TITLE: Simply Blissful (Part 2) updated 12/23/15
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I had no knowledge that my family lined up early outside the arena doors before the last Sunday service. They were able to get second row seats amongst the New Hope pastors, directly in front of my opening position on stage. My family, who were sporadic church attenders, usually sat toward the back of the room so I thought they would have taken seats at the rear of the arena or upper lodges.
They were overwhelmed by the service attendees’ passionate love for Christ that permeated the arena. My father repeatedly exclaimed, “I can’t believe the guy in front of me kept his hands up (praising God) for almost the entire service!”
After the Easter service, my family and I gathered at a restaurant for lunch. Everyone was exceedingly moved by the service and shared what they found particularly inspiring.
Nephew: “Pastor’s talk about our potential…Cool!”
Mother: “I was touched by the Neves’ trust in God despite their young son’s sudden death.” (Max and Erica Neves spoke about losing their three-year-old son, Joshua Neves, to complications of the H1N1 flu virus in June 2009.)
Brother: “I liked Mandisa’s singing.” (Mandisa Hundley is a Christian recording artist.)
Father: “I still can’t get over that guy in front of me. He kept his hands up (praising God) for almost the entire service!”
However, no one in my family said anything about my dancing. Until this day, not one word. This was probably because my dancing embarrassed them, but I’m thankful that God gives those who are not the best ________ (fill the blank with what you love to do) a chance to uninhibitedly worship Him with what they enjoy. I think my family was being polite by not saying how they felt, maybe, You looked foolish. You shouldn’t be dancing.
I didn’t ask my family what they thought because I wasn’t seeking their
affirmation. I performed in response to a desperate need for dancers and to praise God through a form of expression that I enjoy. The unexpected benefit was that it drew my family closer to Jesus.
I felt I had sacrificed a lot by dancing at the Easter services. After all, isn’t Easter all about sacrifice? Didn’t Christ lay His entire life down for me? Would I dance unashamedly for Him again? You betcha! I would do it in a heartbeat just to have my father or anyone else receive Christ as their Savior. God wants us to stay on our toes, pun intended as a dancer, ready for every opportunity to express our love for Him to the world.
Uninhibited dancing reminds me of the famous Israelite King David who blissfully danced to celebrate God’s goodness. David’s wife criticized his dancing. According to 2 Samuel 6:20 she said to David, "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”
But David replied, “I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor”(2 Samuel 6:21-22).
David’s wife expressed indignation toward him and his dancing. The slave girls felt the opposite. They knew David was expressing his joy for God without inhibitions and they honored him. Of interesting note is that David’s wife appeared to have reaped consequences for her contempt. The scripture right after her ridicule of David reads, “And Michal daughter of Saul (David’s wife) had no children to the day of her death.”
Just like David, I don’t care what people think about my uninhibited worship of Christ. In fact, my heart is always dancing for Him. I look forward to the day when I am not limited by what my body can or can’t do. Continuously praising God with my footloose dancing would be pure, meditative, ecstasy.
Celebrating God now is a taste of an eternal joy, a sneak peek at the only thing that Christ-followers will do in a simply blissful heaven. According to Revelation 7:15 (ISV, clarification in parenthesis), “They (Christ-followers) are in front of the throne of God and worship him night and day in his temple.”
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