There is a stretch of Interstate-40 West just outside of where I live that my mom and I pass through headed to another small town. Every time we get to that location on I-40 it isn’t long before we both are saying, “What’s that smell?” Seriously, it is a bad smell!
Smell is one of the five senses God gave us to relate to the world around us through our physical bodies – the others being sight, sound, taste, and touch. If you ever take time to really think about the role of each, it is very interesting. But, for now we are talking about smell. Smells can alert us to danger such as the smell of smoke in a house, a sewer leak, a burnt breakfast, gas leak, etc. Smells can also alert us to things like approaching rain, a pie coming out of the oven, etc. Smell also has the power to attract us to a person, foods, a flower garden, etc.
In 2 Corinthians 2:15-17 the apostle Paul writes of ‘smell’ if you will, when he is talking to the believers from the church of Corinth regarding those responsible to God to share the gospel of Christ.
2 Corinthians 2:15-17 (ESV)
15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
I love this passage because Paul is basically saying, “Hey, we aren’t giving you a cheap perfume!” It has cost a man his life. It is costing us our lives and it will cost you your life. But what a sweet aroma it is among those that are saved and being saved instead of a cheap substitute which leads to death, which is peddled by some.
You may wonder why in the world I am writing on this topic today. Well, quite simply the verse caught my eye this morning on my coffee cup. And I started to think about the times I am not yielded to the LORD in how I handle a given situation and my flesh rises up instead.
I’m sure anyone around at the time is saying, “What’s that smell?” It smells so bad! And don’t sit there reading this like you don’t know what I’m talking about. We have a daily choice of how we handle life situations. We either surrender to the Holy Spirit of God in us and or we yield to our flesh. There are only two choices:
Surrender to the Holy Spirit is to die to self, which elicits a sweet aroma of Christ.
Surrender to the flesh is selfish and elicits the smell of self.
I don’t know about you, but I desire to live a life of Christ at work in me and through me that others are drawn to that aroma of Christ in my life. That comes from being saved by His Grace alone and by reading and living out by His power the truths of His Word in our daily walks with our spouse, family, and friends and the nations!
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