God’s idea of my life will always be better than mine. But I don’t come to know His idea of my life outside of obedience to His will. Self-will is simply self-enforced structures – rickety buildings of my own making. Yet God’s will is a world I never knew was possible but always dreamt was true. God’s life for me isn’t stringent, lifeless borders; it’s expansive limitless adventures. God’s idea of my life, found in the center of His will, is my highest fulfillment and the greatest satisfaction I can know.
Isn’t Obedience Difficult?
Many of us often fear that obedience to God means the most difficult, least fun alternative. For sure, “God’s will” means dry oatmeal and sour milk, right? Well, if God’s will did relegate you to this, I can assure you, you’d have His satisfaction in it. God’s will involves Christ’s Life to perform within His grace. Obedience walked out is the Life of Christ. I choose His will and His life produces the life. This is obedience to His will.
In a recent post, I implied that we would be doing podcasts about obedience. And for those of you who follow Martha’s daily devotional, that is the current topic. The Power of Obedience is the most pithy, powerful devotional series. It’s just one life-changing zinger after the next. I invite you to check it out if you haven’t.
Here is another sneak peak into the revelation God gave us as a body, and which we will be soon devoting a podcast series on: Work versus Obedience.
Obedience or Work
Years back the Lord shocked me with a word: “Effort is blasphemy!” It was no accident that I received this revelation. It wasn’t so I could enlighten, it was so I would enter into rest. It was an invitation to release the stress of striving. It was convicting and liberating. In this light, I want to share the difference between WORK and OBEDIENCE.
Work that emanates from my determined self-life is sin and difficult, where as obedience to His will is blessed and easy. Christ spoke that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. All my efforts have tempted me to disbelieve this. When I am struggling and straining in my strength, life is anything but easy and light. But Jesus said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light, not mine. The easy yoke and light burden is found in obedience, not work. Work is the heavy burden and hard yoke.
Yoke of Obedience
His yoke is easy because the Life coming from obedience is easy. Trying to figure things out, remembering what needs to be done, working to find the work is heavy and difficult. All Jesus requires of us is obedience, not WORK. I am not required to plan it all out; I’m required to follow moment-by-moment in obedience.
Obedience is Life.
It is amazing that life could be relegated to simple obedience. Listening in this moment for His will. All the anxiety of the future and regrets from the past lose their grip off my mind. I just have the responsibility to say YES in obedience to the Will of the Father. Do you see how that could be easy and light?
But to one who, not working [by the Law], trusts (believes fully) in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited to him as righteousness (the standing acceptable to God).
Romans 4:5 AMP
For he who has once entered [God’s] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors peculiarly His own.
Hebrews 4:10 AMP
Gosh, John, i could dance to this today! I needed it so badly – there are some major changes coming at my workplace and i was beginning to “what if … and dread” but i’m actually looking forward to them now. Thank You for the links you provided that got me to this post – each of them is alive and well, and jewels all of them, beautiful and costly. Thank you, John for sharing so freely! Each one glorifies Him – CHRIST in us, the hope of glory! and He is the peace and rest and joy that He… Read more »
Beautiful comment. Thank you for it. It is encouraging and inspiring. I am glad I came back and read this today. Bless you LT!
[…] you had the effort. (J) I could try. (Martha) You could try. Remember when God said to you, “Effort is blasphemy?” (J) (gagging) (Martha) And Nee has something; I couldn’t quote it accurately. But he […]
[…] “What are you seeing?” (J) On Get Along With God I wrote something recently about the obedience is life, easy and light and how we were discussing recently about the light burden, the light burden and […]
“I am not required to plan it all out; I’m required to follow moment by moment obedience.” I love it! That is exactly where I am right now. I’m a planner and a fixer, so this is a real grace developer. Thank you for the confirmation of the Lord’s work in me. Love you all
Yet another post full of poignant truth! These words are so convicting, but at the same time so liberating: “Work that emanates from my determined self-life is sin and difficult, where as obedience to His will is blessed and easy.” Thank you, John for this message today…it’s one that I’m afraid has been so difficult for me to learn. And ditto to Arlene’s comment about Martha’s daily devotionals on OBEDIENCE…WOW, just WOW!
yes –this post and Martha’s daily zingers have really affected my view and the walking out of my faith———————i’ve been convicted and blessed–
Well, John, your post is both convicting and liberating. Bless you for it and thank you for sharing, for I have brought much pain and suffering on myself from :ALL THE ANXIETY OF THE FUTURE AND REGRET S OF THE PAST LOSE THEIR GRIP OFF MY MIND, I say YES to God’s will. Amen an Amen
YES John! Love love love