July 31, 2007

The Fragrance of Life

The weather here is full of change. In Arizona we have 2 rainy seasons, the summer one is called the monsoon rains. The moisture from Mexico swirls up into our arid climate, making the humidity rise and thunderstorms sweep across the deserts and mountains. We've had lots of welcomed rain. It causes people to get that child-like wonder back for a while, to run to the windows to see the lightning light up the sky or the wind bending wispy mesquite trees around. Yesterday we were at the bank and the workers there were watching the pouring rain out the window when a lightning bolt crashed (it hit just across the street) and the women all screamed.....and we all laughed. Our ride back was adventurous, with some of the streets literally turning into rivers. We could not see the median or the sidewalks....when trucks plowed by through the 10-12 inch water, they mades 'waves' that hit our car and sounded like we were in a small boat on a big lake! It was so fun, such a thrill to be caught up in the action. We were out in the middle of it, not just watching it from a window.

The word picture was not lost on me. God reminded me today of what I caught a hint of Sunday at church. There is a change in the air....there is a wind bringing a fresh spirit and child-like wonder to the people there. During our corporate prayer time, people can come to the front to pray, while the praise team sings. It is always a sweet thing to see....people coming 'to the altar', laying down a burden or picking up a charge from God or lifting up their voice for someone else in need. Sunday as the song began, I sat down, leaned forward with my elbows on my lap to do a little repenting and laying down of burdens, when something happened that was very cool.

As I sat there with my eyes closed, I kept feeling a swirl of wind around me. People were coming forward to pray and I could feel the brush of wind as they passed by. And I thought of the Spirit, swirling around us and drawing us to God's feet in prayer or in surrender. As some passed, I smelled the scent of their perfume, each scent different from the others, yet very nice...very pleasing..... and I thought of the sweet smelling fragrance we are to those who are open to the Gospel.

2 Corinthians 2:14But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 15For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.

Then Charles got up to teach out of Mark 6 and he talked about how Jesus encountered limitations in His ministry....the God of the Universe....limited? Yep....by apathy and lack of faith (in His own hometown in verses 1-6), by His being confined (by His own choice) to one human body (He needed the disciples to help minister and spread the Word, verses 6b-13), and by those who had so much familiarity with the story and like King Herod (verses 14-16), that they were no longer impressed....they were unaffected by it.

So I am seeing it like this:

Either we can be a part of the fresh wind, the new season, that can bring about a refreshing, fragrant change in our world with child-like wonder and sense of expectation tuned in to God....or we can sit back and not care, not go and tell, not seek Him, but ignore it because we've heard it a hundred times. Because does it really matter, and will I really make a bit of difference?

When I sat there during corporate prayer on Sunday, I was blessed by the people who were being drawn. I could feel something changing for the better. And I want to be a part of the 'fragrance of the knowledge of Him to those who are being saved'.

The fragrance of Life, the 'knowledge of Him'....let it swirl around in your atmosphere....let it bless those who are open to the Gospel. And don't take it personally if it occassionally reminds some of the smell of death.....because they are rejecting it. Our job is just to let it swirl and set it out there. God will do the rest.


Anonymous said...

very cool! Praise the Lord. chas.

Solid Rock Ranch said...

Really enjoyed this today, thank you for sharing ...