Psalm 91 and Psalm 37 are two of my favorite Psalms and both talk about dwelling in the LORD. I’ve been thinking about that word “dwell,” and asking myself, “What does it look like to dwell in the LORD today?”
When I think of dwelling it reminds me of a feeling at home. Home is where you feel comfortable and relaxed. You feel safe and not like you have to perform. It also reminds me of what Jesus wrote in John 15 when He told His disciples to abide in Him. He was inviting His followers, “Come make your home in me. Live life with me. Dwell with me.” It’s such a beautiful invitation, but what does it look like in a practical sense to dwell in the LORD and make our home in Him?
Responding to God’s Invitation to Dwell in Him
Dwelling in Christ begins with our thought life. Where do your thoughts hang out? Do you spend hours dwelling on the horrific events happening around the world? Do you feed your thoughts with a continual mantra of, “I’m overwhelmed and inadequate”? Or do you feed your thoughts with the wonder of God’s almighty presence and power available continually to you? Where your thoughts dwell or abide will make all the difference in your life. It will shape your life dramatically. Fix your thoughts on Christ and His sovereign power (Hebrews 3:1).
Dwelling in Christ is lived out with our words. Our words are powerful. Declare the power of Christ over your life. Begin each day by praising Him for His love and thank Him each evening for His faithfulness. Speak of Him and to Him through your day. Whisper a prayer when you’re sitting in the car line to pick up your kids from school. Ask for wisdom as you head to work or wrestle with a problem at home. Praise Him for His strength when you feel weak. Let your mouth speak of Him through your day. Remind yourself often, “The LORD is my refuge, and I will make Him my dwelling” (Psalm 91:9 my paraphrase).
Dwelling in Christ brings beautiful fruitfulness. Jesus promised in John 15 that if we dwell or abide in Him, we will be fruitful. When we think of fruitfulness we often think of accomplishments. However, fruitfulness is not what we accomplish, it’s the outgrowth of the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. As we dwell in the Lord, there is a gentle re-shaping of our soul. His desires become our desires. We discover that He delights in us and then our soul desire becomes pleasing Him. The continual prayer of our heart becomes, “Whatever your will, LORD Jesus.”
Andrew Murray, the great South African preacher who ministered in the late 1800s wrote that to abide means to be “wholly occupied with Jesus.” It’s easy to be wholly occupied with finances, the news, the challenges of life. Instead, if we are to truly respond to God’s invitation to dwell in Him and feel at home with Him, we must shift our thinking and words to be consumed by Him. Our lives are to be completely centered on Christ. Then, and only then, will fruitfulness flow out of our lives.
It has been a joy in the past few weeks to receive emails and messages about how God is using Psalms for the Anxious Heart and The Extraordinary Power of Praise. If you haven’t already why not order your copy of each or gift them to a friend? Dive into the Psalms this Autumn and discover God’s calm for your spirit.