Last week we discussed how Christians may stink to the world, but there is no stench from godly lives as far as heaven is concerned. Little does the world realize that there is a beautiful fragrance which ascends to heaven from the saints, and that aroma surrounds His throne and perfumes the corridors of heaven. What a contrast!
This fragrance is first mentioned when Noah came out of the ark. “Then 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. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma” (Gen. 8:20-21). Think about it for a moment. Have you ever smelled hair as it was burning or the abiding smell in your house when meat was burned because someone forgot it was in the oven? Yet, this is precisely what Noah offered to God. On that altar were the burning animals, hide and all. To many it would have been a horrible odor, yet when it reached heaven, “. . . the Lord smelled a soothing aroma.”
The book of Revelation describes the incense that comes before His throne. “Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God” (Rev. 8:3-4). The psalmist understood this imagery. “Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice” (Psa. 141:2). To the ungodly, prayer seems meaningless, almost a stench to them, but God sees it as a part of the aroma of heaven.
Hebrews chapter thirteen shows that our singing is part of the fragrance of heaven. “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” The world may judge singing by the melody and harmonious tones which come from our vocal cords, but God judges it by the melody made in our hearts. Sometimes, the world may think that the songs of some, unskilled in music, stink, but rest assured that “with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Heb. 13:16). Any Christian who has ever thought that he does not enjoy singing fails to see that God judges singing by the melody from our hearts (Eph. 5:19).
There is far more than just prayers and singing that is a beautiful aroma to God. When we tell others about Jesus it ascends to heaven as perfume (2 Cor. 2:15-16), and the same is true when we give to those in need (Heb. 13:16).
So, how do you smell? Not to the ungodly, but how often do you fill heaven with the perfume of your life?