Today’s feature song comes from the former lead singer of Sonic Flood. I met Jeff Deyo while I was a youth pastor in Columbus, Indiana which is Jeff’s hometown. Jeff’s story is similar to what happened to Tom Petty. The film Straight Outta Compton illustrates the fact that agents, producers and record labels use new artists to make themselves wealthy. Meanwhile, talented musicians like Jeff Deyo and Tom Petty barely make anything despite releasing top selling albums.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it [b]overflows), John 10:10.
Jeff left Sonic Flood to partner with his wife to make a living as a musician. While I haven’t spoken with Jeff for more than two decades, it’s sad how many talented musicians aren’t able to make a career out of doing what they love. Deyo’s album Another Alternative and song with the same name combines dance, hip hop and rap. As the world continues to evolve, the Bible provides instructions of how to live an alternative life fueled by faith. May today’s song and this album touch your heart and stir your soul.
Jeff Lynne produced Tom Petty’s 1989 album Full Moon Fever. Liner notes in Petty’s Playback box set includes the story behind Petty’s hit song Free Fallin’. While playing some elaborate stuff on the keyboard, Jeff and Tom stumbled upon three simple chords. According to this insert, Lynne suggested that Tom stop playing all the hard stuff and just sing some words to these three chords. Although Lynne came up with the title Free Fallin’, Tom figured out the best way to sing this phrase.
He who loves [and takes more pleasure in] father or mother more than [in] Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves [and takes more pleasure in] son or daughter more than [in] Me is not worthy of Me; 38 And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conforming wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also] is not worthy of Me. 39 Whoever finds his [lower] life will lose it [the higher life], and whoever loses his [lower] life on My account will find it [the higher life], Matthew 10:37-39.
The phrase free falling presupposes that an individual has reached a certain height or point in life before coming back to earth. The Bible suggests that idleness triggers people of faith to begin to their descent, sliding further and further away from God. The greatest example of this in the Bible occurs in 2 Samuel 11:1-5. When David decided not to go off to war in the Spring, he took an extended vacation from work. When you’re not where you are suppose to be, even Christians can fall from grace.
And so they incur condemnation for having set aside and slighted their previous pledge. Moreover, as they go about from house to house, they learn to be idlers, and not only idlers, but gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not say and talking of things they should not mention, 1 Timothy 5:12-13.
Every year a famous Christian leader held in high regards is exposed when their spiritual free fall is revealed by headline news. The latest victim is Jerry Falwell Jr, former president of Liberty University. In a recent article by Jeff E. Schapiro in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia Democrats are enjoying this latest sex scandal. As politicians scrape the bottom of the barrel, may Jerry’s demise serve as a wake up call for those of you with an idle faith. May this free fall inspire you to repent and draw near to God.
Tom Petty’s 1989 song Free Fallin’ refers to a boy who broke up with a decent girl, breaking her heart. As a result, a sense of guilt leads Petty toward a downward spiral, free falling into a state of depression. On the surface, many are great at hiding their pain, trying to stay cool or avoid unwanted attention. Yet, deep inside the average soul, hurt is accumulating day by day, searching for someone or something to elevate this weight.
In Acts 11:1-3, a similar burden was lifted from the church, opening the heavens for a spiritual free fall. Up until this point, Jewish law prohibited anyone in this faith to associate with Gentiles, especially partaking in unclean food according to Leviticus 11. However, angelic intervention, 2 visions and a message from God redefined a Jews perspective of impurity, Acts 11:8-10. Everything changed in Acts 11:15 as the Holy Spirit, fell upon the Gentiles in Caesarea.
According to the apostle Paul, God allows this to happen periodically, as He determines, 1 Corinthians 12:11. This spiritual free fall is for the common good of the church, 1 Corinthians 12:6, occurring throughout the book of Acts 2:4, 4:31, 10:44-46 and so on. Unfortunately, seminary’s, the school which trains future pastor’s, disagree with the book of Acts, claiming this was a momentary, supernatural out pouring of the Spirit, no longer active, ceasing to exist. This notion has caused many in the church to free fall, questioning the existence of God.
While I don’t have the answer or power to end this thousand year old debate, I do want to prevent future believers from free falling from the faith. If God can part a sea in the Old Testament and cause a dead man to rise from the grave after 3 days in the New Testament, why can’t the Holy Spirit free fall today to commence another spiritual awakening? Although, prayers shouldn’t treat God like someone going to a check out counter, Matthew 21:21-22 promises great things to those who believe. If you follow in the footsteps of George Whitfield, you might just experience another spiritual free fall.