Because I’m notoriously bad at fulfilling New Year resolutions, I decided to try the new “One Word” trend for 2019 that everyone is doing. Forming a new habit, improving a personal trait or another positive change in connection with one word seems more plausible.
The exercise I used for my 2019 word was a free download from Christian writer Margaret Feinberg’s website. Included with this exercise is a list of words to pray over and contemplate. From there, the Lord pressed upon me a word that wasn’t even on the list. DWELL.
The dictionary definition of DWELL was to remain for a time; to live, to exist. To keep attention directed toward. Abide, remain, stay, tarry. From a Bible dictionary, I discovered this definition: “In the Old Testament, ‘dwell’ is a translation of 9 words, of which by far the most frequent is yashabh, or ‘to sit down.’ It can sometimes mean abide, inhabit, remain.
To sit down? That sounds like my type of theme word!
After looking up definitions, I headed to a trusted concordance and looked up related Scripture. Traditional translations like the New King James Version (NKJV) had many uses of the word DWELL. However, in more modern translations, “abide” is a word that was often used instead.
17 Verses I found for “Dwell” or “Dwelling”
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.
– 1 Chronicles 16:27
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
– Psalm 4:8
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred house? Who may live on your holy mountain?
– Psalm 15:1
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. – Psalm 27:4
The earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.
– Psalm 24:1
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
– Psalm 37:3
Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.
Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. – Psalm 85:9
Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. – Psalm 91:1
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. – John 14:2 (HCSB)
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? – 1 Corinthians 3:16
And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. – Ephesians 2:22
That Christ will dwell in your hearts through faith.- Ephesians 3:17
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise – dwell on these things. – Philippians 4:8 (HCSB)
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. – Colossians 3:16
From these Bible verses, I will pick one as my theme verse and memorize it. For the rest, I can study these passages in context through the year and ask God how he wants me to apply them to my life.
2019 will be a year where I will focus on:
where I dwell, how I dwell and who I dwell with and how that can bring glory to God.
Dwelling, or abiding in the season where we are currently is never as exciting as moving forward. But there can also be joy in the dwelling. Dwelling in one place for a period of time is the opportunity to grow, change, and be ready for the next journey that is on the horizon. As Emily Dickinson said, “I dwell in possibility.” May 2019 be that for you too!