David Dancing in the Streets

This is what the Spirit of the Lord is speaking to me.

Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. 2 Samuel 6:14,15

‘David dancing in the streets’ is the new musical worship paradigm that the Spirit of God is challenging Christianity to embrace. Jump for joy! Dance in the streets! Make a joyful noise unto the Lord! We are being called upon to set aside our linear forms of worship and simply worship God with all our hearts.

Musical worship within “Churchianity” has morphed into a copy-cat procession of worship leaders striving to simulate the performances of other popular and often commercially successful worship artists.

We have adopted their physical appearances with their skin tight jeans and half-shaved faces. We have emulated their singing styles with their barely discernable, soft-consonant pronunciations of words within their songs. We have embraced their linear “theme” paradigms during our church worship times to such an extent that people are afraid to suggest a different direction that the Spirit may be revealing to them for fear of being viewed as out of touch with the “flow” of the Spirit. And we are frequently labeled as “out of order” if we joyfully abandon our fear of man and dare to dance before the Lord with all our might! (As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.)

Can we not discern the religious spirit behind all of this!? We should not deceive ourselves, assuming that the felt-presence of the Spirit of God at some of these services is an endorsement of our performance and control-based style of worship presentation. God is good. He blesses us despite ourselves.

I believe the Lord is exhorting us to cast off our religious pseudo-spiritual garments of learned mechanisms of worship, and instead, to simply celebrate before the Lord in our metaphorical linen ephods. This is what is truly pleasing to the Lord.

 2 Samuel 6: 14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, 15 while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

16 As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart…

20 When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”

21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

23 And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.

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 With all heads bowed and with all eyes closed?

One of the most commonly heard alter calls within Christianity begins with the words “With all heads bowed and with all eyes closed,” sometimes with the addition of, “and with no one looking around.”

Seriously!? Why are we modeling both to the unsaved and to our own Christian congregations that salvation is something to be embarrassed about? Embarrassment is about shame. Is receiving salvation something to be ashamed of?

Do we really want to model to people who are about to put their faith in Christ for the first time that receiving salvation is an embarrassment? And an embarrassment before a congregation full of people who have already received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior!? Is this an appropriate way to model the ‘good news” of the gospel to the unsaved?

Isn’t this being done with the intention of helping people who are about to take their first faith-filled step into Christianity to feel more “comfortable”? If so, perhaps we need to remember that Jesus was also a bit “uncomfortable” while he was being publicly crucified to death on the cross to deliver us from the shame of our sins.

Perhaps what we ought to be doing when we make these alter calls is to announce that there is no actual shame whatsoever in receiving Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior instead of modeling to them that we “understand” that they may be too embarrassed before men to do so.

Luke 9:6 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Humanists and Human Nature

By Dr. David Reagan – All humanists regardless of their political or theological labels are agreed that the source of evil in the world is external to man. They view evil as rooted in the corruption of society. They believe that the solution to all man’s problems can be found in societal reform.
Take, as an example their attitude toward crime. They believe society is the root cause of crime. All we have to do to eliminate crime, they argue, is to provide people with a guaranteed job that will supply them with sufficient income so that they will be able to live in a suburb.
But such reforms do not transform the basic nature of people. In the ghetto a man will pay $25 for a prostitute. In the suburb he will chase his neighbor’s wife. In the ghetto he will throw a rock through a window and steal a TV set. In the suburb, he will put on his three-piece suit, drive to the office, manipulate the computer and embezzle a million dollars.
You do not change people’s basic nature by changing their environment. Changing their environment simply converts them into more sophisticated sinners.
The humanists view is absolutely contrary to Scripture. The word of God teaches that the source of evil is rooted within man’s fallen nature, and that it is man, and not society, which needs to be changed. (Genesis 8:21 Jeremiah 17:9 – 10 Mark 7:20 – 23)

Difficult to think of Jesus as your friend?

John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

It can be difficult to think of Jesus as our friend when we are so aware of our weaknesses and personal insecurities. But God’s friendship with us is not based in any of our successes or failures. It is sourced in His infinite capacity to love. A.W. Tozer says, “We do God more honor by believing what He has said about Himself than by hiding in self-conscious humility among the trees of the garden.”

From Temptation to Power

The temptations that Jesus faced in the desert (Luke 4:1-14) are the same kinds of temptation that we are being continuously enticed by in the world today.

The temptations Jesus endured were hedonism, egoism, and materialism.  

Materialism is a personal attitude which attaches importance to acquiring and consuming material goods (kingdoms, wealth).

Egoism is the belief that individuals should focus primarily on doing what is in their self-interest.

Hedonism is a school of thought that argues that our personal pleasure and happiness should be the most important aspect of our life.

When Jesus returned from the 40 days of fasting and resisting temptation in the desert, he is said to have returned in the power of the Spirit. Overcoming these temptations may be an important key for us today in regard to ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 4:14-19 14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Imagine

Imagine a church where the primary focus was simply welcoming, worshiping, and dwelling in the presence of God. Rather than trying to excel at all the other things that churches are involved in nowadays, this church would unapologetically focus on welcoming and inviting the presence of the living God.

Primarily a place of worship, this church would be a fellowship of believers focusing on the adoration of the great Adonai. A place of free flowing praise and prayer and prophecy and testimony as momentarily inspired by the Spirit of God. A place of spiritual rest and recharge.

Imagine a gathering of believers who would not seek to be all things to all people, striving endlessly to meet the wants and desires and agendas of people, but instead, a church whose primary focus was to unpretentiously welcome the freely flowing presence and direction of the Holy Spirit.

Can you imagine?

Did you know…

Interactive social media algorithms are developed basically by tracing your web history. In other words, everything you are doing on the web is traced and developed into an algorithm which then specializes in presenting you with product advertisements and even political views that you typically WANT to see. Because these algorithms always steer you toward what you WANT to see rather than what you may NEED to see, they diminish the amount of exposure we have to other peoples points of view and balanced opinions.
 
For heavy social media users, this tends to increase polarization between people with different points of view. Each side is seeing mostly stories that support their own beliefs and typically this causes people to feel better about their own views while distancing them from the reality of the world around them.
 
Thus, we are being continuously manipulated on social media and at corporate websites into a manageable herd mentality via behind the scenes, profit and politically motivated digital machinery.
 
This is what happens to a society when the Almighty Dollar is more important to people than the Almighty God.