Walls or No Walls?

We all chose a place to live. Some might have chosen to dwell in large homes in big cities, or in smaller homes in the suburbs, while others chose a remote location with lots of land around them. Where we 'dwell' indicates a choice of where we want to live. Does our 'dwelling' provide us with protection? Most of the time, it does - from cold or heat, rain or wind. There are times when we need a 'solace' - a place to go where we feel safe, secure, and able to find rest. The 'relief' we find within the walls of our homes is something akin to the 'relief' we find when we choose to dwell in the shelter of God Almighty. Not only do we find 'relief' from the things that bring us discomfort, but we also find a place to share our most 'intimate' of thoughts, dreadful fears, and deepest of needs. To 'dwell', one must make a choice - to live 'within' those 'walls of safety and protection'.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. (Psalm 91:1-2)

Does every person receive God's protection? This is a hard question, but if we examine scripture closely, we will see that the decision to 'dwell' in the presence of God Almighty is the only way to enjoy his protection. We can choose to dwell 'in him' or we can decide we like the dwelling of the world just a bit better. The choice will always be ours - God never forces us into this dwelling place. We each make a choice where we will 'live' in a physical sense, but we also make a choice where we will live in a 'spiritual' sense. When we choose to dwell in the Kingdom of God, we choose to submit to his authority and live by his guidance. Some will say the 'rules of the house' are too cumbersome or restrictive when choosing to live in God's dwelling, but to choose to live by the 'rules of the world' is a much more 'restrictive' option. We may not see the 'restrictiveness' of Satan's rule, but the contrast between the two 'dwellings' is significant.

In God's dwelling, we find peace and comfort. In Satan's, we find unrest spurred on by the pride that seeks to outpace the person next to you and a definite lack of true, lasting joy or peace. In God's dwelling, we find we never walk alone, while Satan makes no such assurances. In God's dwelling, we walk with companions who have our best in mind, while in the world we have much competition. We might think living in this world is really awesome until we realize we are doing it in our own power, on our own merits, and without anyone really helping us to succeed. The way might seem easier, but choosing to live in obedience to God brings us much more than this world will ever offer. Satan's world offers no walls of protection - but God's dwelling is impenetrable!

God's dwelling is filled with love, but we won't feel 'comfortable' with that love until we have made a choice to fully 'dwell' within his protection. We can 'visit' him on occasion, but that isn't the same as making his presence our dwelling place. I go to hotels on occasion, but as nice as the stay might have been, those are not my dwelling places. I have a home I return to at the end of the visit. We might choose to live with God some of the time and then scurry off into the world on others, but until we make a heartfelt choice to dwell in the presence of the Almighty, we will never truly know the goodness of choosing to live in obedience to him. One thing we need to know about God's 'dwelling' is that is not a 'fixer-upper' dwelling. We might get 'fixed up' there, but his dwelling is perfect! Living in his dwelling is a lifestyle of choice - we actively choose to live within the 'confines' of obedience instead of choosing to live 'without walls'. Just sayin!

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