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The Divine Tango

The old saying is that “it takes two to tango.” Some performances can be solos, but some can only ever be duets.

One of the things I find incredible about God is that He could do an amazingly, awesomely brilliant solo performance – yet at every point of our history He invites us to dance with Him, even though we clomp all over His toes, fall down when He tries to twirl us, get out of rhythm and generally mess things up big time.

When God created the world, He could have created millions of people to fill it straight away. That way He might have had some chance that at least a few of them would actually get it right and obey Him. Instead, He created just two people, invested all His hopes for the future of mankind into them, and said, “Dance with Me. Here’s the earth. Go and fill it.”

At the same time, He could have brought all the living things He had created into submission to Himself. He could have set up His throne on earth and ruled over them. Instead, He handed the keys to the two people He had created – the two people whom He already knew would disobey Him and effectively hand those keys to satan – and said, “Dance with Me. Here’s the earth. Subdue it and rule over it.”

At the time of Noah, He could have personally reached down, scooped up Noah and his family and two of each of the animals, and deposited them somewhere safe. Instead, he turned to Noah and said, “Dance with Me. Build an ark to save a remnant.”

Under the New Covenant, God could sovereignly confront each individual sinner, reveal Himself, and bring that person to new birth – then immediately zap them off to heaven before they could cause any damage to the Kingdom. Instead, He turns to His disciples – at the time of His ascension a rag-tag bunch who had not even had the courage or faith to stay by Him as He hung on the Cross – and says, “Dance with Me. Be My witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”

So it goes through the history of mankind: Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Peter, Paul, Calvin, Wesley, Booth … kings and prophets, apostles and martyrs, teachers and missionaries – and, most of all, ordinary people like you and me. To each of us in our various situations, God says, “Come dance with Me …” and invites us to share with Him in accomplishing the things that He could do far better – and with far fewer headaches – on His own. Sometimes we slip, sometimes we get the tempo wrong – sometimes we ignore the invitation to dance altogether, and go of hopelessly trying to dance solo. Occasionally – very, very occasionally – we get it right. We slip into rhythm with our Creator, allow Him to lead, follow Him step for step: and the result is a thing of beauty and wonder.

There is a wonderful word in Romans 8:26. It is translated as “The Spirit helps us” – the word “helps” in the Greek is sunantilambanomai, and it means “to take hold together on the other side.” Picture two people trying to lift a large, heavy table. Neither can do it on his own, but when they take hold of it together, on opposite sides, they can lift it.

For our part, there is really nothing we can do on our own – nothing for which we do not need God. God could do it on His own. There is absolutely nothing for which He needs us. Yet, in His amazing grace and love, He chooses to allow us to be involved, to help lift the table with Him. He chooses to invite us to the dance, even knowing just how bad at dancing we really are.

The King of the universe is inviting you today, “Come, dance with Me.” How will you respond?

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