Friday, March 18, 2011

The Smell Of A Campfire

We took a family camping trip this week. Other than a line of thunderstorms that made for one wet morning, we had a great time. We fished, roasted hot dogs, made smores, told stories by the campfire at night, and did lots more camping activities. If you've ever been camping, you know the routine. You also know how after cranking up that first campfire how everything takes on that campfire smell. Your clothes, your tent, your bedding, your hair, everything. Nothing is immune. If you were to meet anyone anywhere, there is no way of hiding that you've been camping because the smell is all over you.

As I sit here, I'm wondering if those of us who are Believers, can say the same about us when it comes to our encounters with God. I mean, is it evident that we've been with Him? Can we meet anyone anywhere, and it be completely apparent that we've been in His presence? Moses, spent time with God and when he came down the mountain, his face shined so bright the people made him put a veil over it. There was no hiding the fact that he and God had met up on that mountain. His physical appearance was altered. Abraham encountered God and this son-less man became the father of many nations. Jacob wrestled with God and from then on walked with a limp. Mary encountered God and became pregnant with the Son of God. Saul, who later became Paul, encountered the Lord and was knocked off his horse and his life was changed forever.

On and on I could tell of men and women who could not hide the fact that they had been with God. It was obvious to everyone that there was a noticeable change in them. Every encounter with God has the ability to transform us. Those encounters have the ability to transform our worry and stress into peace. They have the ability to change our fear into faith, our sadness into joy, and our mourning into dancing. Those God encounters can change the way we think, the way we act, and the way we treat others.

Just like that smoke from the campfire effects everything it comes into contact with, so it is with the Holy Spirit. Whenever we determine to allow Him to have access to our lives, our lives will show evidence of His presence. That transformation however only takes place when we determine to all Him access to our lives. Going back to Moses, his countenance was changed but nobody else's was. He was the only one who pressed in and made the decision to encounter God. Everyone else was content to simply allow Moses to spend time with God and pass along whatever God said to him.

Since, we've been home, we've been washing everything we took on our trip. And we've just about eliminated the lingering campfire smell. I just pray that I never get to a place where the evidence of God's presence in my life is eliminated. I can live without the smoke, but I don't ever want to live without His fire in my life that is ever transforming me into the man He longs for me to be.

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