Journal Entry // December 28, 2022
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; (ESV)Revelation 18:4
Am I living in Babylon? The description of a great city that is driven by power and focused on pleasure sure sounds a lot like these modern times. The illustration and indictment of the Lord against Babylon as the sins of the city are listed to be judged can easily be seen in our culture and times. So the answer to the question of whether I am living in Babylon is a definitive, yes. With this being true, I need to be mindful of the call to come out of this culture. The call to come out is important because it is a warning message that the corrupting influence of this power-driven and pleasure-seeking culture will ensnare everyone it touches if we are not mindful and watching. The warning from the Lord is to come out of Babylon completely. To leave and not get caught up in their sins of lusting after power and pleasure. The call is to be holy, separate from, just as Christ is holy.
As I have been thinking about this passage in the context of the culture in which I live, I can easily see the corrupting influence of this Babylon thinking in my life. I see that it is simple and easy to get caught up in the everyday thinking of the culture around me. The messaging of this modern Babylon is pervasive and incessant. From advertising and media to schools and education, even daily interactions with people, I am confronted with the Babylonian ideals of this culture. A culture that is not only wanting me to conform to their way of thinking and be tolerant of what they highly prize, but this culture demands that I endorse and celebrate each and every ideal.
So I find myself drawing a line in the sand to say I will go no further. This then begets a further compromise and a further line in the sand drawn further down. Which begets more compromise… and more compromise… and more compromise. Until one day I look back and see the multitude of lines I have drawn over the years and the distance I have come to embrace these Babylonian ideals and incorporate them even into my everyday spiritual life. I can evaluate my life and world even at this moment and see the many compromises that have deceived and altered my Biblical understanding and thinking. This Babylon I live in is a great corrupter and deceiver. This is why the call from heaven is for God’s people to come out of her.
To come out of Babylon I must be separate. How do I separate myself from this corrupting influence of Babylon as I continue to live in this culture? The only way is to be a faithful follower of Christ. Not just a casual observer that mimics the true spiritual freedom that is found in Christ alone, but a true abiding follower of Christ. He is the vine and I am a branch. I can do nothing in and of myself. As a branch, I am completely dependent upon the vine for my very life. It is the vine that brings me nourishment. It is the vine that determines my placement and use. It is the vine that brings fruit to my life. I am completely dependent upon the vine in every way. And as a branch is sustained by the nourishment provided by the vine, so too must I be abiding in the love of Christ each and every moment.
My call to holy living is not dictated by the messaging of the world. My call to holy living is dictated by the Word of God alone. This means that I must center my life around Christ and be focused only and ever upon Him. I am not to live a Babylonian life, but a simple life focused on Jesus Christ. To come out of Babylon is to do away with the power-driven, pleasure-seeking mentality and become a Spirit-driven, Christ-seeking child of God.