Ps 9:1-2 I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. KJV
We have to make a choice when it comes to praise. We must decide to either praise our Lord halfheartedly or wholeheartedly. It’s not something we just let happen, it’s a conscious decision. If that decision is made with our mind it will more often than not end up becoming a halfhearted effort the moment we become distracted; whether by good or bad thoughts. On the other hand, if that decision is made based upon the desire of our spirit we will find ourselves entering into wholehearted praise.
But it’s not just that decision that is important. Yes, it’s what it means but there is more at stake than just the moment of praise. Consider this thought for a moment in the life of some individuals who didn’t understood the bigger picture and one who did.
When Mary entered the room with her alabaster box of expensive perfume she had already made the decision in her spirit. She immediately went to her Master and used that costly perfume to wipe His feet with her hair (Mark 14). The sweet fragrance of that perfume filled the whole room and blessed all those who were present. After everyone had gone Jesus still smelled of the sweet fragrance and so did Mary. It would no doubt follow both of them for several days, wherever they went. For the disciples, on the other hand, it was a different story.
They retained the fragrance while they were in His presence but when they left it wasn’t theirs because it wasn’t on them. Isn’t that just like us sometimes. We leave a wonderful worship service but half way home we discover that the fragrance is gone. We enjoyed it while we were there but we lost it on the way home, because like the disciples we just took in what somebody else was offering up to the Lord. It was Mary who broke the box and applied the perfume; she was the one wholeheartedly involved. The disciples just enjoyed the moment; they were halfheartedly involved. They just smelled the fragrance while Mary retained it.
We need to think about that picture the next time we enter into praise and worship. We need to enter in with a commitment from our spirit; setting all else aside. We need to break our bottle of precious praise and apply it personally. In the process we will benefit from the fragrance and after we leave we’ll take it with us. Yes, it will be a lasting blessing as our spirit is lifted, but there is something that is far more important at stake.
If we are like David and Mary and worship with our whole heart, we will carry the fragrance of that praise with us and it will be enjoyed by those around us. We need to be carriers of praise and not just those who passively enjoy it for the moment. Praise entered into with our whole heart, with a committed spirit, not only washes the Master’s feet, it covers us in the sweet fragrance of His presence that we take with us… to be enjoyed by us and to bless those whom we come in contact with.
What a blessing it is when someone notices and asks us about that sweet fragrance surrounding us. What an awesome opportunity to share that fragrance and the reason for it. Enter into praise and worship with your whole heart and let the Holy Spirit bathe you in the precious fragrance of His presence. And like everything with the Lord, He gives us back far more than we give Him.
Be a sweet smelling fragrance this week… you never know who might notice!