I never fumbled one dance step when, as a young child, I danced with my dad. He loved to dance and was very skillful at it—foxtrot, waltz, rumba, swing—Daddy was a smooth operator on the dance floor. He was very relaxed and confident, and I admired that. As we glided across the living room floor to whatever tune he was singing, I would giggle at being both embarrassed and delighted, as my younger sisters would chuckle on the sidelines. They were too shy to dance with Daddy, and as long as I was his dance partner, they could just observe.
My feet fit perfectly on top of his, which was the secret to our dancing success. I didn’t even have to look down at our feet to ensure I was following Daddy’s lead. He led with grace and ease, and all I had to do to make us look good was hold his hand and keep my feet firmly planted on top of his. Keeping in step with him was effortless as long as I hung onto him. If I thought for a moment I could break contact with him and slide my foot off of his, the result was hilariously awkward and clumsy.
Later in life, I dreamed that three doctors were performing surgery on me. When the operation was completed, I found myself in a large, open room with a dance rail around the perimeter. There was no furniture in the room, just the rail. I danced very freely, made complicated moves, and did not need the railing for support. This resulted from the surgery, and the doctors were very pleased. During the surgery, something had been altered, and my skill and capabilities had been sharpened. The doctors patted each other on the back for a job well done as I stopped to thank them. One of the doctors had a larger-than-life appearance and emanated immeasurable joy. I believe that doctor represented Jesus, or as I have come to know Him, Doctor Jesus.
If we walk closely with Him, He does spiritual surgery on our hearts and minds to adjust and change us as we conform to His image. Romans 8:29 (NKJV) tells us, for whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. Much of that conformation occurs in our hearts and minds as the Lord changes our thought patterns and deals with issues in our hearts.
Romans 12:2 (NKJV) describes the process: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. The MESSAGE version brings more definition to the conformation/transformation process: Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Finally, the NLT says,
don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Changed from the inside out. That only happens when we keep in close contact with the Lord. He has sent His Holy Spirit to help us adapt, change, grow, and mature in our walk with Christ, but if we lose our grip in holding onto and clinging to Him, our foot slides off of His, and our “moves” become awkward and clumsy. We become less able to discern good and evil, recognize hurting, broken souls, speak life into situations, and have hope.
Learning the “moves” of the Spirit is exciting, especially at this time when evil and darkness are creeping into every aspect of our culture…even into the church, in some cases. As followers of Christ, it is time to pick up the pace and dance with the Spirit, never letting go of our grip! These last days of intense spiritual warfare and accelerated movement of the Holy Spirit on the earth call for faster, quicker, more precise moves than just walking with the Lord! They include:
Quick-Step—discern the spirits around us, both good and evil, and respond wisely and quickly. Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).
Foxtrot—just as a fox is cunning and shrewd, we must heed this advice: To the devious, You show Yourself shrewd (cunning, astute) Psalm 18:26. Jesus told us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16).
Waltz—a dance of tenderness and intimacy with the Lord. Never let go of Him. My beloved spoke and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me” (Song of Solomon 2:10 NIV).
Are you dancing with your Heavenly Daddy—your Abba (Daddy) Father, as Jesus called Him in the Garden of Gethsemane? Are you keeping in step with Him, or has your foot slipped off of His, and you’ve become clumsy and ineffective in your skill and effectiveness to influence others for Christ? Pray this prayer with me: Lord, I reach for Your hand to steady me as we dance together through the joys and heartaches of this life. I will not let go! I choose to plant my feet firmly in Your footsteps, and I declare that as I learn the moves of Your Spirit, You enlarge my steps under me, and my feet have not slipped (Psalm 18:36). Amen.
© 2022, Chris Werre