Reflecting on the series of event this past week leading up to this Sunday, I can’t help but to remember a story told in Acts 5:1-11. A story of a couple who drops dead after lying to the Apostles about how much they actually sold their property for. But I’m not thinking about them as much as I’m thinking about the group of young men that were assigned to “remove the dead bodies out of the temple”.
This week I witnessed how God used and ordered the steps of a group of young adults at RED to “remove” some dead things out of our church. The Lord graciously activated their gifts. Some dreamed, while others Saw in the Spirit and some Sensed and quickly discerned and others just plain out had encounters with the “dead” things. But they all responded in Spiritual Warfare! They heard the call of God to step into the Gap and travail in prayer and worship. They quickly responded with their eyes on Jesus and walked and moved in the authority of God.
Our team has tremendous maturity and they continue to grow. I am proud of them. They removed some dead things in the spirit this week. There was not only a cleaning of the Building in the natural, but we witnessed a cleaning in the spiritual. What a blessing and honor to have experienced God’s quick response to our prayers and declarations as a group!
Matthew 18:18-20 came to life right before our eyes!!
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
There is Power in fervent Intercessory Prayer!
When considering a Christian worldview on dancing I am reminded of 1 Titus 1:15 all things are pure to those who are pure. Much like a child. A child dances freely with nothing malicious in his mind. He is pure at heart and so his dance is pure.
But there are a few questions we should ask ourselves (and this can apply to anything else you may be wondering about that isn’t specifically called a sin or an abomination in the Bible)
1. What are my intentions today?
a. Am I dancing to celebrate, to have fun, to be social, to join in and be a part of, to exercise, for joy?
Or am I trying to draw attention to myself? Am I feeling seductive and want to be?
b. Am I trying to show off or am I lusting when I dance?
2. Do I rely on Dance too much to have a good time? i.e. “I can’t enjoy myself if I’m not dancing!”
a. Has dance become an addiction or god in your life?
b. Does it draw you away from God?
Philippians 4:8 instruct us to think on things that are excellent and of good report, pure, honorable and or lovely. “Whatsoever things” is a clue to us that it can be just about anything… dance, music, the arts can be one of those things that can be “Lovely” “Pure” “good”. Understanding that Balance and self-control, as given by the Holy Spirit is key to choosing anything in life.
Ultimately, it is our choice, the Bible does not specifically talk about Dance as a bad thing nor is it restricted to the believer.
Always remember that God knows our hearts and He is looking at the intentions of our heart. For Him, everything has a purpose and we should live life on purpose, intentionally.
If dancing troubles you, don’t do it until you have brought that before the Lord and searched your heart. If it brings joy and laughter to you and you aren’t moved by it, then by all means, dance.
In Acts 10:9-16 we read about Peter’s vision. Peter has a vision where he saw heaven opened and an object that resembled a large sheet coming down, lowered by it’s four corners to earth. In it were all the four-footed animals and reptiles of the earth and the birds of the sky. Then the Lord said to him, Peter, get up, kill and eat!!” To Peter this was an abomination and perhaps he thought surely God was testing him, so he said No he will not eat anything common and ritually unclean!
But the voice said to him, “What God has made clean, you must not call common. “ Interestingly enough, Paul goes on to record that “this” vision/encounter happened 3 times before the object was taken up into heaven. It was that important to God that we get this: For some it's ok, because God said so.
In this account of Peter’s life God was showing him that He doesn’t play favoritism, “but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness is acceptable to Him”. (vs.35) (the heart)
When we fear God and do righteousness we are acceptable to God. What are those things that defile us? Can dance defile us? The bible says that it is not what goes into our body that defiles us but what comes out of our mouth that makes us unclean. (Matthew 15:11)
So, no matter what we do, what flows out of our hearts while doing it will be the determining factor; the end in sight; that which can make us or break us. At the end of the day, Folks, it all comes down to the condition of your heart. Anything that holds our heart in contempt with God, or binds us to ungodly thoughts or actions, is not pleasing to God. Not because He can’t handle it but because it can ultimately destroys us.
It is for Freedom that He set us free. God sent Jesus Christ who provided us with redemptive power so that we can be free to choose life and live it abundantly, without limits. Limitations can come in religious forms or even worldly forms.
What limits you from experiencing the true freedom of God? If dancing limits you then don’t dance, until you get a full understanding of why. If you feel miserable when you are at a party and feel like you are not allowed to dance and feel a sense of restriction and limited then by all means get up and dance!
Zechariah 8:23 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you,’”
God promises a time when people will be begging to go to church with us! People will finally awaken to their need of God, their desires will change and they will pursue Him by asking us where to find Him! Be ready for this!
Already, I have people stopping me in the grocery stores to talk to me or ask questions about where items can be found. I had this happen twice this weekend in two different stores. I stop what I am doing and purposely talk with strangers. Who knows where the conversation will lead? One time I got to pray with a woman in Walmart for her handicapped granddaughter. The woman was showing me pictures of the girl on her cell phone!
Be available at all times to share Christ, pray, stop what you are doing and talk to strangers! Remember Jesus who chatted with a woman at the well about a simple drink of water and how that lead to her conversion.
Revelation 21:22 “And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple.
The tabernacle is no longer a place, but a Person. Jesus Christ was and is the perfect “meeting place” of God and man. He was God incarnate who took on the “tent” of human flesh and walked among us. Now, we not only worship Christ, we also worship in Christ.
Jesus made this clear to the Samaritan woman at the well in the Gospel of John as she spoke of a place where the Jews worship. “…you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” She knew that Samaritans were banned from worshiping there.
So Jesus removed the restriction and welcomed her worship through an intense relationship encounter. To her heart’s delight, she now had a living Person instead of an off-limits place. To our heart’s delight, there is nothing now that stops us from tabernacle worship.
“But you will be called the priests of the Lord; You will be spoken of as ministers of God…”
In both the Book of Exodus and the Book of Revelation, the Bible gives us a glimpse of the congregation of God’s dreams— a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. This will someday be the vocation of peoples of all nations coming before God and worshiping Him forever. All eyes will be fixed upon the Lamb and all tongues will repeat with joy, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
This is also the worthy occupation of believers now. When we minister to Him, He accepts our sacrifice of praise to make His Name glorious. This is our wonderful privilege. Only by faith do we recognize the glory of this calling. Therefore, let us choose to take our place in this universal assembly now and worship Him rightly each day.
Last night a few people from 2 churches gathered around the Musicians at their instruments at RED and sang in unity "The Lord has Given Us Freedom, Given Us Freedom, Given Us Joy"
As we sang that I felt an amazing Joy like a bubbly spring of water rising up. THe Joy of the Lord is our strength. Nehemiah 8:10 says: "Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
In the story before getting to this verse, the people had asked the Prophet Ezra to read the Laws of Moses to them. They eagerly sat around the Prophet and Elders who helped them to understand the scriptures. As they heard the Words written in the Scrolls they wept with conviction and in worship they bowed down with their faces to the ground. Nehemiah then told them what we read in verse 10: "Do not be sad, instead rejoice for the JOY of the Lord is your strength."
I believe last night I saw, yet again, a beautiful picture of God's freedom. As we worship and HEAR the word of the Lord we are brought to humility and then the Lord fills us with Joy which strengthens us to continue the journey set before us.
May you continue to hunger after God's amazing presence and that your JOY may be full!! Worship Him and see the Glory of God.
As I read about being in the House of the Lord I was reminded of a prayer I made some time ago. I asked God to make our prayer room a place of refuge, a secret service room, sound proof and safe. A place where we can pray without fear of the devil hearing what’s on our heart and interfering in our affairs. At the time I didn’t know if that prayer was even correct but in Psalm 27 King David talks about a place where we are concealed from the enemy, a high place, a secret place where we are hidden from our foes; the Lord’s House, His Temple.
The Lord’s House is any where an Altar has been built. The Lord’s Temple is even within ourselves for our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
When we Build an Altar for God in our Home we can enter into a safe place at any time when in trouble. If we are not home and we have built an Altar in our hearts we can get to that safe place INSTANTLY where ever we are.
Have You Built Him an Altar? -Brisy O
Church attendance is not just a modern day issue it goes back to the early church. Paul had to tell the church not to stop getting together. Now they were not going to "church" because of FEAR of persecution. Today in America we do not suffer religious persecution to the level that the early church suffered it. But the most common excuse people give for not going to church is: Drum roll, please: "Other people". The true test to our spirituality comes when we assemble (Go to church or get-together). In the face of mean-ness, unappreciation, disrespect, and rejection we know how truly spiritual we are.
I have been guilty of fleeing from "the assembly" for fear of pain. But Paul reminds us that we should embrace being together with God’s people. We can try to be holy or we can let Jesus make us holy. His making is in the field, while we are busy, not while we are at home with no one to provoke us.
Is this a form of punishment? No, it is discipleship. We all, at some point, have had to be among those who reject us, talk about us, are mean-spirited with us or have dishonored us but the victory is that we STAND. Just you being there and allowing the Love of God to lead you is a victory for you. Determine to be an encourager, an exhorter and you may not even notice others bad attitudes any more.
My heart bleeds for people who allow the enemy to use them but I understand that they are in the dark about some things. I simply have to accept this as a test for me…for my growth. Someday, they will have to face the consequences for their actions, And I will be there to bless them and not judge them. -by Brisy Ortiz