Come Out, or Go Down!

“I am your God,..
    who leads you in the way you should go.
Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments!..

Go out from Babylon!” Isaiah 48:17-18,20

“’Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
    She has become a dwelling place for demons,
a haunt for every unclean spirit…
All nations have drunk
    the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,
and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her,
    and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.’

‘Come out of her, my people,
    lest you take part in her sins…
heaped high as heaven…
She glorified herself and lived in luxury…

‘The fruit for which your soul longed
    has gone from you,
and all your delicacies and your splendors
    are never to be found again!..

‘Alas, alas, for the great city
    that was clothed in fine linen,
        in purple and scarlet,
    adorned with gold,
        jewels, and pearls!
In a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste…

‘Babylon the great city [will] be thrown down with violence,
    and found no more…
for all nations were deceived by your sorcery.'” Revelation 18:2-5,7,14,16-17,21,23

There will come a time when all evil is called to judgment. God’s clock is ticking, though we know not how long. Every choice we make has consequences, and it’s imperative we are keen to the enemy’s seduction toward all things worldly and temporal, and away from what is righteous and eternal. He teases with filtered glimpses of beyond, but keeps us circling, never arriving. He would have us live only for today, taking no thought of accountability, or tomorrow’s reckoning. He deceives with feelings, self-gratification, sensuality, and cravings satisfied. (John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 5:10)

In the order of our days, calendars, and schedules, we naturally get caught up in short-term rhythms: appetites, to-dos, check-offs, I-deserves. We are enticed by the thump of the world’s music, the luster of success, the thrill of easy entertainment, and perks of plastic beauty.

We must remember that all our short-terms make up our long term, and it serves us well to soak in the Word, connect in vital fellowship, and pray for wisdom over all. Redeeming our time means extricating ourselves from everything that would diminish a lofty perspective of God, or pull us away from His heart and reason. We might shrink from so sober a lifestyle, but judgment is far more sobering, and final. (Ephesians 5:3-12,15-18)

Where are we given to uncleanness- of thought toward others, indulgences, vocabulary? What passions do we allow to rule- lust, temper, jealousy, ambition, resentment? In what ways do we glorify ourselves- boasting, or smugly taking credit for what God alone has done or given? (Isaiah 48:11; 1 Corinthians 4:7; James 1:17)

What will it take for us to ‘come out’ from the mindset, habits, or company of Babylon, to once-for-all be done with empty and detrimental living? We need spiritual vision, holy resolve, commitment fueled by God’s Spirit, and maybe a friend to keep us accountable. We can, with the Lord’s enabling, seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness, and surrender ourselves to please and honor Him. (Matthew 6:33; Romans 12:1-2)

Father, alert me to every whiff of Babylon, and give me courage to flee. Bind my wandering heart to Thee, that You be exalted in my every choice.

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