“As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;”
“For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;”
2 Corinthians 2:15
Desire. The burning fuel of the heart and driver of all we seek. What we want most, our desires, sit in the deepest chambers of our soul, invisible to the eye yet powerful enough to shape our entire life. Indeed, to move mountains. We pursue our dreams diligently, often compelled to have more stuff, to get more love and to experience greater peace. Our hopes leak out and show themselves through our decisions and the choices we make every day.
Yet our best desires and compelling wishes have an odor. God smells them, like incense that sends swirls of flavored smoke toward the sky, filling rooms with an undeniable presence. These desires come packaged in many ways, like Christmas presents under the trees that collect them.
We sacrifice with thankfulness, where we praise Him for all His blessings.
We sacrifice when we study His word and revel in the wisdom of Scripture.
We sacrifice when we share the gospel to other.
We sacrifice any time we remember to praise Him for His majesty and grandeur.
All the ways we bring praise and glory to His name send a pleasing odor to God. Fills His room, the heavenlies, with one more example of a changed life on earth, bent on turning the attention away from self while putting Him on the throne. His throne. The only real throne. The next time you light a candle or burn some incense, reflect on all the ways you hope to serve Him and praise His name. Peer deeply into your own heart and soul and search for your own desires. And ask, “How many of my wishes center on Him and how many are simply my wants for stuff and an easier life.”
Then offer this prayer, “Lord, shape and mold me. Create in me a heart bent on finding, loving and adoring you. Keep me always focused on the blessings You give me every moment and light my heart on fire. And when it burns, let it burn with magnificent odors that suggest I’m getting to know you more each day, that I’m learning to love you more deeply and that I see Your hand in all I do.” “Let my odors be the sweetest kind, that permeate my home, relationships and every part of my life – a testimony to a soul learning to pant for you.”