The Fragrance of the Lord

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere.”  II Corinthians 2:14

Have you ever noticed how our sense of smell has the ability to influence so many areas of our lives?  When our sense of smell is impaired we have no appetite.  On the flip side, if we smell baking bread or burgers grilling our appetite kicks into overdrive. Certain scents can instantly transport us to a different time and place.  One sniff of Elmer’s glue and I am suddenly back in kindergarten making paper chains out of construction paper.

It seems to me the most powerful scents are those associated with our loved ones.  My daughter shared an example of this. She was shopping shortly after her grandmother had passed away, when a woman walked past her wearing the fragrance my mother-in-law had worn when Sarah was a little girl.  As the scent of White Shoulders wafted by, my daughter was overwhelmed with grief for the grandmother that had been an important part of her childhood.  The passing stranger was totally unaware of the emotional upheaval her fragrance induced.

Have you ever been around someone wearing a fragrant perfume?  The interesting thing about perfume is that it is not affected by the atmosphere around it.  Chanel No.5 will always smell like Chanel No.5.  Whether it is worn in a garden or in a locker room its scent remains the same. Perfume will not pick up the aroma of surrounding flowers or sweaty socks or anything else.

If it’s worn correctly fragrance changes the atmosphere without overpowering you. Even after a person wearing perfume exits, the sweetness of their fragrance lingers on.  Shouldn’t it be the same in our Christian walk?  We are not to be influenced by the world around us; but the fragrance of Christ in us should change the atmosphere wherever we go.

Those that love the Lord emit a wonderful aroma of the living God.  As He leads us into victory, those around will see the change in us and will want to know what makes us different.  We can only respond that it is the Spirit of God bearing His fruit in our lives.  It’s God’s love and patience and kindness and His steadfastness, faithfulness, gentleness and goodness all mingled together into a rich aromatic bouquet

Ezekiel 20:41 says, “As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when I bring you out of the countries where you have been scattered.  And I will manifest My holiness among you in the sight of the nations”.  If we are willing to offer our lives as a sacrifice to God and follow His direction, He will lead us and use us to draw others to Him.

When we have been around Christ, people cannot help but sense the presence of God in us.  This reminds me of when my nieces and nephew were little.  I spent a lot of time snuggling, reading stories and playing with them.  My sister told me one time that she could always tell when her children had been around me because she could smell my perfume on them long after I had gone home. She went on to say this blessed her because she knew when her children were with me they were being loved in a most tangible way.  When we spend time snuggling into and listening to our God, others are able to detect His fragrance on us as we go about our day.

John 15:9 tells us to abide in His love.  If we want to carry this fragrance of Christ in us we must live in a place of communion with Him.  The fragrance of my perfume eventually faded on my nieces and nephew until by the end of the day it was undetectable.  When we spend time with God we carry His fragrance with us, but over time it dissipates and the only way to recover it is to spend time in His presence.  Jesus knew this.  His life was as busy as ours and yet He never let the distractions of life entice Him from His communion with the Father.  Because of this, He carried the fragrance of heaven with Him wherever He went.  Let’s not let the distractions of life keep us from spending time each day with our Father. If we are diligent in protecting our time in His presence we will carry the sweet fragrance of the Lord to all we come in contact with.

– Cindi Beauman


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