Today’s post is DAY 3 from my 7 day devotional on praise entitled “Expand Your Expression”. Get it FREE today by joining our email list! Click here!
DAY 3 - LORD OF THE DANCE
“Let them praise His name with the dance…”
Several years ago, I went to a worship conference at Christ For the Nations Institute (CFNI) in Dallas, Texas. The keynote speaker opened up the conference with a message entitled “Lord of the Dance.” He spoke how the world had, in some ways, distorted the original design for dancing and prophesied that the Lord was bringing the dance back to the church. As a response to the word, he had the worship team lead us in an extended time of praise - specifically in the area of dancing! Imagine a full sanctuary of people jumping, leaping, and all the most awkward dance moves you can conjure up, and then do that for 30 minutes straight - all in direct praise to our awesome God!
There was such a level of freedom and breakthrough in the atmosphere it literally transformed my life. I was sore for days after that. But something got inside my spirit and has never left. It was the freedom to celebrate Jesus unashamedly.
This is what happened when David took over the kingdom of Israel and brought the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. The Bible says he danced before the Lord with all his might! (2 Sam. 6:14). And when he was criticized (by his own wife!) for his dancing, he replied that he would become even more undignified! (2 Sam. 6:22). This was one guy who cared less about the opinions of people and highly valued his relationship with the Lord!
The root word in Hebrew for “hallelujah” (praise the Lord) is hallal. It means to boast, to be clamorously foolish, to rave, to celebrate, to praise, to shine and even act like a madman. So in actuality, “hallelujah” is a pretty exuberant word! In my experience, many people rarely make it to this kind of praise. We like to stay generally mild in our expression. But there’s one thing that needs to be sacrificed in order to access this kind of praise - your dignity! Jesus is definitely worthy of it all! The Apostle Paul even writes from jail, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4).
Someone could say, “Well, isn’t that distracting or drawing too much attention to yourself?” The question is already focused too much on self. The question really is, will you give God your highest praise?
I love the life of revivalist and general of the faith, Smith Wigglesworth. He was recorded as saying:
“I don’t ever ask Smith Wigglesworth how he feels! …[in the morning] I jump out of bed! I dance before the Lord for at least 10 to 12 minutes – high speed dancing. I jump up and down and run around my room telling God how great he is, how wonderful He is, how glad I am to be associated with Him and to be His child.”
And how great God used this man!
Just in case you were wondering, God is actually a dancing God! Zephaniah 3:17 tells how He rejoices over His people. One of the Hebrew words for “rejoice” in that verse literally means to spin around with intense motion and leap for joy! In the New Testament, the Father was so overjoyed when the prodigal son came home, the scripture said you could hear music and dancing (Luke 15:25). Not only does God dance, but He invites you to get up off your seat and dance with Him in exuberant praise!
I would like to mention that I’m not saying we have to dance wildly every single time we praise God. But if we never venture into this kind of praise, then we’re missing out on something God has for us (and has asked us to do!). Take a moment in the secret place and dance before the Lord with all your might! You won’t regret it.
Questions to ponder:
> Have you ever danced with all your might before the Lord? What was that experience like for you? If not, imagine what a greater level of freedom would feel like.
> On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most expressive), where is your level of freedom in regards to dancing before the Lord?
> What do you think you could do to push yourself to the next level of expression?