Your life doesn’t belong to you. You don’t belong to you. You belong to someone else. You belong to God. And if you don’t believe and trust and obey the one you belong to, then you are enslaved and belong to someone else. You are a child of Sin.
It’s important to know who you belong to because that will dictate what you worship. If you belong to God then you will desire to worship God. If you are enslaved to sin and a child of Satan, then you will worship anything that is fleeting and decaying.
But what is worship?
 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (ESV)
Here is an answer. Worship is presenting our bodies as living sacrifices. That is spiritual worship. What you are presenting your body as a living sacrifice to. Maybe it’s money, your lusts, a friend or your family. Maybe you present your body as a living sacrifice to your job, career, hobby, or marriage. What is it you are presenting your body as a living sacrifice to? Notice a living sacrifice is something your doing every moment. Your doing it with every breath, every thought. You are living, and your life is being sacrificed for something. Is it for God or is it for something else?
If it’s to something else then you are an idolater. It can be good things you use your life for. It can be for evil things you use your life for. Whatever it is, if it’s not God you are a living sacrifice for then you are an idolater.
Often, it’s the good things that Christians are giving their lives for. The danger is our worship being masked as for God but truly it is for something entirely else. Our hearts are deceitful and wicked.
I’ve seen a church that is a living sacrifice for evangelism. It works and moves and breaths in every way it can to evangelize. This sounds like a good thing, the only problem is our aim in life isn’t evangelism. Our aim in life is to love God with everything. Apart of loving God may be evangelism, but it’s not the central thing.
What happens when evangelism to the world becomes the spiritual worship of a church, the thing it sacrifices itself for, is that the truth about God begins to fade, and what God accomplished becomes diminished, and soon people entering the doors is far more important than those people loving God.
It’s the problem the pharisees had. They ended up loving their regulations more than God, and soon they ignored parts of scripture because they wanted to worship God the way they wanted to.
God wants us to love Him with all that we are. He requires all of us. This means we must take the first steps in orienting our lives in accordance with His word. But this cannot be done apart from the mercies of God. This cannot be done apart from His grace and forgiveness for our sins.
This is why Paul in Romans appeals to us by the mercies of God. It is only by the mercy of God that we can even begin to love Him. And God demonstrated His mercy to us by Jesus Christ, who took on our sin. We have committed grievous sins against a holy God, and we deserve wrath. But Jesus bore that wrath and took the place of His people. Trust in His work and join the fellow saints in being under the mercies of God.