Dwelling In His Shelter

linking with Five Minute Friday at katemotaung.com – write for five minutes on a given prompt, which today is “dwell”
also linking with #LiveFreeThursday

A Yellow Parrot Rest On The Nest

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”  (Psalm 91:1-2)

This is one of my favourite Psalms.   It contains some amazing promises of God’s protection and blessing, but I also notice that most of the promises are conditional.  To receive them, we have to be people who dwell in God’s shelter.  The word dwell challenges me- it is not just spending a few minutes each day focussing on God and then going on with my day, it is not just running to him when trouble comes- there is a sense of permanence; it is continually residing in his presence and knowing his rest.

It is choosing, like Mary, to sit at the feet of Jesus, when my natural tendency is, like Martha, to be distracted by everything that concerns me or needs to be done.

How do we dwell in God’s presence?

Another definition of the word dwell is “to linger over, emphasise, or ponder in thought, speech or writing” and I think this is the key.  What we think about and where we choose to focus our attention have such an impact on our state of mind and our emotions.

There are so many other things we could be dwelling on: problems in the world, stories of suffering and disaster that we hear every day, personal worries and anxieties…  but Isaiah writes “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”  (Isaiah 26:3)

Focussing on God doesn’t remove the problems and difficulties of life, but it does remind us he is with us in them, and it does lift our eyes above them and remind us that he is bigger than anything we face, and that he is faithful.  It allows us to dwell in his shelter and find that refuge and rest, even in the midst of the storm.

“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”  (Psalm 84:1)


33 thoughts on “Dwelling In His Shelter

  1. I love how you talk about ‘dwelling on something’ – it’s really true that what we let our minds focus on will make a huge difference about the atmosphere our hearts experience. Historically, I have found it very hard to stop worrying about things – but recently I’ve been attempting to learn some Bible memory verses and the worries have been displaced with a different focus. It’s helped a lot! I no longer try to stop worrying. I try to switch focus!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting, Ruth. I have also struggled with worry for a long time and I feel like it’s only recently I am beginning to learn to deal with it better. Focussing on Bible verses and God’s truth is definitely a big help.
      I agree about not trying to stop worrying but instead switching our focus. I’ve heard someone say, “If you can worry, you can meditate.” Both of them are constantly thinking about something, turning it over and over in your mind. It’s much healthier if the thing we are turning over in our mind is God’s Word rather than our worries or fears.


  2. I really appreciate the definition you gave of dwell. To emphasize caught my eye. I think of dwelling on certain notes or passages to draw out the beauty of a piece of music. That is how I want to dwell with God.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carly you share such timeless truths here. We can choose to be Mary, or Martha. I’ve been both, to be honest. 🙂 I’m so thankful for the truths that God walks with us through the trials. We can’t usually choose our trials, but we can decide to keep our minds focused on the One who accompanies us through them, and remember Who and how powerful He is.

    Thanks for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes to all these words! There is such truth in these words… “it is continually residing in his presence and knowing his rest.” This is what I have been learning and striving for in my own life right now. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of sitting with God and resting my spirit with His.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carly, yes let’s sit and dwell at Jesus’ feet. Such a great post. It really is about a continual dwelling not here and there or when the bad stuff happens. God calls us to dwell with him always! I’m parked over in the #13 spot this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, Carly. I love your contrast between dwelling in the Lord and dwelling on our problems. I needed the reminder that God is with me, regardless of my circumstances. Seeing our situation in light of His presence is the key to walking in peace no matter what’s going on around us.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “It is choosing, like Mary, to sit at the feet of Jesus, when my natural tendency is, like Martha, to be distracted by everything that concerns me or needs to be done.”

    I had this conversation with the Lord the other day. He asked me (in my spirit, of course, not out loud) why I keep putting Him off. I had to answer honestly – because so much else needs to be done. He then asked how I thought I was going to get anything done without His strength. Convicting, to say the least.

    Thank you for your thoughts, Carly. They blessed me. And I love that song!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful, Carly!
    That song at the end was definitely the first one I hummed when I heard “dwell”. 🙂 How lovely is your dwelling place.
    I’ve heard another one that I really enjoyed on a compilation album titled “City of Gold”.
    I especially enjoyed your mention that dwelling is not just touching base but actually lingering like Mary! Great post. 🙂
    #15 this week

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is so important to do everything in service to the Lord. Have more socks to fold? Serving your family, your home, the Lord. Dinner to cook, again? Serving others, serving the Lord! When we look at our “chores” as a way to serve Him they suddenly don’t seem so mind-numbing and monotonous! Thank you for sharing this!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That word “Dwell” is captivating!
    To continually abide in God’s presence, wrapped around in the Glory of His presence.
    Ps 27:4 That is why I love this scripture because it speaks of One thing! Just as Mary desired that one thing!
    Hugs and Blessings to you Carly
    PS Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family

    Liked by 1 person

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