Dwelling on Scripture

I am not shy when it comes to spending money on apps for my phone. I love experimenting with tools that boost my productivity, help me keep track of goals or even draw me closer to God. It’s an investment I am more than happy to make. (It helps that most apps have a free trial period!)

In the last year I got a annual subscription to myfitnesspal, which – together with a lot of scanning in food barcodes, increasing my workout workload and trying to get out the house more – results in me losing 5Kg in 3 months!

However, today I want to tell you about the most recent app I’ve signed up for. It’s called Dwell.

It’s essentially a Bible audiobook app, but with an awesome few twists!

  1. You can set it up to repeat/loop any verse, passage, chapter or book.
  2. There are about 15-20 different readers, male and female, with a whole host of accents, reading from a variety of different translations (NIV, ESV, The message etc..).
  3. There are also loads of different background tracks from acoustic guitar, piano, major/minor..

The aim of the tool is to help you dwell on Scripture. To let it soak into you. I would highly recommend it. I think there is a 7 day trial, to give it a go, and then there are a few different subscription offers (monthly, yearly and lifetime). I’ve gone with monthly for now which was about £2.50, so a very good deal!

How have I used it?

a) With my evening reflections – see my last post. But essentially, during my morning Bible study I usually end up with a verse or two that I want to hold onto for the day. I set it up in the dwell app and then have it on repeat, whenever it’s right. Very frequently, this has been during my evening reflections on the day past, I let the tool speak scripture over me before I head off to bed.

b) During my commute, one of the reading plans is the Bible in 90 days, I’m not sticking to this verbatim, but it’s good to be working through the Bible in big doses. And if I’m honest, it’s a refreshing to hear the book of Genesis read by a woman. I think I’ve only come across Bible audiobooks read by men, and so it seems to bring something different.

c) When stressed. Again, to be honest, the last few weeks have been especially stressful, work-wise, family-wise etc. I even ended up taking a day off work as short notice holiday, to just get alone with God. Pretty much that whole day, while I was out, walking and drinking coffee with God, I had passages like Ephesians 6:10-20 on loop…just letting the Bible speak truth over me was a real comfort and source of strength.

d) Sermon prep. This was my first use-case and how I stumbled upon the app in the first place. I was set to preach on Saul’s conversion, and decided it’d be good to listen to the passage. Interestingly, as I was listening to someone else’s talk on this passage, they recommended the app, and I thought I’d give it a go.

I remember reading a biography of one preacher, John G. Mitchel, who was taught ‘before I start to study a book, I read it through 40 or 50 times in the English text’. This was a lesson he took on board and applied whenever he studied or preached on a passage.

May we be people who seek to be immersed in Scripture, however we go about it.

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