In 2005, after 50 years in ministry, a man named Bob Mumford received this prophetic word:
You know the words to the song.
You know the song.
You can hear the music.
But you don’t know how to dance.
Three weeks later, Mumford publicly told the prophecy. Soberly, he said, “And I knew it was true.”
What an humble, teachable man! Willing to see what he didn’t yet know. Willing to learn what he hadn’t yet grasped.
Learning to dance with God means overcoming what Mumford calls our “unnatural resistance” to our Father. It means letting our Lord deliver us from the paralysis of the religious. It means being vulnerable, flexible and brave, as our Bridegroom teaches us to move in sync with him.
Jesus invited us to the dance in Matthew 11:28-30, The Message:
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
It’s good to know Scripture. It’s good to know the words to the song. But quoting the words can never replace moving to the music as one with God.
It’s good to pray. It’s good to talk to God, and to ask him, “Speak to me.” It’s also good – and far more rare – to echo the cry Paul Wilbur has written into an astonishing worship song: “Dance with me, O lover of my soul.”
Even if you don’t know how to dance, even if you feel yourself stiffening at the thought, be blessed with the vulnerability and courage to ask the Lord God, “Dance with me.”
He will say yes. And as you lean into him, he himself will teach you “the unforced rhythms of grace.”
Bob Mumford, “The Unforced Rhythms of Grace,” Oct. 2005, CD produced by Shiloh Place Ministries, shilohplace.org.