God’s love comes with a price. He loves us just as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us just as we are. His love can put us through a lot of trouble. Imagine a farmer who owns chickens, goats, sheep, cows, and a puppy. The chickens live in a drafty old chicken coop and the livestock lives in an open field. The puppy lives in the farmer’s home. The puppy will be taught not to soil the carpet, gnaw on the furniture, or steal food from the supper table. If the pup misbehaves, the farmer may swat his nose with a rolled newspaper. The pup will be expected to learn a lot of household rules if it is to live with the family. For a restless puppy, learning these rules may seem like a lot of bother.
The chickens have no rules. The same can be said of the cows, pigs, goats, and sheep. There is nothing to learn. A chicken or a goat can relieve itself wherever it pleases. No chicken was ever swatted on the beak for soiling the henhouse floor. No cow was ever reprimanded for relieving itself in the lower forty. But the puppy is rigorously taught not to think of the carpet as a wide-open toilet.
Of course, the chicken may end up in a pot of dumplings and the cow’s final destiny may be found next to a baked potato. The pig may find its way suspended about an open fire. As to the puppy, it will live in safety and comfort with the farmer’s family.
You belong to Jesus. As such, He is going to put you through a lot of trouble. Why? He wants you to be like Him. As I said, His love comes with a price. He will subject you to quite a lot of bother. Of course, as a child of God, you will not end up on Satan’s banquet table. Those who do not belong to Jesus will, sadly, become a main course in the devil’s dining hall.
The theological term for being transformed into the image of Jesus is sanctification. Sanctification puts people like you and me through a whole lot of trouble. But Jesus is not content leaving people like you and me just as we are. He has bigger and better plans for us. Oh, as to the treatment, Jesus doesn’t care if we like it or not. He is going to do what needs to be done for our own good.
I cannot cure you of a pornography addiction. But what I can tell you is this: Take this problem to Him. And submit yourself to His will. Let Him do with you as He sees fit. It may be painful. And it will seem like a whole lot of bother, but when the dust has settled and all has been said and done, you will be a little closer to being like Jesus.
Recently, I have been in a study of John 15. Jesus said He is the vine and we are the branches. A branch cannot produce big, luscious grapes unless it grows from the vine. Spend some time in John 15. Submit yourself to His will. Produce some fruit.
Sanctification is a whole lot of trouble, but in the end, the worry and bother pay big dividends.