The Fragrance of Worship
"And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake…(Genesis 8:21)."
One thing that has become so completely lost in our modern Christian Church is the importance of walking "with" God daily. We have become so regimented and programmed by the world that we miss God interactions and the power they possess. The early parts of scripture, predating the Israel Covenant, are critical to us as they provide examples for us in how active God can be, will be, should be, and wants to be in our daily lives. The Hebrew writer revealed the consistency of Christ throughout the Church Age: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). We can and we should anticipate God being and doing what we have seen Him be and do too and for those who have previously walked with Him!
The interactions we see with God and humans are not haphazard, incidental, or aloof; they are strategically born and maintained through relationships. Relationships! Not visitations as site-seers and tourists, but loving, trusting, obeying, and depending on God daily. At times the interactions required something great of humans, and other times it required something great of God. Human beings depending on God, and God depending on human beings - this is the way of the Kingdom.
Noah needed a tremendous amount of trust to fulfill his purpose:
Being under scrutiny for 120 years
Building a ship surrounded by dry ground
Prophesying a coming flood
Salvation only for his family and two of every creature
Noah would need God for both the 120 years of construction and the months of drifting about because of the rain. The ask of God was high, but it was a relationship between the two had that made it acceptable.
Upon exiting the ark, Noah built an altar and made a sacrifice to God. He worshiped God. The scripture says the burning flesh, wood, and fire aroma were a sweet savour to God; so much so, God rescinds the curse upon the ground making a promise to never destroy all living creatures in such a manner. Was it the sacrifice, the components, or the intent of Noah? I believe it was the intent of Noah! A sacrifice without good intentions means nothing to God. Ask Cain! Noah's heart was speaking; that moment for Noah would have to be the sum-total of all the work over so many years, so many decades. This was a moment of Noah recognizing the incredible power and authority of God. God could literally smell the heart of Noah, and it was sweetness to Him.
What is the fragrance that radiates from you on a daily basis? What aroma fills your atmosphere when you worship? Is it drudgery to the call? Is it reluctancy for the mission? Is it rebellion? Or, is it, like Noah, a bouquet that is filled with the honor and privilege to carry out missions with The Holy God of the universe? Noah was the only individual with a pure bloodline and a heart for God during one of the evilest and depraved times of human history. Noah carried out the work with a heart that was pure and righteous toward God. We can, too!
Let's change our dispositions, humble ourselves before God and work the works He has sent us to do. Let's filled the atmosphere with a savour that will be pleasing in His nostrils and watch how He responds. Remember, worship is a manifestation of the intent of your heart. It is not simply an act being performed by a believer, such as raising your hands, saying hallelujah, or spontaneously falling to your knees during a slow song. God weighs the actions of our hearts. Let's shift our thinking from Him imposing His will upon us to being counted worthy to work in conjunction with Him. Check the fragrance of your worship!