I love to worship the Lord. I’m not a big run the aisles kind of girl, I never have done that actually. I don’t dance at the altar most Sunday’s but I have on occasion. I don’t judge those who do, it’s their way. I do see many who have judged those who don’t dance and run and skip and turn circles. They see their act of dance or running or shouting of capturing the attention of God or ushering in His presence.
However, the God I serve is YHWH (Yaweh) He is ever present, all knowing, all seeing, all the time. I don’t have to dance to get his attention, I have it already. In His will or out of it, He knows where I am. So the question rolling around in my mind today is why do we do the things we do? Do we do them out of some expectation we have or do we do them because we think we have earn His glance? Is the motive for our dancing and running the aisle to capture His attention? If it is, then I wonder which god we serve? Do things have to be kooky and spooky to make the Lord arise and take notice? Are we raising a god as the people of Baal did? These thoughts lead me a bigger thought as I think of the worshippers of Baal during the days of Elijah.
When challenged to see who served the one true living God by Elijah the prophet, the people thought they had to get their god’s attention. You can read the story in 1 Kings 18. Today, for the sake of time and space, I bring you a portion of the story.
You see, Elijah challenged them to set up an altar and offering to their god. The God who answered first would be declared the one true living God.
26. So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “O Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
27. At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”
28. So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed.
29. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
They danced around the altar, they shouted they called upon the name of their god. They simply could not get their god’s attention. Elijah however, well, he simply prayed and let the Lord know his heart and God, and as is the Lord’s way, responded powerfully.
Be careful that your motive for your actions at the altar is not to wake a sleeping god or to feel some goosebump moment. Don’t frown on those who don’t feel the need to respond the way that you do. Above all don’t be fooled by a people who think this is the only way to get the attention of YHWH, it isn’t and never will be. Be certain that you dance out of sheer joy and praise for the One for whom we’ve given our life to. Dance because you’re overwhelmed by His presence and love. God is in the midst of His people always. He declared that whenever two or three are gathered there he is. Do we believe that as truth or do we have to promise Him entertainment to get him to show up? What are the motives that lead our actions? This is a heart check moment!