Why does one dance during praise and worship and what dimension does dance gives to our expression of worship?
How dance can help us change the surrounding atmosphere and bring us closer to God?
At the beginning, God created us to be guided and led by the Spirit of God. When the fall occurred, the mind took over as men began to live by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil instead of choosing the tree of life given by God.
Before the fall, our first parents were living in perfect harmony with the Spirit of God. They were walking in the Garden, talking heart to heart with God. Their mind was fully submitted to the Spirit.
Through the fall, the human mind rose above the spirit, imprisoning men and keeping them from finding the intimacy they lost. In other words, the human being became independent, self-centered and conscious of his own problems and limitations.
But Jesus released us at the cross and he also gave us the responsibility to take possession of our inheritance.
When we come together in a gathering like the “Family Journey” in June, we bring with us situations and challenges that are part of every person’s daily life. Because of this, it can be difficult at time for us to come out of our thoughts or feelings in order to enter in a spirit of praise and worship.
Dance first allows us to turn away from ourselves and from the restrictions imposed by our body and our soul in order to be able to be caught in God’s presence.
Dance also enables us to express our love to the Lord with all our strength, with all our being, with all our heart and to turn away from our mind in order to enter into the room of our spirit and develop a sensitivity to hear His voice.
This is where we can feel there is space in the spirit. We lose our walls of protection we raised through our reasoning and we enter more easily with a simple heart. We become tender and vulnerable towards the Lord and more and more malleable in His hands.
Dance releases us from all forms of inflexibility or restriction to get us into a new depth in our search of the Lord.
In short, dance is a step closer to our freedom in the spirit. Dance helps us to turn away from ourselves and lifts our eyes to God. Dance also allows us to create a family atmosphere and to take down walls of divisions, thus ushering the unity mentioned in John 17.
Dance creates room in us and pushes away the restriction our body and soul impose on us. The Spirit of God needs space to move. And that is exactly what we are providing for Him when we dance.
By that, we let ourselves be taken by the Spirit in us, as we surrender more easily in His arms of love and as we let ourselves be rocked by the sound of His voice in His sweet presence!
How does one in a gathering of people enter into deep worship as the dancers express their own worship through movement?
To explain how we can, as individuals in a gathering of people, enter into worship while the dancers express themselves through movement, we can compare it with singing.
When we enter in a time of worship where the singers express a song with many words, we can relate to it in different ways. For example, we can use our mind to focus on the meaning of every word, whether by listening to the singers or simply by singing along with them.
But if we desire to enter into a deeper place of worship, we can let the Spirit seize us through the song. He can make us focus on a particular sentence and lead us in the depths of our spirit, heart to heart with Him, making us forget everything that is going on around us.
The Holy Spirit can also seize us through music and speak directly to our hearts. We can then hear His voice with more clarity and enter through that into a new proximity with Him.
No matter the way He does it, our responsibility is simply to follow His lead.
He prepares us by different ways, but He leads us to that place where our heart will be able to turn to Him so He can talk to us in a corporate way, as one family and one body.
We find a similar pattern with the expression of worship through dance. But it is sometimes easier to close our eyes to let ourselves be seized by the Spirit than to close our ears…
When dancers express themselves in worship through movement, it is possible to look at what is taking place on the platform, becoming simple spectators and stay at the mind level, focusing on what our eyes can see. We can be pleased with what we see, but the ultimate goal is to go further in our own worship!
As with the singing, we can enter into deeper place of worship if we let the Spirit seize us through what is taking place in dance.
The Spirit may focus our attention on a particular movement or part expressed by the dancers and makes us enter into the room of our spirit. We close our eyes, or we might lift our eyes to the heavens and we taste the sweet presence of God, letting Him lead us into the deep parts of our heart. Then, we open up our eyes again and we find ourselves overwhelmed with supernatural joy or with the love of God for the brothers and sisters around us.
From now on, we no longer look with our natural eyes, we no longer commit ourselves only with the eyes of our soul, but we let ourselves be captured through our spirit eyes.
It is no longer the musicians, nor the dancers leading us, but the Holy Spirit taking the lead and making us enter along with the musicians, singers and dancers in the company of true worshipers!