As I pen a prophetic devotional that will be released early next year, I’ve been spending hours upon hours in worship and prayer. The Holy Spirit has been speaking life-changing words to me that I believe will also be life-changing for those who read them in the years to come. The Holy Spirit’s words bring life, renew our minds to His way of thinking, and reveal His loving heart to us.
Deep worship, abandonment and surrender—a willingness to yield to His every movement as you listen for the sound of His heart—ushers you into the Holy Spirit’s presence in a magnificent way. Sometimes you can even smell His fragrance.
I’ve experienced the fragrance of God a few times, but never as strongly as this morning. I want to share with you what Scripture says about these supernatural experiences.
His Name Is Like a Perfume
In Song of Solomon, the Shulamite woman declares that God’s love is better than wine: “Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth” (Song 1:3-4). Where the name of Jesus is exalted in adoration, the stage is set for you to enter into a secret place in which you smell that anointed ointment that’s poured fourth in your midst.
The Fragrance of His Knowledge
Paul the apostle understood the sweet smell of victory—literally. When we follow the Holy Spirit no matter where He leads us, He will give us fresh power to be His witness and through us diffuse “the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 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). We may offer a repulsive smell to those who refuse Christ, but those who are seeking Him will smell His life upon our garments.
The Fragrance of His Love
When we walk in love, we give off His scent. God is love, and when we abide in Him, we will smell like Him. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 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” (Eph. 5:1-2).
The Fragrance of the Anointing
I’ve been reading about the Levitical priesthood this year. Most of it reminds me how grateful I am that Jesus went to the cross and we have relationship rather than rules that allow us to find forgiveness of sin, approach His throne and fellowship with Him freely.
But I appreciated the passages about the anointing oil, which was fragrant—and unique. Exodus 30:23-25 instructs, “Also take for yourself quality spices—five hundred shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much sweet-smelling cinnamon (two hundred and fifty shekels), two hundred and fifty shekels of sweet-smelling cane, five hundred shekels of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil. And you shall make from these a holy anointing oil, an ointment compounded according to the art of the perfumer. It shall be a holy anointing oil.”
The blend of herbs was used for the anointing oil and only the anointing oil. This was a type of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. A.W. Tozer, a 20th-century pastor, preacher, author, magazine editor and spiritual mentor to many, put it this way:
“The fragrance of the anointing oil was unique. If someone went near an Old Testament priest, he could say immediately, ‘I smell an anointed man. I smell the holy oil!’ The aroma, the pungency, the fragrance were there. Such an anointing could not be kept a secret.”
The Anointing Abides
Of course, if you are born again, the anointing abides: “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him” (1 John 2:27).
This is true, and yet there is a another experience of the anointing—that fragrance of God, the sweet-smelling aroma of His presence. One way to get to that place is through deep worship, opening your heart up completely to Him, asking for nothing and ready to receive anything He might offer, and pursuing His heart with all of your heart.
In the end, there’s no formula for entering into a place where the fragrance of God manifests. And that should not be our goal in intimacy, but oh, how sweet it is when He chooses to allow us to smell the fragrance of His knowledge, the fragrance of His love, the fragrance of His anointing! And if we’ll embrace that moment and allow that anointing to rest upon us, we’ll come out with a fragrance that will attract others to His heart. Amen.