Where Do You Dwell?
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
…But mixed His music with my human cry,
Till somewhere from the half-withdrawing wood
Sound of familiar footsteps: Is it Thou?
Master, where dwelleth Thou? O speak to me.
And He said, ‘Come and see.’
~ Amy Carmichael “Where Dwelleth Thou?”
In the days preceding the New Year, one word kept clamoring for my attention from surprising places – dwell.
I read it in my psalm for the day “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91.1) I noticed “DWELL” on the masthead of a glossy magazine all about clean living spaces. I uttered it as an admonition to someone – “Don’t dwell on your past mistakes.”
So as my word-for-the-year marinated in heart and mind, I embraced both meanings of dwell: 1. to live and 2. to focus. It soon became obvious that all too often I live amidst hurry and obligation, dwelling in anxiety and surrounded by noise. And where was my default focus — circumstances, lists, self-preservation, tasks, things?
Throughout the Bible God calls His people to dwell with Him constantly. He offers us a refuge and shelter and He fills it with a beauty and peace that is restorative. And, best of all, He sends Jesus Christ to dwell in our hearts and make His home with us forever!
Would you like some of that in your life?
First we need to acknowledge that God is the only One who can provide such a life for us. Moses, that great wanderer, knew this. God had long ago promised to be with him wherever he journeyed. So even though he was often a stranger in a strange land, Moses was confident in his true dwelling: “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (Psalm 90.1-2 NIV)
And this same God invites us to dwell with Him!
In the original language of the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for dwell is yashab which is translated “to dwell, to sit down, to remain.” How can we possibly do this? Sitting down is considered unproductive – we are a culture on the move! Believe me, friend, I know the challenges of making time for close communion with God in prayer and study – that’s why I usually choose one word a day as my devotional focus.
We can do that!
After all, we have certainly dwelt everywhere else — we give our time and resources to other places, people and projects without a second thought. And all along, God is there with us, offering us His continual presence no matter where our journey might lead.
Do you have a difficult appointment today? He’ll go with you. Do you cry yourself to sleep at night? He’s beside you, holding you close. His constant presence is the greatest gift of all.
Today you can truly “make the Most High your place of residence.” (Psalm 91.9 CEB) You can dwell with a firm knowledge of His presence with you always.
What is the dwelling place God has for you today?
under the mercy, Cindy
My new book “Dwelling Places – Words to Live in Every Season” is now with the wonderful folks at Abingdon Press, getting all the attention it needs to become a book by June 2016! Would you believe you can pre-order it here? (it comes in hardcover, paperback and kindle) Thanks for helping us spread the word that dwelling in God’s presence is possible, powerful and peaceful!