian rock show, in the midst of all of the Christian music they were playing, there was Tom Petty. Only God could do that. And then He decided to make me laugh, because during the intermission between Brandon Heath and Third Day? They played my song again. (And, a side note... Brandon Heath opened with "I'm Not Who I Was." So COOL!)

Things like that make me feel like God has wrapped me up in His arms. It's times like that when I can hear his fatherly laughter and practically see him smiling down on me. There is absolutely no way to call that a coincidence. And it wasn't what I like to call a "postcard from God," either. It was a full on, spotlighted, neon billboard that said, "Jodie, I'm with you. You keep doing what you're doing."

My God so rocks... even to Tom Petty. :-)

1 Response
  1. Heidi Main Says:

    Jodie, Such a cool story. God is great!