Tag Archives: Dancing with God

Overwhelmed by God

Have you ever had a moment when you were completely overwhelmed by God? What happened? How did your spirit, soul, or body react to his touch?

Perhaps you wept…laughed…collapsed…rejoiced…shouted…were totally confounded…or just went silent.  All of us are different and all of us respond somewhat differently to God’s touch. But one thing is for certain, when God touches a person, that person knows they’ve been touched.

Yesterday, as we were ministering to people who came forward for prayer, I saw the touch of God on a shy, blond-headed little girl. The fact that she came forward and waited patiently for her moment of ministry in front of almost a hundred people amazed me.

In fact, when I turned to assist her, I was struck by the matter-of-fact manner in which she stepped forward. No hesitation. No fear. It was as though God himself was escorting her toward her heart’s desire and she would not be denied. This little girl was waiting patiently in line to be hugged and prayed for by a ninety-nine year old lady who had just spoken for about ninety minutes. She carried her burden quietly but confidently, as if she knew somehow she would not return to her seat with it.

Her voice was so soft that the praise and worship music seemed to drown her words out. Ms. Ruby motioned for me and told me she could not hear what the child was saying. So I leaned in and asked her what her need was. She replied very calmly, “My Papa died!” A knot welled up in my gut, and tears flooded my eyes, but I relayed the message to Ruby, who took this precious baby in her arms, hugged her like there was no tomorrow, and began to quietly pray with here. Two people, one ninety-nine and the other seven or eight took a load far too heavy to bear into the very throne room of God and I was an overwhelmed witness of the power of God.

I was transfixed and undone—knowing I was standing in a holy place where all the presence and power of God was being brought to bear on an unbearable burden that was crushing a child. I was afraid to move—it was such a holy moment. I stood still and gazed at the wonder of God’s love at work.

I watched as God embraced this tiny girl because she was his most important treasure in the world at that precise moment. Her burden became his burden as he lifted it off her petite shoulders. Ruby’s arms became God’s arms as he drew her close to his heart. Ruby disappeared, and in her place stood the King of kings and the Lord of lords—the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

I couldn’t think. Or say anything. Or do anything. I was confounded and confronted with the gentleness of omnipotence. I was overwhelmed by God, touched by his power, yet torn apart by the tenderness of that touch.

That same touch carved out the Grand Canyon, dug out the depths of the oceans, and tossed the mountains into place. This touch, that flung the stars throughout the universe and gouged out the pathways of the rivers, had just wiped the tiniest of tears of the cheek of a little girl. His touch had reached deep into her chest and lightened the heavy load crushing her broken heart.

And…I was overwhelmed by God. Overwhelmed…because I know that I know he loves you and me in the exact same manner. He is omnipotence willing to touch frailty and give power to the powerless. He is unbounding grace willing to caress the powerless, the vulnerable, the helpless and the impotent. He is infinite love swallowing up the unlovable and the unwanted.

Oh God, I am overwhelmed by your presence! May I reside here forever more?

The Lord of the Dance (Part 2 of 2)

imagesIt blows my mind to think about the fact that God is extending his hand in search of a partner who will accept and step out on the ballroom floor with him in this relational dance of life. Likewise, it boggles my mind to image what style of dance we might be doing.

It’s O.K. to daydream—to imagine —and allow the right side of your brain to run a little wild here. God created the dance as a passionate expression of worship, love, and joy. It was humanity that perverted it into a sexual exploitation and manifestation of self. So relax a little here—we’re setting that aspect aside and allowing our minds to imagine what it would be like to dance with God—the Lover of our soul. That fantasy might become a genuine reality if we can somehow click off those Victorian religious do and don’t systems we have wrongly saddled ourselves with in an attempt to define holiness. (Holiness is growing in maturity—becoming more like Christ, not ceasing to be human). Instead of exploring what God thinks for ourselves, we often allow others to interpret it for us through their restrictive lenses and filters.

Someone asked whether I thought this dance might be a waltz, a tango, or a rumba? I thought about this long and hard, and finally arrived at this place—whatever dance you can envision participating with God in is likely the dance you would be willing to do. If we can’t see it through the eyes of faith in our imagination, then it is highly likely it will never become a reality.

Perhaps you can conceive an elegant waltz spinning around and around the floor with fluidity and grace. Perhaps it is the precision and the passion of a tango in rapid tempo that leaves you with a shortness of breath and a flushness of the face. Or, perhaps is the slow, rhythmic movement of the rumba. Each of these requires an intimate partnership and a graceful flow of two becoming one in purpose and step. Any of these dances could be a beautiful metaphor of what our relationship with Christ was designed to be (a bridegroom living life with his bride). What your spirit can conceive here pales in comparison with the depths of Christ’s love for you (just read the Song of Solomon).

Forget about the crowd surrounding you. Clear your mind for a moment of all the portraits you’ve allowed others to paint of God.  Step away from the negativity and step into that quiet place where it’s just you and Jesus. Take his hand, close your eyes, and allow his selfless love and grace to embrace you.

And then…dance.

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.