Built to Dwell

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. -Colossians 2:6-7

Where is your dwelling place? I’m learning where mine needs to be. A few days ago, while I was in the Word, the phrase “dwell in Him” leapt off the page. He was speaking to me and I wanted to know more, so I looked up the definition of the word dwell, as I often do when I’m reading scripture. (It helps to break verses down and really clarify what He is saying to me). One definition stated that it meant to live in or at a specified place. Another meaning for dwell was: to live as a resident. A resident is someone who lives somewhere permanently or on a long-term basis. Yet, another site defined dwell as meaning: to remain for a time. My take away from this was that He wants me to remain in Him, to live in Him-to live in the Spirit at all times. But how do we do this?

Today I was really struggling with grumbling and acceptance. I continued to complain about my frustrations throughout the day, knowing full well that God doesn’t want me to to do that. I asked Him for help but I continued to wrestle with these shortcomings. Then, of course, as the evening drug on, I felt worse about myself for sinning. I realized I wasn’t really dwelling in Him today. Sure, I read my devotion and my Bible this morning, but for me, this isn’t enough to flourish. I must dwell in Him. I must reside in Him. The decisions I make throughout the day, the anger and impatience I feel, all of it-I must take to Him. This is living in the Spirit. This is dwelling and abiding in Him.

And it’s something we must be doing continually if we want to experience the fullness and richness of life that He has for us-the abundance. Our Father must be our foundation. Like a house, in order to dwell in it, has to first be built. And to start the building process, it needs to have a strong foundation. The foundation is the first thing that must be constructed.

And we build up from the foundation. But we need to do it carefully, taking our time. If we slap it up swiftly and haphazardly, it’s not going to last or be very sturdy. Just like if we rush our time with Him and our time in the Word, we aren’t going to have a very strong relationship with Him. On the other hand, if we don’t get around to building quickly enough and our supplies are laying out in the open for when we decide to finally get to work, we risk the wood molding and rotting-which also won’t last or will make us ill. When we don’t make time to be in scripture regularly and abide in Him constantly, our lives slowly begin to crumble and we become spiritually sick. I once heard someone say-our actions either point us towards our faith or away from it. We need to build a structurally sound dwelling by putting forth the effort to do it right while making it a priority to do it, period. The same goes for building our relationship on Him.

And we need to start first thing upon waking. We must begin each day laying the foundation by deepening our relationship with Him, thanking Him for our blessings, feeding on the Word, listening, and then obeying what He is telling us. Brick by brick or board by board, We need to build our days on Him-no, our moments on Him. Moment by moment needs to be built on the Rock that He is. We fix our eyes and thoughts on Him. And each decision we make throughout the day, each negative feeling that arises in us, each plan we make is like a brick or a board that is built on the Rock to make our dwelling place solid. We take it all to Him and He helps us forge a life grounded in Him where we are fully residing in the Spirit. When we reside in the Spirit, we are unshakeable and not able to be moved.

To be immovable though, we need to be rooted and firmly planted in Him. And in order to grow those roots, we must feed them daily. He is the living water that will quench the thirst of those roots so they can grow deep down.

So let’s construct our lives, brick by brick, moment by moment, stacking every care, every frustration, every struggle, on the One who upholds us. He wants it all, but most importantly, He wants us. Why not dwell on Jesus, while we dwell in Him, and always be overflowing with Thanksgiving, even in the toughest of circumstances? It will only make our relationship that much stronger.

But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts]. -Galations 5:16 (AMP)