I have this bizarre fascination with scented products: perfumes, soaps, and lotions. I think it stems from an absence of those things when I was a young girl. We weren't allowed to have 'smelly' things in our house. Now in my adult years, I've gone into overdrive as compensation. I buy scented laundry detergent, lotion, and spoil myself on birthdays with new perfume, simply because I can.
Carrying Christ's Aroma
For the most part, perfume is a manufactured smell. But, the apostle Paul tells us that we carry the scent of Jesus wherever we go – "For we are the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." (2 Corinthians 2 verse 15)
My mind automatically wonders what smell Jesus would carry. While, I could guess that maybe He smells like fresh-cut wood, or a whiff of sea-salt air, I know the aroma has more to do with the spiritual smells of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
Just like with perfume, in order to have a strong, just-sprayed aroma, I need to be regularly doused with Jesus' smell. That means I need to learn how to sustain perpetual intimacy with Christ.
The Sweet Smell of Intimacy
I can easily seek Him when I know I'm doing something quote, "spiritual" such as speaking, praying for someone or going on an evangelistic outreach. But how do I sustain that level of intimacy with Jesus when I'm going about "practical" life tasks?
I find it challenging to carry Christ into the laundry room, while organizing tasks for others, or into an afternoon behind my computer while I write emails. Yet, I know He longs to be included in those parts of my day. Jesus wants to spray His aroma on my thoughts, actions and words no matter what I'm doing. He tells us in John 15 verse 4, "Remain in me, and I will remain in you."
In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers identifies the Christian who is truly intimate with Jesus, as one who "will never draw attention to himself but will only show the evidence of a life where Jesus is completely in control. This is the outcome of allowing Jesus to satisfy every area of life to its depth."
That sounds like the key to sharing the aroma of Christ with others: my life will show "evidence" that Jesus is in total control. So whether I am speaking in front of a crowd, or evangelising on a city street or simply taking care of someone's laundry, I need to seek Him and let Him have control.
That means consciously drifting in-and-out of asking for Jesus' guidance in the important and in the mundane. It means briefly praying in my mind that He will have control of the situations I encounter and that He will use me in them as He sees fit. It means asking for His sweet scent to be sprayed over my life day after day, hour after hour and minute after minute. There's no knock-off brand here, so I can rest assured that the smell I carry will be Jesus.
Lisa Goetze grew up near Toronto, Canada, where she worked as a writer for two national news broadcasts. She now serves full-time at Youth With A Mission in Brisbane.
Lisa Goetze's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/lisa-goetze.html