In 2 Samuel chapter 6 we find the story of when the Ark of the Covenant was being moved to Jerusalem. When the Ark enters the city, David dances for joy, wearing only what one might call "holy underwear". He was so excited to be in the presence of the Lord that he dances in what has been described "religious ectasy". His first wife, Mical, who was King Saul's daughter, criticized and scorned him for parading half naked before others, but David does not listen to her.
This story came to me twice within 24 hours this week. Twice. When I get something more than once in a short amount of time, I have learned to pay attention. I know I need to ask God to reveal to me what He is trying to say. This time I did not need to ask, as I already knew.
You see, the past three days Joel and I have been watching a healing conference online. Randy Clark and Bill Johnson were speaking on and praying for healing for those who attended. We wanted to hear them, so we payed a minimal fee to have the three days and 9 sessions live streamed into our home.
At the end of the first session we saw lots of people showing a strong verbal and emotional response to the presence of God and being prayed over. Joel and I were totally out of our comfort zone. On a scale of 1 to 10 we were edging towards the high end as the Holy Spirit released His power over some of those at the conference. Oh boy. Was this for us?
Later I emailed a friend who had been to one of these conferences in the past, and she emailed back, sharing her own experience. This helped, but I still found myself judging others because they were making me uncomfortable. Joel and I both talked about this at length, and our words were not always kind.
Joel went back to his office and I went to my computer. It was at this time that God sent me the verse in 2 Samuel........and then a few hours later while reading Ann Voskamp's blog, the story of David and Michal came up again. Really? A second time? Her words about David's adoration dance resonated with me. I immediately knew that this was from God.
Who was I to judge how others expressed the awe they felt as they experienced the presence of God and annointing of the Holy Spirit? That was between them and God. While I was being "scolded" by God, Joel had been praying about the feelings that came up during the first session. He came to me and said, "I know I need to keep watching this." I agreed. We needed to see this through.
We are so glad we did. We learned a great deal during this conference. We expanded our thinking, and responded God's whispering. We will not be doing any dance of adoration soon, but we are open to what God wants to bless us with. We also have been reminded of an important message from God... the grace He extends to us is always to be extended to others. Please don't misunderstand, we do need to listen to God and discern right from wrong in our walk of faith, but we are to live by grace. Especially when we are out of our comfort zone. Otherwise we might miss all God has planned for us!