The fragrance of heaven
It’s amazing how that different smells elicit memories in us. I think of Venice when I smell the coffee wafting from cafes in the city. I smell freesias and I’m immediately transported back to my grandmother’s garden.
Throughout the Song of Solomon the bridegroom is surrounded by gardens and orchards with fragrant flowers, blossoms, fragrances and sweet perfumes. The tabernacle in the wilderness had sacred incense continually being burnt -- a reminder that our worship and prayers rise to Him like ascending sweet incense. We are also told that when “Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar” (that) “the Lord smelled a soothing aroma”(Gen.8:20-21).
The word for “spirit” in the Old Testament is from a primitive root verb which means to smell or perceive odour. In Bible times the intestines were considered to be the place of emotion and feeling but the nostrils were considered to be the residence of the spirit. Job states that “…As long as my breath is in me, and the breath of God in my nostrils” (Job 27:3).
Is it any wonder, then, that when the Holy Spirit’s presence is ushered in by deep worship, abandonment, and surrender, that the fragrance of God’s presence can actually be smelt?
The fragrance comes upon us as we allow the Spirit’s anointing to rest on us and we get covered in a scent that attracts others to His heart. “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Cor. 2:14). To those who reject Jesus we will have a repulsive stench but any who are seeking Him will smell His life upon us.
Bible citations from NKJV.