Dancing in the Spirit

Updated on March 30, 2018

What is Dancing in the Spirit?

Dancing in the Spirit is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit in a believer. This manifestation by itself is not an indication of greater spirituality. If this experience happens, it is because the worshiper has become so enriched with God’s presence that the Spirit takes control of physical motions as well as the spiritual and emotional being. It must also be clearly distinguished from social dancing and from choreographed or orchestrated dancing.

Psalm 149:3 tells us to “Praise His Name with the dance, with tambourine and lyre (string instrument)”. I offer my praise and worship to the Lord through dancing in the spirit. I don’t do it as part of a congregational worship. For me, this is just a form of expressing my joy, of bringing glory to God, not to self. We dance (in the spirit) for several reasons.

I also dance in the spirit for celebration of victory over my spiritual battles. The tambourine is an instrument of warfare, especially in the spiritual world. The Bible tells us in Isaiah 30:32 that God fights our enemies to the sound of the tambourine. Every time we strike the tambourine, it is a direct blow to our enemy and that includes anything that the devil has a stronghold. The tambourine is like a double-edged sword in our hand, and therefore, as God’s children, we can achieve victory easily.

When we use the tambourine, lyres and/or other stringed instruments in dancing and in worship, we are redeeming those instruments for heavenly worship. When we worship in obedience to the scriptures, we give God the high praises from His perspective, and we receive power of a double-edged sword in our hands.

Dancing in the Spirit is also meant to edify the body of Christ and minister to the saints. It may even minister to the lost and unsaved, if God wants to use you that way. It must be Spirit-led, and not be a performance. It can direct the body to enter into that higher level place of worship.

God is a God of Order!

God is a God or order, not chaos. So when one spontaneously dances in the spirit with eyes closed and without bumping into nearby persons or objects, obviously he/she is under the power and guidance of the Spirit.

It is not right for people to run around, shouting or leaping, making unnecessary sounds sometimes. This is very undisciplined, chaotic and out of order. The Spirit’s movements through us are controlled, smooth and precise.

In my own experience, I can feel when the Spirit moves. There has to be anointing in the atmosphere first before I can dance. I was not born to be a ballerina, but my movements were so direct, precise and gentle as if I learned ballet dancing throughout my life. I do not have to dance all the time that there is anointing, but once the Spirit leads, I just follow. And I can use anything I have in my hand i.e., a shawl, a tambourine, a banner, a streamer, or even just my plain hands to interpret. Though I move in the spirit, I am aware of where I am. I don’t recall the steps but parts would come to me. It would be like the gift of knowledge or word of knowledge. The Spirit directs my steps, even when I use the tambourine. The Holy Spirit gives me the steps and hand movements I need for the dance. I am sometimes amazed when I strike the tambourine with good rhythm, timing it perfectly with the music, good coordination of hands, body and feet, and knows exactly when to stop once the dance reaches the finale steps.

The key is to be open and receptive to the Lord, to have a broken, humble and contrite heart before Him as a preparation before dancing and you will eventually become sensitive to His Spirit. You will know when the spirit moves you. One of the fruits of the spirit is self-control and that is why dance is disciplined or has a routine pattern that should be scriptural. One must reflect the joy and freedom to be in God’s control and presence. Dancing unto the Lord is a beautiful and meaningful experience. I used to undermine this dancing manifestation before I became a Christian, and even when I became a Christian, until I received this gift and experience it myself. I questioned whether it was from God, or a deception from the enemy. However, I received signs and confirmations that it was indeed from the Holy Spirit.

Based on what Scripture teaches there is no such thing as “dancing in the spirit” but we can dance with His Spirit. Maybe this is how this phrase should be coined instead. It is the same Spirit that is already dwelling in us who can move us to dance if we want to. We just have to invoke Its Presence. The Bible also tells us to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

Is this not the same thing when receiving God's Word? We must receive God's Promises into our spirit before His Word can produce a miracle in our life. Like seeds, God's Promises must be planted in our spirit; they will not grow if they are planted in our mind. It is not sufficient that we hear His promises with our natural ear and see these Promises manifested in our lives and the lives of others with our natural sight. Our spirit must be totally saturated with these Promises before we will be able to see the manifestation of our miracle.

So when one is prompted to dance before the Lord, he/she has saturated himself/herself with His Spirit. God is surely and constantly seeking those who worship Him in spirit and in truth. That is why there is absolutely nothing to fear or doubt about dancing before the Lord in spirit. The bible also tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and a sound mind." And if we doubt, “He who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6).

Doubt is also one of the devil's tools. The devil definitely and continuously puts "doubt" in our minds, because the devil hates God's people worshipping the creator of heaven and earth. Lucifer, the fallen angel who was closest to God was the worship leader of heaven (Ezekiel 28:12-18), until pride consumed him and he formed rebellion together with at least a third of the other angelic hosts. Lucifer and his entourage were literally kicked out of heaven (Revelations 12:9). This left a void in the Kingdom of heaven, so God began to seek those who shall worship Him in spirit and in truth; I believe it pleases Him when His people praise and worship Him in whatever manner they prefer: praying, dancing, singing and music, rejoicing, shouting, lifting up their voices, kneeling, lifting hands, clapping hands, or simply giving thanks.


The biblical account of David dancing before the Lord is not an example of dancing in the Spirit. Scripture says “David danced before the LORD with all his might (2 Sam. 6:14), thus describing the personal joy and thanksgiving that David consciously expressed to the Lord.

Go ahead and give God high praises. It is best if our praises outweigh our petitions. After all, God already knows our needs. For all we know, He already has the answers to our desires and petitions all lined up according to His holy plan. It pleases Him more and it gives Him great pleasure when we praise. Feel free to dance around your living room or in your sanctuary with a tambourine and music. There is power and victory in dancing unto the Lord!

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord." (Psalm 150:6)

Divine Guidance or Coincidence?

This was the cover of one of the monthly newsletters sent by Joyce Meyer Ministries.  I am just amazed that the only candid photo of mine above taken by my friend while I was dancing in the spirit in 2005 has a slight resemblance to the picture.
This was the cover of one of the monthly newsletters sent by Joyce Meyer Ministries. I am just amazed that the only candid photo of mine above taken by my friend while I was dancing in the spirit in 2005 has a slight resemblance to the picture. | Source


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      Rhoxette 2 weeks ago

      Hello! I am blessed with your article. I am experiencing this one, too -- dancing in the spirit. It's not that I am trained to dance like a ballerina but they told me, my churchmates, that I already am.Whenever there is annointing in the atmosphere, it's like my body is following some rhythym. Also, I am amazed that even once I haven't bump into someone else. I praise God for He is really awesome and powerful! :)

      God bless you. :)

    • profile image

      Katy Waldrop 8 months ago

      Thank you for your article. I was a professionally trained dancer and now I feel the Lord calling me into- ok, really I've felt this calling for a while now- spontaneous worship, even in the congregation we are attending, and I am so afraid to step out and do it. I have worshipped with flags there at specific worship events, but I feel ashamed to do it at regular Sunday services. I'm afraid to literally be the only one of hundreds to step out and do this. And I feel bad to be giving doubts so much more place than the Lord in this area. I've been able and blessed to spontaneously worship in my home, when my husband isn't watching, and in a separate room at the church, just so afraid to do it during the services. Thanks for listening, I would appreciate a prayer. :)

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      Georgia Estes 11 months ago

      I found your article interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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      zet 2 years ago

      God is God, it happened to me n we all wanna believ very much that is God, nevertheless in that moment everything about the experience says its God... Wat we usually suffer fear n doubt if wat do ppl think about this! But normally u r involve with the spirit n in sound mind n with order! As God is God of order! This is one orderly manifestation... Whether, scream, fall, run cry , beciz is God its His type of order! Everyone order does not mean, we won't cry, scream run like chaotic, make noise, its just that His God of order no matter how u manifest! It is always joyful beciz it is God n pray to Him about it n tell Him yo fears! The fact that u manifest means He lives in u! The bible says we have been justified by faith through His blood! N more over we r still looking for His justification... His one day going to reviel that its He n remember wen God blesses He does not Justify Himself to anyone.. We r in a spiritual warfare n victory is yours...

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      2 years ago

      I really want to know whatbis it when you dancevin the spirit and the moves you to other people. Because this happened to me a few time where i dance in the spirit and people would tell me after the fact that the spirit would take me around. No words would come out i would just cry.

    • merrylu profile image

      merrylu 2 years ago

      I agree. You'll know when the Spirit moves you. Dancing in the Spirit is never choreographed. As Joe also said above, God works in mysterious ways. Thanks for your comments.

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      No name 2 years ago

      Actually the fact that many questioned what they feel wasn't from God is a sign that it isn't God! Because if it's God and you are performing it and "your not bumping into anything" than why is it being questioned makes no type of sense that's how you know it's your emotion manifesting in you not God at all. Classifying what you do as under the spirit and it's not is dangerous you may fall into a blasphemy.

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      Joe 2 years ago

      Hello, I'm a Pentecostal. Number one damcing in the spirit is not something you do yourself, number 2 dancing in the spirit is when the spirit touches you and overtakes your human body. The Holy Spirit is so powerful your body will and has to tremble, our bodies aren't resistant to his presence and even if you feel like running and shouting out to the lord it's God. Don't classify dancing in the spirit as if it were you performing it cause is not. God works in mysterious with different people. There are various manifestations of the spirit, a lot like laughing,screaming, dancing, crying, speaking in tounges etc. God will have his way not yours not mine God works the way he wants no yours not mine. I understand God is a God of order but you have to understand when the spirit of God is the one that touches you your body has to react spontaneous not planned cause then that's you doing it yourself. Yes all of the manifestations that I mentioned I feel at times and the holt spirit performs through me. Let's not act like if God is a neutral God; yes he doesn't change but God does work in mysterious ways. And he will move his way and when he wants to. If people feel God spontaneous let them is not you. Is not about bumping like why is bumping into something your concentration?? What your feeling in you should be your concentration.

    • merrylu profile image

      merrylu 3 years ago

      I thank God Rosa that you are open and receptive to His Holy Spirit. The Bible also tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and a sound mind." You did well not to be afraid. We serve a good and loving God. He likes to manifest Himself to those who give Him honor and glory. God bless you.

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      Rosa 3 years ago

      Hello I have finally found an answer to my ever growing question. What is this. Growing up I would feel the spirit use my hands and I wondered what is this I'm confused. Is his evil? But never felt like it was evil. Not did I feel peace. I was confused. I was afraid. And then a seven of years ago I was at a convocation at my university and at the prayer call the guest preacher threw his prayer shawl on me and I danced and danced with no recollection of time, dance, movements or bumping into anything. But never gave any thought to this. Well fast forward many years and I fell out of touch with God but would still feel this sorta manifestation. Frightened I would freak out and was even farther from God. But finally when I came back to God I started to wonder since I was never afraid of this I wondered if this was from The Lord. The more I allow the spirit to move in me the more it manifests in me. Thank you for posting this. Though I am allowing this to work in me I needed to hear it a loud from another source to help me as well. Thanks again. Email: ija.rmg@gmail.com

    • merrylu profile image

      merrylu 4 years ago

      Hi Arlene,

      I apologize I only read your comment today as I had been extremely busy the past several months and had not even checked on my blogs.

      Please don't feel remorseful or regretful for what you did. Our God is a loving and forgiving God. Don't feel sad. He will always use you if you are willing to be used. (2 Chronicles 16:9 says, The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the earth to show Himself strong and in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him). The Lord is looking for people to be used. I just felt sorry that the people in the church don't understand what you're doing. Your focus should only be on Him, not on others. Someday, they will understand. God will eventually enlighten them. God hasn't left you, Arlene. Remember His promise, He says, "I am with you always." So, if that happens to you once again, just pick up the "gift", live in the present moment and forget the past. God bless you.

    • profile image

      Arlene 4 years ago

      I used to dance in the Spirit with only my hands & I felt really peaceful when it happened &I used to whisper Oh God this is really beautiful but When people started noticing what was happening to me ( as this was new in the church) they would ask my daughter What is your mother doing? &my husband too was embarrassed so I would hold my hands back every time I felt the Spirit come upon me . Since then The Lord has stopped using me & I feel very sad . I feel that I have greeved The Holy Spirit. I want to say to The Lord how sorry I am & to all of you out there Don't worry about people's oppinions just obey Jesus He is all that matters .It was Jesus who died on the cross for us & we should please only Him & in doing so our lives will be so enriched .Don't live in regret like I am doing now.

    • merrylu profile image

      merrylu 5 years ago

      Hi, Jennifer2friend. Beautiful flowers can grow amid the rocks. Therefore, your beauty can still be noticed wherever you desire to stand especially if you have the Presence of God within you. When I dance, I do it to honor and glorify God, not people. Since you are a strong born again Christian, you can use that strength you have in Him to fight the enemy and conquer your spiritual battles, and your battles in the physical plane will be taken cared of through the Power of our Living God or His Holy Spirit. What matters is what you believe, not what others believe for you. God will continue to give you answers to the Truth, and He will guide you.

    • profile image

      Jennifer2friend 5 years ago

      Hello, my names Jennifer and I also have this beautiful gift. I had also questioned if this gift came from the enemy or from God and I can tell you it's from God! The sad part thing is that my aunt and cousin don't believe that I have this gift.I'm 14 years old and I'm a strong born again Christian. This hub answered if this gift was from God


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