At first the smell seemed to come from my neighbors’ yard. Perhaps they spread some manure fertilizer. It will be gone soon.
Surely the smell will blow away in this nice summer wind. The next day, however, it intensified. No amount of free wind would clear the stench. Today, sure enough, the smell of rotten varmint pervades the atmosphere in a twelve-foot radius right around my back door.
The problem is complicated by the structure of the deck. Most of it is unreachable, blocked off by stairs and supports all around the perimeter. No human will go in there to remove the poor dead thing, so the putrid smell remains.
This deck is my haven of rest these days of fair weather, but not now. The smell of something rotting disturbs my peace and forces me to make other arrangements to avoid the assault on my olfactory senses.
Unrepented sin and roots of bitterness left in the heart are, perhaps, a stench in the nostrils of Jesus. When he would like to rest and fellowship with us, is he forced to endure the smell of our bitterness, unforgiveness and lack of repentance? Or does he make other arrangements?
What do we do with this? Blame it on the neighbors? Ignore the issues hoping the wind will blow away the constant reminder? Maybe another wonderful move of the Holy Ghost and a good shouting service will clear the air. The next day, however, the stench is still here. We might try to cover the smell with a variety of man-made solutions; and we make sure the windows and doors are closed to keep it contained.
We may even construct walls and reasons to keep others away, so they won’t smell the rotten evidence. Maybe our life is complicated by the structure we have built in our effort to control and silence the voice of our smelly conscience. Maybe no human can penetrate our supports as we keep relationships on the surface. But has something crawled up inside us and died?
Have we pushed back from our couch of prayer too early? Has the level of our personal repentance grown shallow and stagnant in the marches of indifference? Is that root of bitterness lurking below the surface waiting for a little fertilizer of anger or fear so it can spring up and defile?
Something did die under my deck, and the smell is horrible. Yet, as this experience presses me to a deeper level of repentance and forgiveness, I share these musings with you, dear readers, hoping to quicken your ready minds to a careful analysis of personal progress in prayer and relationship with Jesus; as it has for me.
The expanse of our Revival is directly proportionate to the depth of our Repentance.
‘Repent’ is found 10 times in the book of Acts
AND 10 times in the book of Revelation
And please see … Hebrews 12:14-15
Essential OIL needed in our Lamps!