Friday, June 9, 2017

Sweet Aroma

Funny when you think about it … all the things that make up a relationship.  It doesn’t matter how young or old a person is, everyone brings some form of baggage into the alliance.  
If we really stopped to think about it, what else do we bring into our friendships, partnerships and marriage that makes or breaks the deal in the connections made with fellow man? 
It wasn’t until something my husband said and did recently that caused me to dig deeper into what he felt was my contribution into this long-term deal people call “marital bliss.”  

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Showered with Favor 
It was morning when I walked into the kitchen and my husband was sitting at the table. 
“Come here.” He said stretching out his arm directing me into position.  
Standing in front of him he took hold of my shoulders causing me to bend forward.  As he pulled me close he started smelling my face.  
What are you doing”, I asked inquisitively quickly backing away from his embrace stating:  “Unauthorized sniffage!” 
“I was smelling your aroma and the Noxzema on your face.” (I had just washed up for the day as I normally do).  “It reminds me of when we first got married.”   
“What are you talking about?” 
 “Your aroma, it’s what you brought into our marriage.”  
Still baffled but intrigued, I reluctantly waited to see how this would play out in his favor (with him not getting in the dog house so early in the morning), I asked what he meant. 
Sitting back in his chair he took me down “smellory” lane. 
“It was the day after the wedding when I watched you spread out your things on the bathroom counter.  I smelled the stuff on you, but never saw how it went together.
All the sweet smells; that aroma bathed the room … your shampoo … I love the smell of your hair … Wind Song perfumes, soap, facial cleanser and hand cream.  Even your clothes smelled like lavender.  
The aromas bring memories to mind. It’s something you still present every day and I love that about you.”   
I responded with, “What a sweet thing to say.”  My mind took a detour dwelling way too much on what he said, so I didn’t have a quick comeback giving him a compliment that he probably expected and deserved.   
For the rest of the day I was basking in his adoration.  Whether deserving or not, it made me want to shower him with lavish praise and favor.  It reminded me of how God must feel.  When we bring a sweet aroma of praise in worship or service, He showers us with His favor.   
That night we spent time singing praise songs before retiring to bed.  Our spirits were calm, relaxed and full of joy.  Not only did our physical bodies have a clean smell, our hearts and attitudes had that sweet aroma God longs for us to bring into relationship with Him.  

The Aroma of Your Heart 
Being honored by my husband with his thoughts on the aromas that I have brought into our marriage and what they mean to him is a real blessing, especially when my attitude doesn’t always reflect my outward aroma.  His comments made me feel good. I even wanted to cook him an elegant dinner!  Wanted being the key word … it didn’t happen quite the way I hoped, but still worked out great. 

Throughout the week I thought about that one phrase my husband said; it preyed on my mind and led me to the Word of God.  I asked myself, “What have I brought into this marriage with the aroma of my heart?” 
There have been times when I’ve caught myself wondering how I ever put up with some things all these years in marriage, but then I look at my own life.  I can’t figure out what makes hubby stay with such a stinky attitude at times.  This is what we’ve both learned.   
Having the right attitude when you enter into prayer makes all the difference.  We have learned to pray for the other person and their needs over our own, and in turn we love to show one another tremendous favor without expecting something in return. 
My husband is my best friend, but he’s not always at the top of my list when it comes to being a spouse.  Not because I don’t love him, but because I get disappointed in life sometimes and expect him to figure things out if I can’t.  He never wavers, never wearies or grows tired of my “we’ve got to do this” attitude.   
Even in all his sweaty clothes that take on a scent of their own, his heart aroma remains the same.  

Drenched in the Wrong Scent 

Not all outward aromas are pleasing or ones that you want to remember.  There have been some people that when they walk by your eyes water and you have to hold your breath like Olympic medalist Amanda Beard does under water until they pass.  
Then there are others that seem to have drenched themselves in scent and when I mean drenched, I mean DRENCHED!  Heavy perfume in a choir setting has more than once caused my throat to close up and made it very difficult to sing. 
So many times we splash on an outward scent hoping to mask the stench that is in our heart.  We drench ourselves with the wrong scents of unforgiveness, contention, discord, bitterness, anger and anxiety.  Were you aware that fear actually has a scent?  All emotions do, and that’s why we often attract the wrong things. 
Instead our entire personage should be expelling the aroma of love, joy, peace, kindness … in other words, the fruit of the spirit we received upon salvation through Jesus Christ.   

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
 kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV) 
The Bible tells us what God actually responds to in our actions that causes Him to show favor, is the “aroma” of Jesus He finds in us.  Think of it like this. If we are obedient to follow the discipleship Jesus taught in the Bible, that is what God sees.  He doesn’t see us, but the fragrance of Jesus in us as recorded in 2 Corinthians 2:15.  

“Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.
But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being
 saved and by those who are perishing. (2 Corinthians 2:15 NLT)  

“For we are a sweet perfume of Christ to God in those being saved
and in those perishing.” (The Berean Literal Bible)

“For we are a sweet fragrance to God in The Messiah among those who have life and among those who perish.”
(Aramaic Bible in Plain English) 
God looks on the heart and if the attitude reflects what is in His heart, favor is sure to follow and He will cause favor to grow in relationships of ours. (Luke 2:52)
 Relational Favor 
To be honest when I first caught “wind” of what the Lord put in my heart to write about on the topic “sweet aroma,” I wrestled with it for days.  All the elements were there except one, and if I don’t feel right about something I will wait to post/publish it until it’s settled in my spirit. 
When I sat down to put all my thoughts into words I was sidetracked, distracted and non-focused.  I just couldn’t wrap myself into what I was doing.  Finally I shut down the computer and went to bed, knowing that my post wouldn’t be at the usual time.  Until I feel it’s something God wants me to share in His Words, I keep silent. 
Throughout the night I prayed trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.  The Lord reminded me of something I wrote several years ago when things don’t gel or come together like they should. Look at it from a different angle.  That was it; I needed to take A.N.A. – A New Approach at why the elements weren’t connecting.  When I did, it clicked 
I was trying to connect the favor of God to certain incidents when all along I should have been looking at how God connected favor to mankind, from mankind.  It was about relationship (or relational) favor among the brethren that I was missing. This is what God wanted me to learn from my husband’s statement: “… what we bring into the relationship.” 
As soon as I looked at things through the eyes of the other person I noticed something that was a major element in all the relationships that made them work.  It was prayer.  

The Iron and the Cord 

Now looking at things in an entirely different perspective tons of illustrations came to mind from the Bible.  Royalty, men, women, friends, spouses, siblings ... you name it they have a common “scent” about them.  Some relationships faired sweet; some not so fragrant.  Those whom God distributed favor to always started out in prayer before moving forward. 

The Shepherd David was ordained by God to be the next king, however King Saul the current ruler despised his replacement and spent his adult life hunting him down to be killed.  An unusual relationship emerged during this time span, that of Prince Jonathan and David.  Scriptures tell us that the two men were so close that even death didn’t separate their loyalty. (Jonathan's son received favor from David when he was king after the Prince was killed in battle.)
How was that possible?  Through time spent in prayer and fellowship with God, David found grace in the eyes of the Lord which caused the bond to be developed.  Each person brought strength into the relationship in various ways, and when they worked together became a strong force that even the King couldn’t stop.  The Bible refers to that kind of relationship as “iron sharpening iron.”   

“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance
of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17 NKJV) 
Scripture gives the framework of the value of a friend, whether it is in marriage or any relationship. 
Ultimately we are rewarded with the power of God through His favor to grow the companionship if it includes Him as the first party in the endeavor. 
“Two are better than one,
because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
for he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together they will keep warm;
but how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
(Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NKJV) 
So many names came to my thinking when I looked how certain individuals gained favor from another in an unusual setting.  Just to mention a few: Abraham with all men, Joseph with a Pharaoh, Nehemiah with the King, Esther who ended up marrying a King … all a result of time spent in sweet fellowship with God through the words of praise and thanksgiving in prayer.  

Favored Hubby … or wife 

Ah, but here lies the truth … Solomon’s words ring sweet in my ears when he said,
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the LORD.” (Proverbs 18:22 NKVJ)
I would encourage you to see this verse in the light of a godly man as well. 
All relationships of God will find favor when they operate according to His plan sharpening one another’s strengths, bringing value into the friendship.  However, when a husband (or wife) values their spouse as a godly influence, he/she will receive favor from the Lord because they see the other person as Jesus does – Highly Favored and valued! 
The love of Christ is reflected through time spent in prayer for a spouse.  It’s what each brings into the relationship that makes the person (inside and out) a “sweet aroma” to enjoy whenever they are together.  

This Week’s Challenge:
Sweeten Your Aroma 
It was fun thinking on the things my husband and I have brought into our relationship, both now and before our marriage.  Although sweet aromas on both sides filled the air, it wasn’t the only thing we toted with us.   
Emotional baggage too heavy to carry, stench of old relationships, pockets empty, but hearts full came with the package.  However, the “cord” that tied us and began in our teens remains today.  Daily prayer together and alone with the Lord is what leads us into favor from God, mankind and one another. 
Hubby didn’t realize he opened a carnal heart of thinking when it came to how stingy I’ve been in some of my relationships over the years.  With a repentant heart, it brought me to the mercy seat of God in prayer for a new bottle of fragrant anointing oil I could pour out on others, especially my husband. 
Our challenge this week is to prayerfully look at what we’re bringing into each of our relationships, mainly that of God and our spouse if married. 
Are we coming to the table smelling all sweet and squeaky clean on the outside, but are stinking up the room with our bitter attitudes?  It’s easy to pick apart someone else for their faults, without seeing the good in them.  What if it were the other way around? 
Be honest before God and yourself by taking a good look at your heart.  If you have to, force yourself to look into a mirror and ask:  
1 – What am I bringing into this relationship that would cause God to shower favor on it?  

2 – Am I the one (still looking at yourself) stinking up things?    

3 – What aroma have I already given off today, and girl/boy what are you going to do to change it?  

No matter who the “haters” are in your life (like King Saul was with David), they can’t do anything to you if your heart is right with God.  The Heavenly Father can “smell” a heart for Him anywhere, and favors the aroma you bring into fellowship with Him.  

With a new attitude and song in your heart it won’t be long before a sweet aroma of love, grace, mercy and favor fill each relationship you are privileged to have in your life!   

Hallelujah, Lord we praise You.  Hallelujah, Lord we love You.
Let our “new” song be a sweet aroma of praise!
Sweet Aroma of Praise (by Discover Worship formally Worship Today)
This is a song I have taught to our congregation(s).

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Until next time, a fragrant attitude is rewarded by God’s favor. 

“Is that sweet aroma coming from you My child?”
Jesus Christ 

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: Emphasis is given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God. 
When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 
Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness.
What’s New This Week: Click on the photo or link.
In favored scents of: Myrrh, Frankincense & Rose of Sharon 
NOTE to Worship Leader/Music Director:  You can purchase the music, track and sheet music for your choir/musicians at Discover Worship.  We did & are pleased with the package.  purchase the music, track and sheet music for your choir/musicians at Discover Worship.  We did & are pleased with the package.

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Scripture references provided by Gateway Bible in the New King James Bible Version or as noted. 

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Wendy Hiler in Anne of Green Gables, Daily Favor Blog, Daily Favor Prayer, Discipleship, Favored1, Prayer, Sweet Aroma, Anointing Oil, When Iron Sharpens Iron, Christian Living., Facing the Giants, Anna of Green Gables