Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
—Hebrews 13:15

The second step of Esther’s purification process was being perfumed. You know what perfume does. It makes you smell nice; it draws people to you. In the Bible, incense represents people’s praise to God. There was an altar of incense in the Old Testament tabernacle. When the priest poured the perfume on the hot coals of the altar of incense, the scent would go up to heaven. The Bible says that God received the incense offering as a sweet-smelling savor of praise. (See Leviticus 2:2.)

Of course, under the new covenant, we don’t have to sprinkle incense on a fire. All we have to do is open up our mouths and give God the fruit of our lips, which is the fragrance of praise in His nostrils. (See Hebrews 13:15.)

When we praise God verbally, it’s like spraying the most expensive perfume or cologne; it goes up to heaven and creates an aroma that gets God’s attention. Praise is more than making a noise. When you praise Him, you invite the presence of God, the calm of God, and the serenity of God into your life.

Praise is called “the oil of myrrh.” Remember the wise men who came to Bethlehem when Jesus was born? They brought frankincense and myrrh, which denote praise and adoration. Learn to be a worshipper.

Esther’s scent reached the king before she did. The reason the king extended his scepter to Esther was that she filled the throne room with her perfume of praise before she was given access into the king’s presence. We, too, come into God’s presence first by the aroma of our praise.

No wonder the ultimate worshipper, the psalmist David, said, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (Psalm 100:4). Esther was chosen, groomed, oiled, and perfumed.

When you praise, you get a sense of what God wants you to do. With praise comes prophecy. With praise comes direction. With praise comes God’s plan for your life.

Lord God, how could I think of You and fail to praise Your name? Forgive me for the times when praise has not flowed readily from my lips. You are truly worthy of all adoration and praise, and I want to make my life a constant, fragrant sacrifice to You. Amen.