The Sweet Smelling Fragrance of Worship
by Jann Ballard Patterson
Have you ever had anyone ask you what the name of the perfume or the cologne that you were wearing was, or tells you how good you smell? Sometimes we recognize someone who has entered the room that we are in without even seeing them merely by the fragrance that they are wearing or exuding. I would like to relate this to what happens in our lives when we become the 'true worshipers' that God is looking for. (John 4:23-24)
In the Word of God we can read about a woman named Esther, who spent a whole year of her life in preparation to meet her future husband, who was also the King. She was 'anointed' with scented oils every day. This entire seemingly exaggerated ordeal was to prepare her for an audience with the King, in order to gain favor with him in behalf of her people. If you read the account you will find out that it worked! The king was captivated by the fragrance of her grace and beauty. I am sure he loved the way she smelled too, as well as the way the oils had enhanced her skin. He granted her people safety from the wicked plots of those who were seeking their destruction. My point is this; the process of preparation led her to exaltation. This preparation process took time in order for her to exude the selected fragrant oils that were used to prepare her for that one audience with the king. As a result of her willingness to submit to the preparation and the time that it took, she was exalted from a place of obscurity and even life threatening danger to a place of favor and safety within royal sanctions. She actually became royalty.
In 2 Corinthians 2:15 we find that believers (in the truest sense of the word), are a fragrance of Christ. Another way of saying it would be that we are a pleasant aroma of Christ. When we worship Him within a lifestyle that has become a place of abiding in Him we exude His fragrance.
Have you ever wondered what Jesus smells like? In Psalm 45:7-8, a prophetic description of the Messiah is given. It says, "God has anointed Thee with the oil of joy above Thy fellows. All Thy garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes, and cassia." Myrrh is traditionally symbolic of His identification with us in His pain and sorrow, so that we could have the courage to seek and know Him intimately through the fellowship of suffering, (Hebrews 5:8). The aloe is traditionally symbolic of His bringing physical, emotional, and spiritual healing and restoration through His Redemptive work on the cross to the whole person, (1 Peter 2:24). The cassia is traditionally symbolic of humility and the complete surrender of our wills to Him, and because cassia has the ability to kill bacteria it also symbolizes His triumph over the devil and all the powers of darkness, (Colossians 2:15).
In the first chapter of The Song of Solomon, another prophetic description of the Messiah is given. It says, "Your oils have a pleasing fragrance; Your Name is like purified oil; Therefore the maidens (true worshipers) love You." The oil spoken of here is referring to the anointing oil that was used ceremonially by the Old Testament priest. This oil represented the Holy Spirit of God being upon someone who was set apart for His purposes and plans. Kings and priest specifically. In Hebrews 1:9 we see that Jesus, the King of all Kings, was "anointed of God, with the oil of gladness (joy), above all of His fellows." As a result of our worship of Him, of being in the Presence of our God and King Who was anointed above all... we will begin to exude the fragrance of His royalty. We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, who will show forth the praise of Him, Who has called us out of darkness, into His marvelous light, (1 Peter 2:9).
Galatians 5:22-23 says that "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." These nine attributes are essentially the very characteristics of God's nature. They are the ingredients of His unique fragrance. Perfume is made up of many different ingredients. By combining precise measurements of these ingredients, fragrant scents are produced. Interestingly, in the process of Perfumery, the scent is allowed to mature for several weeks after it is mixed. During that time the different ingredients blend and mature. Any variance in a formula can change the scent completely. True worship produces the precise ingredients of God's Character in us. By continually coming before Him in worship we are infused with His attributes over and over again. Eventually we will begin to mature, and the essence of His nature will exude from us. However, if we attempt to add anything to it, to draw attention to anyone other than Him, the scent of the flesh will contaminate the fragrance of 'spirit and truth' worship every time. It will become putrid and stink in the nostrils of our Holy God Who never changes... ever. We change... we must.
In Luke 4:16-21, Jesus Himself declared that He was the fulfillment of Isaiah 61:1-3. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me..." People were drawn to Him because He exuded the fragrance of the Holy Spirit. He was anointed with the oil of joy. He was our model, and as our model, He showed us how to worship by example. He spent quality time alone with the Father. He worshiped Him in intimate fellowship and prayer. I believe that Jesus also sang and even danced in worship as well. In Luke 10:21 in the Amplified Bible it states that He (Jesus) 'rejoiced and gloried in the Holy Spirit.' The word rejoiced comes from the word exult. It is a verb that means to feel extreme joy; one synonym of this word is to jump or leap for joy! It says that He did this after His disciples had returned from ministering in His Name. They were ecstatic over the fact that even the demons were subject to them, but He told them not to rejoice over that, but instead to rejoice (ecstatically) over the fact that their names were written down or enrolled in heaven! I don't know about you, but somehow I imagine they all joined in with Him as He worshiped and gave joyful praise to the Father.
As we worship God begins to inhabit our worship, and His Presence begins to manifest. In the Glory of His Presence we are changed. The fragrance of the Holy Spirit begins to exude from us. I also believe that worship plays a great part, if not the greatest part in the process of preparation that will lead to our exaltation as His eternal companion. As we worship Him we become like Him. As we worship Him we become one with Him. As we worship Him we grow up into His likeness, (Ephesians 4:13).
Worship that produces the sweet smelling fragrance of God's nature in our lives is not just inclusive of singing our worship to God, though singing is a primary form of worship to Him, I believe it is an overflow of a life that is totally abandoned to Him in every aspect. It is also being filled with and led by the Holy Spirit. It is the renewing of our minds by meditating on the Word of God, as well as communing with Him in prayer. Worship is a lifestyle that seeks to bring glory to the Lord. This lifestyle of true worship will be evident in the maturing Bride of Christ who is making herself ready to rule and reign with her King. She will exude the true fragrance of Christ.
The more mature fruit and even many forms of flowers become, the stronger their fragrance is. When others encounter the true worshipers of God they may wonder, 'what is that fragrance that they are wearing?' Or better yet, they may desire for themselves the One whose fragrance is being exuded, Christ the King Himself!
The time and place of this royal consummation is coming, and is even at hand. True worshipers are rising up from all over the world, exuding the fragrance of His Presence. They are exuding their passionate love for Him, as well as their unrelenting loyalty to Him as their Bridegroom King. They are the true worshipers who are showing forth the praises of their King, the ones that the Father Himself is looking for. They are the ones that He will exalt to His Son's Throne as His rightful companion and faithful co-ruler throughout the ages to come. All hail the King of Love! The One Who will forever be worthy of all honor, and glory, and power!
Glorious Father, thank You for loving us and helping us to become the true worshipers that You seek. You alone discern the heart. Search our hearts and find those that love You and desire You above all others. We pledge our love and loyalty to You and to our Beloved King forever! Help us to become one with You and each other, even as You and He are One, until we the Bride exude the fragrance of her Beloved and cry out with the Holy Spirit, 'Lord Jesus, come! Take Your rightful place as King of Heaven and Earth!' A-men.
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