BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#897 - "The Resistance" by Skillet
Skillet's John Cooper encourages believers to rise up in love as the force of true resistance.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #897 -
Posted: February 22, 2018 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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I've long been a "Panhead"--that's what the Skillet fan club members call themselves--going back to their self-titled grunge rock debut album and their electronic-tinged rock follow-ups, Hey You, I Love Your Soul and Invincible, which hooked me with their catchy, personal and vertically-focused songs. Over the years, it has been a treat for me to watch their meteoric ascent into becoming one of the biggest rock bands in the world with the incredible success of their last four albums Comatose, Awake, Rise and Unleashed each reaching another level of popularity. 

I've had the opportunity to speak with John Cooper about several songs from the prior albums, including "Believe," "Awake and Alive," "One Day Too Late" and "Lucy," "American Noise" and "Good to Be Alive." With each discussion, we've built on how John's life verses Romans 8:38-39 have shaped his songwriting. They returned to a more electronically-tinged rock style for their expanded release Unleashed Beyond, which features the rock single "Feel Invincible" as well as the worshipful hits "Stars" and "Lions" which I previously got to talk about with John Cooper. I had the chance to speak with John Cooper again in-person at Winter Jam in Reading, Pennsylvania about "The Resistance."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

As we've talked about over the past several years, a lot of Skillet songs have multiple meanings. Sometimes I'm drawing together a spiritual meaning combined with things we go through in life. In my life, I see a lot of things I want to write songs about, and they are written through my Christian worldview and how it affects me. 

For this song, it was written during the time of the Presidential primaries, and I noticed how people were so angry at each other, like I've never seen before. I am friends with all different types of people. I didn't say anything political, but I noticed how friends were disconnecting from each other on Facebook and cussing each other out. I have friends who aren't Christians, and they were posting about things that I believe and saying if I believe these things, we can never be friends again. They would never say it to my face, but they were putting these statements out there and destroying each other. That is what inspired the song. 

As the song progresses through my Christian worldview, I believe that the Bible teaches us that we the church are not a weak people. The reason I say this is because there are lots of different systematic theologies, and I was taught growing up that we are a weak people and we are not going to be victorious in this world. It's all about the rapture and the tribulation, and Christ will come to save us because we are weak, that type of thing. I felt that when I got to college and read the Bible more that the earth belongs to the Lord, and when He comes back to set up a New Jerusalem, His Kingdom is coming to transform this world. We are meant to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. 

We have a lot of strength in us as Christians. The chief mountain is Mount Zion, which is Christ. His people will be the ones who He is shining His glory through. That's an eschatological view of the song that some people might not care about, but some people might care about.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Luke 11:1-4 (NKJV): "Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.' So He said to them, 'When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.'" 

John 16:33 (NIV): "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Micah 6:8 (NKJV): "He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"

1 John 3:16 (NIV): "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters."

What is the takeaway message?

Regardless of your eschatology, it's important for all of us to believe and remember as Christians that our God is strong. I think if you are constantly being told that you are weak, that you start believing that God can't do great things. No matter what you are being told, to know that God can do great things and He can use you for His Kingdom, that's what the song is about. "This is how we rise up" and make a difference as a Church. No matter what that means, it's all God's work, and we are part of His army of believers. 

I have said in my conversations with non-Christians that we could do a better job of saying what we are for instead of being known for what we are against. Let the other things work out accordingly. I feel the same way about politics. If we all said what we are for, and what we agree about, things would be better and we'd get something done. 

"Love is the answer" is one of the key lines in the song. Love people who are different than you. Love your neighbor as yourself. The easiest way for some people is to focus on being good people instead of followers of Jesus. That the temptation, and you think people will like you more if you don't follow exactly what the Bible says. It's easier, but it's not right. One of the things I am for as a Christian is teaching what the Bible says, to have zeal to follow God's Word and to love people even when they don't love themselves. Follow Christ.

Lyrics:
I am a nation, I am a million faces
Formed together, made for elevation
I am a soldier, I won't surrender
Faith is like a fire that never burns to embers
(Who's gonna stand up, who's gonna fight?)
The voice of the unheard
(Who's gonna break these chains and lies?)
Love is the answer
I gotta speak it, believe it, that's how I feel inside
I, I, can't, can't sit here quiet

You can take my heart, you can take my breath
When you pry it from my cold, dead chest

This is how we rise up
Heavy as a hurricane, louder than a freight train
This is how we rise up
Heart is beating faster, feels like thunder
Magic, static, call me a fanatic
It's our world, they can never have it
This is how we rise up
It's our resistance, you can't resist us

Hey can you hear me? Hey, are you listening?
Sleeping in the shadows, could be making history
Walk through the fire, walk on the water
Used to be a slave, but now you are a conqueror

They can take my heart, they can take my breath
When they pry it from my cold, dead chest

This is how we rise up
Heavy as a hurricane, louder than a freight train
This is how we rise up
Heart is beating faster, feels like thunder
Magic, static, call me a fanatic
It's our world, they can never have it
This is how we rise up
It's our resistance, you can't resist us

Up, up, up, up, up
We're rising up, up, up, up, up
The voice of the unheard
Rising up, up, up, up, up
We're rising up, up, up, up, up
Love is the answer
Rising up, up, up, up, up
We're rising up, up, up, up, up
Love is the answer
This is how we rise up
It's our resistance, you can't resist us

This is how we rise up
Heavy as a hurricane, louder than a freight train
This is how we rise up
Heart is beating faster, feels like thunder
Magic, static, call me a fanatic
It's our world, they can never have it
This is how we rise up
It's our resistance, you can't resist us 


This song has a catchy and engaging feel, and the theme is a great reminder and challenge: "This is how we rise up, it's our resistance, you can't resist us." As believers, we need to stand up for Christ in our worldly culture and society. As we look at the fallen world around us, we all need to lift our eyes up to God and put all of our faith and hope in Him. For the saved in Christ, one day "God will wipe away every tear, there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying." 

"The Resistance" has become one of my favorite songs on the album, as in this era of political uncertainty the cry of my heart is to be a citizen of Heaven and to serve my King. We as a church need to provide for the people who need us. This song so accurately reflects my feelings of loyalty to my King Jesus. We can't wait for the government to move, we need to be citizens of Heaven and focus on the needs that are all around us. This album lights a fire in Christians to know and proclaim what you stand for, no matter what the world tells you to do. Don't compromise. Don't forsake God or be ashamed of the Gospel. Stand up for what you believe.

There is an infectious urgency to this song. As we live in these last days, it is very important to think about what you would be found doing if the Lord were to return today. Love is the answer. Not only should we love God because He first loved us, but we should also love others unconditionally because while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. When I first heard this song, I was immediately hooked by the message, knowing that it is connected to the two greatest commandments from Jesus to us: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength," and "love your neighbor as yourself." That's how we can show the world what we are for instead of what we are against as followers of Jesus. That's how we the Church can be the resistance.

1 John 5:14-15 tells us, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of Him." Listening and singing along with this song is a challenge for believers to live for Jesus and His Kingdom. This song has become my personal anthem, and I sing along at the top of my lungs the sincere and emotive lyrics of hope that something better is coming: "Love is the answer, I gotta speak it, believe it, that's how I feel inside, I can't sit here quiet. You can take my heart, you can take my breath, when you pry it from my cold, dead chest." Amen to that!

Watch the lyric video below.
 

 

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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