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. Ephesians 5:2
My Mom and I were discussing perfume the other day. Much to her dismay, she has lost her sense of smell and can't smell her favorite perfume, Beautiful. Me? I love perfume. Vanilla is a particular favorite of mine. But I have a different problem. No matter the perfume, no matter how expensive it is, the scent always fades after I put it on. Usually in less than 15 minutes, poof, I can't smell it anymore. And neither can anyone else, apparently, because I never get compliments on it. I have very thin white skin, which I believe is the reason. Lots of other skin products don't work on me either. Anyway, all that to say that the Scriptures indicate that God also loves perfume! God has a great sense of smell! How absolutely delightful. Then again, I suppose He must since He created flowers and fresh-baked bread.
All through the Old Testament, the Israelites were instructed to burn incense and sacrifices and burn them on the altar for a sweet and satisfying fragrance before the Lord. In Revelation, the 25 elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
It would seem that along with our physical scents, there are also scents in the spirit realm as well. Our prayers smell sweet to God. (Isn't that incredible?) Our sacrifices to Him smell sweet! (I'm hoping my blunders don't make his nose pinch!) That's amazing. But here's something even more amazing: True believers in Jesus also put off a smell in the spirit realm, a sweet, pleasing aroma!
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. 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
What's even more interesting is that to those people whom God has chosen to be saved, we smell sweet, but to those people who will never be saved, we stink! Have you ever tried to share God's love with someone and they've been completely repulsed, even angry, volatile, and insulting? Have you ever had someone just not like you for no obvious reason, or someone who is mean to you and degrading when you haven't done anything to them? After I read this verse I realized that in some of those cases, these people could smell a scent of death around me. They may not have even known why they didn't like me... but in their spirit they smelled something stinky.
Alternatively, have you ever noticed that some people just like you? They enjoy your company, they want to hang out with you, and tend to gravitate toward you? I'm talking about those who don't know the Lord. When I worked at IBM and was around a lot of lost souls, I had quite a few friends. People knew my beliefs but wanted to hang out anyway. Even years after I left, I still had lost friends call and want to go to lunch. I don't know what happened to most of them, but I still pray for them now and then. I believe they were drawn to a sweet scent (Not my own, but God's Spirit within me!)
I also tend to believe that the closer we get to God and the more like Him we become, the sweeter we smell! I may not be able to keep a sweet scent on my earthly body, but it's nice to know that I can keep a wonderful fragrance in the spirit realm... and that there are those who smell it and are drawn to it.
So, strive to be a sweet sweet fragrance first to God and then to those around you!