The Smell of Sulfur
At the service this past Sunday, my church had setup tableswith candles and boxes of matches. Our pastor offered the salvation prayer and invited anyone who made the decision to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior to walk to a table and light a candle. I was sitting near one of the tables. After a few people lit candles, I noticed a sweet smell from the candles mixed with a scent that I knew originated from the match head. In the quietness of my own thoughts, as I wiped a few tears away (I always tear up when people get saved), I imagined their salvation prayers being received in Heaven in the form of a beautiful scent.
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
As this scripture came to my mind, I thought of a group of particularly beautiful green bushes near the library by my house. Every time I run past them, I smell their purple flowers whichremind me of a fresh, sweet, springtime perfume. I don’t know what thehedge is called, but I want to find out. The fragrancemakes me think of peoples’ prayers and offerings being sent up to Heaven. I bet the scent of praise is 100 million times more powerful than those little purple flowers. For some reason, the smell of the matches lingered in my mind. I couldn’t quite figure out what that different smell (from the match head) was. So, I asked my husband. “It’s the sulfur in the match head,” he said in a nonchalant tone. He knows so many things that I’ve never even contemplated. Immediately, my mind ran to the book of Revelations!
When the thousand years were over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth–Gog and Magog–to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand of the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. The devil who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
This theme of sulfur is particularly interesting to me because a few weeks ago, I had an almost fatal reaction to some sulfur tablets that I was taking to clear up my adult acne. (A mom of teenagers should not have to deal with wrinkles and pimples. One or the other, please). After I received my shots in a particular part of my body that I won’t mention to stop the allergic reaction from closing my airways, I was reading Scripture and realized that the lake that the devil is thrown into at the end of times is sulfur.
I just thought it was very interesting that the exact same chemical that fills the lake in which the devil is drowned, almost closed my airways! So, when my husband said that the chemical in the match head was sulfur, I got really excited! Are you as excited as me? Well, I became so excited that I couldn’t even get my words out. My husband said I was cute, but I was just bubbling with excitement over the theme of sulfur! When I calmed down, I told my husband what I came to understand.
“Each time a person got saved and lit a match today, it represented their soul being ignited with the power of Jesus Christ.” As the pastor said today, a match is just a match until it is purposely struck against the box, and then it is lit. It takes action to do this. Without the will of a person, it’s just an unlit match among many other matches in a dark box. But when the will of a person is combined with the action and decision for Jesus Christ, that one match (person) becomes a powerhouse for the Kingdom – ignited by the power of Jesus Christ! I think it’s amazing that God calls his angels winds and his servants flames of fire!
“He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire.”
Do not put out the Spirit’s fire.
1 Thessalonians 5:19
Everyone will be salted with fire.
I have come to bring fire on the earth.
For our God is a consuming Fire.
Every time I light a match, I am going to think differently about it. I am going to pray for someone I know who is not saved to be saved, and in my mind, I will imagine the lake of sulfur; its level will be a little lower with each rescued life. People are saved by and through the power of Jesus Christ. And just as it takes the will and action of a person – along with the igniting chemical of sulfur - to light a match head, it takes the will and action of a person to submit to the risen Savior and receive the igniting Power of Jesus Christ in their life.
God is such a God of connectedness. Look around and you will see Him everywhere. Watch as He connects the nuances of your every day moments into the tapestry of your life. God is our Father and He wants to teach us so much in the midst of our everyday lives. The lessons and themes that He reveals are thrilling!
There’s Strong. Then There’s God-Strong.
Warrior Moms Unite!
The Warrior Mom Ministry was founded by Kristina Seymour, author of The Warrior Mom Handbook – Equipping Women through the Word, a Bible study for moms who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. Kristina has learned that moms can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about The Warrior Mom Handbook, the Warrior Mom Ministry, and to sign up for daily encouragement, visit, www.warriormoms.net.