Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm officially in a winter-time funk. I find myself knowing that I should be doing something, only to put it on the back burner because "I don't want to". I am normally a very focused and motivated person so when I get into an "I don't want to" or "I don't care" mode, I know something has to change. I've read that more sunshine helps winter time blues and I'm going to try getting some (if that sun ever decides to shine) but I've decided that there is really only one way to truly get back to myself - spend time seeking what God wants me to do and then do it whether I want to or not.

I've been reading in Exodus about God's directions to Moses on the exact specifications of the sanctuary where He will dwell with His people. As I read, I wondered how all these directions could be important in my life. I realized that the point of these verses was that God's people needed to obey Him. Whether they understood why, or even understood at all, was not what was important - what was important was that they obeyed.

In the end of John, after receiving instruction from Jesus, Peter asks Jesus about John and what His plan is for Him. Jesus answers "...what is that to you? You must follow Me." Again, Jesus spoke to my heart - don't worry about what others say, don't worry about what others do, don't wait until you understand, don't try to use human understanding when seeking something so much bigger - just obey.

So, it is time to put on my big girl panties and obey.

Obey the leading in my heart even if I don't want to.

Obey what I know to be true even if I don't feel it.

Obey even when I have an I don't care attitude.

Obedience is what will bring us all into closer communion with our Father.

I hope and pray that 2010 will be a year that we can all make a decision to obey.

Happy New Year!
A Sweet Aroma
31 Dec 2009
Tracie Miles

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness." Galatians 5:22 (NIV)

A sweet thing happened recently. It was Sunday morning at church, and the congregation was standing, singing hymns. My precious little boy was beside me with his arms wrapped around my waist.Every few minutes, he pressed his face into my shirt. After several times, I finally determined he was sniffing me, so I leaned down and quietly asked why. He stood on his tip toes, put his face close to mine and whispered, "Because you smell like fruit, Mommy! It smells really good!" I smiled and knew what he smelled was one of my favorite perfumes which has a clean, sweet, fruity aroma.God turned my thoughts to how we're to be a pleasing aroma to Him, through thoughts, actions and behaviors carried out in the Spirit.

Ephesians 5:2 encourages us to "…live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (NIV).What does that really mean? How can we offer a fragrant offering that is pleasing to God and be a fragrance to those around us?There is a Hawaiian saying, "Tiny is the flower, yet it scents the grasses around it." What a great illustration of how the smallest things can have impactful results. The fact that the flower is small and seemingly insignificant, does not keep it from spreading the fragrance it was created to share. In fact, often the smallest flower can have the most potent fragrance!Sometimes we may feel like a tiny flower. We wonder if we are really capable of doing anything big or important for Christ. Insecurities, feelings of unworthiness or life challenges prevent us from seeing how God can use us to bless Him and impact others. It is not the size of the actions that matter, but the aroma that is created by those actions. Each time we do something in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness we offer a fragrant offering to God. And we help others learn how to be a little fragrant flower too, in a big world that can be pretty stinky.Each one of us can choose what fragrance we exude. It might be a good idea to ask from time to time, What type of fragrance am I leaving behind? How am I affecting the world around me with the gifts God gave me? Am I exuding a spiritual aroma that is a fragrant offering to Christ? Our lingering fragrance should be one of love and kindness, not anger and harshness. Patience and faithfulness, not intolerance and selfishness. And lifting people's spirits with joy and peace, not leaving them discouraged and broken. Our fragrance should be sowing seeds that point to the goodness of Christ.When God created flowers, He intentionally created them to give off a sweet aroma. And He created us just the same.

So, what fragrance are you wearing today?

Dear Lord, teach me how to smell like You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:Sharing Grace: Recipes - Family Traditions - Gift Ideas by LeAnn RiceScared: A Novel on the Edge of the World by Tom DavisVisit Tracie's blog today Application Steps:"Spritz" on a sweet fragrance today that is pleasing t o Christ.Consider how you can "scent the grasses" in your life with God's love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness.Reflections:Think about the spiritual fragrance you have been wearing lately, and the impact it has on others.Do you think God is pleased with your lingering fragrance?Power Verses:2 Corinthians 2:15, "For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." (NIV)© 2009 Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

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