I want to talk about TAKE TIME TO DANCE. I am not specifically talking about dancing. I am talking about taking time to refresh and taking time to de-stress. I cannot find a highly successful person in the Bible who left something here who did not experience stress. This includes Jesus. Jesus stressed so badly his sweat was as drops of blood. The high stress time came closer than anything else did to stopping him from leaving something here. We must learn how to handle stress. We must TAKE TIME TO DANCE.

I Want To Leave Something Here
By Pastor Delbert Young

Take Time To Dance

Take Time To Dance

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Take Time To Dance

Scriptures: Genesis 2:2-3, Numbers 20:10-12, Exodus 23:10-13, Malachi 3:10, Deuteronomy 14:23-26, Ecclesiastes 3:4, Mark 6:31, Exodus 15:20, 2 Samuel 6:14, Luke 15:25, Psalms 30:11

We are in our series titled I WANT TO LEAVE SOMETHING HERE! God did not just save us from something. He saved us for something. Last time we talked about STOP LOOKING BACK. Looking back will turn us into a pillar of salt as it did Lot’s wife and cause our tombstones to be placed in the wilderness as it did the children of Israel. God said to forget the past and press toward the future. Find what it is I have created you to do and be, then do it. If you will, you will indeed LEAVE SOMETHING HERE. Great message if I say so myself.

Today I want to talk about TAKE TIME TO DANCE. Of course, I am not specifically talking about dancing. I am talking about taking time to refresh and taking time to de-stress. If we are going to be successful and victorious people, we will experience stress and stressful situations. STRESS andSUCCESS go hand-in-hand. I cannot find a highly successful person in the Bible leaving something here who did not experience stress. This includes Jesus. Once, Jesus stressed so badly, his sweat was as drops of blood. The high stress time came closer than anything else did to stopping him from leaving something here. He asked the Father three times if there was any other way. We must learn how to handle stress. We must TAKE TIME TO DANCE.

STRESS SOMETHING A LOT – I looked up the word stress to find how it is used. Did you know the word stress is primarily a musical term? It is when one note is stressed or prominent throughout the entire musical composition. This is how life is sometimes. One note – one thing, one deal, one problem, one child, one spouse, one boss, one bill – becomes the prominent/stressful note in life. If we do not de-stress and TAKE TIME TO DANCE, we can become physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wrecks. Stress is deadly and can stop you from LEAVING SOMETHING HERE.

STRESS AND SICKNESS – Stress produces vasoconstrictors (an agent causing a narrowing of an opening of a blood vessel: cold or stress or nicotine, etc.).

A Harvard Health Letter written by a P. DeVito titled, Can Stress Make You Sick? Says, “As many as 25 percent of the US population suffers from the negative effects of stress, and approximately 50 percent of all general medical patients are suffering from stress related problems. Several studies conducted confirm that stress is positively correlated with incidences of physical illness. It is also becoming common knowledge that many physical diseases are either related to or can be worsened by excessive stress. Stress reduction is becoming a part of treatment and prevention of many diseases. Even insurance companies are paying for programs such as ones that reverse heart disease, which include learning stress reduction techniques.”

Fifty percent of medical problems are stress related. Let me put it another way. TAKING TIME TO DANCE would heal fifty percent of all medical problems. Stress, without doubt, will make you sick or worse. If you are going to make a difference and LEAVE SOMETHING HERE, you must learn toTAKE TIME TO DANCE.

STRESS AND PHYSICS Let me give one more of the uses for the word stress. This one deals with physics. Stress is the force producing strain. By taking a piece of paper and applying force to it, you see it will tear. This is what stress will do to any of us physically, mentally, and spiritually. I have watched people so stressed they literally rip out of the kingdom. They became physically ill and emotional wrecks. We must find ways to de-stress if we are going to LEAVE SOMETHING HERE.We must TAKE TIME TO DANCE.

STRESS AND GOD’S WORD It is amazing how the medical and psychological worlds are now realizing people need “stress reduction techniques.” The scriptures have talked about it since the beginning. In fact, a “stress reduction technique” is one of the very first principles about life we learn from God himself. God labored six days in creation and then de-stressed. Here is what the Bible says.

[Genesis 2:2-3] And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he RESTED on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that IN IT HE HAD RESTED FROM ALL HIS WORK which God created and made.

Notice God sanctified the seventh day because IN IT he had rested. He did not sanctify it because it was simply the seventh day. The emphasis is not on the seventh day. The emphasis is on the rest. The word sanctified (qadash) simply means to be important enough to be set apart from everything else. It was this important to God. My point is a time of rest is very important. We sanctify a time of rest.

Later the Law of Moses imposed “taking time to de-stress” upon the people. God made it a law. It is important to God. One hundred and fifteen scriptures in the King James’ Version use the term “Sabbath” which means intermission (Strong’s #7676). We must take an intermissionTIME TO DANCE.

It was very interesting to me Moses wrote the Law about de-stressing, but never learned to do it. His not learning to de-stress stopped him from experiencing all God had for him. People totally stressed Moses and Moses often exploded in anger. The scriptures speak more about Moses becoming angry than any other person in the Bible. Once God told Moses to speak to the rock before the people and it would give water. Here is what happened.

[Numbers 20:10-12] And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

We do not sanctify the Lord when we allow stress to overtake us. Has anyone ever stressed and allowed a “dirty word” to slip out, or gotten angry and hit something? Stressing out stopped both Moses and Aaron from going into the Promised Land. Do not let it stop you. Do what the word of God says.

[Exodus 23:10-13] For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused… Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work,… Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.

God said to let the land rest and let the nutrients fertilize it so it can properly produce. This is what happens in our lives. We need to rest so we can properly produce something to leave here. God was saying I want you to rest one day a week and ever so often – every seventh year – take a big rest. Do something radical. Do something like take a year off.

It is interesting in the context of taking time to de-stress, God talked about not invoking the names of other gods. Do not talk about stressful things when you are de-stressing. When we stress, we give other things – other gods – a doorway into our lives. They become the prominent note our lives play, releasing vasoconstrictors into our bodies making us spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically ill, and rip us apart.

Two lumberjacks named Crazyswing and Buzzsaw had the job of clearing a field of trees. The owner paid them per tree. Crazyswing wanted to make a lot of money one day, so he began swinging his axe relentlessly. Buzzsaw wanted to make money too, but appeared to be working about half as fast. He took several rest breaks and occasionally he sat off to the side for a few minutes. Exhausted and aching, Crazyswing kept chopping away. The day finally ended. Buzzsaw was smiling, rested, and telling jokes. In addition, Buzzsaw had cut down more trees than Crazyswing. Crazyswing asked, “How did you do that? I worked without a break. How did you outwork me?” Buzzsaw smiled. “Did you not notice that as I rested I was sharpening my axe?”

The purpose for rest is to sharpen your axe (mind, body, and spirit). I read natives in the jungle have a saying. “We are going to rest today so our souls can catch up with our bodies.” Have you ever felt like you have run off and left your mind? When you do, it is time TO TAKE TIME TO DANCE.

DESTRESS, FEAST, AND TITHES – It is amazing how many times God incorporated into his laws of life different ways to de-stress. Three times a year the people attended feasts. Feasts were vacations and a time to de-stress. They would get away from their daily stress, rejoice, and TAKE TIME TO DANCE. Also, there is a tithe specifically created to de-stress God’s people. Let me show you. When the Bible talks about tithes, it is plural.

[Malachi 3:10] Bring ye all the TITHES into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

We think of a blessing in monetary ways, but releasing stress may be the blessing you need, especially if it will heal your body. Tithes are plural because there are three types of tithes (Deu 14): first fruit tithe (of which less than 15% of those who call themselves Christians do); 3-year alms tithe (less than 2% of those who call themselves Christians do); and the de-stress tithe, or self tithe (of course, hardly any Christians do this one because they don’t do the first two.).

[Deuteronomy 14:23-26] Eat the tithe [WHO EATS THIS TITHE?] of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the LORD will choose to put his Name is so far away), then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose. USE THE SILVER TO BUY WHATEVER YOU LIKE [KJV – whatsoever thy soul lusteth after]: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, OR ANYTHING YOU WISH. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and REJOICE [DE-STRESS].

God has worked into his financial principles for our lives a way to de-stress. It is important, but how many Christ followers have de-stress worked into their finances? Most Believers develop their tithing around their other financial obligations. To de-stress, we develop our other financial obligations around our tithing. Judy and I take a month-long vacation every year. We plan for it. I put back a tithe for us every week just as I give a tithe for God’s kingdom every week. It is a little radical to take a month off, but after 20 years, I feel I have earned it and the month is a very refreshing time for me.

A TIME TO DE-STRESSI was researching for this lesson and I ran across a statement that rocked me. I do not remember exactly what I was reading, but the statement was, “Not taking a day off is like a kid not wanting to go to bed.” OUCH! What we are really saying when we refuse to de-stress and TAKE TIME TO DANCE is, “I do not believe God’s word. I know he says he will take care of me if I take time to dance, but I don’t believe it.”

God has given us an owner’s manual – his word. Just as maintenance on an automobile will prevent it from breaking down, TAKING TIME TO DANCE will prevent us from breaking down.

[Ecclesiastes 3:4] A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and A TIME TO DANCE

Just as there is a time we need to weep, or laugh, or mourn, there is a time to de-stress – DANCE. It is not possible to stress and really dance at the same time. TAKE TIME TO DANCE! LEAVE SOMETHING HERE!

JESUS TOOK TIME TO DE-STRESS.

[Mark 6:31] Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and GET SOME REST.”

Life gets this way sometimes – coming, going, not having time to eat. Life is so busy with the children, or with work, or with appointments, and obligations we do not TAKE TIME TO DANCE. If it was necessary for Jesus and the apostles, then surely it is necessary for you and me. Let me ask you a question. Did Jesus and the apostles leave something here?

DE-STRESSING IN WORSHIP I keep using the term TAKE TIME TO DANCE and I know you understand what I am attempting to say, but it is interesting to look at times in the Bible when people literally danced. The very first time the Bible uses the term dance(s) is in Exodus 15:20.

[Exodus 15:20] And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.

If you remember the story, it had been a very stressful time. Pharaoh’s army had trapped the Children of God against the Red Sea. Miraculously, God opened the Red Sea and the children of Israel walked through it on dry ground. Can you imagine the stress the people experienced? There was the army which could easily destroy them. In addition, the walls of water on either side could collapse and drown them. It was a high stress time.

Have you ever felt this way? It could be over in a moment and no matter which way you looked, it was bad. Yet, a way opened and you were victorious. It was the time to dance! When this happened with the children of Israel, Miriam broke out the tambourines and the Bible says the people followed her with DANCES (plural). Everyone had his or her own dance going on. My point is literal dancing before the Lord is a wonderful and natural stress relief. Come in here on Sunday mornings and learn to de-stress. God designed praise and worship to de-stress you. It is impossible to worship and praise with this much enthusiasm and stress.

The Bible tells the story of King David bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem.

[2 Samuel 6:14] And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.

The ark represented the presence of God and David wanted to bring it to Jerusalem, but it had been very stressful. A man named Uzzah died in the attempt. It was a slow and tedious process with sacrifices every few paces. Have you ever done something like this? You wanted something done, but it was such a slow, tedious, sacrificial process. Upon finally reaching the gates of Jerusalem, David de-stressed. David began dancing as hard as he could go. David left something here!

The Bible tells the story of the prodigal. It was an extremely stressful time for the father. His son had gone astray and was dining with pigs. Finally, the child came to his senses and came home. Have your children ever stressed you? It is time to TAKE TIME AND DANCE.

[Luke 15:25] “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and DANCING.

De-stressing turns our mourning into dancing.

[Psalms 30:11] Thou hast turned for me my mourning into DANCING: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness

What is stressing you? What one note in life puts stress on your entire life and stops you from leaving something here? What stresses you and makes you sick physically, mentally, and spiritually? Do not allow stress to do this to you and stop you from leaving something here. What stress puts pressure on your life and rips you apart making you angry and not able to enter your Promised Land? Learn to TAKE TIME TO DANCE! TAKING TIME TO DANCE makes life work and if life works, you will LEAVE SOMETHING HERE.

Other Related Sermons:

Finding the Achan in Me – sermon audio notes

Pride and a Leprous Moment – sermon video audio notes

Stop Looking Back – sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change the World

Life Gate Church

Can Stress Make You Sick? (1998, April). Harvard Health Letter, 23. DeVito, P. (1994, July).