There are many significant Bible characters that did not have a set dwelling place. The children of Israel wandered the desert for 40 years. King Saul had David running for his life and John the Baptist was a desert dweller, moving from spot to spot. They did not reside in one location for very long. Although they had seasons where they didn’t have a dwelling place to call home, they did have a spiritual dwelling place within their hearts. God was continually with them and truly provided a place of rest.
“So the Lord’s anger was aroused against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the Lord was gone.” Numbers 32:13 (NKJV)
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary defines dwell as: to delay, linger, remain, continue, reside, and inhabit. In the Old Testament, there are 9 words used to define the word dwell. The most frequently used is yashabh, to sit down. It also means inhabit, abide, and remain. In the New Testament, oikeo is most frequently used and the meaning is to abide.
As believers, we have the blessed assurance that Christ dwells within us. He has taken up a permanent residence within us. Furthermore, we too can dwell with God! As we linger over, ponder, and meditate upon His Living Word we dwell in His presence. When the word dwell is examined as a noun, we understand it to mean that we remain stable or fixed in some given state or condition. I call this state the peace that transcends all understanding. By dwelling with God we find ourselves safely tucked under His wing of protection. He remains our refuge and fortress, our hiding place, our strong tower.
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,” Ephesians 3:17 (NKJV)
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.’” Psalm 91:1-2 (NKJV)
“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty!” Psalm 84:1 (NIV)
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16 (NKJV)
And where does God dwell? Well, He does not live in buildings made by human hands, although He may visit us there. For, God does inhabit the praises of His people and a church building is often a place of worship.
“But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.” Psalm 22:3 (NKJV)
“However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says.” Acts 7:48 (NKJV)
“God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.” Acts 17:24 (NKJV)
Heaven is God’s throne and earth is His footstool but it is only inside man that He resides. We are His dwelling place! Meditate on this amazing truth! Our Creator has created us for relationship and wants to live inside the heart of every man. Just as He fellowshipped with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He seeks our attention and fellowship every minute of the day. He dwells within us. He knocks on our hearts. Are you abiding with Him? Is He your dwelling place?
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 (NKJV)
“‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord, ‘Or what is the place of My rest?’” Acts 7:49 (NKJV)
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!” 1 Kings 8:27 (NKJV)