You know the fridge needs to be cleaned out when something growls every time you open the door. Oh yeah, that was my stomach. But if bacteria could belch and crumbs could chuckle, there would be many nasty sounds coming from that chamber.
What does your heart sound like to God? Some days, I feel like I am doing just fine…then God encourages me to push past my daily devotional to see the crumbs festering in the corners of my heart. If one thing goes “wrong” in my day, I get angry. If God asks me to give up something, I am indignant. And then I step back and wonder what kind of trust I really have in Him. What love do I have for others, and for God?
The book of 2 Corinthians is a letter that the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church explaining why his visit to their church was postponed. His past few months had been rough! But right in the midst of a troubling tale, he swung the attention back to God:
“14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? 17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 2).
In Christ, we are dead to the world, and they think we give off a nasty stench. But to God, we are cleaned, redeemed, and smell like victory. This is the image of a conquering hero walking through rose petals. And Christ offers to let us walk with Him.
When we live in the truth of Christ, we give off a song for the nose, a symphony of flowers, a bakery of harmonizing spices. And it is the aroma of life that we tell people about. Our noses have changed, our message is different, and God is the One who receives all the glory.
God, smells are so powerful, jumping into our taste buds and memories. You changed the way I see the world, and I do not want to jump back into the decaying odors of before. God, please help my heart to be cleaned out. Many people think Your message stinks, so please help me to speak sincerely and for them to smell the beauty of Your love. Please help me to bring You delight with a clean heart. To Your glory, Amen.