Saturday, May 11, 2013

How do You Smell to God?

And the Lord said to Moses: “Take sweet spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, and pure frankincense with these sweet spices; there shall be equal amounts of each. You shall make of these an incense, a compound according to the art of the perfumer, salted, pure, and holy. And you shall beat some of it very fine, and put some of it before the Testimony in the tabernacle of meeting where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you. Exodus 30:34-36 

The fragrance of Incense rising into the air to God is a beautiful symbol of worship. In the verses that follow, Moses shows us just how serious this was to God, “But as for the incense which you shall make, you shall not make any for yourselves, according to its composition. It shall be to you holy for the Lord. Whoever makes any like it, to smell it, he shall be cut off from his people.” This special perfume, emblematic of worship was to be a unique and holy perfume. It meant death to If anyone who tried to make this perfume for himself, just to smell better. 

But this perfume also symbolizes something else, something much more significant than any compound of ingredients. It pictures what our lives are to be for God. Our lives are to be like that perfume, holy, acceptable, fragrant, ascending to God as a sweet smelling aroma. This is what Paul was saying in Romans 12:1 when he exhorted us to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” In 2 Corinthians 2:15 he reminds us, “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” 

These verses remind us that we are to lives our lives as an act of our worship to God. There are other verses that remind us what we do is to be “a sweet smelling aroma and acceptable sacrifice well pleasing to God” (Phil. 4:18, Heb. 13:16). But not only what we do but who we are is to be as incense offered up to Him. Just as the Israelites were not to misuse the holy incense, neither should we misuse the life God has given us. We are here for His glory, holy and acceptable to Him. 

In Ephesians 5:1-2 we are reminded that this is the way the Lord Jesus’ life pleased the Father, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” The challenge for us is that our lives, who we are, is to be an sweet smelling aroma to Him. This fragrance is not to be anything of ourselves, but it is what God does in and through us, “diffusing the fragrance of His knowledge in every place” (2 Corinthians 2:14). This fragrance will not only be sweet smelling to God, but it will also have an impact on those around us because, “to the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?” 

What type of fragrance are we emitting today, to God in a life totally for Him and to others sending forth the aroma of Christ?

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