The dancer I want to be

Somewhere I found suggestion for forming a new bond with my wife. “Take dance lessons. She will love it.” So, I enrolled us for swing dance class at the local fitness center. Really, I did! Our instructors opened the first session by putting on a song and showing us the end result they hoped to teach us to achieve.; two people, moving as one, gracefully across the floor. I loved the beauty of it.  
But, more than 15 years later, I still don’t know how to dance with my wife! After two frustrating sessions, I gave up and became a swing dance class drop-out. I did not think much about dancing with Bev until one night at a festival where we were sitting in the plaza listening to one of the big bands. Terry and Lisa started to dance together… and could they dance! They were beautiful to watch. I felt genuine envy that night.

There are two primary reasons I still can’t dance.  

First, I am self-conscious and won’t just ‘let myself go.’ 
Second, I am over thinking the dance; trying to break down each movement into tiny parts rather than just moving into the music. To become a dancer, I have to give up control and come under the influence of the music as well as becoming more responsive to the movement of my partner. It isn’t happening, yet!

Living as a Spirit-filled Christian has real parallels to a couple in a beautiful dance!  

The Bible says, (Galatians 5:25) “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” He invites us to a dance of life. Some of just will not let go and let Him lead. We wrestle with the music, finding the rhythm for a while, then reasserting our control. Others surrender to Him and move gracefully through life, dancing beautifully through disappointment, financial challenges, ill health, hurricanes, snow storms, traffic jams, and temptation. Yes, those who dance with the Spirit live “grace-fully.”

Simon Peter was called by Jesus to become a disciple. For three years, he didn’t get it right. Talk about bad timing. Oh, he tried mightily but, most of the time, things turned out badly. The low point was the night of Jesus’ arrest and trial. When warned of impending failure by the Lord, Peter insisted that even if the other disciples failed, “I never will!”
“Ah,” Jesus said sadly, “but you will, Peter. Before the rooster announces the dawn, you will deny me three times.”   

A few hours later as Jesus was being arrested, Peter pulled out his sword and made an attempt at defending his Friend, succeeding only in cutting off a man’s ear, which Jesus promptly healed, as He told Peter, “Put that thing away!” And, later that same night, in the grip of panic in the courtyard of the high priest’s house, Peter was cursing and swearing while emphatically declaring, “I tell you, I never knew him!”

Fifty days later, at Pentecost, we meet a transformed man in Acts, a man dancing with the Spirit! He gives leadership to the emerging group of followers of Jesus, explains the Scripture, preaches on the street, and courageously faces the enemies of the Jesus movement. With grace and beauty he moves through those chapters. How does the Bible account for the difference? Acts 4:8 sums it up, saying Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, … “

The life and music of the Spirit filled him up and he began to dance gracefully under the Spirit’s influence, moving to the rhythms of Heaven. When he came to the end of himself, when he was crushed beyond hope by his failure, God came with the outpouring of His Spirit. From that day, Peter danced. Yes, he made mistakes now and again, but he was a man of grace and power, who spread the message of Jesus and life across the world!

Are you ‘keeping step with the Spirit,’ or are you stumbling and bumbling, from fall to failure?
Listen to the music of the Spirit. Give yourself over to His lead. Be filled! And, start to dance!

I danced in the morning
When the world was begun
And I danced in the moon
And the stars and the sun
And I came down from heaven
And I danced on the earth
At Bethlehem I had My birth
Dance, then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance said He
And I’ll lead you all
Wherever you may be
And I’ll lead you all
In the Dance said He
I danced for the scribe
And the Pharisee
But they would not dance
And they wouldn’t follow Me
I danced for the fishermen
For James and John
They came with Me
And the dance went on
I danced on a Friday
When the sky turned black
It’s hard to dance
With the devil on your back
They buried My body
And they thought I’d gone
But I am the dance
And I still go on
They cut Me down
And I leapt up high
I am the life
That’ll never never die
I’ll live in you
If you’ll live in Me
I am the Lord
Of the Dance said He
Dance, then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance said He
And I’ll lead you all
Wherever you may be
And I’ll lead you all
In the Dance said He
Lord of the Dance
© 1963 Stainer & Bell Ltd
(Admin. by Hope Publishing Company)
Sydney Bertram Carter
CCLI License No. 810055

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