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Once we have understood the basics of spiritual warfare,
- That we are in a battle
- That we have an enemy - and our enemy is out to destroy us
- That we have weapons to fight the enemy
- That we have the victory in Christ
We can then move on in that victory that is ours.
For the next few weeks, we will look at some of the characteristics of a victorious believer. Today we will begin with the smell of a victorious believer. (Yes, it sounds strange, but bear with me.)
I have a very good sense of smell. I can’t hear so well, so I think this is my way of making up for it. I thank God for the ability to smell beautiful things, and yet sometimes this sense can be a curse. Especially when I am in a place full of, well, organic smells. What I’ve realized since moving here is that Americans generally are big on smelling good - from wearing deodorant, spraying perfumes, bathing with nice smelling soaps and flavored shampoos, using air fresheners, and the likes. We are inundated daily with many different smells. Here, there are times when the pit latrines seem to fill my nostrils and I wish I couldn’t smell at all, just for a bit.
Smells can be overwhelming - from the person who pours a whole bottle of cheap cologne over their bodies, to the person who is living in squalor and urinating over themselves because there is no one to clean them.
Smells tell a lot about a person or a place. There are homes that smell of cleanliness, others that smell of dust; karate dojos that smell of hard work, hippy hangouts that smell of patchouli, fancy hotels that smell of richness, and kitchens that smell of freshly baked goods. All of these scents cause a reaction within us, sometimes based upon a memory or experience we have had. The reaction can be hunger, joy, comfort, or disgust.
What are people’s reactions when they meet us and interact with us?
What does a victorious believer smell like? The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2:14:
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
The victorious believer spreads the fragrance of Christ wherever they go.
When someone meets us, they shouldn’t smell self righteousness, smugness, or compromise. They should smell the perfume of Christ coming from our pores, because we are filled with Him, not ourselves. We understand that our victory comes as we abide in Christ, not when we lean on ourselves and our own strength.
Christians who smell of their own righteousness are a filthy stench in God’s nostrils and a major turn-off to the world. You know the people who walk around bragging about how great they are. Who wants to be around them? We want people to recognize the fragrance of Christ when we are around. Just by being somewhere, the presence of God should be recognized around us.
The truly victorious Christian is not someone who relies on their own strength. It is someone who is humble and knows: Hey, I stink apart from Christ! It is only because we are cleansed in Him that we can give off a beautiful fragrance to those around us.
So what fragrance are you to those around you? When you walk into a room, do you stink of your self-righteousness, your good works and accolades, or do you give off the beautiful fragrance of Christ?
Questions to Ponder:
How can we give off the fragrance of Christ?
What do believers sometimes “smell” of that is a turn-off to others around us?
How do people generally react when they spend time with you? What does this say about your character?
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Hi, my name is Erica and I am a God-called missionary for Northern Uganda. It is my passion and life-calling to bring God’s word to the people of the world. Each and every one of us can do our part in spreading God’s word to people in need of Jesus’ healing touch and hope. Trying to figure out if God has called you to the mission field? Do you want to learn more about what it’s like to be a missionary? Check out my book, For the Joy Set Before Us – Insights Into the Missionary Journey today.