How Do I Stay On Beat With God? (Matthew 11:17 & Genesis 2:1-3)

This Sunday was another visit to Flatiron’s Church in Lafayette. The pastor here, Scott Nickell is very good–way better than he realizes. Every sermon is packed with great biblical content and is incorporated with the many books he continually reads. He even quotes case studies from his current reading selection when it applies to iterating a point from scripture. This church is a true vision of what a church is, and what a deliverer of God’s message ought to be.


The sermon today has a primary message around the importance of the Sabbath, and how we ought to be “imitators” of God and how to follow the path he’s paved for us.

The Sermon

The unspoken rule around dancing is that you ought not to do it unless you’re ready and capable of doing it because no one wants to see that jokester at the wedding with no rhythm strutting his stuff. Yes I say his stuff because more often than not it is a he. When someone is off-beat you can just tell. They don’t move when you would expect them to and there is a common uncomfortable feeling among spectators.

This correlates directly with how we can stay in beat God on two levels.

1. What’s the rhythm to your life? Is there any rest or pause? Are there spaces between your beats?

If you ask any instrumental or vocal musician they will tell you the secret to being in rhythm is not when to play, its when not to play. Not only that, the moment you are trying too hard to stay on beat is precisely the moment you fall off beat. The idea is to flow with the beat and use your own musical expression to add value to your groups rhythm. Allowing rhythm to occur naturally by letting go is the only way to allow new rhythm to manifest.

We played the flute for you, and you did not dance, we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn. (Matthew 11:17 ESV)

This verse to me says we ought to keep dancing, because not dancing and grooving to the rhythm God set for you is to go against the grain.  The moment you feel compelled to dance you need to do it.  In essence, get out and dance.  Flow with the rhythm of your life.

2. What is the rhythm God paved for me?

In order to truly ground ourselves with God we are to

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. (Ephesians 5:1 ESV)

My translation of this verse is to follow the path he’s made for us, do as he does, because he loves us and would never steer us wrong.

From Genesis:

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. (Genesis 2:1-3)

God wasn’t resting because he was tired, God was resting because he was done. Often times when we complete one task it can feel like fuel to start the next one, and we wind up jumping right back into the rush of life.

This is a quick way to lose yourself, to get out of beat with God.

Another article discussing what to do after completing a task we learn there is a direct correlation with the rhythm of human nature and resting. One cannot exist without the other, they must co-exist. Upon the completion of a task it is completely necessary for our minds to rest and recover before jumping into the next task on our “to-do.”

Failure to take proper rests opens us up to becoming “burnt out” on what we’re doing. In order to stay on beat with God we need to practice resting. Athletes in training can relate directly to this because their recovery days are just as–if not more important than the days they workout.  Resting is just an important as the work you accomplish during your on-days because without rhythm, you’re still doing the Macarena while everyone else at the party is dancing to electronica.

God rested for an entire day on the sabbath. That translates back to us as once every 7 days. Are you doing the same? What helps you to rest?

And for your entertainment pleasure..

  • cracka

    More play-by-play of what goes on at church please!