Summary: To Dance with the Father is to engage in an intimate relationship with the Creator. This series addresses how to relate with God by focusing on the Father instead of on the steps of the dance.
The DANCE – Walkin’ the Waltz June 18. 2006
Quiet Time – John 15:1-5
Note: Two weeks ago I introduced our current series by sharing w/ you a life event where God changed my understanding of what it meant to follow Jesus. Like many churchgoers, I performed all of religious exercises, yet I was empty – and I knew there had to be more. Then God began to teach me how to dance. As a Baptist, this was obviously a problem since most Baptist don’t dance (they foot function). I think some Baptist consider it is a sin, but I’ve come to realize that most of them have no rhythm. Nonetheless, following God very much is like a dance. Indeed, there are specific and necessary steps in the spiritual dance, but the real joy of following Christ is not found in the steps but in the intimacy.
Trans: Over the next few weeks we’re going to look at the steps of the Christian dance. Not so much how to do it, but how to not allow the steps to get in the way of enjoying the Lord of the dance.
Note: Let me explain. To master the steps but miss the Lord leads only to legalism – this was evidenced in Jesus’ day w/ the Pharisees. They mastered the Law, but missed the Lord. They were so heavenly minded they were no earthly good. And our churches today are full of Pharisees – whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones – people who talk the talk but couldn’t pick Jesus out of a line up.
Truth: Just b/c a person talks religious – it doesn’t make them a follower of Jesus. People who follow Jesus act like Jesus, care like Jesus, and serve like Jesus. They don’t sit back and complain about what they do and don’t like in the church or in others, they engage in ministering to others in Jesus’ name.
Trans: So where does one begin in dancing w/ the Savior. What is the first step in the spirit dance? While I could begin w/ worship or Bible study – I believe it begins in grasping the art of silence and solitude – it begins w/ a QT.
Verse: Be still and know that I am God… Ps. 46:10a
Note: This is a daunting task for most of us. I’m not even talking about recognizing God; I’m talking about being still. Even if we stop long enough to have a QT, it generally isn’t about hearing God as much as it about doing our spiritual duty.
Insert: Daily time alone w/ God is about GUIDANCE. Someone once broke down the word like this – G-God, U and I Dance. I like that. B/c when you dance w/ God, He leads and you follow His lead – He guides each step of your life.
I WHAT IS A QUIET TIME
Trans: When a person receives Christ as their personal Savior, they begin a new relationship w/ Him. According to John 1:12, once you believe and receive Christ as Savior you become one of His children. In this relationship, God enables you to have fellowship w/ Him on a daily basis. Mastering this daily relationship is central to experiencing the fullness and guidance of God.
Quote: One of the secrets of all growing, dynamic Christians is that they consistently spend time alone w/ God. Barry St. Clair
Insert: You might ask where this concept is derived. We get our lead from Jesus who often retreated from the rigors of life to focus on hearing from the Father.
Text: And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mk. 1:35
Note: This verse highlights (2) ideas – SILENCE and SOLITUDE. Silence is learning how to stop talking long enough to hear God while solitude focuses on w/drawing to a private place to meet w/ Him. Both are about ABIDING!
Verse: I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, but apart from me you can do nothing. Jn. 15:5
Note: This verse sums it up quite succinctly – God is the source we plug into if we want our life to work. By being plugged into Him we receive nourishment and nurture – any other way will not work. Meaning – we need time plugged into the source of our lives – we need time alone w/ Him.
Define: A QT is a daily time of sincere and intentional contemplation of the Divine. It is when a believer quiets his life long enough to practice the presence of God. It is where a believer meets w/ God for the purpose of setting the priorities, details, and circumstances of their life in orbit around God. It is a time of focus upon the purposes of God and a time of surrender of your will to His will.