In one of our fellowship meetings, we had talent displays where talent groups displayed dance steps to certain Christian songs, drama groups acted on stage and there was choreographic display too. The choir also presented diverse songs ranging from slow songs to danceable songs and we all danced to the glory of God. Immediately we dismissed for the day, lots of people were in line to see me. At first I thought they wanted to be counselled or be prayed for which usually the case or at least I was thought they wanted to share some testimonies of how God had used the ministers to bless their lives but it wasn’t the case. They were simply waiting to tell me that God or their own spirit told them that something was wrong with the program we just concluded. Hear what one of them told me
“Sir, I know it’s not an easy task to organise programmes such as this but something is definitely wrong. I thought Christianity should be a gathering of serious people… I don’t see the reason why we should entertain dances and songs with fast beats. I doubt I was in the right place when I saw the choir singing songs that are more danceable than quiet. We are not here to be happy… We are here to get our hearts pierced, to be convicted of sin and to learn morals and not to dance and make merry in the Church”
Many believers are like that, they are so anti-social and anti-joy! They hate it when people laugh in the church or dance in the Church but is that really what God wants? Does God want a quiet church or quiet gathering? Does God want people with serious faces and with tears of sorrow in their eyes all the time? Let us take some look into the scriptures and see what God want his people to do
“…pick up your tambourines again. You will dance with all the other people who are having fun” Jeremiah 31:4 (ERV)
You see that? God was saying it himself! One of the things God specializes on is to put smile on people’s face because he loves to see his people smile. God wants a smiling church and not a crying Church. God said in verse 7 to 8 of the same book of Jeremiah 3
“Be happy and sing for Jacob… Shout your praises!” (ERV)
God wants you to be happy; God wants us to fill the atmosphere with shout of praise. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 30:11
“Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness”
God saves us from mourning to dancing because he wants us to express the joy that he gives! I doubt there is any quiet Holy Spirit filled Church. I seriously doubt it because God doesn’t want quietness in his church. The Scriptures says in 1 Chronicles 15:28
“Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.”
The ark of God represents the presence of God and when Israel brought the ark, they did not welcome it with quietness, they never brought it without moody faces, and they brought it with shouting, joy, dancing and playing of the music instruments. In Act 2:6 when the Holy Spirit descended like tongues of fire, there was noise! I want us to know what the noise was about. In verse 11 the people who had gathered said
“…we can all understand the great things they are saying about God” (ERV)
They were praising God! With these and many more scriptures, you will suddenly discover that God wants us to dance and be happy to his glory! Where problem comes in is when we are having fun for just our own sake or just for the sake of entertaining ourselves without focus on God!
Why we dance in God’s presence is because God’s presence is heaven to us! God blesses his people all the time with joy and that joy is brought into display whenever we praise God. Even Satan hates to see believers dance, he wants to limit believers of their joy and many times it is the very religious persons that he get with such ideas that God doesn’t desire much of our praise! It is in the place of praise that God’s power is much more evident because when we praise God, we look away from most of the world’s problems, we loose concentration on our doubts and we focus on God’s greatness. By focusing on God’s greatness, we see ourselves giving way for him to do great and mighty things!
Of course there is always a time to be quiet, a time to be alone with God, a time to sit and listen to God’s word, a time to think quietly about God and about our lives! But those times are often personal. We all have personal relationships with God, we allow the Holy Spirit to put in us certain desires and convictions! We listen to God’s word quietly so that we grab the revelations and when we grab the revelation, we welcome it or praise God for it in a very peculiar way! Sometimes, I see myself shouting in my quiet time when I see wonders in God’s word. There are places I see in the Scriptures and I jump up and shout!
Jesus gave us a picture of how heaven looks like, and from the picture he gave us, heaven isn’t a dull place, it is a place of rejoicing and dancing. In Luke 15:7, Jesus said
“…there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” (NIV)
I will summarize this teaching with showing you another place in the scripture where God is dancing! God is literally dancing, skipping, leaping and spinning around in joy for your sake. And he does that with shouts of joy! Is that in the bible? Yes! Zephaniah 3:17
“The Lord your God is with you. He is a hero who saves you. He happily rejoices over you, renews you with his love and celebrates you with shouts of joy!”
The Hebrew word used in the above verse as ‘rejoice’ is ‘gil’ often transliterated as ‘giyl or gheel’, it is a verb, an active word. It means more than just rejoicing, it means to cry in joy, gladness, exult, be excited, go round or about, to be bright, cheerful, make mirth and rejoice. It strongly means to spin around under influence of emotion. The Psalmist used the same word in Psalm 2:11, Psalm 9:14, Psalm 13:5 and lots of other concurrencies. This explanation explains that God dances over us with great shouts of joy!
Beth Jones said “I love to dance, and so it is easy for me to imagine God dancing too – even at times jumping and leaping in the air, spinning around with great energy and joy. I can also see Him taking my hand in a slow dance, holding me close to Him, so close that I can even hear his strong heartbeat. That is how close God wants us to be to Him, like John who laid his head on Jesus’ breast. (John 13:25). God wants you and me to hear His heart beating with love for us”
Next time you sing, dance and make merry to God’s glory! Refuse to be limited in your joy for God because the joy of the Lord is our strength.
God bless you.
How do you see dancing in Church? Why do you dance? Say you mind!