The Lord of the Dance (Part 1of 2)

imagesGod is looking for someone to be his dance partner. That is, men and women who will extend their heart and hand and take hold of his and dance with him. The dance is a metaphor for his grace and intimate relationship he longs to have with each of us.

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Wait just a minute! Not so fast! Are you telling me God dances? That’s not what I was taught growing up. We don’t dance, we don’t chew, and we don’t go with girls who do! God dances…yea right!

I understand, I was told and taught the same thing. But…don’t always believe everything you are told or taught without doing some personal investigation. Most believers are familiar with the fact that God sings over us as Zephaniah 3:17 so clearly relates. We get excited about that but miss another characteristic of God. He also exults over us with joy. The word “exult” means to jump, leap, spin around, or dance with passion and emotion. God exults—he dances over us.

But—he also wants to dance with us. Life is not a solo dance; it is a dance in partnership with God similar to ballroom dancing. In ballroom dancing each partner has his or her responsibility. The man leads and the woman follows. The man provides the frame—the posture—and the woman must relax in his arms and allow him to move her across the floor in a series of choreographed steps to the rhythm of the music. She must relax and trust him. Her steps mirror his steps, but she must do them in reverse—often without being able to see where they are going. When this is achieved there is only one fluid movement of unity—the two dancers become one in purpose.

This dance with God is very similar. God leads and we follow. Otherwise all we have is a WWF wrestling match. When you or I refuse to allow God to lead it means we don’t trust him. Dancing with God requires an unconditional surrender—easy to write about but really tough to do.

As we surrender, God takes us in his arms and dances with us through life. This is an intimate picture of true relationship. God holds up close and in this loving embrace we learn to hear his heartbeat. If we become familiar with his heartbeat, we will understand his will. His plan for our lives begins to make sense and we begin to understand why this or that event happened the way it did. Eventually, if we draw close enough, we begin to see things from his perspective—through his eyes.

Dancing with God is not about learning all the steps or dressing up in spectacular outfits. All you have to do is extend your hand and surrender as you take his hand. He knows the steps. He does not need you to hit all the marks or keep perfect count in the rhythms or the beats. He only wants you to relax and let him lead.

This dancing, singing God longs for you to look up as he extends his hand to you. He yearns for you to take his hand and relax in his embrace. He desires to dance with you and lift you up out of those circumstances and situations that push you down. He wants to draw you close when danger is near. He longs to spin you around and around until you are so drunk in his presence and the powers of his grace that you can no longer stand and must be carried.

True, this may not be the Sunday School god of your childhood or the angry, wrathful god portrayed each Sunday in those eleven o’clock guilt and shame-filled homilies, but this is the God of the Bible—the genuine Lord of the dance.