Early on a Sunday morning I gave Jesus an invitation: ”Do what will bring YOU joy, Jesus. Come and dance in my life! Do what will delight you in my life today!”
In the middle of praying, reading the Bible and singing praise songs, I felt the urge to text a friend who plays bass guitar on a worship team. “No, you shouldn’t interrupt the flow of your quiet time,” I told myself. “Pay attention to the Holy Spirit!” But against my better religious judgment, I went to my phone and sent the text saying I was dancing with Jesus to “Praise to the Lord, The Almighty” on the worship CD of the praise band he plays in and prayed Jesus would dance in joyous delight that morning at church through my friend and his team. Bear in mind that I hadn’t contacted this friend in over four months when I write what then happened.
I returned to my own singing, and sure enough, I felt somehow that I’d missed the moment, spiritually speaking. I went on to another train of thought in my prayer journal until a jingle from my phone told me I’d received a text message. My friend texted something that stopped me in mid-journaling: “Your timing is impeccable. I’m preparing to play all three services at Bel Air this morning for the first time in a couple of months. Thank you so much!”
Jesus, YOU did it! YOU were leading me in a dance of blessing in my friend’s life, and I never suspected I was dancing with you when I texted him! My prayer journal page morphed into a drawing of a wild series of footsteps punctuated by the words in capital letters “DANCE ALL OVER ME! DANCE ALL OVER MY LIFE! Every place your feet dance, there lives and resides and rules and reigns your GLORY!”
Oh, Lord, never let me be so ”religious” that I miss the blessings you want to pour out to and through and for me!
Take center stage, Jesus! Zephaniah 3:17 reads: The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. The Hebrew word for rejoice in this verse implies mirth, gladness, and twirling dance.
Do I ever realize, truly get in my gut, that God rejoices over his children? Can I envision the great I AM giddy with delight when we let him enter into our lives and direct our feet or our texting fingers? I have a strong hunch that Jesus wants to dance with me and in my life much more frequently than I extend the invitation to him. – that my God is much less “religious” than we think – at the very least, much more intimate and joyful than we ascribe to him – and much more the passionately loving Father who genuinely cherishes his kids. I need to give him more freedom to be himself in my life for his own pleasure.
Radical, I know, when we also have to hold in our consciousness at the same time how truly holy and set apart God is. I think my limited pound of brain tissue can only think of him in one frame of reference at a time, so I’ve decided I need to be more intentional about giving Jesus center stage on the dance floor in my devotional time. I don’t want to become so familiar that I lose sight of his holiness, but I don’t want to become so “religious” that I deprive my Creator of his deepest joy. Maybe that’s what Jesus had in mind when he told his disciples we have to come to him as little children. I loved to see my earthly father grin at me. What a grin I want to see some day on the face of my Heavenly Father when I take that running leap into his lap and let him twirl over me and with me “for real.”
In the meantime, Jesus, yes, you may certainly have this dance! You have impeccable timing, and your footwork in connecting and blessing would win first place in ”Dancing With the Stars.” Come to think of it, you probably do!
A “ . . . BUT . . . “ to move: Sometimes, Jesus, I keep you at such a holy distance that I know I don’t allow you to enjoy my relationship with you. It’s hard to think of my God rejoicing over me with singing, BUT today I choose to let you _____________________________________________ in and over and through my life and guide my steps every day.