Have you ever sung a song while driving or danced alone in your living room to a tune you really like? I once watched a five-year old dance with joy with hands raised in the air praising God for the return of his wayward father after he turned his life over to Christ at my urging, and this was done in a Baptist church! It was a most gratifying experience, one I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
Baptists seldom, if ever, dance, but that child and myself may be the exception.
I arrived at the street market at mid-morning. Things were already underway with vendors hawking their wares of veggies, flowers, exotic breads and candies. The street was blocked off for two blocks in downtown Naples, Florida. Music was emanating from somewhere in the middle of the first block. It was familiar music from the mid-1900s. A lone guitarist in his sixties was seated near the sidewalk on a folding chair playing and singing the old tune.
In front of the lone musician was an older woman dancing alone in the midst of the crowd of people. Swept up by her free style exuberance and familiar song I was filled with joy, shuffled over and began dancing along with her. The joy of the Lord had consumed me and I twisted and twirled and got lost in the moment.
What a feeling to get caught-up with such a wonderful experience, an experience that too few Christians experience these days. Living life with abandon…. knowing that God has your back.
Before condemning my actions, Baptists should remember that we have been set free, for whom the Son sets free is free indeed. So says Scripture. And let us not forget that David danced with unbridled exuberance with the joy of the Lord…in the street.
Maybe the joy I felt while dancing also had something to do with the recent expulsion of the atheists, sodomites, abortionists and other criminals in our previous administration. Being able to breathe freely again is a good feeling in and of itself. It felt good to be alive to see that day. We needed a reprieve to be able to catch our breath and to hopefully regain our moral balance. But lest we should forget, prophecy is yet to be fulfilled and we have to be able to recognize the signs in full.
We should awaken each day with a song in our hearts, and thank God for the rest we had through the night. On awakening we should also ask for the opportunity to make a difference in the world daily and to seek the kingdom of God diligently.
God saw fit to take away my sin after repenting and receiving Christ into my heart and life and He set my feet on a new path. Like a new baby I stumbled and fell on occasion, but got up with encouragement from His Word and continued on a new journey full of possibilities. Today my life gets to be more and more rewarding and exciting as I explore new horizons. I’ve been set free from preconceived conventions and religiosity. I get so carried away I can dance, sing and laugh.
Going to church should not be a ritual, a habit, or even just a social event. Like David we should be able to say, “I was glad when they said let us go to the house of the Lord.”
If you are going to reach others for Christ, it’s best to do it in a caring way and with a sincere attitude. But don’t get me wrong, there is a time to be angry, or sad, but NEVER morose, condescending or judgmental. Remember, you were once there yourself, without Christ.
In reaching out to others, remember that people are more concerned about themselves than anyone or anything else in life and will open up to anyone who will listen to them vent, express their opinions or just lend an ear. Good news is the best news, but if you must, reprimand, provoke and/or admonish those who need it.
According to the Bible (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV) “the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.”
“Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid.” “Casting all your care upon Him for he cares for you” With those admonitions and promises firmly in mind, we can live happy, carefree and optimistic lives.
By the way, I just saw the movie Silence which was co-written and directed by Martin Scorsese. It is based on a novel about Jesuit priests trying to establish churches in Japan in the 1600s. They were not welcomed and they and many if not most of the missionaries perished, having suffered extreme persecution. (It may be possible that God is trying to wake them up at this late hour with earthquakes happening around the clock on that island.)
Although it was very well done with many beautiful scenes, this movie leaves you wondering about the validity of Scripture and poses many more questions than it answers with no clear resolution.
It seems that Martin Scorsese is a seeker.
Being a born-again Bible believing Christian I feel sorry for those who try to earn salvation through works and manmade tradition. If only they would study Holy Writ they could be set free to enjoy life without fear and uncertainty.