In our living room, we have one of those free-standing gas stoves that looks like a wood stove. This morning, I turned it on for the first time since last winter. The dust that accumulated over the last year was burned off causing the stove to give off that singed dust smell. The burning smell was a signal that a change of seasons had taken place.
There are other smells that signal a significant change of seasons, both in the culture and within the Church. Some of these changes release an odor telling us something has died and is in the process of decomposition. New and uncomfortable smells are wafting through places where people of faith live, work, and worship. These odors tell us a change has taken place.
A great deal has transpired in the last year, much of it an obvious slide in the wrong direction. Many in the Church are tiptoeing around that obvious reality, especially those who followed their emotions and not the wisdom of the Spirit. They are now uncomfortable, and maybe even embarrassed, that they made undiscerning choices that helped bring us to this unwelcomed place. They are not the enemy. They were simply duped just like all of us can be duped from time to time given the right circumstance.
Being able to catch the first whiff of change tells us that a change has already taken place, just like a wood stove that gives off the smell of burned dust after the stove heats up. The smells are the announcement that a new season has arrived. Don’t let the smell throw you off. What you are smelling is the result of the fire of God igniting deception and burning away its presence. The stench should build our faith and remind us once again that no work of hell can withstand the fire of God’s Spirit.