LET THE SOUL DANCE
Chuck Allen, Pastor
I’ve been referring to the phrase “soul dancing “ a great deal lately. Maybe it’s because I speak with so many individuals, couples, and families that seem to be anchored in a rut of discontented misery, loneliness, sorrow and doubt. You never feel like dancing when you are in that rut – Never! You feel like dancing when something in your bones, I’m talking deep into the marrow springs forth in joy, peace hope and contentment.
I was never really a good dancer, but that never seems to impede my desire to dance. I love the fact that something inside me says, come on Chuck, celebrate, sing and dance! Maybe you’ve never felt that way, or maybe it’s been so long since you did, that you’ve forgotten the pure joy of cutting loose. Someday I’ll have to tell you the story of a guest evangelist that stepped into my 10th high school reunion just in time to see me alligator to ***Shout*** “You make me wanna dance.” Otis! My Man! Sorry for the Animal House reflection – back to the soul.
I believe that the Divine created us to turn the soul loose and dance. Great Chuck, but I don’t even know what that means.
Here you go…don’t miss this: The soul dances when our minds, hearts and attitudes collide into a beautiful collaboration of renewal, refreshing and relating.
I believe that the first step to soul dancing is the renewing of our minds.
WE have the ultimate power to change our own thoughts, but in order to so do, we must feed, and focus our minds on a moment by moment basis. Listen, friend – Satan can’t control your thoughts, only you can, and God won’t control your thoughts. He wants us to long for Him. If you’re having bad, scary, guiltily, lonely, depressed and discouraging thoughts, it doesn’t help to say, God change my thoughts. God is going to say, it’s your mind, you do it.
I am confident that God is far more interested in changing a person’s mind than their circumstances. Your feelings don’t shape your life, your beliefs do.
It doesn’t even have to be true, if you believe it, it’s going to shape your life. The mind constantly “debates” whether to sin or not. (Samantha Debation)
Sometimes you’re conscious of that battle and other times you are not…The reason why most people are ineffective in life and actually fail at life is because they’ve never learned how to fight the battle of the mind.
If you’re going to be mentally healthy, you have to learn how to demolish strongholds in your life…how do you do that? Bring your mind into submission, take it captive and bring it into obedience.
He are three healthy choices to get your mind into soul-dancing shape:
1. Feed your mind with truth! People need more than bread for life; they must feed on every word of God. Matthew 4:4
2. Free your mind from destructive thoughts!
Those who are dominated by their sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. Romans 8:5
3.Get your mind focused on the right things – the good stuff!
For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6
You need the best information to live the best life God wants you to live and that’s the word of God’s truth. When should I feed my mind with the truth? Morning, afternoon and night because if you’re constantly thinking about truth, it’s going to renew your mind. That is why I believe so firmly that every believer should be in God’s Word every single day!
There are three enemies that attempt to take hold of a person’s thoughts including a person’s past, Satan, and the world’s value system. Commit to the renewing of your mind! Then…
Let your properly focused mind join in with a heart filled with Christ Jesus! If we were deconstruct each and every problem that we are facing in this chaotic world, we would discover that every challenge, problem and sin starts with a heart problem and is never settled apart from a heart change!
All of life is a matter of the heart!
I am convinced that most of the problems in the world stem cold, dead or bitter, hate-filled hearts. We have some fine and good people, but fine and good is not what God wants alone, He wants our hearts. God wants our whole heart, not just part of us. He doesn’t merely want outer actions, he wants our hearts.
Matthew 22:36-37 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’
Before we can really begin to discuss the importance of a changed heart, we have to understand some things first. The Scriptures refer to the heart as the seat of intellect, the conscience, the emotions, and the will of the individual.
Before we can ever change our heart, we have to understand the value of a heart that has been changed.
The Heart Reflects the Real You
You can tell a lot about a person if we were to look into their heart. Right or wrong we make certain judgments about people’s character and life based on what we see. I realize in that I can be wrong in my judgments. I realize that people can fool me. I realize that there may be some I see as people of great character and integrity, but they really may not be. However, if I was to have a glimpse into their heart it would reveal who they really are. The heart would tell no lies. The heart is a reflection of who you are.
Proverbs 27:19 As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.
The things we talk about and say, are a true reflection and condition of your heart. The reality is we cannot let something out of our mouth that is not in our heart. The Proverbs say it this way, “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.”
Matthew 12:33-37 33 “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. 34 You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. 35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. 36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. 37 The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” Remember, the heart reflects who you really are.
The Heart Will Be Judged By God
God is concerned with our actions. He is concerned with the things we do and the things we neglect to do, but more than that He is concerned with the condition of our hearts.
We cannot hide anything from God. Today, you could have lived your whole life putting on a great show, and perhaps you have everyone fooled, maybe even yourself, but we cannot fool God because our hearts will be laid bare before Him one day. What is the condition of your heart this morning?
The Bible says that we are a new creation in Christ and we need to demonstrate that through a total and complete life change. A heart transplant.
Colossians 3:10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. Did you notice the repeating idea that our lifestyle should be different since we have put off the old self?
True Heart Change Can Only Come From God
I have heard it said that the greatest defense of the Gospel is the changed life. I believe the church is not a group of good people who have always been good, I believe the church has always been a group of people who were once evil, whose hearts have been changed.
Please remember that a change of action alone does not equate a change of heart. The real problem everybody faces is a heart problem, and Jesus alone can change hearts. I cannot change my heart and I cannot force anyone’s heart to be changed, all I can do is point people in the direction of the one who can do the changing. Yes, people can change their outer actions, but only Jesus can change the heart of a person.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23
A Real Heart Change is Total and Complete
In John chapter 9 we read a story of Jesus healing a blind man. After his sight was restored an argument broke out about who this guy was. Some argued that this was not the same guy that was born blind, but that this was just someone who looked like him. They thought it was just someone who looked like the man born blind. They knew there was something different about this guy. The difference was he could see. The Scriptures liken us become Christians to a blind person receiving their sight back. We once we blind and when we come to Christ we are able to see clearly. We too should be so different that people realize that we are not the same.
That change that takes place in our lives should be total and complete; it should change every aspect of our lives. I used to think that value was found in what things I had and how much I owned, but that had to change because the Bible says where your treasure is there your heart is also. I used to think that if it feels good it must be right, but that had to change because the Bible says you are not your own, you are bought with a price. Jesus has to make a total and a complete change in our lives.
II Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
True Heart Change Should Cause Us to Be Different
A few years ago the most popular show among young children was the “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.”
This show was about a group of teenagers who would change into superheroes and fight evil. On any given day these kids were just normal teenagers, but when they morphed they could do extraordinary things.
I believe that when we are changed we will be able to do amazing things in the world. When we ourselves allow God to change our lives we will be able to make a great impact in the world, but that change has to begin somewhere with someone, why not me, why not you, why not now?
Romans 12:1-2 And so…I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
So far we have a two way stop intersection, but to truly turn the soul loose and let it dance, we need a third stop in the intersection. Around the corner from our home is a 3-way stop intersection. There seem to be accidents there several times a week, especially when we don’t know what and who has the right of way.
Our third stop in soul dancing is our attitude
Philippians 2:14-15 14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people
Your attitude WILL: MAKE OR BREAK YOU / HEAL OR HURT YOU / Make FRIENDS or ENEMIES / MAKE YOU HAPPY OR MISERABLE
Attitude will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
Philippians 2:5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Your Attitude is always Your Choice. You can’t choose what will happen to you today (it’s beyond your control) — but you can choose your own attitude – we each have the power to decide how we will respond to what happens to us.
No matter what you are facing– the choice of attitude is still yours. Jesus wants to help you choose and cultivate a positive attitude.
If we allow things and people to cause us to be negative we are only hurting ourselves And know we are forced to live with the effects and misery our bad attitudes will bring.
Well that’s just great, Chuck…but how do I fix my attitude?
Start speaking positive words – When your words are positive:
you produce a creative, loving, accepting, positive environment.
When you speak negative words: you create suspicion, mistrust and a can’t do anything right atmosphere. Remember my grandma’s words of wisdom? If you don’t have anything good to say, it’s your fault.
Look for good in every situation I can choose to dwell on the bad, the pain or I can focus on the good
Learn the joy of living in a contented attitude.
Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians 4:12-13 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Now watch this: When our minds, hearts and attitudes collide at this three way stop, The Soul Can Dance. Our soul is waiting to bust out of a renewed mind and changed heart and a contented attitude. Turn your soul loose to dance today!
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