Letting God spread the perfume of heaven through your life.
I’ve always felt so touched by reading stories of Christians whose lives were used by God in mighty ways in order for Him to display His beauty to the watching world. It’s as if their lives were flowers that, when crushed, the heaven’s aroma was released. Throughout the years, I’ve come to understand an important manner of God’s working that seems to be the very essence of His character. Time and again, He brought to my attention His intense desire to shine brightly through the human life and the call to embrace the death of self. The people of ages past that became true vessels of honor for God’s highest glory were men and women who chose to pay the highest price. God is not calling us to live lives of ease and to pursue our own happiness- He is calling us to humble ourselves to the point where self is no longer existent. That is why He so often allows us to experience circumstances that cause us to fall to our knees. The only way to experience the fullness of God’s destiny for us is by following the example of Christ. He, “…though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8). Within each of us, there is a strong pull towards pride because we constantly desire to serve ourselves but God calls us to choose the road less taken of humility and selflessness. On a daily basis, there are countless opportunities to allow God to shape us into the likeness of Christ. A practical way to do this is by letting go of our rights when we are being mistreated and we can do that by choosing to entrust our rights to God and to allow Him to display gentleness and forgiveness through our lives, rather than allowing anger and resentment to overtake our hearts. The truest joy and fulfillment is found in honoring Christ with your life and attitudes, even when it hurts- especially when it hurts because that is when we can see that He is alive inside of us and it is no longer us who live but Christ who lives in us! What kind of fragrance does your life give? The surest test of whether you are truly denying yourself is seen in your attitude when your self is crushed. Yes, it seems impossible to choose the path of death to self but God is able to give us the desire and strength necessary to live it out. Life’s highest calling is self-denial and happiness is found in dying to yourself!