““Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.” However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.” Exodus 16:19-20
Fear and doubt certainly have a smell. We all know what those cowardly states look like, running to and fro when God said to be still, anxiety in the presence of the Almighty God, and decisions made in haste. In the preceding verse, the Israelites were fearful that they would run out of what God graciously provided, leaving them with lack on the following day, so much so, that they attempted to save some for the next day. Perhaps, they thought that their sin was hidden until the stench of fear and doubt filled the camp the next morning. In modern day, fear may have the unpleasant odor of opportunities gone stale, prophetic words unspoken that rot away, as well as molded promises never acted upon by the believer. Then there is the shore. You know, the safe place.
I once was a shore dweller. Disobediently, I would not move when God said to move for fear of failure, timidity, a strong sense of inferiority, and sometimes mere laziness. Surely, I had a spiritual stench that reached heaven. To my dismay, I am not alone. Many of us, choose to believe God for our next breath, yup, the one we just took; however, when God calls us to do something amazing, we hesitate. Rigor Mortis sets in and we never move. Most assuredly, a believer with stiff, dead faith, reeks to God. How do I know? Have you ever smelled something that has died? It has an unforgettable odor that travels.
When we become unbendable, unmovable due to fear, bound to the shore, we are in essence telling God, “Yeah, that sounds great, but I am not ___________ enough, and you are not God enough to make that happen!” Sounds pretty stinky, right? On the other hand, when we take God at His word, leave the shore, and walk out our predestined paths before Him in the deep, believing that He will provide, we yield a sweet aroma to the King. What does your spiritual life smell like? If it stinks, how do you clean the air?
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2
As living sacrifices, we have an aroma that pleases God. A living sacrifice does not remain on the shore when God is calling them to go deeper. The deep that I speak of is simply a place where believers do what God said to do. Many of us know exactly what God told us to do, yet grass continues to sprout under us. The enemy always attempts to make our next step seem impossible and implausible. The deep waters of faith promote cleansing, healing, and purpose fulfilling in Jesus name. Hallelujah! The vast promises God has made to us are to be treasured and believed, confirmed by our willingness to pursue greatness. We smell our best when we abandon mediocrity. That’s right, get uncomfortable for Christ. Get lost in Him; I guarantee you will be found.
“As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations.” Ezekiel 20:41
Historically, the Israelites were scattered among the nations due to their disobedience. Yet, God in His mercifulness promised to bring them back to Himself. His promise was conditional; it was only when their scent changed. When they stopped stinking, God promised to accept, collect, and sanctify His people. When He could smell the pleasing aroma of a sacrificed, set apart, purified, deep water dwelling believer, the impossibilities became possibilities. This task requires transformation. Transformation is synonymous with change. Many of us in the body of Christ attend services, join auxiliaries, and even minister to others but refuse to leave the shore. If you are perplexed, desperate, and hungry enough for God, I invite you to join me in the deep. Besides, it smells better out here.
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