• Babylonian Faith ~ B ... Living in Babylon

    22 November, 2013

    Introduction

    (This SoulSense is sequential to Babylonian Faith ~ A)

    The Bible is a divine transcript for the disciple's sojourn through Babylon to Jerusalem. The journey of a Christian's life is the journey across earth to Jerusalem, but Babylon wants the disciple to get lost. It posts many deceitful but inviting signs that look like the truth.

    The pages of Scripture record the post-flood world in Genesis 9-11. It is under the leadership of the tyrant Nimrod this new world quickly descends to the rebellion similar to a pre-flood earth. These  chapters 9-11 of Genesis capture my mind as does Genesis 1-3. Gen 9-11 shadow Gen 1-3 in explaining how the world has moved into its present state.

    Into this post-flood earth bent on disobedience (independence of God) the world's first king (Nimrod), first city and first nation arrives - Babylon. Built upon the beautiful plain of Shinar (the old pre-flood site of Eden) an anti-God coalition attempted to construct a mountain to heaven. This surely is what the tower of Babel was. As with satan, Nimrod (whose name means 'rebel') had seeded rebellion in paradise again; exactly where rebellion was first begun.

    But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. ... Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.’ So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. (Gen 11:5, 7-8)

    God witnessed all and acted both swiftly and decisively to scatter the peoples of Babylon across the face of the earth. (As had always been His stated intention.)

    Living with Babylon in Babylon

    The spirit of Babylon is now as wide as the oceans, and as high as the mountaintops, and has been since Biblical pre-history. This spirit that produced in man both pride and independence lives within pagans and Christians alike. All have grown up under its leadings, sat within its institutions and believed its teachings. None have escaped its influence.

    The spirit of Babylon also both forms and informs faith responses for the unwitting Christian. Its supremacy and strength permeates souls and soaks a disciple's actions.

    Babylon is so much more than a large plot of soil or a dot on a map. It is where our hearts learn, our bodies live and our spirits soar each and every day.

    Babylon instructs the disciple to stop, settle, indulge complacency, build an edifice, become a merchant and not to look for Jerusalem.

    Babylon is where our hearts learn, our bodies live and our spirits soar each and every day.

    Babylon breeds a spirit of entitlement for both pagan and Christian alike. It snatches both the spirit of devotion and the spirit of service.

    Most Christians are yet to realise that they are either staying in the city of confusion (Babel/Babylon) or heading towards the city of peace (Jerusalem).

    Babylon impacts faith

    As life meanders (or struggles) down the lane from Babylon to Jerusalem the task of the disciple becomes to discern what information and gifts are Babylonian in origin and what are from Zion. This requires a 20/20 spiritual vision. Babylon proffers pollutants to the soul that appear reasonable, but will always replace the purity that is offered, and indeed required by Zion.

    Babylon in fact resists faith responses, dilutes and suppresses faith or simply neutralises it.

    Babylon is the whore who invites Christians to commit adultery with it, seek its luxuries, believe its promises, and enjoy the comfortable honor of its arms.

    Babylon seduces the Christian to hold very tightly to the trinkets of today, so that they will lose the treasures of tomorrow.

    Babylonian faith grabs the plough with a brief gusto and then turns to cast its eyes wistfully backwards. Very soon the plough is released.

    Babylon instructs the disciple to exchange tomorrow for today.

    Who is there who still dwells in Babylon that will reckon with a Jesus descended from heaven, then tortured and pierced for our redemption and not just our ease?

    Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Matt 8:20)

    Who will consider that each sin still nails afresh the torn flesh that died so each of us could be cleansed from it?

    Who is there who will look after the interests of Jesus above their own and walk to Jerusalem?

    Who will count the foxholes and the search for the bird's nests, for these creatures are better off than they?

    Who will heed the unembellished costs, reject the easy-believism and not just buy from the suitable shelves of a Babylonian look-alike Christian faith?

    Babylonian faith screams stop, settle, pursue comfort and ignore Jerusalem.

    Babylon instructs the disciple to exchange tomorrow for today.

    Babylon informs the Christian to enjoy the journey at the expense of the destination.

    Conclusion

    BUT - (yep there is always a 'BUT')...

    In a world commanded by Babylon it still has a competitor, a far superior one in fact - Jerusalem.

    Remember Babylon was built by a tyrant Nimrod, Jerusalem was built by a loving God.

    Remember Jerusalem will be renewed by God and Babylon will be destroyed by Him, for confusion can never rule peace.

    As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him, but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. (Lk 9:51-53)

    Head to Jerusalem and Jesus will carry you through Babylon (He has already walked this Himself), but expect no approval from your friends.

    ENJOY Babylonian Faith ~ A ... Foot Soldiers for Babylon

                  Babylonian Faith ~ C ...  The Future of Babylon