I know very little about dancing except that you need rhythm and there should be a leader. I notice that our walk with God can be like a dance. Then I see that dancing with God, often I at times try to take lead and step on his toes. I feel like because I can feel the rhythm that I should be able to lead once and awhile. Shouldn’t I be allowed to take the lead at least in certain areas?
Even with as much experience and training as a lifetime of relationship with God grants, we never becoming the master despite Darth Vader’s boast, but only become a master of evil as Obi-Wan reminded. This is because we are always trying to be like the master but never actually becoming him. He is always in control and always the leader.
24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household. (Mathew 10)
If we are faithful we will begin to sense a bit of the rhythm but the moment we try to take the lead we are stepping out of the song and shunning the purpose of the dance. We do this when we start to experience the malign that Jesus mentions here, but we are not above the master and we do not get to avoid such things. This is being faithful, this is remaining in the dance, even if it is hard.
Music is powerful. It can move us, it just does. It is one of those heavenly realm things that God lets us partake in now. It resonates within us, it invokes like nothing else can. It can emote strongly. This is why movement at a concert can be almost cult like. We need to understand the power, and this power must be brought under God’s loving hand. If not I start to believe that I can pick out the parts that I am to play, that I am to move to. When I do this I start to get away from God. He wants us to waltz together as he leads not become overwhelmed with his power and try to harness it ourselves. Leadership is always his. Is the metaphor getting cloudy?
God wants us to pursue him always, forever, but that doesn’t mean we get promoted into the decision-making office. All followers of Christ will remain on this side of the equation. God is God and we are his people. But he does reward those who diligently seek him. We have all seen the crumbling of a ministry that tried to take control from God, or simply rewrite the song, only to see they were being asked to leave the ballroom.
I am convinced that without humility we will never have the kind of faith or relationship we want nor to truly walk with God in the way so many of us desire. But rest assured that is what God wants for us too. But he cannot give it to takers, like Romney said. We do not take what we want from God but he gracefully leads us as we submit to his leadership and guidance. Proverbs 16 tells us:
9 The heart of man plans his way,
but the LORD establishes his steps.
This verse isn’t necessarily talking about dance steps obviously, but I am using the picture because it works. Proverbs chapter 16 carries this theme of what a man intends to do and what God will do instead. It is always a temptation for us to try to take the reins, to lead, to run ahead of God instead of waiting and being led by him. I can move my feet all day long if I want to but eventually it will be revealed that I was dancing to my own tune.
To run the risk potentially destroying the metaphor, here is the point: God isn’t even looking for a partner, but a servant who will respond when he calls. This is why I do not graduate into more realms of power and influence in the church. The longer I walk with God the less I become because the more of him I discover. This is why good seasoned pastors and theologians admit that the more about God they learn, the less they know, and the more humble they become.
So as the great man Richie Valenzs once sang “In order to dance the Bamba you need a little grace.”
God desires for us to share life with him, but we must remember who did the calling and who holds all the reservations. Who paid the cover charge and parking fees. Who provides the grace. We do not reach up and take grace but we must approach the throne to receive it. Approaching a throne should inform us of a few things. First if someone else is sitting on it, then our words should be few. Second our actions should be measured. Third our presence should be understood to be on invitation only.
As we learn to understand our place the dance becomes a beautiful thing. We learn to say like John the baptist “He must increase, and I must decrease.”
So allow him to lead and keep following. We wouldn’t want the day the music died to be because we simply would not be led by God.