What does it mean "to dwell?" We can dwell in a house. It IS called a DWELLING after all. Merriam-Webster's on-line dictionary says it means "to remain for a time." I guess it could be said then that I dwell at work then. I dwell in my living room chair. I sometimes dwell in the bathroom, but that's probably more than anyone really wanted to know.
We have two cats "dwelling" in our house. Although they can be entertaining at times, they certainly dwell too much in MY presence. We've got this one cat that loves to steal my chair. I can get up, go into the kitchen to get something to drink, and by the time I get back the cat is curled up in my chair, faking like it's asleep. Behind those closed eyelids I KNOW that evil cat is secretly laughing at me.
When I was in college I wanted a teepee. You know, one of those dwellings the Indians used. They were made out of lodge pole pines and buffalo skins. They were SO cool looking and I was positive, in my college-age idealistic mind, that I would be living in a teepee the rest of my life. Wisconsin? Winter? Yeah, I was VERY idealistic. Still is would be a nice place to dwell - "to remain for a time."
When we dwell someplace for an extended period of time we become familiar with our surroundings. My wife and I have dwelled in our house for nearly 30 years. We can walk through the house at night without the lights on. We know where every door is, every piece of furniture and where every squeak is in the floor. Our kids hated those squeaks when they tried sneaking home late at night back in their high school years. Busted!!
Question: Have you ever felt distant from God? This past year there were times when I sure did. I think we ALL feel that way from time to time - some more so than others.
So, do you think we feel distant from God because He wanders off someplace and hides from us? Mmm. No. The way I understand it is, God is everywhere. And if He's everywhere that means He is truly . . . everywhere! Like right now he's standing right behind you! He sits next to you when you're driving your car to work. He was in the hospital room when your grandmother was sick. He's even standing next to me when I am "dwelling" in the bathroom! And that is really awkward to think about!
Yet, despite God always being with us, we still feel alone at times, we can even feel abandoned. Why? God loves us. He has promised he will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6) yet we say we feel "distant from God." How is that even possible?!
The only answer left is that WE, ourselves, are the ones who have wandered off. So where do we go? And how do we know we've wandered off when we're always right here where we are? Hmm.
Perhaps, if we "dwelled" in God's Word we could find some answers.
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty." - Psalm 91:1
Since November I have been reading five chapters in the Bible each day (3 Old, 2 New). It doesn't really take that long and it helps me keep in touch with God. When I dwell in his Word or spend time serving others in His name, I feel renewed. I feel "closer to God." These activities keep my feet firmly planted on the path and God blesses me for doing so.
And the funny thing is, when we feel close to God, when we're in His Word and serving and worshipping, we never have to look down at the path we're walking on because our feet are firmly planted on it. God dwells in us through His Holy Spirit! He has called us and He died for us. The very least we could do is listen to that calling and follow His leading and we can dwell in His house . . . forever.
"One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple." - Psalm 27:4