“If the Word does not dwell with power in us, it will not pass with power from us.”
― John Owen
What does it mean to dwell?
We dwell in our homes, we dwell on our thoughts, we dwell on our past and we dwell in our physical bodies.
What does it mean to dwell on God? It means to sit down, settle, remain, and inhabit.
He who dwells (sits down, settles, remains and inhabits) in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty—Psalm 91:1
Four years ago, my husband accepted the call to ministry and we temporarily relocated to Chicago from Phoenix. I quit my job to accompany him; but I had every intention of seeking employment in the Chicago area. However, God had a different plan!
Ronnie attended the School of Ministry at Living Word Christian Center under the direction of Pastor Bill Winston. It was a new chapter in our faith journey and God was faithful through every step.
Throughout that year, Ronnie continued his dialysis treatment for end stage renal failure. He had lost the use of his kidneys 5 years ago as a result of stage 4 lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). Despite having to endure having his blood removed from his body, cleansed by a machine then returned to his body, he never missed class and completed all of his assignments! God strengthened his body and his spirit. He completed his studies, graduated in June 2015 and received his ministerial license the following year.
Ronnie delivered his first public sermon a week after graduation at New Creation Church Ministries in Milwaukee. The message title was “Faith–It’s About Trust”. Our plan was to return to Chicago and prepare for our trip back to Arizona in a few months. However, God had a different plan!
We never made it back to our apartment in Chicago. Ronnie had been on the kidney transplant list for two years and little did we know, his new kidney was on the way! The morning after he delivered his sermon, Mayo Clinic called asking how quickly he could get to Arizona to receive a kidney transplant! We quickly left Milwaukee and drove to Chicago Midway Airport to get the next flight to Phoenix. We arrived in Phoenix late that evening and Ronnie was in the operating room about midnight to receive his new kidney!
We left everything in Chicago including one of our cars at the airport parking lot! I thank God for my daughter and her two adult children. When we notified them that we were on our way to Phoenix for the transplant, they, without hesitation, took on the monumental task of closing our apartment, packing what they could and giving away what they couldn’t and driving both of our cars back to Phoenix!
The year Ronnie and I spent in Chicago was a time of great sacrifice but it was also a time of “extreme dwelling”. Since I was not employed, I spent my time studying most of his classroom lessons and listening to the class recordings. We spent time discussing what Ronnie had learned and sharing each of our insights. We did not know that God was preparing us for a great victory over the enemy!
But Jesus looked at them and said,“With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.– Mark 10:28-30
One of the classroom assistants had given each of the students a worship CD. There was no information about the artist or even the name of the song but there was an opening prayer that spoke about dwelling in God. It became my soul’s cry!
There is a place prepared for you.
There is a realm available to you.
There is a realm where the yoke will break, where the things of old will become no more.
There is a place reserved for you—a higher place for a higher call.
Anyone can receive His grace and enter in and win the race.
There is a place that belongs to you—a place of glory this is true.
A supernatural realm, a heavenly sphere.
That place is not way up there, it’s here.
Enter in and wave goodbye to every failure and the stain of sin.
Come in and watch your past instantly diminish; it will not last.
Come in and allow the balm to heal your heart.
Come in to this realm and allow Christ, the anointed One to take the helm.
Let the wind of God blow in your sails and surely, you will prevail.
Don’t look up and say He’s beyond the sky and don’t wonder or ask the question why.
He is not up there that you have to bring Him down.
He’s not below, He’s not even around.
He is within and He is upon.
Come in says the Spirit of the Lord and drink freely with one accord.
The weight and the burden will fall by the wayside and the things that used to bind will no longer be able to hide.
You’ll say I went over to the river and I gained from the Lord victorious liberty.
I went in depressed but I went out with joy.
You’ll tell about God’s mighty ploy—how He spoiled the devil, hell and the grave; how victory and blessings to the church He gave
You will tell it, you will preach, you will prophesy, you will teach!