Leaving home for college has been such a sweet adventure of trusting God and continuing to walk in His faithfulness. It is absolutely beautiful how even when our seasons change, He remains constant, and in Him we can remain steadfast. He will never lead you into a place that He has not already gone before you and been. Great is His faithfulness. He never wastes a season. Great is His faithfulness. This has been a hymn within my heart that cannot be contained because He is just so crazy good!
Something so incredibly special is the joy of getting to go back home. Coming home from college for Thanksgiving and walking into my house that is jam packed with such splendid memories and laughs and tears and shouts of praise was a true gift. One of my favorite parts about the moment of walking through doors is the smell. Do you know what I am talking about? How each home you have entered or each family you have gotten to spend time with, do you recognize and agree that each one has such a unique and particular smell? Some smells may make you smile and others may make your nose crinkle up. Some bring you to a place to say “ahhhhhh” in complete comfort and relief. Some bring memories that you love reflecting on, and others may bring you to a place of remembrance that still stings and hurts. The aroma of a home holds a magnitude.
As I danced in the sweet aroma of my home and as I hugged my family and their lovely smells filled the air, I began to think about the aroma of my heart. For indeed, our hearts are homes and we get to decide what the foundation will be and what we want to occupy the rooms. When Christ is the solid foundation upon which our heart is built and His presence is what occupies every room, then the aroma of Himself will overflow into all that we do.
An aroma that is pleasing to the Lord is the sweet fragrance of Christ. For anyone who is in Christ, the old has past away, and behold, the new is here! Because of the blood of Jesus, believers no longer have to walk in the stench of sin and shame. In no way, shape, or form am I near perfect, but by grace, I am made pure and whole in the presence of God. This aroma overflows from the inside out of my home that is now found securely in His presence. And when others come near my home or smell the aroma of my life, they will smell Christ. The response to this aroma is not consistent.
“In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, He brings the knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation-an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse. This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No-but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.” (2 Corinthians 2:15-17 MSG)
Some people will respond to the aroma of my home with an “ahhhhh” of complete comfort and relief, while others will respond with a crinkled nose of disgust. A response of disgust comes from a home that is unfamiliar with His presence. They do not yet know Him. They will hate the smell that I am overflowing with.
“If you were to give your allegiance to the world, they would love you and welcome you as one of their own. But because you won’t align yourself with the values of this world, they will hate you. I have chosen you and taken you out of the world to be mine.” (John 15:19 TPT)
You are His. He has chosen you and called you to be in the world but not of it, and this is why it is so important to not let the reactions of others determine how you act. For the response of the world is not about you, it is simply a reflection of what is taking place within their own home, the home that is their heart.
So beloved one, keep giving off the sweet aroma of Christ. Continue to dance in whatever is true and lovely and noble and right and pure and excellent and admirable and praiseworthy. Continue to walk in love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and gentleness and faithfulness and self-control. Continue to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you and bless those who curse you, for indeed they crinkle their nose at you and treat you like a stench from a rotting corpse because they do not yet personally know the One Who occupies your home. Continue to share God’s Word with all fearlessness and awe. The presence of Jesus within you is a pleasing aroma to the Lord and you are here to please Him, not the world. How freeing it is to live knowing that the Lord is fully satisfied with you, and in that you were made to be fully satisfied in the Lord.
There are homes all around you that are in dire need of a sweet perfume to come and cleanse the stenches of every room that is being occupied with the smells of bitterness and brokenness and insecurity and shame. Their homes are full of darkness, yet they feel so empty. And as a beloved of Jesus, we have the responsibility of being His ambassadors! He calls us to “let [our] light so shine before men so that they may see [our] good works and glorify our Father Who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NIV). “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9 NIV) and radiating the perfume of the Great I Am is what tiggers do best! yoohoohoohoo!! The wonderful thing about being His is that being His is a wonderful thing. And His love does not end with me, but rather it continues with me and I simply cannot keep this aroma to myself. And who knows, there may be some people around you who have left home and forgotten the smell of freedom and the Lord wants to use you to remind them of the victory that He has given them. Do not water down your scent! The words you speak, the way you walk, the thoughts you dwell upon, the life you live is all going to reflect whose presence is occupying your home.
“Guard your heart above all else, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)
When the presence of the Lord is the keeper of your home, the aroma of all that He is will overflow into everything you do. The Lord longs to occupy your home. He longs to be the foundation of your home. In fact, He fearfully and wonderfully made you by Him and for Him and it is only when you invite Him to be your foundation that your home will be sweet smelling and made whole. I pray that today you can dance in the sweet fragrance of freedom, because this is the pleasing aroma that was purposefully given for you.