Cheri's Blog

Day 10: He Waits for You

Day 10 banner

Bible Readings for Day 10: He Waits for You–Psalm 27:8; 42:1; Nehemiah 1:1-10; 2:1-5; Acts 9:1-8.

The King waits for you. He holds His plans for you in His hands. He tenderly speaks to you, but He will not push you out of complacency. Your God, the lover of your soul, waits for you to want Him.

We will not find our souls panting feverishly for anything other than ourselves in a rushed fifteen-minute “quiet time,” in a frantic completion of our group studies, or in a prayer life consisting of our own concerns and the concerns of the ones we cherish. The glorious enlightenment experienced by those whose souls pant for God (the kind that illuminated the very face of Moses) resulted from the discovery that God does not have to conform to our fractured understandings resulting from our limited engagement.

In the movie Galaxy Quest, Tim Allen plays an actor in a TV series mimicking our Star Trek. Allen portrays a character similar to Captain Kirk. The movie opens with Allen and his co-stars attending a Galaxy Quest convention crowded with people dressed in costumes associated with the series. Allen meets an attendee in space garb who asks for his help. Allen misinterprets the request as a public-speaking gig and agrees to go. He finds himself in outer space on a spaceship identical to the one he pretends to navigate, fighting alien enemies. When he returns to earth, he hysterically reports to his undaunted crew, “It’s real! It’s all real!”

At some point in time, those whose souls panted feverishly after God came to this conclusion: He’s really real! And there is nothing on this planet that can compare to the thrill of Him! Their lives began to take on a dimension I can only describe as spiritually derived passion.

The signature of those who leave lives of complacency in exchange for the lives God dreams them to live is passion. Intensity, fervent devotion, and inexplicable joy, even amid adversity, exude from a passionate follower of Christ.

Both Nehemiah and Paul accomplished greatness for the kingdom. Their compulsion came from within. One simply possessed an acute awareness of God and His promises for His people. The other experienced a face-to-face encounter with Jesus. Both allowed God to change the direction of their lives, putting aside previous dreams to pursue something bigger than themselves.

Spiritual encounters with Jesus continue to have the same effect on people today.

Let’s not keep Him waiting to be wanted.

Cheri

He Waits for You from Cheri Strange on Vimeo.

Psalm 27.8 Printable

Click here to download this FREE printable!

*Click here to start the reading plan on YouVersion*

Day 9: Dream Big Expectant Dreams

Day 9 Banner

Bible Readings for Day 9: Dream Big Expectant Dreams–Genesis 18:14; Amos 7:14-15; Matthew 14:15-16; Mark 9:22-23; Ephesians 2:10.

Along this journey of seeking what it looks like to love God with my entire mind, there is one lesson I need continuously drilled into my hard head. As you read through the lesson today, please know that both the subject and the pointed presentation are directed at myself before anyone else. I need it this way. I wonder if you need it this way too.

Stop thinking so small! Stop talking yourself out of believing that God can accomplish the miraculous using your life. Take back the promises and methods of God you have rejected because you thought they couldn’t possibly be meant for you. Take them back by letting go!

God does not call us to small thinking. Small thinking results from a lack of exposure to the Word and a lack of ownership of the Word. Today, let the Word of God speak possibility and limitlessness over you. Maybe you have never given God the opportunity to dream with your life. Maybe you are afraid to take that next step for fear you will be disappointed. Maybe you feel insignificant, convinced small is just your size. Leave it behind. Small thinking limits who we become and what we are able to accomplish in the Lord.

The enemy knows this. He is constantly filling our minds with thoughts and ideas contrary to the Word, and even though they are opposed to the Word of God, these thoughts can make sense to me. They confine possibilities to what I can see. They confirm my own beliefs about my weaknesses. They keep me from loving the Lord with all my mind and restrain me from taking that next step of faith.

Sweet friend, it’s time for you and me to let go of small thinking. God calls His people to tasks and opportunities greater than we can imagine. Ponder the possible ramifications found in your reading today on your own life.

There is work to be done. Someone with just your personality, with your gifting, in your situation is exactly who God needs to accomplish His will (Ephesians 2:10). Anything He asks you to do is important, purposeful, and significant.

Cheri

Dream Big Expectant Dreams from Cheri Strange on Vimeo.

Ephesians 2.10 printable

Click here to download this FREE printable!

*Click here to start the reading plan on YouVersion*

Day 7: Faithfulness in the Small Things

 Day 7 Banner

Bible Readings for Day 7: Faithfulness in the Small Things–Exodus 13:17-18; John 12:49-50; 14:15; 30-31; 15:9-10; Philippians 2:5-8.

If we were to take our cues from Scripture, focusing on the relationship between the Father and the Son, we could make the case that God receives love through obedience.

Succinctly stated, “Christ emptied himself in order to be filled up with obedience.” (ref. 15)

I can think of several other things I would like to be filled up with rather than obedience. (At the moment, M&M’sÒ would be at the top of my list.) Herein lies my problem. As Philippians describes, Jesus understood best how to love God with all His heart. He knew His purpose and fulfilled it completely. I struggle with this combination.

Our willingness to do what God desires is a crucial element to loving God with all our hearts. This call can be found in most books of the Bible. Many individuals failed to heed the call. Most chose their own way. But if we want to become passionate followers of Jesus, obedience is imperative.

Is Jesus a broken record on this topic, or does He simply understand my yearnings for M&M’s over obedience? Why the frequent parallel between love and obedience? How will my obedience enable my relationship with the Lord to flourish?

My efforts to shed light on my own ponderings brought me to Exodus 13:17-18.

What if the process is entirely the point? Suppose God is more concerned with the journey marked out for each of us than the final destination? If this is accurate, He would want the relationship to be marked by learning to Love Him in response to His love to us. But (and this is where my candy bowl overpowers me) we are not like Him. Instead, we are impatient to arrive at perfection. We are not satisfied with baby steps and scenic routes. We don’t want to wait to grow and learn. We have no interest in serving our desert time and taking the long road. Like the Israelites, we want to be in our promised lands or back in Egypt. No, the prospect of the process being the point is not appealing.

He could make us godly through our pillows overnight. That route would indeed be shorter. But that is not His style. Instead, He woos us through a dynamic, growing relationship all the days of our lives.

Cheri

Faithfulness in the Small Things from Cheri Strange on Vimeo.

John 14.15 downloadableClick here to download this 6×4 FREE printable! 

*Click here to start the reading plan on YouVersion*

Day 6: Is God Ever Going to Act?

Day 6 banner

Bible Readings for Day 6: Is God Ever Going to Act? 1 Kings 11:26-40; 12:28-33; 2 Peter 3:9.

While Jeroboam heard God’s plan for his life, he seemed to want to help Him accomplish the plan right then, putting his cart before his horse. I know someone else who does that too: me. I know all too well how this works: I think I have received a specific word…so I begin working all the angles to bring it to pass.

Loving God with our whole hearts requires having patience to wait for God to move. We submit to His timing. Scripture contains the memo in 2 Peter 3:9 I always miss: Although it feels like He’s late, God is always on time.

The choice to rebel against God’s timing is a heart issue. We want God’s promise now. We fear that if we wait we might miss the blessing, or maybe this great thing will never happen. We think, I’d better act now, before it’s too late.

The truth is, just as for Barak, our fear of forfeiting our blessing while we wait on God’s timing is misplaced. God will not give your hero-making moment to another unless you refuse to believe Him. Even then, I’ve known Him to be gracious. Many times I have waited for God to do what He said He would do, only to lapse into discouragement, questioning my ability to hear Him. This is not what Jeroboam was doing. He was taking the blessing prematurely by force.

Choosing not to await God’s perfect timing—attempting to orchestrate His blessing ourselves—is always disastrous. When Solomon eventually died, everything changed within a matter of days. Solomon’s son Rehoboam acted upon advice that convinced the majority of people to reject him as king, inadvertently facilitating Jeroboam’s ideal opportunity—just as God promised. The prophecy became Jeroboam’s reality.

However, when Jeroboam perceived problems on the horizon, instead of relying on the Word of God, he forged his own path. Unfortunately, that progression of heart-to-thought is familiar to me too. I lose sight of what God said, exaggerating my challenges through my “life lenses.” Overwhelmed with a sense of urgency to act, I start thinking my way is the only solution. This is where heroes are lost, and this is exactly what happens to Jeroboam.

Let us not miss the blessing because we have given up on God’s timing.

He will not be late.

We will not be disappointed.

Cheri

Is God Ever Going to Act? from Cheri Strange on Vimeo.

2 Peter 3.9 downloadClick here to download this FREE printable!

*Click here to start the reading plan on YouVersion*

Day 3: He Woos Us

Day 3 He Woos Us

 Bible Readings for Day 3: He Woos Us – Deut. 7:6-9; 29:12-15; John 6:44

My husband loves a home-cooked meal, like chicken potpie and my Ultimate Chocolate Cake, or roast and potatoes with carrot cake made from scratch. I don’t understand it, but when I make a scrumptious dinner, the man feels loved, so I cook often. Cooking is not a chore because I love him and I know it communicates my devotion to him.

I, on the other hand, enjoy drinking a Coke, especially when I’m writing—and Chad knows this. My hunk of a man strolls casually into my office with my favorite: a large half Diet Coke, half regular Coke—perfectly blended. (He has practiced it.) This surprise gift never gets old. He captures my heart all over again. Every time.

More than that you learn do’s and don’ts for loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, I pray He will woo you closer to himself. As you spend time together, let Him speak love into your life in ways that are precious to you. Time and time again, the Lord will surprise me with words and tokens of love, similar to the exchanges I just described between Chad and me.

I was looking through a set of old sermons written by my favorite preacher, Charles Spurgeon, when a title—“He Loved Us First”—caught my attention because it was based on 1 John 4:19. When I turned to that sermon, guess what I discovered? Spurgeon preached it in 1883 on my birth date! I was moved to tears. I know that’s quirky. You might not care anything about old books and has-been preachers. But this was on my birth date, by my favorite preacher, exactly the perfect sermon. In essence, this was God’s way of bringing me a Coke. Not only does He totally dig me and all my weirdness, I think He was so delighted that I was seeking more understanding of His love that He gave me something meaningful that communicated specifically to me.

He woos us to himself; and grants us a supernatural capacity to love Him in return.

If you are thinking, I want that, keep reading. The King has been waiting for you.

If you are thinking, That is exactly what I have, keep reading. The King has something special waiting for you.

If you are thinking, I had that once, but I don’t anymore, keep reading. The King has been expectantly awaiting your return.

Cheri

Day 3 – He Woos Us from Cheri Strange on Vimeo.

Deut. 7-9 downloadable

Click here to download this FREE printable.

*Click here to start the reading plan on YouVersion*