Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.” Esther 2:12 (NIV)

This morning I read a particularly interesting peace from one of my daily devotions.The devotion shared more about our fragrance or our essence as people.It shared on the type of fragrance we give off around the people around us, the fragrance we give off when we worship God and lastly the type  of fragrance you share together with God.Is the fragrance pleasant or not?

When I read this devotion it immediately reminded me about Queen Esther and the ritual involving fragrant oils and perfume that she had to immerse herself in for 12 months before entering the King’s chambers. This ritual was part of her preparation to become Queen.

Upon reflection on this verse i realized that this particular piece of scripture is not necessarily  just about beauty and cosmetics,its based on character. I have been told so many times before that i have a calming effect on people around me ,especially some of my friends(they can be pretty wild).At other times I am told that i am easy to talk and have a trusting presence.After a while I came to realize that this is the fragrance I give off to the world.It is a fragrance that invites and engulfs the restless,broken and down-hearted to just sit a while with me and allow God to touch them through me.Its a wonder feeling to realize that God has bestowed that kind of gift upon my life and use it wisely.

A gift however,is freely bestowed upon us by God.What about the fragrances that we have to work for?The type of fragrance that needs to be pressed out of us and then needs to be nurtured so that it has a long-term effect. What about the 12 month fragrance…the fragrance of holiness?

As we have read earlier in the scriptures we understand that Esther had to bathe in oils and perfumes daily for 12 months before she came before the King for the first time.By the time that she engaged with the King face-to-face she had already adopted the smell of that beautiful fragrance.It became a part of who she was.I choose to believe that even after she married the King, she continued with the ritual for two reasons.Firstly that the fragrance was pleasing to the King and secondly because it became her second nature.

In the same manner we have to bathe in Holiness on a daily basis so that our fragrance may be pleasing to the King of Kings.It needs to become a culture, a ritual , a way of life for us,if we want to become His bride one day.

So remember the next time that your Pastor asks you to live a Holy Life,that it is not just a request,but an instruction from the Most High.