The dance has always been a very natural way for human beings to express joy and rhythm. We are created in God's image. We laugh and cry because He does! He also gave us the ability and desire to dance before Him.
Certainly any movement or apparel which would accentuate the baser sinful nature is not at all what is meant by the spiritual dance. God invented it in the beginning, but Satan took it to use for his evil sensuous purposes. However, we are now living in the time of restoration when God seeks to redeem what the enemy of our souls has defiled.
In Old Testament times, the dance was incorporated into the totality of worship. The following are the times when dance was used:
- for rejoicing (Ex.15:20 and Eccles.3:4)
- accompanying the presence of God (11 Sam. 6:14-16)
` - for the Biblical Feasts (Judges 21:19-21)
- in command (Psa.68:24,25; 149:3;150:4)
- in victory (1 Sam. 18:6,7)
There were also times throughout scripture that it occurred in the form of leaping. (11 Sam. 6:16; Lk.6:23, Acts 3:8)
When the dance is used in church, it is God's order to have an appointed dance company.
The Hebrew word "Malcholah" means just that. It is found not only in the above references, but also interpreted "Company" in the Song of Solomon 6:13. The Greek word "Choros" means a company or band of dancers. (Luke 15:26) King David appointed praisers in 1 Chron. 16:4. One way they were to praise was in the dance. (Psa.150) David himself brought in the Ark of the Covenant, the holiest of all symbols, through the dance.
The spiritual dance must always be executed by committed Christians. The trained dancers from the church should be the ones to head up the worship through the dance.
The spiritual dance can be done in a circle, spontaneously or rehearsed, or as a solo, or duet, or a group. It is of utmost importance that the clothes one wears while dancing before the King of kings be modest and beautiful.
There was a time, and still is in some circles, that musical instruments were considered "of the devil" and prohibited in worship. But God showed us that He can also use them to His glory. While sensuous gestures are used in dens of iniquity, this does not prohibit or intimidate us to dance in a reverent and pure way before the Lord.
Dancing is a sign of the harvest church - the endtimes! In Israel, there is always dancing at the time of the harvest. As Christians, we are now experiencing the spiritual "harvest". How much more have WE reason to dance! We are each a temple of the living God and His Holy Spirit. (1 Cor.6:129,20)
For some, dancing can also act as a sacrifice of praise. It is our most personal offering to God. (Rom.12:1) It is then a worship "in the beauty of holiness." The spiritual dance must express the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-23), and never must it imitate or pattern itself after the secular dance. In most Christian circles, much of our worship music has fallen into this trap, taking its cue from the commercial world. Such is not God's pattern, but rather to create a form that is Divinely inspired.
Man is a tripartite being, consisting of a spirit, a soul, and a body. The sacred dance involves all three!!
- by Merla Watson