Build An Ark: Cultivating a Fragrant Worship
Cultivating a Fragrant Worship
I must have sung it a thousand times, Lord, let my worship be pleasing
to You, let it be as a sweet fragrance rising before Your throne!
This is an excellent prayer to sing. And I believe it is a wonderful desire
to have our personal and corporate worship ascend before God as a sweet
fragrance. To bring Him pleasure is a desire of every lover of Jesus.
But this doesnt happen just because we sing it. Our worship is not
fragrant to Him because we offer the right song at the right time. It is
not fragrant because of a creative melody or meaningful lyrics. It's not
fragrant because it is so beautifully and skillfully expressed. All of these
things are good, but its whats in our hearts that makes our
worship a sweet fragrance to the King of Kings. He looks upon the heart
of the worshiper. Just as it takes much work to cultivate a garden so it
produces flowers and fruits that give off a beautiful fragrance. So it takes
cultivating the garden of our hearts in order to offer a fragrant worship
that is pleasing to the Father.
Here are some ways in which we can cultivate the kind of heart that produces
a fragrant worship.
Get Rid of the Stuff that Stinks!
Stuff like sinful habits, self will, humanistic philosophies all have an
offensive odor to God, in other words, they stink! The good news is that
the Lord has made a way for us to overcome anything we have in our lives
like this. The Lord will progressively cause us to be overcomers in every
area of our lives as long as we are willing to follow Him.
2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always
leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma
of the knowledge of Him in every place.
We cant cover up the smelly stuff and expect our worship to bea fragrant
aroma to the Lord. That would be like trying to cover up your body odor
with cologne. You may be able to fool most people, but try to get intimate
with your spouse and all of the sudden youve got to deal with it!
Youve got to get clean before you go any further. The Lord is not
surprised with the stuff in our lives that stinks, He just wants us to overcome
it. As we do, the fragrance of Jesus will be present in the areas that we
gain victory. This is pleasing to the Father.
Persevere with Patience!
Though I would like it to be, it cant always be summer. It takes all
the seasons to produce a fragrant garden. In the same way, it takes us embracing
all the workings of the Lord for us to grow fragrant in our worship.
Song of Solomon 4:16 Awake, O north wind, And
come, wind of the south; make my garden breathe out fragrance, let its spices
be wafted abroad. May my beloved come into his garden And eat its choice
The north wind speaks of the uncomfortable things the Lord brings into our
lives. At first it is difficult to see the purpose of God in these things.
But after we have been through many of these north wind times
with the Lord, we see how they are part of what produces the fragrant fruit
of the Holy Spirit. We can actually come to the place where we are thankful
for the north wind just as much as the warm, refreshing south wind.
James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when
you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces
patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect
and complete, lacking nothing.
It is a beautiful fragrance to the Lord when we walk through each trial
with patience. If we are wronged, we forgive, if we are reviled, we bless
and in everything we begin to bring forth the fragrance of Jesus. This is
pleasing to the Father.
Be a Love Offering!
The Lord doesnt force us to give anything to Him, especially our worship.
He is looking for those who, out of love for Him, freely offer themselves
to Him. This kind of love offering pleases the Father.
Romans 12:1 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.
This is the way Jesus showed us. His whole life was a fragrant aroma to
the Father. We can begin to have the fragrance of Jesus in our worship when
we walk as Jesus did.
Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, just as Christ
also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice
to God as a fragrant aroma.
Imagine the joy of the Father when He begins smell, ever so faintly at first,
that same fragrance that rose from the earth when His Son walked here. I
can just see Him standing up in the heavenlies, breathing in deeply, saying,
yes, thats it, thats the fragrance of My Beloved Son. To the
Father this is the most precious fragrance in all of creation. I can see
Him smile as He looks down with pleasure upon one of His worshipers whose
song is rising up to His throne. Hey look, that worshiper is you!