With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries. (Rev. 17:2)
When I was in elementary school, my friends and I would play the game of tag. In tag, when you’re “it,” the goal is to chase other players and tag them, so that they’re “it.” Usually, there’s a designated safe zone, and if you’re being chased, you can touch a certain place and you’re safe. When the game was in my yard, I felt I had the power to tweak the rules to give me an advantage. If I was losing, I’d add new safe zones to help me win. I made my own rules.
In Revelation 17, John spoke of kings who committed adultery with Babylon, a prostitute who personifies evil. The kings functioned as dictators; they were accountable to no one. They chose to be driven by their whims and lusts. Eventually, their subjects followed their lead, and whole kingdoms were blinded and disoriented by their rebellion.
Our culture often tempts us to seek power, so we can make our own rules. Jesus, however, calls us to honor him as the king over every aspect of our lives. He invites us to submit our hearts, our minds, our longings, and our agenda to his will and his way. The paradox of the kingdom is that if we choose to submit to him, one day we will reign with him forever.
Resist the temptation to invent your own rules; submit to the King.
Steve Norman is a Wesleyan pastor, speaker, and author. He lives in West Michigan and serves the Great Lakes region.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.