I’ve always thought I’m pretty good at “dwelling.” After all, I dwell a lot.
I dwell on mistakes–like that time I locked my keys in the car while it was running–and lost time and chances I passed by. And like many high-strung individuals, I dwell on every single stupid thing I’ve said, rehashing conversations in my mind after the fact. I am, in every regard, a textbook case of a “dweller.”
Except I’m not. Throughout the past few weeks, God has continually brought that word into my life. I’ve heard it in songs, read it in Scripture, and studied it in my devotional. I even saw it on an advertisement.
So, I began to take a deeper look. Immediately, my mind went back to the passage I had memorize this summer with the staff ladies at College Park. One verse in particular, Revelation 21:3 stood out: “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He dwell with them and they will be his people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.‘”
That’s when I recalled the sermon from a few weeks ago, in which our pastor spoke of the root meaning of the word “dwell.” In the original Greek, it is more accurately translated at, “to tabernacle.” God Himself will literally pitch his tent among us. And we see through John 1:14 that through Jesus, He already has. Do you get the magnitude of that truth? The God of the universe seeks to dwell in us!
See, that’s the difference. When we dwell on something, it’s a more academic interaction. It provides perspective, consideration, and reflection. There’s nothing bad with “dwelling on” the things of Christ. In fact, Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on these things.
But if we stop there, we’re missing the mark.
I believe that dwelling in the mess is where the deep change happens. Getting into the nitty-gritty of faith allow for heart change. As we wrestle with the truths laid out the breath. The in-ness of dwelling calls us to take off our captain’s hat and shift our perspective.
When we dwell in something, we view it from that lens. So, when we dwell in God, we are seeing the world as He sees it. We are living in ways that glorify Him and not us. Friends, dwelling in God is a divine partnership, and one that we certainly don’t deserve.
But oh the joy that it brings! When we are dwelling richly in Christ, going to the grocery is no longer just going to the grocery. Through our dwelling (and God’s indwelling in us), we see gospel opportunities and beautiful little miracles. We see Him.
As we savor this holiday season, I’m reminded of the importance of dwelling in, and not just on, the Lord. Yes, dwell on His goodness and mercy and love. Think of them often, consider how incredible they are. But don’t miss the opportunity to dwell in Him, as well. Dwell in His goodness and mercy. Dwell in His love and in His justice. Dwell in the freedom you have been granted through the power of the cross and the majesty of the manger.
The dwelling place of God is with man (Rev. 21:3), which means our rightful dwelling place is with God. But it’s also in Him, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are granted that privilege (1 John 4:13).
The Lord has pitched His tent among us, and we can rest in that. We can rest in Him.