I went on the porch last night to visit my cats. My cat, Marshmallow, had kittens about 2 weeks ago, and I wanted to check in on them. One of my cats, Tony, came running up to say, “Hi.” Without hesitation I scooped him up. It was then I realized he had gotten into something that smelled terrible. I dropped him like a hot potato and went back inside to wash my hands. Tony was quite dejected and wondering why I dropped him so fast. Apparently, he did not notice his unsightly odor.
In continuing with my last post, I want to revisit the thought of our personal walk with the Lord. I know in my own life so often I fail to walk as I should. I struggle with sin and fail. I am stained by my sin and I am surrounded by it’s terrible odor. In the book of Jeremiah, the Bible says that even our righteousness are as filthy rags. Can you imagine how bad our sins smell in the nostrils of a Holy, Righteous God? This makes it so important to keep a short sin account. What I mean is we need to confess our sins every day. A friend of mine met a wonderful missionary by the name of Miss Bertha. This missionary encouraged my friend to make a sin list by writing down all of her unconfessed sin in a notebook and praying over each one. (This was to be done in private.) My friend testified how this dramatically changed her heart before the Lord. As she began praying the Lord continued to show her the sins hidden in her heart. She began to see her sin the way God saw her sin. After confessing her sin list, she had been instructed to burn it because once we confess our sins to God and ask forgiveness, He throws it in the sea of forgetfulness. As I begin to ponder this method, I see the truth of what it can do in the life of a christian. David, in the Psalms, proclaimed, “I acknowledge my transgression and my sin is ever before me.” He put it in front of him and looked on it the way that God looked on it. We often try to justify or lightheartedly look on our sin.
In Ephesians 5:1-2 we read, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us , and hath given himself for us and offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.” In the verses that follow verse 2, Paul lists several sins to avoid. These are sins that can hinder our walk with the Lord. Then in verse 8, he declares, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” Before when I read this verse, I put an “in” in front of light in my mind (Example: Walk in light), but that is not what the verse says. The verse says we “are” light. We are the light called to shine in the world.
Imagine a lantern on the front porch with a candle inside. Because it is outside it will get dusty from the wind and dirt from the road. The glass over time becomes dingy and dirty. Before long the light will not be as visible in the darkness. We need to take it down, grab a cloth and clean it so it will be useful to all who step on to the porch. It would be so much easier to clean if we cleaned it every evening rather than wait until the dirt and grime is so thick we cannot see into it. The darkness of sin dims the light in our life. We need to remove it from our life by confession. (1 John 1:9) When we confess our sin, Christ does the cleansing. He washes from us the stain and stench of sins, but he does not stop there. 1 John says he will “cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
That is just why my cat, Tony, needed me. He needed me to wash him thoroughly from the uncleanness and stench that was all over him. He couldn’t do it himself. In fact, He came running up to the one who could do it. In the same way, we need to run to our heavenly Father for thorough cleansing every day. Do I perform this as I should every day? No. But I am trying to do this. I want to be clean before God, and I am watching more closely and trying to be more conscious of what I do and say. When I do sin, I know who to run to for cleansing. When God looks at me and takes a breath, I want Him to inhale a sweet smelling savour not a foul stench.
I want to be sweet smelling to God. I want to be like Jesus. (Ephesians 5:2)