I learn some pretty valuable lessons while doing chores at the ranch. Not a whole lot else to do but pray and think while I’m filling up three 75 gallon tubs with water, for five cows we have sectioned off from the rest of the herd. It actually started when I was watering the chickens. Some animals do not have the wherewithal to keep their water clean. It does not matter to them if they poop in it or not.
Today I had the hose running in the smaller 5 gallon tubs for the chickens. I needed to get the water overflowing to push out the debris and poop from the tub until it was clean and clear. It only took a matter of minutes. When I could see my reflection I knew I was done.
Then on to the cows which takes a lot longer. While sitting there watching the water flowing from the hose, it dawned on me. I too am like that tub filled with debris and poop. I allow bad things to contaminate the inner water in my soul. I let the water stagnate and get murky. Trust me, stagnant water stinks, literally. It is smelly and nasty. Anything drinking it could get sick. So it needs to be attended to daily.
I really need to do this daily too. It only takes a matter of minutes before I see results. I fill myself up with clean and pure thoughts, praise and thanksgiving, pushing out the negative, which makes my soul sick. I don’t want to ooze stinky negativity fumes to those I come in contact with.
“Thanks be to God who leads us, wherever we are, on Christ’s triumphant way and makes our knowledge of him spread throughout the world like a lovely perfume! We Christians have the unmistakable ‘scent’ of Christ, discernible alike to those who are saved and to those who are heading for death. To the latter it seems like the deathly smell of doom; to the former it has the refreshing fragrance of life itself.” (2 Cor. 2:14-16 [Phillips])
Oooo, that would have been a great title to this post, Deathly Smell of Doom!
So I asked God why those headed for death do not smell the same thing I do. I began to pray and read the Bible for answers. This is what I came up with. The knowledge of sin makes us want to run away from God instead of to Him. Based on Genesis 3:8, after Adam and Eve sinned and ate from the tree, they saw they were naked and hid from God. And we’ve been hiding and running from Him ever since. The theory is if we deny it, it will go away. Nope, that doesn’t work. I even know a few people who get angry if they hear something Christian—music, preaching, conversation, you name it. They get red in the face and walk away in a huff. Why? Are they unable to see the same thing in Jesus that I do? Apparently so.
“For the time will come when man will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Tim. 4:3-4 [NIV])
Their hearts have been hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (See Heb. 3:13)
Why? It is because we as lovers of Jesus have something they don’t. They see it in us. They even smell it on us. What is it? We have a hope and a future. (See Jer. 29:11) It is what makes us shiny and sweet smelling.
“For because of our faith, he has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidentially and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be.” (Rom. 5:2 [TLB])
How do we help them smell the lovely perfume of Christ?
“I solemnly instruct you to proclaim the Word of God and stand upon it no matter what! Rise to the occasion and preach when it is convenient and when it is not. Preach in the full expression of the Holy Spirit—with wisdom and patience as you instruct and teach the people.” (2 Tim. 4:1b-2 [TPT])
We must be gentle and yet persistent, no matter what. We who have hope must not lose hope for those who are not yet saved by the grace of God. “Be brave and courageous and never lose hope.” (Ps. 27:14c [TPT])
Therefore, I want to fill myself with the Living Water of Jesus. In doing so, He will flush out that nasty debris of negativity. Jesus said, “For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in me. (He was speaking of the Holy Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him…)” (John 7:38-39a [TLB])
He said rivers. A river is water that is constantly flowing. I need to have rivers of living water flowing through me and spilling over the very edges of my soul. Then I will be able to flow clean, clear, life- giving Water to others. I want my tub to become so clean and clear that you can see God’s reflection in me.
“And he pointed out to me a river of pure Water of Life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb…” (Rev. 22:1 [TLB])
So keep those rivers of crystal clear water flowing in your lives my friends. Spill over to all those around you. Drench them with Jesus.
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