Taking the Easy Way

Sharon JaynesA Sudden Glory, Identity in Christ, Living Free, Living Fully 15 Comments

Our culture tends to want to take the easy way to success, the easy way out, and the easy way period. But what if I told you that the easy way may not be what you think?

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 his 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.” 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. 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.

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 is one way that you are going to obey God today?

My 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, you can change all that. God wants you to experience His presence every day through moments of sudden glory where He makes His presence known. This book also includes a Bible study for groups or individuals who want to go deeper into God’s Word!

And for you married gals, if apathy or indifference have crept into your marriage and you don’t know what to do about it, check out my book Lovestruck: God’s Design for Romance, Marriage, and Sexual Intimacy from the Song of Solomon and get out of that funk!

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Comments 15

  1. Thank you, Sharon for this very timely message. For many years I have enjoyed your post and each one brings to me the love of our Savior. Many times you have helped me climb to greater heights. You have shared your love and experiences so openly and your Bible studies are so full and interesting. Although we live in different geographical areas, me in Canada and you in the United States of America, we live in God’s domain. Many times I wished that I could take part in your sessions and programs. Distance made it impossible and corresponding by the net was difficult for me. And all the while God’s Word came to me through your posts.
    May God continue to bless your ministry and the lives you touch.

  2. I like your writings and they seem to show up in my email at just the right time.
    I am almost 65, not married and have 3 grown beautiful daughters and 5 grandchildren. Before COVID I was overwhelmed by the responsibility of a full time job and grandparent duties the entire weekend. I never had a break. I begged God for relief. Now I rarely see the grandchildren and then only briefly. I feel like I’m being punished for wanting a break…. but although I don’t like NOT seeing them, I don’t want to go back to what it was. I guess I’m just looking for Gods guidance. I was the one taking them to church and my daughters don’t “believe” so my grandchildren are not being taught about Jesus.

    1. Pam, I have 10 grandchildren, and I feel that God has blessed us to make a difference in their little lives. Im sure you did by introducing them to Jesus. They will always remember that. How safe they felt with you. I didn’t raise my children in church as much as I should have, my grandmother would take them. I have come back to Christ, praying for forgiveness, but my children and theirs are true, strong believers! Look up and smile, you have been an influence on those children. God is moving you to another season. Sisters in Christ

    2. As a product of praying grandparents, don’t give up. While you may not be able to take them to church right now or rarely see them, your prayers matter and can change heaven and earth!!

    3. I am in a position like you my friend in Christ and we journey together following Christ above all .He is the good Shepard and I love pslams.. 23 and proverbs .

  3. Our obedience, a response to love! Beautifully stated and such an encouraging devotion on partnering with God and staying in step with Him. He is our hope and sustained! Amen

  4. I read your book a few years ago, Sharon, and it was life changing. Thank you for helping me lean into the glory moments that were always there for me.

  5. Thank you for the reminder to stop and “see” what God is doing around me. I plan to use this devotion and journaling exercise to kick off our fall Bible Study in September after months apart due to COVID. We have all become depressed and need to refocus on the little miracles God places in our path each day. Thank you for the beautiful reminder

  6. God has such an interesting way of showing himself to me. About 2 1/2 years ago I had an episode at church of almost passing out. Then 2 years ago I had another episode at church, only this time it was so bad that I had to lie down on the restroom floor and stay there until some came in and got help for me. A wheel chair was brought to me so that I could make it to my car. My husband said I was white as a sheet and I almost incoherent. Since the two are incidents were so far apart I almost dismissed them, but God spoke to me and said you really need to go to the doctor. My visit to the doctor revealed that I have hypoglycemia, AKA low blood sugar.
    At that time I wasn’t exercising, I ate sweets several times a day, and needless to say I was just sabotaging my health even though I knew I wasn’t taking care of my “holy temple.”
    I spent the next year upset that I had a condition that was getting in the way of how I wanted to live. Then one day God revealed himself to me again. He said, “Be thankful for the hypoglycemia because it is forcing you to eat healthy and get daily exercise.” His words brought me back to the reality of the need to live a healthy lifestyle. My condition still gets in my way, but now I think thoughts of being thankful vs resentful.

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