I am not a dancer.
My sister revoked my “Black” card a long time ago. She said that I had absolutely NO rhythm. I could not argue, but that is not why I am not a dancer. Not really.
It’s because I tend to lead.
In many types of partner dance, lead and follow are designations that need to be respected and adhered to. Traditionally, the male leads and the female follows. The lead guides and initiates changes and transitions. The lead also chooses the steps and the direction. When the follower matches the lead, the dance is smooth, coordinated, enjoyable to participate in and beautiful to behold.
But when the follower tries to lead? Oh, that is a different story.
The troubled church in the book of James provides both an example and a lesson for us. In this text we find a church out of sync – unresolved issues of who will lead and who will follow. Specifically, James writes, “[Y]our passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4: 1-4 ESV).
The church, the people, want to lead. When we read verses 7 and 8 we learn the real problem – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” They want to have things their way rather than yield to God. They want to choose the steps and determine the direction. They want to lead while God follows.
It doesn’t work that way in dancing. It doesn’t work that way in life.
In dancing, the follower must respect, trust and give into the lead going wherever he leads. The dance manuals tell us that “partner dancing requires awareness and clear communication; the follower must maintain a centered readiness to the leader watching for and ready to obey visual and physical cues; the leader will give clear direction.” Additionally, the manuals say, “Physical contact is the most effective means of communication between the lead and the follower. While the lead’s steps differ from the follower’s, the follower need only mirror the lead’s footwork. The partners must work together to create synchronized movements.”
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
Suzie Eller says, “[T]here’s a gift found when you let God take the lead. You start to understand His rhythm in your life and in your thoughts. Your will begins to align with His.”
How do we draw near to God? Just as the dance manuals tell us Be are aware of Him and His communication. Study to know His Word and His ways. Maintain a centered readiness watching for and ready to obey His cues. Listen and expect to hear Him speak to you. Physical contact is the most effective means. Meet with Him in Prayer.
THIS WEEK determine to become a better dance partner. Begin by knowing your Lead, your Heavenly Father. Trust His lead (James 4:6) and develop a centered readiness for His cues (James 4:7) watching and being ready to obey (Luke 11:28, 1 Peter 1:14, Deuteronomy 11:1, 2 Corinthians 10:5, John 14:15, Romans 2:6-8). Then let Him lead, and enjoy the dance!