I’m sure you know what a scent trail is, we are surrounded by them. There’s nothing like the scent of good food cooking to lead you to a restaurant, bakery or kitchen. The waft of a perfume/cologne that draws your eyes to a person passing. The unpleasant smells that warn you away from somewhere or that you use to find something that shouldn’t be there. Insects and animals use them to communicate danger, food source, availability at a much higher level than we do although my examples matched up pretty well with those three areas when I think about it. We had an ant invasion last summer and one piece of advice was to remove the scent trail by washing it away or by blocking the path with an uncrossable barrier.
This morning (once again) I had a thought buzzing around my head. I’d been hurt and offended by something and I was full of self-justification, outrage, well actually’s and payback. A lovely mix don’t you think? No? Me either so I was praying to not be and eventually the image of scent trails appeared. Isn’t that the way – one tiny thought comes and we let it buzz and then we follow it through the process of thoughts and back to the beginning only to go through it all again. Laying a scent trail of discontent and umbrage for me to get trapped in. Umbrage – there’s a word with depths. As well as meaning offense, annoyance and displeasure it also means the shade or shadow cast by trees or the shadowy appearance or semblance of something. How apt, if I am feeling umbrage I am definitely not in the Light or seeing clearly.
It was time to stand my ground, stop fluttering in circles after thoughts I didn’t want, time to remember who is Lord. I told God I wanted Him, His clarity, His direction. I told Him I wanted to love. Then I took the thought captive, nipped its wanderings in the bud and moved away from the scent trail of discontent. Psalm 18 had this to say when I reached it – David might have been talking about physical enemies but I am talking about my thought, alone I can’t do this but in cooperation with God, through the power of Holy Spirit it’s done.
37 I chased my enemies and caught them
and did not stop until they were destroyed.
38 I broke them and threw them down beneath my feet,
and they could not rise up again.
39 For You equipped me for battle,
and You made my enemies fall beneath me.
40 You made my enemies turn tail and run,
and all who wanted my destruction, I destroyed.
41 They looked everywhere, but no one came to rescue them;
they asked the Eternal, but He did not answer them.
42 I beat them to sand, to dust that blows in the wind;
I flung them away like trash in the gutters.
Woah Jules that’s a bit aggressive surely? Yep very aggressive. But this is a war and I’m not taking prisoners, there’s no redemption for these thoughts – they need to die. Beaten to sand and blown away in the wind! I’m not playing by the rules of this world, Jesus is deadly serious about destroying things that separate me from Him.
8 Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, 2 because when you live in the Anointed One, Jesus, a new law takes effect. The law of the Spirit of life breathes into you and liberates you from the law of sin and death.
I’m no longer a slave to things that captivate my mind, I’ve been liberated from them. Thoughts aren’t going to stop coming but this week was better than last week. I have hope that next time will be better still but even if not so long as ultimately they end up decimated I’ll be praising God for His mercies.