Dispensing the Sweet Fragrance of Christ

Hyacinth—the sweet fragrance of spring—triggers a favorite memory.

Growing up, my brother Charlie and I joined other neighborhood kids to wait for the school bus at a friend’s house across the road from where we lived. On spring mornings, the delightful fragrance of Mrs. Roller’s hyacinths filled the air.

The fragrance takes me back to that cherished memory.

I think of it as I read in Leviticus the Lord’s instructions to the Israelites concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. Repeatedly he said these would be an “aroma pleasing” to him.

We’re not required to keep those rituals, but he is pleased when our lives dispense his sweet fragrance.

I’ve found six keys to releasing the pleasant fragrance of Christ. Let’s look at the first key. Get to know the Lord intimately and put his teachings into practice.

I gave my life to Jesus at age seven and grew up loving him and wanting to please him. I landed my dream job writing for the local newspaper at eighteen and the next year married the man of my dreams.

Nine years later when I left the newspaper to be a stay-at-home mom, a desire to know Christ better began simmering in my heart.

Motherhood exposed needs I didn’t know I had. Wisdom. Patience. Gentleness. Self-control. My inadequacies sent me to the Lord with an unquenchable thirst.

While the children napped in the afternoons, I spent that time with the Lord. My “tent of meeting” was a chair in the living room next to a basket filled with “tools.” Bible, daily devotional book, notepad, and pen.

Later I moved to a closet, sharing the space with the hot-water heater. With only enough room for a tiny desk, I scooted in, pulling a chair behind me, and shut the door. Closing the door seemed to shut out the world. In that special place I felt Christ’s presence.

Using my Bible’s concordance, I did word studies related to needs in my life. I began memorizing promises.

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

“Ah, Lord, behold, thou hast made the heavens and the earth by thy great power and stretched-out arm and there is nothing too hard for thee” (Jeremiah 32:17).

An amazing thing happened. I started believing God! I wondered how it would impact my life if I simply tried to practice the words of Jesus. Reading through the Gospels, I paid attention to the red-letter print.

When I began memorizing Scripture promises, an amazing thing happened. I started believing God! Click To Tweet

Desiring a better grasp of biblical history, I found the NIV Chronological Bible captivating. Even knowing what happened next, I could hardly put it down.

How thrilling to hear the Lord speak through Scripture and his quiet voice in my heart! I discovered he cares about every detail of our lives. Nothing is too small to take to him in prayer. What an awesome privilege to come into his presence—to adore him, to ask counsel, to confess my failures and be cleansed yet again.

Life circumstances often sent me to my prayer closet feeling desolate. Always I left renewed and filled with hope. I wasn’t just “reading the Bible.” I was spending time with the Lord! The more I studied, the greater my thirst.

David wrote, “I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land” (Psalm 143:6).

Jesus said, “…If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:37-38).

I come to my prayer closet thirsty and he satisfies me. The more time I spend with him, the more I want to be with him…to obey him…to please him. I’m beginning to understand how the Psalmist felt. “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God” (42:1).

I love meeting the Lord in the morning, giving him my uncontaminated day.

The Lord said to Moses, “I will meet with you…I will speak intimately with you…” (Exodus 25:22 Amplified).

He wants us to know him intimately…and to put his teachings into practice.

Jesus said, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.

“But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete” (Luke 6:46-49).

Getting to know God intimately and putting his teachings into practice is the first key to releasing the sweet fragrance of Christ in our lives.

Getting to know God intimately and putting his teachings into practice is the first key to releasing the sweet fragrance of Christ in our lives. Click To Tweet

I’d love to know your thoughts. And I’d be grateful if you’d share this blog with your friends.

© 2018 Dianne Barker (reprinted)

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