Hi everyone. Rob here.
A talented pianist called Tokio Myers won this years Britain’s Got Talent. When asked who his hero was he named his music teacher from High School. The teacher had simply done his job, passed on his love for music and changed a young man’s life forever. Most of us have no idea of the impact we make on the world. When we let out what God has placed in our hearts we change lives and make a difference. It’s what God has called us to do.
One of the problems is that we put too much pressure on ourselves to make a difference, as if it’s all up to us! The early chapters of 2 Corinthians give us a different model.
But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere (2 Corinthians 2:14).
He adds in 2 Corinthians 4:7,
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
Once we belong to Jesus it is Christ in us that makes the treasure known, that spreads the aroma of Christ and makes an impact on the world in his name. It is his life in us that changes things. It takes our mustard seeds and makes them trees. It takes our yeast and makes it bread. It takes our feeble offerings and makes them treasure. When we put pressure on ourselves to perform for Christ we miss the point entirely. When we are given over to Jesus his life flows through us whether we know it, feel it, sense it or not.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that we are without responsibility. Once we give our hearts over to Christ we are asked to pay attention to Christ in us and live from that brand new heart. The discipline and work comes from actively surrendering our lives so that all other voices may be put in their place under Christ’s Lordship. It is also to actively trust that God is achieving his purposes through us. It is to actively nurture our relationship and connection with God through Christ, but to realise that within that relationship there is no anxiety or pressure. The relationship itself is an aroma of Christ to the world.
At their core our best relationships are the ones where we feel the most free to be ourselves. But to get a relationship to that point takes work. It takes courage to be trusting enough to be vulnerable. It takes actively opening yourself up to the other and expanding our own capacity to love. It means a mutual receiving and giving of love. Worship is when we give and express our love to God. Prayer, which looks different for everyone, is when we receive that love.
Larry Crabb once wrote a book called “The Pressures Off!” It’s a great title because it’s true. We don’t need to be anxious about doing God’s will. Instead we need to nurture our connection, our relationship with him. Christ is in us and it’s Christ’s life in us that sends his aroma to the world. May you find freedom in surrender this week. May you smell like God’s kingdom! And may you know that by simply living out of your brand new heart you are changing the world in the name of Jesus.
Grace and peace.