But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God. 2 Corinthians 2:14 – 17
Sometimes when I am reading I wonder why the author wrote what he/she wrote? I just wish I could ask the author to clarify what I am reading so I can understand it better; to explain to me what the words on the page mean and what difference they should make in my life. God, who inspired men to write the Bible has given that gift to His children. As I read The Word I can have an immediate, on-going dialogue with the author, God, as I reading – no other book, no other author can do that, no other book or author even invites that ceaseless conversation.
So, when given the assignment to read and pray through the verses above from 2 Corinthians, I knew I had some questions that I needed God to answer:
- How do I “manifest the sweet aroma of Him in every place”?
- How do I become “the fragrance of Christ”?
- Or in simpler terms – How can I smell like Jesus to everyone, everywhere, all the time?
Aromatherapy is not a new thing but for some reason using essential oils for theraputic purposes seems to be enjoying renewed popularity among many women I know so I started to think about how these oils are made. Most of them are made by pressing or crushing organic materials to extract the fragrant oil they contain; sometimes heat is applied to release the fragrance; the resulting essential oil has a powerful and pervasive smell. The oil is not released on it’s own; the perfumer applies the pressure and must know when and how to apply the correct pressure. God was showing me that crushing is required and the original material will be destoyed but the result is a sweet aroma.
God kept answering my questions by reminding me that pleasant fragrances are attractive, they make me want more, they can be comforting and soothing. Fragrance has the power to bring back memories and the sense of smell is more effective than any other senses in bringing back past experiences. An aroma is invisible, like a breeze it moves through unseen but if not refreshed somehow it can become stale or lose strength.
Then God said, “Turn here…”
Therefore, thus says the Lord,
“If you return, then I will restore you—
Before Me you will stand;
And if you extract the precious from the worthless,
You will become My spokesman. Jeremiah 15:19
Here was another part of my answer. I need to allow God to transform me into a new person by changing the way I think (Romans 12:2). God will separate the precious from the worthless as I am “crushed”, purified and refined. My part is to return to Him, read His Word, talk to Him about His Word and ask Him to seal His Word in my mind and heart. God is the master perfumer, as He is applying pressure, the fragrance of Christ will be released and I will be able to “manifest the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Christ” as Jesus flows through me and I speak and act like Him, becoming His spokeswoman.
Those who catch a whiff of my “Jesus fragrance” will have one of two responses; they will be offended because it smells like death and judgment to them or they will be delighted because they recognize the smell of life. But the way my fragrance is perceived by others is not up to me because it is not me pouring it out but Jesus! I am completely free to stand and allow my sweet aroma to flow everywhere I go and to breathe it back in again. Any time my scent weakens He will restore it to full strength!
God gives me a choice, will I turn to Him and trust Him to extract the sweet aroma of Christ His way or will I continue to go my own, unscented or worse, malodorous, way.
Or in simpler terms – my fragrance can either be sweet and proclaim Christ or it can stink things up!
What’s that smell? JESUS! Yeah – ain’t it sweet!