Jumping In (ATP)
“It’s not that I’m not excited about what God is doing, but is it wrong not to dance in a service when many others are?”
This question is referring to what we know as Holy Ghost services, where God is moving and many are experiencing joy in a tangible way, with dancing, running, laughing, shouting and the like. Depending on personality and personal revelation, it can be hard for some Christians to both understand and to participate in this.
Let’s talk first about personality, because we all have one (at least one)! Some people have a more natural tendency to get excited, to be outgoing, to laugh, etc. Others may be the exact opposite. When following God, sometimes our personality can help and sometimes our personality can hinder us. We have to learn to look and act beyond our natural personalities. For example, many Christians have a personality that is very stern, very black and white, very quick to judge or to critique others. Those Christians need to look beyond their personalities in order to walk in love. Some Christians have a tendency to be very dramatic, very outgoing, very excitable. Sometimes those Christians need to contend with their personalities to make sure they’re not “putting it on” so to speak or searching for attention. Other Christians who have an introverted, quiet, calm, or shy personality might have to learn how to jump in to expressive joy and not be hindered by their natural tendencies to sit and be stoic. Remember the important truth found in Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” We are meant to be Christ-like, even beyond our personality. It’s important to understand this and adjust our thoughts and actions accordingly.
Besides this, we are told in 2 Corinthians 3:18 that as we “…(behold) as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, (we) are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” There’s an important truth to understand here; we must look to the Word if we’re going to be transformed by it! This is what revelation of the Word of God does. Whenever we lack revelation, or really light and understanding of something, we have a hesitancy with accepting it as truth. That’s actually a good hesitancy. We should seek light and revelation on all things and never just follow something blindly. God gave us His Word to help us!
So what does the Word say about dancing? 2 Samuel 6:14-16 says, “Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet. Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.” While there are many truths we can glean from these scriptures, let’s look here at the fact that David danced before the Lord and look to see why he danced.
Psalms 16:11 says, “…In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Notice that David rejoiced as he saw the presence of the Lord coming near. Remember in the Old Testament the power and presence of God was contained in the ark. As the presence came near, David rejoiced greatly, so much so that he danced his fool head off, leaping and whirling and dancing with all his might! David believed in the power of God. David believed in the victory of the Lord.
Dancing instead of mourning, joy instead of sorrow, victory instead of defeat are seen again and again in the Word. Look at Psalms 30:11, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing…” and Psalms 149:3, “Let them praise His name with the dance…” Jeremiah 31:13 AMP says, “Then will the maidens rejoice in the dance, and the young men and old together. For I will turn their mourning into joy and will comfort them and make them rejoice after their sorrow.” When is our mourning turned to joy? At salvation! At the knowledge of what Jesus left us as an inheritance! 1 Peter 1:6 says, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials.”
Skip down to 1 Peter 1:8. It says, “…Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.” What does joy inexpressible look like? Well let’s think about it. When you’re with your family and you’re having a good time celebrating a birthday, a holiday or a special event, don’t you laugh as you enjoy time together? You might even laugh so hard you’ll cry! What do you do when your favorite team scores a touchdown or wins the game?! Don’t you shout and cheer and jump around at the victory? Sometimes the one who scores the winning touchdown will even dance uncontrollably on the field!
Let’s go back now to the original question, is it wrong not to dance in a service when others are? Well I would say this, is your lack of dancing due to disinterest? Is it because you won’t get beyond your personality? Or is it because you don’t have light and revelation of it based on the Word of God? I encourage you, look to the Word to see the truth about rejoicing in the presence of the Lord. I encourage you, allow yourself to be open to what God is doing and decide I’m all in with God, regardless of my personality. If you’re questioning this in your life it’s time for you to get more light on it. If the conclusion is that sometimes you may dance and others you may not, but your conscience is clear and you know it’s not because you’re resisting the move of the spirit, then so be it. Just make decisions with full light, regardless.