What Does it Mean to Dwell?


He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High 

Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

I wonder what it looks like to dwell. What does it mean to dwell?

I think of the Shekinah Glory that dwelled in the tabernacle of the old testament. God’s glory was present.

I think of a home, a dwelling. A place we find comfort and peace. A place we find rest.

As I was reading through the Psalms this month this verse caused me to wonder about the Hebrew word for dwell. I am learning our language does not always do justice to the original meaning of a word and are often times not as descriptive.

In searching I found the Hebrew word Shakan for dwell. To settle down. To abide. To reside. To continue. To stay. To rest.

To continue?

How often do we continue when we feel like giving up? No we may not completely give up on God. We still believe of course, but how often do we settle down or dwell in Him when circumstances seem out of our control. Do we allow ourselves to rest and find peace?

Dwelling in the shelter of the Most High is not always easy. Too often I’m afraid the impression is given that once you become a believer everything else about following Christ will come through osmosis. Yet there is so much more if we will learn to dwell in His shelter.

Babies and children demand attention. Laundry needs to be washed. Dinner needs to be cooked. So many important things distracting our attention away. How do we learn to dwell amidst this thing we call life? How do we practically learn to dwell in His shelter?

I think this changes with each season of our life. I’ve learned that flexibility is often key when you are a mom.

Learn to ask. Ask Him to show you how to dwell. How much do we miss out on, wondering why God isn’t showing us, when we simply do not ask?

What does this dwelling look like for me right now? It’s settling down each morning under a favorite throw in my favorite chair and reading parts of His story. If rest the night before allows that to be early before the house rises then wonderful, but if it happens after the house is quiet from the morning routine then that’s okay as well.

It looks like a handwritten verse for the day in my journal. Soaking up His words to defend against the lies the enemy will bombard me with once I walk out my door.

Yes there are days when I want to give up. Days when I cannot seem to focus enough to accomplish any task. Days when I think to myself “you were not who you want to be today.”

Yet I know I must continue if I am to have rest. I remind myself His mercies are new each morning.

I am believing more and more that dwelling in the shelter of the Most High is seeking Him day after day, hour after hour.

And then there is that word abide…………………………………..to be continued.

What does ‘dwell’ mean for you? 

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