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Second Hand Smoke Overload

I was listening to the local news of a nearby city this morning and it stated that over 800 people had died last year as a result of second hand smoke.  You know what it is; you are in mostly an enclosed area with someone who smokes and even though you aren’t the smoker their “exhaust” drifts your way and you breathe it in.  My dad smoked for years and I really never noticed the smoke because it was so prevalent everywhere we went.  I know my clothes must have stunk from living in the same house and traveling in the same car with my dad.   A few years later he had a heart attack that was attributed to 40 years of smoking three packs a day.  To say the least, he quit.  It wasn’t until I got out from under the smell of the smoke though, I mean totally free from smelling it, that I began to notice how strong the smell was and it made me kind of nauseas.  When I started noticing it more, I realized that I didn’t want to smell it and didn’t want that smell on my clothes.  As more and more restaurants and businesses ban smoking from their buildings it gets easier and easier to avoid all that goes with “Second Hand Smoke.”  In fact, it’s almost totally frowned on by seemingly most people and smokers get “the look” from non-smokers when they light up.   I know if we are sitting down wind outside near a smoker we will get up move to a place where it doesn’t hit us.  It’s because those adjustments have been made and we don’t want to deal with the smell anymore.  Nothing against smokers, but I don’t want to get “Second Hand Smoke.”

Which brings to mind a common thing that is happening in the meltdown of the Christian church and in fact, Christianity in our society.  We have put ourselves so much in line with marginal living and allowing more and more of worldly things to be allowed that now we are starting to smell a little bit like evil, instead of the sweet fragrance that God loves.  It has come upon us in a very quiet subtle way, but it has happened just the same.  Marginal movies, habits, songs, speech, and lifestyles have put us in the room with satan and his purposes, instead of God’s.  Bible standards for living have been traded in for thinking that doubts whether God really wants us to have standards at all.  When it first happened we noticed it but in order to be “worldly relevant” we became use to the smell.  In fact, we don’t even notice it at all anymore.  What used to be a no no for Christians is kind of a yes yes now and we don’t even know why.  Funny thing about trying to “live in da house” with evil.  It rubs off, and we don’ t even notice it.

Of course, it is very subtle and unnoticed at first when we start to live in that lukewarm lifestyle, but then we even start defending it.  That’s hilarious……or maybe I should say tragic.  It’s ironic that we who carry the sweet fragrance of salvation in our lives wouldn’t even notice when we allow another “smoky” fragrance to taint it and take it’s place.  We don’t live for satan, but we sure do smell like him and the world notices and they don’t understand.  God longs for us to break away from the grasp evil has on our lives and allow Him to breathe fresh air into the situation.  The only way that can happen is through a radical change in thinking that allows God to do some house cleaning. “I don’t mean spray some weak Febreze on it  to make it smell better though.  I get a kick out of the Febreze commercial that shows people sitting in a stinky room with dead fish, old dishes, sweaty socks, and blindfolded.  Spraying Febreze on that stuff is supposed to make it where you can’t even smell the mess you are sitting in.  satan is real good about disguising all of the evil odor coming from our lives by spraying on some bad febreze. It may seem to smell better, but it is not better.  The best way to get to the fresh new perspective on life is to get out of the influence of the world on your life and separate yourself from evil’s influence.  Only then will you see it for what it is, “secondary smoke!”  Then God’s Word will guide you through the steps to keep that smoke out of your life and you will be back on track again, “smelling good!”  In 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 it says, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”  It’s always important to come out smelling like a rose and that rose is the “rose of sharon.”  Quit the nominal, compromised lifestyle because you will die of that secondary smoke.  You aren’t the smoker, but you are living close enough for it to kill you.   Live in the freedom of God’s fragrance and lead the way for others who want to live and breathe the fresh air of freedom in Christ.  1 Peter 2:16 “Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.”  God has the oxygen mask ready……breath in.  You are gonna make it….

The Pilgrimage continues…..

David Warren

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