This week God pointed something out to me about the stench of sin, that was so tangible, that it could not be escaped. We have a plant, and I think it is a curry plant. Every winter we bring it in so that the bitter freezes don’t get to it. We have allowed it to come inside the house until at least the weather is not so harsh. A while back we were told to put some buttermilk in the plant to make it grow. So we tried that again this winter. But the plant is inside the house and in the process of being removed outside as we speak, probably due to a cracked pot, another parable altogether. Anyway while it was in the house, it was giving this horrible stench, this stench that smelled like refuse, and was very pungent and putrid. I kept trying to figure out the ways of removing the odor without harming the plant. While the plant was outside the house it was not a problem, but once it was inside the house it became a real problem. I was reminded of how God feels when He is around our sin, the stench of our sin, and sometimes our flesh- carnal nature, is so strong, that He is trying to see what He can do without harming the plant, but if the pot is cracked, and the water does not retain, then He may have no choice except to remove it and let outside of the house. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t use cracked vessels, because after all He is the Master Potter who molds the Clay. It reminded me very much of the tabernacle in the Old Testament, and how the priests would have to light the incense just so God would not have to smell the rottenness of the flesh. It was a type and a shadow, of the Heavenly Tabernacle, as it says in Hebrews.
Christians have an entry way to get into God’s Presence, which is shown by the Tabernacle. To read more about the Tabernacle – you can find it in Exodus, and through other places in the Bible. It usually consists of the outer court, the inner court, and the Holy of Holies. There is the lampstand, the altar of incense, the table of showbread, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Mercy Seat. Just from memory, that is what I can recall. Oh, wait, there is the golden altar too, I just saw that. In the Old Covenant, there was a very thick veil or curtain covering separating the inner court with the Holy of Holies. It was about 40 feet high and very, very thick. Even horses drawing to pull it apart, probably could not pull it apart. Every once a year, during the Day of Atonement, the priests could enter into the Holy of Holies, and make a sacrifice for sin. But when Jesus died, the veil was torn, which was very symbolic and literal for what He has done for us. Some of us look at what Jesus has done for us, and see the Grace part of it, but we don’t really know exactly what God has done for us when Jesus died on the Cross.
After some of us have become believers, we get to the point of complacency, and familiarity, where we lose the awe and the reverence for God, as in the last video I posted said. We don’t realize that our sin is abominable to God, and that our complaining, murmuring, bad attitudes, bad temperaments, gossip, laziness, rudeness, fearfulness, gluttony and the multitude of things that we do wrong each day, are quenching the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it’s our own strength that is a stench to God, but sometimes it’s our sin, our own flesh that is abominable to God.
Paul says in Romans 7,
21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
So there is this constant struggle and war for believers against sin and godliness. They are constantly at war. The stench of sin is abominable to God, but we still sin. How do we combat this problem? We are supposed to crucify the flesh, or the carnal man, and put on the mind of Christ. It also takes knowledge in His Word to do this. We are supposed to grow in the knowledge of His Word, and not just the New Testament, but the Whole Counsel of the Word. No Scripture is of private interpretation, and that means that each Scripture must be interpreted in line with other Scripture. But we are also supposed to watch and pray. (Refer to previous post)
Often times, we put the Presence of God in a box, that we are supposed to enter into His presence our way, but He has a protocol – as it said in the video. What is the most important part of the protocol- well there are actually two, there is Plan A, and there is Plan B. Plan A is obedience to God. That is of utmost important to God, without being obedient to God and His Word, God’s Will and God’s plan for your life cannot come into picture. But because we are not perfect, and prone to error at times, the second part, is Repentance, which is vital if your going to have a healthy walk with God. All of this is combined with Prayer, and I must admit, that I don’t pray as often as much as I should, and that is the reflection on the quality of life that I have. We all know that God’s grace there, and it is always there for us when we need to be picked up, but we must not take it for granted.
Isaiah 35:8 says –
8 A highway shall be there, and a road,
And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean shall not pass over it,
But it shall be for others.
We must not take this grace for granted, and behave in ways that our ungodly. What is the way that God wants us to act? It says clearly in His Word how He wants us to act. One thing emphasized in the New Testament is love. But it is more than that. There is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. In Exodus 31:13, the LORD is revealed to Israel as,
JEHOVAH-MACCADDESHEM – The LORD my Sanctifier.
This revelation was brought when it comes to the observance of the Sabbath Law, and when it was put into place by God.
“This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying: 5 ‘Take from among you an offering to the LORD. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as an offering to the LORD: gold, silver, and bronze; 6 blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; 7 ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; 8 oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense.
It in the video which is posted on Being Used for the Kingdom of God…there is a part where the person preaching, mentions the spices that Esther used and that it is worship. This spice is also used for the sweet incense, which is offered to the Lord, and it also says who is of a willing heart. Jesus was willing to be an offering, but we have to be willing to let Jesus work in us.
As we grow closer in our walk, let us see the Lord as our Sanctifier, the One who makes us holy. Let us put aside the weights that weigh us down and run the race before us. Let the Lord purge our hearts and minds as we continue to grow in the image of God, and take on the nature of Christ. This is how we overcome the stench of sin. Jesus died for our sins, and when we sin, it’s like we’re crucifying Him all over again. Hebrews 6:6 says ” 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. ” Thank God for the hope He has given us for an eternal salvation so that we can come to see Him. Thank God for His blood that washes away our sin.
As for the plant, it is a reminder of the stench that needs to be dealt with in my own life so that I am a pleasing fragrance to the Lord, and put a smile on His face.