But thanks be to God, who in Christ Jesus always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
Paul was writing to the Corinthians about all of the obstacles he was facing. He had just survived a huge riot in Ephesus, and he was still trying to deal with the fallout of a believer who was living in sin that Paul had rebuked. In the handling of the sin deal, people started to question Paul’s authority and even his motives. They accused him of not keeping his word by not coming to see them when they thought he was. And to top it off, Titus was supposed to meet him in Troas and he wasn’t there.
In the middle of Paul’s troubles, he reminded the Corinthians and himself of the truths of the above verses. God leads us, not in defeat, but in triumphal procession. And wherever we go, Jesus goes. He is inside of us. His fragrance is being emitted from us wherever we are. We don’t even have to open our mouths.
You could probably write a laundry list of all of the obstacles that are facing you. For some of you, it is addiction that is your obstacle. You may have made choices that are destructive and now you are trying to figure out a different way to live. For others, your obstacles are different. You may have the stress of raising a family, working, and trying to keep your head above water. Whatever your obstacle is, if you have Jesus in your life, this is a true truth (as Francis Schaeffer would say): Jesus leads you in triumphal procession and spreads His fragrance through you.
Now some of you may ask: really? Do I really emit Jesus? How does that work? Is it something I have to consciously do in order for others to know that I am a Christian and be impacted by my presence? My questions to you would be: how much of you does Jesus have? And how much of Jesus do you have? Is He shaping your life in a way that makes you different because you belong to Him? If Jesus isn’t shaping your life, why isn’t He?
Jesus always leads us in triumph, so that would indicate that He does that for every Christian, whether they know it or not. So then the issue would be about how you walk in that realization of Jesus’ fragrance coming through you. Jesus is inside of you and He lets the people around you know that you belong to Him. Some people will reject you because they are rejecting Jesus. Others will like you because they are attracted to Jesus. Start walking in this mindset of victory. Ask Jesus to work in you and through you right where you are. And then watch what He does.