Worship has been defined by theologians as a revelation and response. So we can say it is how we respond to the things God reveals to us. It could be revelations of things to be done (instructions) or of who He is; His promises or His guidance. How we respond to these revelations from and about Him determines if God receives our worship or not. So, we can safely attest to the statements that worship is a lifestyle. It is acts of obedience to revealed instructions; acts of awe to revealed aspects of Christ and confessions of faith to His promises.
Our worship towards Him reveals how we view Him. How we respond to God says a lot about how we feel about Him. The Bible in the book of Ephesians says we should be imitators of God, living in love towards man and God so that we are like Jesus in the way He worshipped God.
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)
God’s calls us to sacrificially be a fragrant offering but what does that mean to us?
When God speaks of us as fragrant offerings He speaks to our heart conditions – a pureness of heart with every beautiful virtue towards our responses to God. Cheerfulness in giving, love in service, humility in leading and honour in submission.
“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:16 (NIV)
Speaks of self denial in response to God. The things God may require of us sometimes may seem like an inconvenience at the time and to follow Him in these moments may require a lot from us. We may have to let go of certain things, things that may be dear to us, things that may affect our livelihood but God delights in us when we obey Him sacrificially.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1 (NIV)
So to be a “fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” is to deny yourself without grumbling. It is to worship Him when it excites you and worship Him when it endangers you.