Sundown Devotional: Dance Like God Is Watching

Updated on January 22, 2020
MsDora profile image

MsDora, former teacher and Christian counselor presents practical Scriptural principles for joyful everyday living.

Welcome to Sundown Devotional. At the end of the workweek, away from the stress of the workplace, from the hustle and bustle in the streets, we can relax, reminisce, reflect and share encouragement from our meditation on a short Scripture text. In this session, we focus on expressing our praise. Be inspired!

Dance: God's Watching (Photo by Allef Vinicius)
Dance: God's Watching (Photo by Allef Vinicius) | Source

The Devotional

David danced before the Lord with all his might.
2 Samuel 6:14 (NLT)

How do we celebrate God’s goodness? Has anyone ever accused us of extravagant praise? Or do we praise God silently, motionlessly in our hearts? Generally, we react to our fears and frustrations with sounds and gestures. We express our complaints and criticisms; so why are we are content to praise only silently in our hearts?

David was not even in the worship service when an intense delight in God flooded his being, and he began to dance. God had satisfied his desire to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem, after more than twenty years. He danced in his priestly garment, though not the kind he wore when ministering; and Michal, his wife, chided him for what she considered unbecoming behavior.

David defended his praise by declaring that his performance was for the Lord (verse 21). The Lord had anointed him in his youth, had shepherded him through his misdeeds, had honored his life and leadership with victory after victory. David danced with all his might, like God was watching a performance for which He had paid.

The Pulpit Commentary mentions the dance as “springing round in half circles” or whole circles; not to suggest a method for our dance, but to reveal the kind of movement it was, as well as the kind it was not. It was individual, spontaneous and wholehearted; no instructor, no partner necessary. David focused on God, regardless of the people who focused on him. If our intense praise ever overflows into a dance, let us dance like David did―with all our might― for God is watching!

Genuine praise seeks expression in speech, in song, in movement. It can happen in our homes, in our devotion, on our morning walks, whenever and wherever we take the time to count our blessings. Praise boosts our joy, our energy, our well being, and it does include the dance.

Prayer: All-Powerful God, we want to praise you with all our heart, soul, mind and might. When it is time to dance, please let our dance glorify You. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Painting by Alexey Tyranov. Text added.
Painting by Alexey Tyranov. Text added. | Source

Ten Quotes on Unsilent Praise

Here are ten quotes which encourage praise expressions of sound and movement, though they offer no judgment on silent, motionless praise.

  1. “May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.” ― Teresa of Ávila
  2. “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.” ― Psalm 30:11,12
  3. “We are called not simply to communicate the gospel to nonbelievers; we must also intentionally celebrate the gospel before them.” ― Timothy Keller
  4. “In the darkest times of your life, your praise to God should be the loudest. Let the enemy know you’re not afraid of the dark.” ― Stormie Omartian
  5. “Praise is declaration, a victory cry, proclaiming faith to stand firm in the place God has given you. Praise is a proclamation that the enemy's intent to plunder you will not rock you. Praise declares that you will not be moved by the enemy's attempt to snatch you away.” ― Darlene Zschech
  6. “The origins of many of the different expressions of worship can be found in the Psalms, which portray worship as an act of the whole person, not just the mental sphere. . . Physical gestures and movements are also mentioned in the Psalms."― Emilie Barnes

Photo by Renata Drygiel. Text added.
Photo by Renata Drygiel. Text added. | Source

7. “I might not be a good singer but I will praise and worship God with all my heart. I might not be the best dancer but I will dance for the Lord all the days of my life.” ― Euginia Herlihy

8. “Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals.” Psalm 150: 4, 5

9. “But the most obvious fact about praise -- whether of God or anything -- strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honor. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise. . . because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.” ― C. S. Lewis

10. “Do you think God truly meant for us to keep Him locked in the church? . . . He wishes for us to think about Him wherever we are. And a voice singing His praises at a ball is far less irreverent than a stone-cold heart sitting in a pew.” ― Hayden Wand

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Dora Weithers

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      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Chitrangada, I like to repeat some of the profound statements that my readers write. Yours is one of them: "In the moments of total bliss, it happens automatically and we feel connected to the Supreme." Thank you.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Bill, either way we cannot judge the worshipers but it does seem like we all would want to express our praise; not because we want other people to see or hear, but because God deserves it.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Antonio.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Lora. "When we express our joy in the gifts that our Creator has given us then we are inviting others to share in our love and gratitude!" Well said and worth repeating.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        3 months ago from New Delhi, India

        Great devotional article.

        Singing and dancing, are ways to express the happiness of the soul. In the moments of total bliss, it happens automatically and we feel connected to the Supreme.

        Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.

      • lifegate profile image

        William Kovacic 

        3 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

        Now, that's a powerful devotional, Dora. I like the line, " We express our complaints and criticisms; so why are we are content to praise only silently in our hearts?" Good question - especially in light of the Scripture you've shown. Thank you, my friend.

      • profile image

        Antonio50S 

        3 months ago

        To MsDora.

        Just wanted to Quote what you said about Michal. "She might have understood David's explanation"

        I think it's really good that you said that since none of us should make judgements on others, or by what we read, especially when details omitted as well.

        ( 2 Samual 6:20 ) appears to shows what the real issue was with Michal. David ( disdinguished ) himself that day, and as a result she accused him of dancing inappropriately towards God, especially in the presence of other women.

        As the Title goes "Dance Like God is Watching" That's what David was doing. His dancing in the celebration was in agreement with God and the bible itself, therefore Michal wasn't going against David, She was actually going against God himself who chose David, and that may be the reason why ( Vs23 ) Says, "Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death"

        The good thing about Michal, she loved David, and covered for him in the past. David also felt the same way about her, and that after the death of Saul, he asked for her again.

        But as you said Dora, Don't be so hard. That's a good reminder for "all of us" especally now that we are covered by the death of Jesus.

        Whatever Michal may or may not have done ? none of us are any better in the eyes of God just because we never made the same mistakes as the other. God sees things differently. Definition of Sin Being "Missing the Mark" We're all guilty of that in one way or another if we are honest with ourselves and self-reflect, but you said it best when you said,

        "We don't all learn at the same pace"

        Very wise observation MsDora.

      • Lora Hollings profile image

        Lora Hollings 

        3 months ago

        When we express our joy in the gifts that our Creator has given us then we are inviting others to share in our love and gratitude! Whether it be through our voices, dance, playing an instrument, or writing as you have so beautifully expressed this joy in your article, Dora, these are expressions of ourselves in all of its diversity and a tribute to His grace. Thank you for this wonderful devotional.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Nell, thanks for sharing. You don't even have to answer, just keep dancing everyone can see what you're doing.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Crezyl, I hope it gives you some good meditative thoughts to help you sleep well, and enough inspiration for a good start to the next day. Thanks for your kind comment.

      • Nell Rose profile image

        Nell Rose 

        3 months ago from England

        Awesome! And I totally agree. Fling yourself about, and dance as you want to. Who cares who is watching through the window? I am always dancing around in my house, as my other half keeps saying, what on earth do you think you are doing? lol!

      • Crezyl Sabrido profile image

        Crezyl Joy Villa Sabrido 

        3 months ago from Philippines

        Every Monday our teacher would read a devotional before starting our class. It is good to start our day with it. Right now, it is good to sleep after reading yours. Thank you!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        You're welcome, Kari. Sure, God wants us to be happy and this time of year, we remember that the glad tidings of great joy gifted to us through His Son.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Flourish. I appreciate your continual support all year. Wishing you a happy holiday season too.

      • k@ri profile image

        Kari Poulsen 

        3 months ago from Ohio

        Thank you Dora for the reminder to dance and rejoice! God wants us to be happy!

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 months ago from USA

        This is a particularly fitting topic for this season. Wishing you joy.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Antonio. No apology necessary. We're both guessing.

      • profile image

        Antonio50S 

        3 months ago

        Yes Dora.

        I think you may be right about Michal. I know there were other reasons why she may have felt the way she did.

        This thought went through my mind lately about Women & Men in general. Some women REALLY want to be loved by a man or their husbands, while the success of some Men is because of the woman.

        I guess what i am trying to say, we don't always know the real needs of the other, or what's going on in their "hearts and mind" unless we genuinely communicate from a "heart of love" and see things from the other persons perspective.

        Thanks for letting me know that.

        My Apology.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Sean, thanks for your love, your kindness and your support. You're right. We may not ever toast each other face to face, but we can dance separately in the farthest corners of the earth, for our friendly affiliations.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Antonio. "Rejoice always in the Lord" is a good creed by which to live." Don't be so hard on Michal. She might have understood David's explanation. We don't all learn at the same pace.

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

        You are a great teacher, my dear sister, because you talk straight to the Soul with kindness and unparalleled Love for God! So, I dance to thank Him for meeting you.

        Love from Greece!

        Sean

      • profile image

        Antonio50S 

        3 months ago

        To MsDora.

        This is a great devotional about Dance and Praise.

        David had good reason to Praise God, not just because of all God had done for him, but because he had the "right attitude to begin with"

        David knew there was no other God but the God of Israel. Paul knew that as well when he stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus to address the Athenians in his famous speech on MARS HILL ( Acts 17 ) Paul had the same attitude as david. Rejoice always in the Lord.

        Shame about the attitude Michal. A bit of a Killjoy attitude going on there.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Manatita. "Strange are the ways of the Lord." I'm still discovering that.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        3 months ago from london

        Yes, my Sweet.

        Mystics dance. Sri Ramakrishna was famous for that too. Here, of course, like David and Sri Chaitanya, I speak of a dance dictated by the Spirit which is so exalted, that they are powerless to prevent it, sometimes.

        One of the Christian Saints used to levitate … not the fancy stuff of today but from real Spirituality. he would just take of and go to the ceiling. He had no control. St Gregory, I believe. Both Padre Pio and Therese Newman experienced the Stigmata.

        Therese Newman also did not eat but fed of the energy of the Spirit. Strange are the ways of the Lord. But know that some things you read are more mystical than literal. Peace.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Pam. Anytime, anywhere, for any reason. God is always good and always deserves our praise!

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        3 months ago from Sunny Florida

        I love the idea of being able to praise the Lord anywhere at any time really.

        “In the darkest times of your life, your praise to God should be the loudest. Let the enemy know you’re not afraid of the dark.” ― Stormie Omartian This is such a good quote, as "Yea though I walk through the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for though art with me." I don't know if those words are perfect, but knowing the Lord is with us during troubled times is such a comfort. I enjoyed your Friday evening of praise as usual.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Interesting information about Sri Chaitanya. Powerful, for sure. Yes, I'm sure that there's more to the dance than I know. Perhaps, I can learn a thing or two from you.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Lori. Sounds good about your grandsons. Perhaps they'll break out one day. Remember, though, that we can express our praise away from the church service. You're free to enjoy your dance at home.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        3 months ago from london

        Another beautiful piece. Of course we mystics know a thing or two about dancing. There is a lot that goes on in the interior Castle and then again, there is a lot that goes on outside. Naturally, the outside dancing includes devout praise.

        The outer dancing of Sri Chaitanya, the 13th century Seer, was always inwardly communicated. In fact he was so 'high' on the Lord that whomever he touched, would also go into a state of ecstasy and started dancing. Powerful, eh? Looks like David experienced this also. Great work!

      • lambservant profile image

        Lori Colbo 

        3 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Loving this series. I love the image of David dancing with complete abandon. I can think of several times in church I wanted to burst forth into dance with joy, but because it was not done in our services ever, I chose to not to as I didn't want to be judged as an attention seeker. I am in a different church now and it still isn't done but I do bob and sway a lot when joy overtakes me.

        My grandsons (ages 17 and 18) and my son never sing at church. They just stand there with sober looks on their faces. Their solemnity is unnerving and surprising. However, recently my 18-year-old grandson leaned into my ear and whispered: "This song is giving me goosebumps." And they keep coming back so I figure their joyful noise is being offered from their hearts.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Tim, I agree. No judgement on those who praise silently, though its for us to be aware that unsilent praise is also allowed; and that any expression must be focused on God. We're on the same page.

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

        Tim Truzy 

        3 months ago from U.S.A.

        Thank you, Ms. Dora. There should be no judgment on those who worship through reverent silence and are called to express worship through movement. God made us all individually. You said it best for those who praise when God directs them to move, David danced with "all his might, like God was watching a performance for which He had paid." Blessings, my spiritual sister. And a reminder for those who get caught up in the idea God only wants people to approach Him in one particular manner.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Liz. See what I mean? Christians must demonstrate their joy, and not let people have to ask. They need to see and hear. so they can be affected by our praise.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Bill, it's good news that you're learning to dance. It says something positive about you and about your marriage relationship. Dance away!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Yes, Eric. When your dance initiates from a heart of gratitude for God's blessings, you are dancing to His glory. Thanks for sharing how much fun you and your boy are having. It's inspiring!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Mary. "No worship is greater than the beauty of expression." I endorse that.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Devika. True, a continual spirit of praise keeps us healthier, spiritually and physically as well.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        3 months ago from UK

        I was reading a daily commentary recently that gave the following story to illustrate a similar point. A group from the Salvation Army were speaking to a people in a market place about Jesus. A believer stood on the edge of the crowd to listen. When approached by a member of the Salvation Army and asked if he believed, his response was quite indignant "Of course I believe in Jesus" he said. "Then perhaps you should tell your face that you do." said the questioner. Clearly his expression did not echo praise to God. Thank you once more for an inspirational and thoughtful devotional.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        The perfect way to end a work week, so I thank you! Bev is the dancer in our family. She is teaching me and I am a willing student. :)

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Well now thanky you Missy Dora. Come to think of it I dance a bit everyday. I never thought of it pleasing our Lord. So instead of a few days a week I will get my boy to do it more often. Last night was a dancefest. We even did just singing without other music. It was "This is the day that the Lord has made, we shall be glad and rejoice in it". You should hear is rap version. We laugh to hard.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        3 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        Beautiful Ms. Dora. Every expression in our being is worship. No worship is greater than the beauty of expression.

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        3 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        This is an amazing series of Sundown Devotional. The quotes are powerful. A time for celebration but I do believe that one must thankful for each day.

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