The Lord God speaks to Moses and tells Him to say to Pharaoh this time, “Let My people go that they may serve Me.”
Before, the Lord said to let them go that they may sacrifice to Him in the wilderness. Serving God is being equated with obedience and sacrifice. That’s another word being added to our definition of worship. Serving God and worshiping God are being used to describe the same thing.
Romans 12:1 says “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” That was the New American Standard version. The King James translates “spiritual service of worship” as “reasonable service.”
It’s your “reasonable service” to lay your life down on the altar to be consumed with fire. It’s God’s altar and His consuming fire that burns away what’s not of Him and leaves us refined as pure gold and silver.
It may be a spiritual act of worship, but it requires real-life service, real-life sacrifice; but it’s reasonable to do so.
Would it have been reasonable for Pharaoh to submit to God?
In hindsight with our perspective, absolutely. Did it seem reasonable to Pharaoh to submit to a God he didn’t know and let his workers take time off? Not at all!
How easy is it for us to brush off a demand of sacrifice as not reasonable?
Whether it be giving time, money, energy, it is too easy to offer some spiritual-sounding worship and miss the true worship, the reasonable service of self-sacrifice.
A true spiritual act of worship shows itself in the physical world. We can’t just say nice things to God, sing a praise song, listen to Christian music and act like we are worshiping God. True spiritual worship spills over into service. True worship shows itself in a life of obedience and sacrifice.
Then your worship is holy and acceptable to God. Then your offering has a pleasing aroma to Him.
Think of a smell that puts a smile on your face, whether it’s coffee or bread in the oven. Picture God taking in a deep whiff of your worship and it putting a smile on His face. That’s the kind of worship you want to offer, and it looks like a living sacrifice, an act of obedient service.