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“Now thanks be to God who always leads us to triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14
I love a good scent, don’t you? A pumpkin spice scented candle in autumn, all the smells surrounding Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy), my husband’s cologne as he’s fresh for the work day, a rich pot of coffee brewing in the morning, or a walk in the woods among the pines. All these scents remind us of something – a treasured memory, person, favorite pastime, or place. It’s amazing isn’t it – the power of smell?
Contrast that with a bad smell – what comes to mind? The garbage truck, sewer plant, manure piles, dirty diapers, my rotten trash that I carried out yesterday. Nobody has fond memories of that.
Pleasant things make good scents, while unpleasant things smell rotten.
We believers are to smell nice. Actually, not just nice, but fragrant! How do we do that?
By overcoming in Christ. “The Message” Puts it like this, “In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, He brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance.”
A perpetual victory parade?
It can be done. But only through Christ. By leaning hard on Him, through His Word, prayer, and the encouragement of other believers – praise God, victory is ours!!!
Victory is about choosing to do what we know God expects of us. We should be always searching for that thing. Be on the look-out to walk pleasing to Him. Sometimes there are good choices and bad choices. Sometimes there are good choices and better choices. We must make the best choice, in Christ.
As we grow in Christ, we become aware of better choices.
Perhaps your down time looks like snuggling up with a good book. But maybe sometimes, you should snuggle up with a God-book. Maybe you flip through your phone in line at Starbucks. But just maybe you should speak a cheerful word to the person behind you instead. Enjoying some “down time” with the girls, you may realize an opportunity to strike up a conversation about the Lord. “Only one life, t’will soon be past – only what’s done for Christ will last.”
If you’re grappling with any kind of sin, God is right here to undergird you and bring you to triumph. John Piper said, “I know of no other way to triumph over sin long-term than to gain a distaste for it because of a superior satisfaction in God.” Developing a deep, abiding relationship with the Almighty is the way to victory, and I’m here to tell you it’s true, because I’ve seen it happen in my life.
I’ve had a super unpleasant smell at times. Repulsive, even. After I come home from the gym, no one in my family wants to be around me. But even worse than that are the times that I give in to my fleshly desires and show my temper, say an unkind word (or two), make a selfish choice, or other, ugly struggles I care not to discuss.
When Moses instructed the children of Israel to claim the land of Canaan, He warned them that the inhabitants of the land were bigger, better, taller, and stronger than them. But not to worry, because God would take care of it for them. By God’s mighty power and outstretched arm, he had brought them out of Egypt, across the Red Sea on dry land, and through the wilderness for 40 years. And by His mighty power and outstretched arm, He would do this too. (Deuteronomy 9.)
Romans 8:37 states that we are “More than conquerors through Him Who loved us.” E.M. Bounds puts it this way, “Because the need for help outside of man is so great – given man’s natural inability to always judge kindly, justly, and truly and to act out the Golden Rule – prayer is instructed by Christ to enable man to act in all these things according to His divine will.” (“The Power of Prayer“)
We can be a pleasant aroma to those around us by dwelling in Christ. They won’t actually say, “Whoa, you smell nice because you’re a Christian!” But our aura should be such that they are drawn to us, want to be with us, to learn our secret to peace, joy, love. They should be able to sense this fragrance right through the difficult things that we experience, those hard, human moments of life called financial woes, cancer, autism, handicapped children, death, multiple responsibilities of caring for children and elderly parents, (insert your problem here) and the list goes on.
Remember that trash I took out yesterday? I hate that chore. My husband usually takes care of it, but he had been gone on a business trip. I had two choices – I could either leave it for him (stinking up the whole house in the process, which would hit him full force when he came in the door), or I could take it out myself. It’s not hard, I just don’t like to do it. It’s a hassle in my mind. I tend to blow things out of proportion that I don’t want to do – make them a bigger deal to carry out than they really are.
Don’t let your problems do this to you. Be an overcomer. Whether it’s a sin problem, a life problem, or just choosing between better and best, let God permeate your soul to become a fragrant aroma to others. After all, “with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26.)
What kind of trash will you take out this week? I lit a candle so my house would smell better.
What will you do to help your soul smell more fragrant?
“Now thanks be to God Who always leads us to triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14