Today, you’ll hear from a woman who shares similar heart desires to my own. I am so excited as she brings to you a gift–what was uniquely designed and given to her by the Lord for the purpose of edifying the body of Christ. Though we might be uncomfortable with the gifts others have, it’s true isn’t it, that we need one another? I pray you’ll be blessed as you hear from a woman who desires to please her Lord with every ounce of her being.
And, it’s a blog swap–I’m over at her place today writing about hope.
The banquet room was cleared of tables, and the worship band played a lively song with the beat of the bongos creating the perfect rhythm. The scene was set for my ever-growing passion to dance and commune with our Lord, but I didn’t do it. Well, maybe a little bit, but certainly not what you’d expect at a Christian blogging conference from a girl whose blog title is “Dance And Be Glad”.
The honest truth is this: I’m a dancer, a worshipper, but also a human being who faces fear of rejection by fellow man. It’s a constant battle, when my heart says, “Go”, and my mind tries to talk myself out of it for this reason or that. I’m no performer, nor is that my desire. I’ve never even taken an official dance class in my entire life. I simply want to praise God with everything that is within me, be drawn near to His heart, and allow Him to move through me as He sees fit…and I suspect that I am not alone in this desire.
I look around at churches during worship, and see the body “lifting holy hands” (1 Tim. 2:8), and it blesses my spirit to see God’s people physically responding to Him in this way. At the same time, it causes me to wonder…how much more of His spirit does He desire to pour out onto these people? I remember back almost 10 years ago when I committed my life to Christ for the first time: that newness of life stirring up inside of me was hard to contain! I was thankful to be part of a church where there was freedom to dance, and I would occasionally rise above my level of comfort and join the celebration: jumping, spinning, and “getting down with Jesus” till it was time for the message to begin. I suppose something about that experience has always left me hungry for more.
Indeed, some of the most intimate experiences I’ve had with the Lord throughout the years have happened as a result of “our dancing moments” together. More times than not, these have occurred within the comfort of my own home, but as I have gained confidence responding to Him with my bodily movements, the Lord has often led me to step outside of the comfort zone and allow his spirit to guide my heart and my body in ways that bring a deeper level of glory to Him and release His spirit of freedom among the body. I have found that there are few things more satisfying than to see fear being cast aside as people “come before Christ with boldness” (Hebrews 4:16), and witnessing the Lord move mightily as His church comes together in unity.
Yes, at times I still fail to respond to His call. Too often, I take my eyes off of the One who sees me as a child of The King, and instead start viewing myself with critical eyes. What will people think if I don’t look graceful..skilled..if I’m the only one who’s not in my seat, or standing still? Am I really called to do this?! Am I qualified?
I believe that the only way to silence such doubts lies in faithfully testing each of them with the word of God, and allowing His truth, rather than our feelings, to guide our steps. For example, Psalm 150: 4 is a biblical command to dance. Although there are surely other biblical ways to worship as well, we cannot simply say that we just aren’t called to honor the lord with our bodies in this way (1 Cor. 6: 19-20)
I also like to think of 2 Samuel 6, where David began leaping and dancing before the Lord with all his might. The fact that he wore only a linen ephod only further illustrates the point that He was unashamed to present himself as a living sacrifice before His God!!
My prayer is that I will continue to grow into the place of total confidence before the Lord, and that you, too, will begin communing with Him in this way. Philippians 4 is a great encouragement for the journey. Starting at home is a wonderful first step..but don’t be surprised if God has bigger plans! Above all, remember the reason behind the dance…to bring glory to the One True God..who Was, and Is, and Is To Come!
In closing, I’d like to challenge you with an inspiring word which recently came across my twitter stream: “When I think about it…I can’t put my love for God in words…but I can in dance.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement, and so I ask you, dear sisters,“Will you dance for Him with me?”
Leah loves Jesus, her family, dancing, writing, and a million other things. She blogs at danceandbeglad.com, where she seeks to encourage others to dance for the Lord and passionately pursue Christ through creative worship of any form. You can connect with her on facebook or on twitter @danceandbeglad.