Dwell

by Oct 7, 2016Easy and Light

Dwell

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…

Ephesians 3:17a (ESV)

The smell of the campfire lingered, its smoky scent confirming unhurried summer nights. Echoes of stories and laughter were chased out of my head as the rain came down. Heavy, pelting rain relentlessly attacked the little cabin, which remained safe and dry. The tin roof played its part perfectly, magnifying the storm. My grandmother’s heavy quilt cocooned me in my bed as I drifted off to sleep, dreaming of future children who one day I’d bring to this sacred place. This was where the summers of my childhood played out; this was where I dwelled. They too would know the magic of picking blueberries from bushes lining the gravel drive, lazy days at the lake, S’mores around the campfire, and horseshoes clanking in the distance. Maybe if they were lucky, they’d hear the tin roof symphony.

When I think of the word dwell this is what I think of. For decades my family spent summers in the mountains of Pennsylvania in a small lake town. It was the kind of place where time stood still. Watches were unwelcome. Life was slow and simple. We dwelt.

Dictionary.com defines “dwell” as to reside; to continue to live in a given state; to ponder; to be motionless.

Thank you Lord, that when You dwell in us, you are not simply residing. You are standing firm. You are dominant. You are enduring. Amen.

As Christians, we know that the Holy Spirit lives in us. God dwells in us. I’ve been studying what the Bible says about dwelling. Dwell in the Bible doesn’t always mean what dictionary.com says it does.

When Jesus was teaching and healing on the Sabbath, he was called before the Jewish leaders. In John 5:37-38 he says to them, “…You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.”

Most of us are familiar with the story of the loaves and fishes. After this miracle, Jesus and his disciples sought refuge from the crowds across the lake. When the crowds followed him, Jesus said in John 6:26-27, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils but for food that endures to eternal life, which the son of man will give you…”

What’s interesting in this passage is that the word “endure” in Hebrew is the same word used for the word “dwell.” It means to remain, abide, endure and to STAND FIRM.

The Holy Spirit won’t simply take up residence in us. He will stand firm in us. In the above verse from Ephesians, “dwell” also means to exert strong influence, to be dominant.

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