"Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph (a victory parade) in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor (aroma, fragrance) of his knowledge (God's presence) by us in every place (a climate or atmosphere)" (KJV).
"But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ's victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere, For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which exhales] unto God, [discernible alike] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing: To the latter it is an aroma [wafted] from death to death [a fatal odor, the smell of doom]; to the former it is an aroma from life to life [a vital fragrance, living and fresh]. And who is qualified (fit and sufficient) for these things? [Who is able for such a ministry? We?] For we are not, like so many, [like hucksters making a trade of] peddling God's Word [shortchanging and adulterating the divine message]; but like [men] of sincerity and the purest motive, as [commissioned and sent] by God, we speak [His message] in Christ (the Messiah), in the [very] sight and presence of God." (2 Cor. 2: 14-17 AMP)
There is an aroma of His knowledge, His presence manifested by us as the climate or atmosphere around us. These verses are not talking about a people that are in a survival mode, waiting and pleading on Jesus to rapture them out or to take away their trial. This is not an attitude of deliverance from the circumstance, but an attitude of triumphal victory. Paul is using words that would have been familiar to the Romans of having a triumphal march that would be seen after the victory of a battle throwing roses in the streets as the soldiers and generals would parade in their chariots publicly down the streets. Paul is trying to tell us that Jesus Christ has already triumphantly won the battle of our circumstance and that we are the paraded aroma of that victory. He has already overcome making an open display of demonic powers.
1 Corinthians 13: 12-13
"For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God]. And so faith, hope, love abide [faith--conviction and belief respecting man's relation to God and divine things; hope--joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love--true affection for God and man, growing out of God's love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love."
Everything in our atmosphere can be shaken except faith, hope, and love. These cannot be taken away by external circumstances. No matter what areas of our life come and go; money, people, health, circumstance changes, etc. what keeps us is not these things but the internal presence of: faith, hope, and love. When we join in the victory posture (join in the party celebration) of Christ in us, the position where all circumstances have been overcome by the blood of the lamb, and we live today as new creations in Him celebrating the victory of an overcomer, we change the atmosphere of the world we are established in by the attitude of our heart. We cannot help but have a joyful expectation of miracles.
This is the position that Paul is sharing in his letter to Corinth; while in the circumstance of worldly darkness and unknown, celebrate within you the victory that is found in Jesus Christ established by faith, hope, and His love.
Hope: An expectation with pleasure, or a joyful expectation with confidence. The inner being of oneself, Christ in you, is in a posture of joyful expectation and confidence.
Faith: The assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
Love: GOD, unselfish, unconditional, eternal.
Today, there is an atmosphere of the Lord coming and "bailing us out." This is not an atmosphere of joyful expectation with confidence, but an attitude of survival. We can change the atmosphere around us by lining our expectations with the triumphal victory of what Christ in us has established already. We have within us now the hope to display a great victory parade to the world.
Without faith, hope, and love, we would all die quickly in our 30's and 40's by the conditions of this world. Besides the battles of territory that men fight, women would have no hope to survival the travails of bringing forth children. "Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance (diligence) and above all that you guard, for out of it flows the springs (issues) of life" (Prov. 4:23). "Whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart" (Matt. 15:18). "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]" (Prov. 18:21).
Faith, hope, love, and peace are tangible, solid, spiritual, material substance. You cannot see them, grab them, or put them in your pocket, but these things are sustainable substance that keeps your life. They are the Spirit of God that carries the visions God gives us while we are on a mountain top to be manifested in the valley. Without them, life becomes a monotonous, quick end routine. What causes life to be a life worth living for is what comes out of the realm of your heart; the place of your spirit. These things; faith, hope, love, and peace, only God can give. Without these things, there is no life apart from the existence of the animal kingdom and slavery.
Today, we have the ability to rise above the realities of the world into the dominion of what really is LIFE, and what our life is really all about individually and corporately. If our life is about paying our bills and maintaining our existence until we die, then the triumphal environment, fragrance and essence of God life in us, is no longer part of our climate. Therefore, whatever climate or atmosphere we produce, we also live under. If we live in an atmosphere of fear, victimization, and survival then we will attract the product of what we produce.
What are the simple truths we can live in today so that what is rightfully our inheritance; what we have already been given through Christ Jesus, can be displayed and manifested changing our atmosphere to the victory parade fragrance of His presence?
What is the difference between survival and victory? Do we want to go through our trials again? When we stay in survival mode, we will go through the trials again and again. When we have victory, we have conquered and overcome.
Everything has a spirit form, an essence form.
Love, hate, joy, anger, prosperity, poverty are spirit forms of principalities and powers. Everything forms out of the domain of spirit.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).
"For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature. And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rules and authority [of every angelic principality and power]. In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but in a [spiritual] circumcision [performed by] Christ by stripping off the body of the flesh (the whole corrupt, carnal nature with its passions and lusts). [Thus you were circumcised when] you were buried with Him in [your] baptism, in which you were also raised with Him [to a new life] through [your] faith in the working of God [as displayed] when He flesh (your sensuality, your sinful carnal nature), [God] brought to life together with [Christ], having [freely] forgiven us all our transgressions, having cancelled and blotted out and wiped away the handwriting of the note (bond) with its legal decrees and demands which was in force and stood against us (hostile to us). This [note with its regulations, decrees, and demands] He set aside and cleared raised Him up from the dead. And you who were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross.[God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross]" (Colossians 2:9-15 AMP).
"To make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him" (Ephesians 3:9-12).
Words are clothes transmitting spirit. How words are spoken will transmit the condition or the environment of that spirit. When we speak kindly, it is the spirit of kindness from the Holy Spirit that is being manifested. Happiness and joy are fruit of the Holy Spirit. Depression, anger, and anxieties are fruit of demonic spirits. Medications can be given to treat the symptoms of these spirits, but they do not cause the spirit to leave the body. When we settle for maintaining or surviving a spiritual condition we are living out of the Old Testament pattern of sins being covered by the shedding of animals' blood, but it does not get rid of it.
When God wants to deal with the essence, the victory, over the situation, He does not just put a Band-Aid on it dealing with it symptomatically. When a victory is manifested and that spirit is defeated, that negative spirit will be forced to flee never to return to the presence of Christ in you. Someone around you can have demonic activity, but that activity will not come to you.
Whenever the Word of the Lord comes to us, it must go beyond the activity of religion that has our sins covered with the blood of the Lamb. "For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced" (Matt. 12:37 AMP).The Word of the Lord must activate our conviction, an experience of exercising our faith. Faith without works is dead. This is a relationship experience of intimacy with the Word of God and the Spirit of God in you. "The Spirit of God moves….God said…" (Genesis 1: 2-3).
"You believe that God is one; you do well. So do the demons believe and shudder [in terror and horror such as make a man's hair stand on end and contract the surface of his skin]! Are you willing to be shown [proof], you foolish (unproductive, spiritually deficient) fellow, that faith apart from [good] works is inactive and ineffective and worthless?" (James 2:19-20 AMP).
Consider this example: Children are not produced by a couple sitting around their kitchen table talking about having children. There must be a personal involved experience of intimacy. They can be joyful in expectation and hope for a child to come forth as the fruit of their marriage, and they can have faith in believing that it is God's will for them to have children. However, without consummating the marriage, faith without experience of intimacy will not produce fruit.
It takes energy to put the faith to work.
"The LORD thy God in the midst of thee (Christ in you) is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee (you) with joy; he will rest (victory position/silent satisfaction) in his love (identity/essence), he will joy over thee (you) with singing. I will gather them that are sorrowful (survival mode spirit) for the solemn assembly, who are of thee (cells of the body of Christ), to whom the reproach of it was a burden (could not see the finish victory). Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee(you): and I will save her (the bride of Christ) that halted, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, said the LORD"(Zephaniah 3:17-20).
God is desiring an intimacy with His body to produce a silent satisfaction rest of His bride overcoming the warfare within her so that the fruit of His Holy Spirit will be produced in her innermost belly removing the unwanted spirits of demonic influence. "He who believes(experience intimacy) in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water. But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive" (John 7:38-39 AMP).
Once we come into that rest with Him, we enter into a season of miracles. True miracles are the result of an internal triumph. This is not just being healed from a sickness or disease, but acknowledging that your life is a miracle and you were created to live in a supernatural environment because your existence is His image after His kind.
Religious Christianity will keep us in an environment where miracles are a magical encounter coming into a fallen man's world where he exists in a beastly/demonic domain. At a certain level of elementary beliefs there is a manifestation of supernatural power. Unfortunately, there is no assurance of the position and authority of living in the supernatural as an overcomer. As soon as a negative spirit tries to come back into the environment, religious Christians allow doubt and insecurity to what God is doing and they bring logic and reasoning back into the realm that God established harmony and His rest.
What we do not consider is that God desires to increase us in our faith. This comes about by our encounter with trials and tribulations. Are we dealing with these issues the same way we did before? Do we remember who we are in Christ and the power and authority He has given us? For faith to be truly faith, it must be exercised.
"Therefore, [inheriting] the promise (the revelation WORD given to you) is the outcome of faith and depends [entirely] on faith, in order that it might be given as an act of grace (unmerited favor), to make it stable and valid and guaranteed to all his descendants--not only to the devotees and adherents of the Law (religious Christians), but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, who is [thus] the father of us all. As it is written, I have made you the father of many nations. [He was appointed our father] in the sight of God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed. [For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be" (Romans 4:16-18 AMP).
"WHEN ABRAM was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, I am the Almighty God; walk and live habitually before Me and be perfect (blameless, wholehearted, complete)"(Genesis 17:1 AMP).
Here is some practical wisdom to help manifest the reality of being an overcomer:
For ninety-nine years Abram lived his life according to who he was in the identity of Abram. At this time we know that He had a relationship with God, was obedient to God, and conversed with God. In all aspects of what we would consider being a Christian today Abram would qualify from an Old Testament perspective. He believed God and was counted as righteous.
Yet, it was while Abram was living out of his old name God told him to walk before HIM and be perfect. This is not a position of being behind God and following HIM, or walking in front of God but backwards. Abram walked before God with God at his back. Abram did not know where he was going or what his day would look like, but he knew that God had his back covered from any enemy that would try to accuse him of anything. The only voice Abram could hear was God's telling him to walk before Him in perfection.
This is FAITH!
How can we apply this to our own lives? Many of us use a day planner or calendar to organize our schedules. I would suggest that you find a journal that is sectioned as a day-planner that would allow something to be written on three or four lines each day. This is your day planner with the Lord. Begin your day by writing on the first line of each day a Scripture verse that God gives you. Then close your day planner and pray this verse to God asking Him to show you what His WORD looks like for that day. At the end of the day before going to bed, fill in the other lines with ONLY BLESSINGS that you received. Look for the simple things that you were blessed with: The cashier smiled at you in the grocery store, you had a few dollars to give to the homeless man on the corner, you made it to work on time with very little traffic issues, you weren't stranded in the bathroom because another family member refilled the toilet paper, this author just made you laugh when you felt like crying. Whatever simple blessing you received, and there had to be some because you are still alive and breathing, write down a few of them.
Each day, for six days, I would like to challenge you to practice this pattern. Then on the seventh day, do not seek God for another Scripture verse, but read the six days of blessings that you have written down over the past week. READ them out loud. READ them with passion and love giving back to God the glory that He has crowned you with over the past week. This is the battle cry of victory that the people shouted after walking around Jericho for six days. This is the release of Abram becoming Abra -h-AM. The breath of God ("H") released in His temple, you and me as "AM", Christ in me.
Our Heavenly Father has covered our backs with His presence from our enemies (words and thoughts) of yesterday that only His blessings can pierce our today. Today, you are a new creation in Christ Jesus, the old man is gone and all things are new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Today, you are no longer living with the identity of the old Adam, but you have been quickened by the Holy Spirit with the breath of God. You have been "crucified with Christ: nevertheless you live; yet not as the old person covered with the blood of the Lamb, but Christ lives in you as you: and the life which you now live in the flesh you live by the faith of the Son of God, who loves you, and gave himself for you" (Gal. 2:20).
"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I" (Isaiah 58:8-9 NIV).