The Easy Way to Live the Abundant Life

My yoke upon you and learn from me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light,”
 (Matthew 11:28-230 NIV).

 Here’s a question. Do you think obedience to God is easy or hard? Hmmm. Obedience may seem hard at first, but in reality, obedience is the easy way. It is difficult to cope with the messes we get into when we don’t obey. The consequences of sin are hard to deal with. Think about the times you have disobeyed or turned your back on God. What were the results? Easy? Hard?

Satan will try and convince you that obedience is much too hard, that it carries too high a price, but he will never tell you the cost of not obeying God. He will never tell you the glory moments you will forfeit by refusing or ignoring God’s invitation to join Him.

Practicing Acts 17:28 (In him we live and move and have our being.) will never lead to sin. When we wrangle from God’s embrace and set out on our own, that’s when we get in trouble. God isn’t telling us to obey to make life difficult. God wants us to obey to make life less difficult. The end result of obedience is the blessed way…smooth moves.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light,” (Matthew 11:28-30). The yoke is simply a farmer’s understanding of the divine dance of obedience. When two oxen are yoked together, they move as one—walking in tandem to the bidding of the master. Usually, an older, more experienced animal is yoked with a young upstart. The apprentice ox learns from the more seasoned ox as they walk along tethered together. If the younger animal tries to surge ahead, the yoke chokes at his neck and slows him down. If he lags behind, the yoke chafes at his neck and prods him to hurry along.

And what does Jesus say about this yoke? It is not hard. It is not difficult. It is not heavy. It is easy. It is light. Being yoked to Jesus actually makes life much simpler…smoother…more peace-filled.

God said to the people of Israel: “If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Isaiah 48:18). A river flows unhindered over rocks and boulders as it moves from one place to the next. It flows around them, over them, and past them—all the while smoothing rough edges. A river doesn’t strive to get from one place to another. It simply flows. That is the glory life of living and moving and having our being in Christ. We simply flow with a sacred inner calmness. Sometimes circumstances will be like tumultuous white-capped rapids, other times like a lazy gentle stream. But the life in union with Jesus keeps flowing. Moving forward. And in the journey, we catch glimpses of sudden glory in the scenery as we move between life’s banks.

Obedience is so much more than following a list of do’s and don’ts. Practicing religion rather than enjoying a love relationship with Jesus is like trying to plow the field alone. It will exhaust you rather than energize you. You will feel like a martyr and then wonder why others around you seem to be so joyful in their calling. Obedience because of our love relationship energizes our lives. Obedience out of a sense of duty or law drains. Always drains.

Religion operates on a “works of the law” principle: “I obey God, therefore, I am accepted by God.” Relationship operates on the gospel of grace principle: “I am accepted by God through the finished work of Jesus, therefore I obey—because I love and trust Him.”  We’re going to talk more about that in the next chapter. This is important to understand because until we grasp the difference, we will never experience the joy of living and moving and having our being in Christ.

Obedience is a response to love. Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching,” (John 14:23-24).

Sometimes relinquishing control and following Jesus’ lead through obedience can feel uncertain or awkward, like when your dance partner leads you into a new move for the very first time. [tweetherder][/tweetherder]But each time you say yes to God, a new passion and peace flows through your veins until eventually, hopefully, a total transfusion of Christ-centered living replaces self-centered stubbornness. Intimacy becomes sweeter. Passion grows stronger. Glory moments become easier to see. Unique glory moments…selected especially for you.

 Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, thank You for loving me enough to provide boundaries in which to experience the abundant life. Help me to obey You quickly and fully, so that I can experience all that You have for me. I don’t want to miss a single blessing because I’ve chosen to walk through the wrong door. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 What do you Think? 

Think of a time you flat out disobeyed God. What was the outcome?

Think of a time you willingly obeyed God. What was the outcome?

Which outcome was the best in the long run?

There’s an old saying in the South… “Dance with the one who brung you.” (I know  that’s incorrect English. But it correct “southern.”)   So here’s the question…Are you willing to dance with the One who made you? Remember before you answer…He has to be the leader.

If your answer is yes, click on to my blog post at www.localhost/sjold and say, “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”

 Want More?

On November 28th, I’ll be doing a Live Stream Video. What in the world is that? It is a time for us to meet “face-to-face.”  All you have to do is  go to livestream.com/waterbrookmultnomah and voila, you’ll be part of the party. I’ll be talking about God’s lavish reponse to your ache for something more, answering questions that you can ask right there on the spot via you own computer, and giving away lots of goodies. So please come!!!! 9:00 ET, 6:00 PST.

My new book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More, is all about raising your expectations to experience the full, abundant life that Jesus came to give. If you’ve settled for a ho-hum, so-so, Christian life, it is time to start enjoying the abundant life Jesus came to give. God wants you to experience His presence every day through moments of sudden glory where He makes His presence known. Ready to get started? Download a free sample chapter or watch the videos on my website! AND come to the live stream event!

72 Responses to The Easy Way to Live the Abundant Life

  1. Brenda November 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!” At least I’m making an honest effort. I still seem to branch out on my own. Thank you for your devotionals every day.

    • Estelle November 28, 2012 at 10:46 am #

      Today Im dancing with Jesus and Im letting Him lead!!!!

  2. Sharon Pearce November 21, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    WooHooo!!!!! “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!.” And having so much fun! God is good all the time.

  3. Maria Hall November 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”

  4. Jessica November 21, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!

    Thanks for the challenging devotionals. They prod me daily in my walk with God.

  5. Virginia November 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead! Thank you for the reminder and inspiration Sharon!

  6. Maureen November 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    I am a WILD woman for Jesus !
    Willingly Surrendering to Him
    Intentionally Choosing Him
    Loving Him
    Dancing with Him

  7. Nonyelum Okechukwu November 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”

  8. Vicki November 21, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    “I”m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!” I know I am a work in progress but since I have started a relationship with God instead of just going and sitting in church ever once in awhile, I have had more peace and contentment in my life. Praise God!

  9. Missy November 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!” I’m making an honest effort to. Letting go of “self” is hard

  10. beckey November 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”

  11. Michelle November 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    I’m dancing with the one who made me and I’m following His lead.Father God you know how I’ve tried to lead you, rip this out of my heart and be my leader. You know that I desire to dance and that I’ve even asked you for dance when I do get to see you face to face one day. I want to dance now, lead me and help me to recognize you and want to obey. Thank you for forgiving me and helping me Lord Jesus, amen.

  12. Michelle November 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”

  13. Lacrecia November 21, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    I’m dancing with th One who brought me. He is the lead and I am following!
    Thank you for your daily devotions. They are very inspirational!

  14. halyna November 21, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead! Thank you for devotionals. They help me be a better woman in Christ.

  15. Fatima Reid November 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    I am dancing with the one who made me and I’m following his Lead.Thank you for your dail devotionals even though I still get stubborn at times .

  16. Heather November 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”

  17. Lori November 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    God used this devotion at the perfect time. Thank you for allowing God to speak through you. I am dancing with the One who made me, and I am following His lead! God bless!!

  18. Roslyn November 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    I am dancing with the ONE who made me and I am following HIS lead!

  19. Crystal November 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    I’m dancing with the ONE who made me, and I’m following HIS lead! AMEN!!!

  20. Kim November 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    ” I’m dancing with my Father God in fields of GRACE!” ~thank you Big Daddy Weave ~

  21. shereen November 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”
    Thank you for your devotions, it has kept me going in my hard times. May our Lord God blesses you ank keep you surrounded by the love of his son Jesus.

  22. Joanne November 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His Lead!”
    It’s time to let go, and truly flow with Him.
    God Bless all the Girlfriends in God.
    Giving Thanks to God for the perfect timing of each step.

  23. Beth Kelly November 21, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”

  24. rere November 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead and hoping to have the best time of my life.

  25. Tray November 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    I’m dancing with the One who made me and I’m following His lead!

  26. Ebony November 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    I am dancing with the one who made me and I am following HIS lead! To God be the glory.

  27. Kristine November 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    I truly agree with Lori – Please continue allowing God to use you in such an awesome way!
    & I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!!!!

  28. Elaine Sound November 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    I’m dancing with the one who made me and trying to follow His lead. I’m that little girl in her daddy’s arms who is standing on his shoes so I can learn the steps knowing He loves me through the struggle to stay on and keep up, All the time I am bursting with joy and often silliness because of the reality of Him wanting to dance with me!

  29. val November 21, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Yes…I’m following HIS lead.

  30. natasha November 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!

  31. Jacqueline November 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead. I believe therefore I receive the courage and will power to do it daily as the spirit leads. Amen!!!!!

  32. Cindy November 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Amen southern sister… I am dancing with the One who brung me, and I am following His lead!! Blessings to you!!

  33. Nellie November 21, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    I’m dancing with the One who made me, amd ‘m following His lead!

  34. Nancy Beneteau November 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    I’m dancing with the One who made me and I am following His Lead!
    Asking why I didn’t dance with Him earlier in my life. Would have saved me alot of pain. BUT restassured now I follow His lead. If I lead I’d have too left feet!
    You might like my newest poem :God’s Whispers It’s on my blog now!
    Happy Thanksgiving! Even though we celebrate ours in Canada in October, I never miss a moment to be thankful.

  35. Tracy November 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    I am dancing with the ONE who made me again, I decided to not listen to what He was telling me a few months ago and got off course, now I’m in the process of finding my way back into the arms of the ONE that never stopped loving me. I’m also trying to learn how to let HIM lead and get out of HIS way.

    Thank you for the wonderful messages that you and the other two ladies provide on a daily basis, they are so uplifting and encouraging when I least expect it.

    Have a wonderful holiday!

  36. Lauran November 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”

  37. Rebecca November 21, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”

  38. Patricia November 21, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    I really want to be able of be dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!” I feel a bit lost now, but I truly want Jesus leading my life !

  39. Belinda November 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    I am dancing with the One who made me and I am following His lead!!!

  40. Wendy Berry November 21, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”

  41. RUTHONA WASINGER November 21, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    I’m DANCING WITH THE ONE WHO MADE ME AMD I AM FOLLOWING HIS LEAD!

  42. Adrienne November 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”

  43. Kelly November 21, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    I’m dancing with the One who made me and I’m following his lead!

  44. Virginia November 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    I am dancing with the One who made me, and I am following His Lead! Amen

  45. Rebekah November 21, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

    I am dancing with the ONE who made me, and I am following HIS lead. Thank you for your devotionals. They are always good for me. God bless you and your family. Have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving.

  46. sashelle November 21, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    I’m dancing with the most high. Who made me and I’m folling his lead.

  47. Jen Parker November 21, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!” I know I’ve tried to lead before. That hasn’t worked out so well. But I can trust, and I mean TOTALLY trust to let Him lead me. I love to dance, I’m so happy to dance, so I’m going to relax and let Him move me around, and smile, and sweat and feel my heart beating out of my chest. Amen!

  48. Tamara November 22, 2012 at 2:08 am #

    I am SOOO dancing with the ONE who made me, and I am following HIS lead!!! Thank you Sharon for your ministry, you are a blessing to us all. God Bless you and your family:)

  49. Daniela November 22, 2012 at 2:27 am #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!” Happy Thanksgiving To you and and your FAMily, Sharon. 🙂 thankful for your devotionals!! They always speak straight into my heart, and very much have to do with the specific challenges of the day. thankyou. 🙂 God IS good. and that is why I love him. and intentionally choosing him and his dance!

  50. Lynn Fennell November 22, 2012 at 2:44 am #

    “I’m dancing with the ONE who made me,and I’m following His lead!”

  51. Mathilda November 22, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”

  52. Shauna November 22, 2012 at 3:52 am #

    I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead! Through every twist and turn, and maybe the unexpected fall, God is guiding me! Praise the Lord!

  53. patty November 22, 2012 at 5:47 am #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”

  54. Funmi Lamuye November 22, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”

  55. Funmi Lamuye November 22, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    Happy thanksgiving to you & your blessing. As you bless millions of souls all over the world , may the blessings of our God never cease in your live & in the lives of all yours. May you continually be blessed and favoured .

  56. Jean (UK) November 22, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    ” I’m dancing with the One who made me and I’m following His lead!”
    I guess by writing this statement down, it’s another way of speaking into existence that which we would like to happen in our lives on a regular basis. Confirmation! 🙂

  57. Pam Cammack November 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    I’m dancing with the one who made me , and I’m following his lead….. 😉 amen….

  58. Ilna November 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    “I am dancing with the one who made me, I am following his lead. “

  59. Arlonda November 23, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    “I’m dancing with the One who made me, and I’m following His lead!”

  60. Crystal November 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    Learning to dance each day.. Lord, teach me!

  61. Dianne November 24, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    I AM DANCING WITH THE ONE WHO MADE ME, AND I AM FOLLOWING HIS LEAD!:)

  62. ashley November 26, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Im dancing with the one who made me and im following his lead

  63. Taruu Nakamura November 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Thank you Sharon for today’s message. It is true, nothing is to hard for our Lord. “NOTHING IS TO HARD FOR THE LORD”

  64. Botho November 28, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    Oh, Sharon, thank you! You just have no idea how much you have helped me put things in perspective!

  65. Shelly November 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Let the dance begin

  66. Donna November 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    I’m letting Jesus take the lead!

  67. Dinna T. November 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing. I look forward to your words every morning.
    I chose to allow Father God to be my guide today and lead me wherever He wants 🙂

  68. Linda Casella November 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Im dancing with the one who made me and im following his lead

  69. E November 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    “I am dancing with the one who made me and I am following his lead!”……love this!!

    I want to be a better woman of faith and I have opened my mind, my heart and my eyes to everything around me and the feeling and changes in my life recently have been overwhelming. My heart is warmer and I am craving so much more knowledge. Thank you for your website and all the connections around it.

  70. jehrica November 29, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    I Chronicles 16:8 (NLT)
    “8 Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.” 🙂
    This week the yellow leaves at my college campus filled the isles and walkways and looked as beautiful as a blanket of freshly fallen snow! What a glorious moment of sudden glory that I would have missed if I had not prayed and expected GOD ALMIGHTY, THE ONLY RIGHTEOUS ONE_to deliver!!!! HALLELUJAH to our LORD, our GOD eternally reigns on high, exhult HIM and lift THE LORD ALMIGHTY’S NAME up high today and forevermore. Amen

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