Inviting God In and Allowing Yourself to Dwell with Him
Each December I devote extra time to spend with God, praying and seeking His wisdom and guidance. The Christmas seasons have always ushered in a special element of reverence for me; I cannot think about Christ’s birth without also thinking about His death and resurrection. I’ve never been one to be distracted by the noise of materialism during the season, brushing it off as annoying chatter.
A few years ago, a friend of mine mentioned that she has a word for each year and I was intrigued. I later found that many other people focus on one word for each year. Talk about feeling like you’re living your life under a stone! I found games and different algorithms on choosing my word for the year but that didn’t seem right to me. Instead, I sought God’s wisdom; certainly He knows how my year is going to play out as well as where I need to sharpen my focus.
My word for 2021 was Dwell. Initially when I was given this word, I thought, Duh, Of course I want to dwell in you Lord. Then it struck me, not an audile voice from the Lord but more like my inner Jiminy Cricket “No, let Me dwell in you!” The Holy Spirit tenderly walked me through in my mind what He meant. I had some house cleaning to do.
I thought of the famous picture of Jesus waiting outside a door. The door represents our hearts and minds, I have been told, but did you ever realize there is no door knob for Jesus to turn and open? That is because we must willingly chose to open the door and let Him in. It is much easier to say “Come on in!” instead of going to the door and opening it.
Additionally, I thought of going to someone’s home versus having them come to mine. It is much easier to bring a dish than to host; I love hosting don’t get me wrong. But think of all the extra work it takes to host. Clean the house, prepare the menu, set the table, make sure the dogs are nice and tired out before your guests arrive so they don’t cause any raucous. Not to mention the clean up afterward.
Inviting God in was my focus for the year. I know that we are saved by faith and not by works as stated in the Scriptures and nothing I can do can replace the redeeming work of Jesus on the cross. This year, though, my focus was to allow God in me; I felt like Solomon praying for wisdom. Riches and glory I do not seek, but the wisdom of God is my desire. My passion is to help others see the Trinity as I do; may you see God as a merciful Father, Jesus as a loving Friend and the Holy Spirit as a patient Teacher. Although I still have a long way to go, I found the focus of God dwelling in me, helped clean up some of my cobwebs/corners, change some of my altered thinking patterns, and prepare me for new experiences. Temptations and failures may have won momentarily throughout the year, however I clung to Romans 8:31b “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (NIV).