For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. — 2 Corinthians 2:15,16 —
The things of man are like a rotting corpse. Ever been to a funeral and watched as people pass by the dead body and say things like, “She/He looks good”? I suppose it is the polite thing to do. I am certainly not judging anyone during a time of grief. I just find it odd that we pay so much attention to something that is dead, something that had to be prepared for viewing, usually new clothes had to be bought. People stand, grieving, looking down at their loved one in hopes they look similar to what they remember. Almost like hoping, the dead body will give some kind of comfort. But it never will. It lays there — dead. It can not rise up and give you one last kiss or embrace. There is nothing comforting about a dead body no matter how much outward work is put into it.
Too many times what man calls pleasing, what man esteems, what man lifts up — much like a rotting corpse — is nothing more than a stench to the nostrils of a holy God. Today, there are many dead things trying to exalt themselves over that which is alive. I’ve heard them on TV. I hear them on radio, I have seen it in the pulpits. I’ve even seen it and smelled it in Christian bookstores over the years.
I’ve come to the point where it is grating to my ears and it sounds like noise. Irritating, grinding, useless, vain empty chatter. It means very little, if anything to me.
Too many times I have touched and clung to, that which is unclean, rotting, dead. All the while still, hoping in that passage of He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it. But, if we allow ourselves to take on a dead thing, then that dead thing will take us on. We have to let go of the dead things and embrace that which brings life, if we want to be alive in Jesus. There is no other way.
The stench of man, no matter how great the fire that kindles it, no matter how long it has been rotting, will never win over the fragrance of God. No, not ever.
The stench of man always points back to self. Self is the one to be adored, worshipped, trusted and esteemed. Stench camps all over the place. Don’t believe me? Look at government, look at those in politics, look at some of the ministries you may support, look in your own church! Look and see what kingdoms they try to build here on earth. Look and see how they wish to enslave you, making you subserviant not to the One True God, but to them, causing you to cling to the dead things!
Are the things you cling to releasing the fragrance of God in your life, or is there a stench? I know. I know what that stench smells like because I have had it all over me! It is even within this blog! I know from where it came! It came from clinging to dead things. Hoping somehow they could rise up and embrace me and make me feel better, lead me to a sense of safety. That in and of itself is idolatry! But I did not know, I did not know. Still, it made me guilty! Guilty of trusting in worthless idols!
God over and over has told me to stop doing this or that, but no, I, in my rebellion — in sin, have done the other! We know we should do what God tell us, but we say in our hearts: “I will not. I am justified for feeling the way I feel.” Ok. But be ready to accept the consequences of such an act. It brings death. You can try and dress it up, you can try and get around it, you can even try to make up for it (as if we can) by thinking we can somehow fake God off by doing some good work. The fact remains — you are dead. Completely dead and your works, your trying is nothing but a stench before the nostrils of God.
So how is the fragrance of God realeased? I think it begins when you find yourself getting sick of the stench around you. When you finally notice that you have picked up the stench and it resides on you, that too is probably a good indication, that it is about time to have the fragrance of God released in your life.
If you are one who has become sick of the stench of the world, run to Him! Do not wait, lest the dead things continue to defile you. If you already have the stench of the dead upon you, do not be embarrased or afraid to run to the Father. He already knows you stink and He is probably more than likely the only One who has been able to put up with your foul smell.
Let the sweet smelling aroma of a perfect holy living sacrifice arise in you!
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. — Ephesians 5:1,2 —