Thursday 26 September 2013

2 Corinthians 2:14-15 “Now thanks be to God, who always causes us to triumph in Christ, and  manifests in us the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.  For we are to God a sweet aroma of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish…”

As we enter into the final few days of our fast, let us consider what makes our lives a fragrant aroma wherever we go.  Few Christians realise that they carry the atmosphere of heaven.  This atmosphere is meant to dominate the prevailing conditions in any given place. Have you ever used an air freshener or a room deodorizer?  People have invented everything from candles to sprays to create an aroma in the house.  Certain brands boast of being able to “eliminate odors, kill bacteria, and freshen air.” There is even a certain candle that can overcome the smell of tobacco!  In reality, they simply mask the existing odors so that the room smells different. The type of smell which emanates depends on the ingredients of the product.

What a great example of our victory in Christ. His presence in us brings forth a pleasant smell wherever we go, because it consists of the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (See Gal 5:22-23). When we remain “saturated” with His presence, it is these aromas which will dominate over hatred, worry, frustration, indifference, anxiety.  It all depends on which ingredients make up the perfume of our lives.

Are there still some elements present in your soul that extinguish or pollute the sweet aroma of Christ?  Are there any traces of bitterness, selfishness, unforgiveness, apathy, or other “spiritual bacteria” that diminish the manifestation of His kingdom and His glory through your life?

The books of Leviticus and Numbers speak often of the “sweet savour before God” of the burnt offerings sacrificed at the altar. The New Testament is very specific about what kind of sacrifice is pleasing to God : “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.   And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom 12:1-2)

It is only the heart that cries out sincerely, “Lord, take it all!” that can experience His fullness. It is only the life laid down that can emanate the power and glory of His resurrected life. It is only when Christ lives in us and through us that His victory is manifested around us.  A change in mentality and a change in lifestyle will enable us to  “walk in love, as Christ has loved us, and has given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.” (Eph. 5:2)

Today, take a moment to lay down the things of the flesh that pollute or dilute the sweetness of his presence flowing through you.  The Holy Spirit will show you, or remind you, what words or actions or attitudes need to be removed.  Trust Him and know that when He reveals the problem, He also releases the grace to change.  Allow him to restore in you the desire and the power to be transformed!

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