A Lovely Dwelling Place

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after:
 that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
 to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
 and to inquire in his temple.

Today we come to the final few phrases of this rich verse. For the next three weeks, I want to focus on three words that will help us understand the depth of David’s plea—dwell, gaze, and inquire.

David says that he seeks to “dwell in the house of the LORD.”  But what does this mean for us in our busy lives? How can we dwell in the house of the Lord? Is this even attainable?

Let’s explore the meaning of the word dwell.

Dwell– (Hebrew: yashab) – to remain, sit, abide, sit down, to stay, to be inhabited, to abide, to marry

Think about your own home for a moment. You furnish your home, sleep in your room, and do life in your dwelling. You make your home yours when you take up residence there, and hopefully, your home provides you with a sense of relaxation, comfort, security, and peace.

David desired to dwell, sit, abide, and stay in the house of the LORD all the days of his life. The temple, or tabernacle as it was called in the Old Testament, served as a visual reminder of the presence of God for His people. God’s presence dwelled in the tabernacle, and David’s one desire was to abide, stay, sit, remain, and take up residence in the place of God’s presence.

Just as David could most likely not go to the place and remain in the building where God’s presence dwelled at all times, it is not feasible for us to do so either. Instead, David purposed to live his life under the refuge and protection of his God. He chose to set his mind

But what we can do is abide with Christ. In the moments of our days, in the midst of our to-dos, in the muck and mire of our circumstances, we can dwell with the Lord by practicing His presence, meditating on His attributes, remaining in a continual state of thanksgiving, and consciously focusing our thoughts on Him.

Take a look at these verses from John 15 about abiding in Christ and ask yourself the questions that follow.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

–John 15:4-11

  • Am I taking time to be still in Jesus’ presence?
  • Do I abide as a way of lifeor only in desperate times?
  • What or who am I depending on to accomplish the tasks I have?
  • Am I experiencing the fullness of joy that is promised in these verses in John?

The beauty of being on this side of the Cross, is that the Holy Spirit dwells in us. Think for a moment. We no longer must go to a man-made temple to encounter the presence of God.

You are the temple. I am the temple.

As you practice the Lord’s presence, as you cling to or abide in Christ, the Spirit makes His home in you and your heart becomes a lovely dwelling place for a holy God.

Have a blessed week!

Jacqueline Heider
Director of Women’s Ministry, Prayer & First Impressions

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