Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this? (2 Cor. 2:15-16)
It seems odd that the same smell can be pleasing to one person and repulsive to the other. It is not a matter of preference in the one who smells, it is because the odor I carry is from the One who lives within me, Jesus. He is the Confronter who forces people to decide whether to drop their weapons and surrender all to him or fight for pride and personal autonomy to the bitter end. For a people pleaser like me this is hard stuff. I want people to like me. But that is a desire that I need to surrender. There are infinitely more important things at stake.
I am a soldier in the battle for the ultimate destiny of people. My personal preferences need to be surrendered to Jesus, so he can use me more effectively in the great work that he seeks to accomplish.
He comforts and encourages us with these words: My dear child, I love you and I am very proud of you. Do not be anxious or afraid, for I am with you. Yes, things are scary, but I have overcome the world.
So we have courage to move forward because of the One who lives within us.
Dear Jesus, thank you for the comfort of your presence. Help me to trust more fully in you. Amen.