You know how when you get a new car, you suddenly notice that car far more than you did before? I remember when I got my black Volkswagen Jetta my senior year in high school. Suddenly, I noticed every Jetta, every VW logo, every flip-out key. (I loved that flip-out key.) It seemed like they were everywhere. That’s how I feel when I pick a word for the year. My eyes are alert to the word. I can see connections I wouldn’t have noticed before, lines drawn from one verse to another like doing a connect the dots picture. At first, you only see a bunch of numbers but later after the lines are drawn you can see the whole picture.
A few weeks ago, I was writing a new verse in my prayer journal. As I wrote I stopped at the word dwell. As I looked through my journal that day, I realized this word was in many of the verses I pray. And I knew it was my word for 2016. In her book The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp says, “We can have as much of Jesus as we want.” That’s what I think of when I think of the word dwell, and that’s my prayer for 2016. That I would want more and more of Jesus every day.
dwell \ˈdwel\ – to remain for a time, to live as a resident, to keep the attention directed, to speak or write insistently.
I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. Leviticus 26:11-12
But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built! 2 Chronicles 6:18
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible . . . all things were created through him and for him . . . For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:15-17, 19-20
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. 1 Timothy 1:14
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:5
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19