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  • Writer's pictureKatie McGuire

DWELL: Spending Time with Jesus

You know those New Year’s resolutions that you never stick to because, as life moves forward & gets crazy, it becomes impossible to juggle all of your goals while keeping up with the flow? Yeah, me too. I just get disappointed when nothing gets crossed off that list. That’s why a few years back I scratched the idea of New Year’s resolutions and joined my best friend in something new! At the end of every year, we would reflect on all that we had been through--the highs & lows--and we praised God for His faithfulness. Then, looking ahead at the new year, we would pick a word. This word would be our “theme” for the upcoming year that we would focus on and live out.

As I was trying to decide what to focus on for the year 2017, the word that kept popping in my mind was this word “Dwell.” So I had it engraved on a leather bracelet and I wear it every day as a reminder to live my life constantly dwelling: in hope (Psalm 16:9), in the message of Christ (Col. 3:16), and in the presence of my Lord (Psalm 27:4).

But what does this word mean? And how can we, as Christians, live it out in our everyday life?

When you look at Psalm 27:4, it says, “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” (emphasis mine).

The original language that the book of Psalms was written in is Hebrew, and the Hebrew word for dwell that we see in this verse is "Yashav", which has the meaning to dwell, remain, stay, sit and abide.

In order for us to be bearing fruit and to remain in the Vine (like we see in John 15), we need to constantly be seeking out the time to just sit & dwell with Jesus. When we take the time to be intentional with Him, the Holy Spirit will fill us up & will help us to become more like Christ!! (Gal.5:22-23).

In the fast-paced culture we've become so accustomed to, it's harder to just sit & rest & be intentional with our Jesus time. And I know what you're already thinking... "Katie, you didn't even have time to keep up with New Year's resolutions, why on earth would you pick a word like dwell that requires so much of you?"

I know, I know....

We're constantly told to hurry up or move along, so sitting and being present with Jesus isn't always the easiest thing to do.

BUT we serve a God that desires to have a relationship with us, and like any type of relationship, if we're not putting in the time to be with Him, the relationship isn't exactly #goals, if you know what I mean.

And it may not always be easy, but it's SO INCREDIBLY WORTH IT! Because the more Christlike we become, the more we see everything through God's eyes! Which means that we'll live better & love better & what's better than better? (Mhmm...nothing. Better is pretty great).

And even if we're thinking it's super hard, we just gotta do it!

Because Jesus is worth it & we're worth it, too!

Here are a few things that I do to help me sit & dwell with Jesus every day/week:

1) Set aside a specific time every day to pray.

Maybe it's the moment you wake up! Before you fall out of bed, decide to spend the first 5 minutes or so just talking to Jesus. (If you take just as long as I do at waking up, then you should have some time to spare to give to Jesus!)

Or maybe it's when you're in the shower! Reflect on yesterday, and talk about the plans for the day. When we dwell with Jesus, it's giving our right now to Him, & inviting Him into our lives.

Maybe it's in your commute to school or work! Instead of blasting some tunes (unless of course you're having a personal praise concert in your car), enjoy the silence and be intentional about being present with God. Speak to Him, or simply allow Him to speak to you.

Or, maybe it's just a random time during the day!

It may seem silly at first, but I would actually HIGHLY recommend setting an alarm on your phone to go off every day at the same time. Almost a year ago, my best friend and I set reoccurring alarms in our phones at 10:00pm so we would be intentional to stop and pray, and still to this day, no matter where I am, at 10:00pm I stop and dwell with Jesus. It's become such an important part of my day.

You can have the alarm as reminder to pray in general & just spend time being with Jesus, or it can be an alarm to pray for something specific. Either way, you're making it a priority to stop & be with Jesus, and this habit of praying every day, at the same time, will grow your faith in such cool ways!

2) Dig into the Word

"Yes, Katie, I should read my Bible...I get it." YES! You should! My excuse was always that I didn't have the time or space to really read my Bible. I graduated from a Bible college where we read our Bible as homework, but aside from that, there was often not much time for personal devotions.

But let me tell you....if you can prioritize time for your job, or working out, or anything else in your busy life, then you most certainly NEED to be setting aside time for Jesus. If we were created to live for Christ, why do we set Him aside & make our other priorities #1? As Christians, Jesus should be the most important thing in our lives, and often times we save our worship for Sundays. But if we stop & rearrange some things, we can fit Him into our schedule where He belongs.

Because God wants to speak into your life, and sometimes that's hard to do when your Bible is closed...

Here are a few ideas!

  • Wake up with enough time to read your Bible before getting ready.

  • Or read the Bible as you eat your breakfast in the morning.

  • How about during your lunch break at work? Or between classes?

  • How about reading your Bible while you wait for your hair to dry after taking a shower?

  • Planning a long visit to the bathroom? (hahaha, I know, I'm laughing too....but hey! We're human, right?)

  • If life is too crazy, listen to your Bible on your phone! If you download YouVersion on your smartphone, you can listen to audio recordings of the Bible! This is a great way to get some of the Word in while you fold laundry or pet your dog (heh...).

3) Make Sabbath a priority

This one is probably one of the most important things ever, and it also includes items 1 & 2, but let me tell you right now, if you really want to dwell in the presence of the Lord, learn the importance of Sabbathing! My pastor recently taught us the how-to's of Sabbathing, and speaking from my own personal experience, Sabbath is NEEDED in the Christian life. I learned from my pastor that there are 4 "R's" to Sabbathing: Reflect, remember, rest, & recreation. When you're Sabbathing, make sure you spend time reflecting on your week, remembering what Jesus did, resting from a week of work, and spending time in recreation (if you want me to go more in depth on Sabbathing, leave a comment below!).

Note to the Sabbath newbies: Sabbath doesn't have to be on Sunday. For a lot of people it is, but for me, my Sabbath is Friday (when you work at the church, Sunday is never your Sabbath, haha). Pick a day where you don't go into work, or don't have school & declare it your Sabbath (In college, my professor taught me that He spends His Sabbath away from a paycheck. As a student, it's not always possible to put the books down, but if you can, I would recommend you try it). Then, treat it as one!

Challenge: Pick one thing to try out this week! (whether that's setting an alarm to pray, or taking your Bible to the bathroom with you, or fitting in a Sabbath, etc! haha) You can do it! Start making habits this week!

Well, y'all! This wasn't totally extensive, but these are just some things that I do to prioritize my time with Jesus. I hope that reading this was helpful in the process of putting the priority back to building our relationship with Him! May you go into this week seeking out ways to dwell in the presence of the Lord!

Many blessings!



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