“You want more because you were made for more, but you need more of the right thing…” (The Economy of the Soul, pg. xi)
You are greedy and ambitious. You pass a car lot and dream of getting a newer, nicer vehicle. You walk through Best Buy and immediately start thinking about how nice it would be to get that bigger, faster computer or to buy the hottest new gaming system. You sit at work wishing you could get promoted or find a better job that pays more and has better benefits. I know this because I’m the same way. You and I have to force ourselves to be content. We’re always wanting more and nothing we can possess seems to satisfy our hunger and thirst for…more. And God made you that way.
When you read the Creation account and about life in the Garden of Eden, two things stand out, both of them trees. One was the Tree of Life from which man was meant to eat and live forever. The other was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil which provided God’s amazing gift of free will. We were meant to live forever in God’s very presence, being filled by the glory of his very person. We were also given the opportunity to choose death. God gave us a natural hunger. We are intended to desire – to desire more of God. We took his gift and aimed it at lesser things and now we wrestle with a God-given desire for more of what we need, and a selfish desire for more of what we want.
You were created for eternal glory. You were made to walk with God, to commune with him, to love him so deeply that you desire his presence like you now desire air to breathe, food to eat, and water to drink. You live, however, in temporal decay where “the world and its desires pass away” (1 John 2:17). We chase after the things we can obtain by our own effort and wisdom, but they are fading and therefore demand that we continue to spend our lives maintaining them, or seeking to replace them. We end up empty and spent because we pour our lives out in worship to dying things rather than seeking to be filled by the One who is Life. Because of this tragic state, we utterly fail in our charge to invest in the lives of others because we are so busy trying to feed ourselves. God created you hungry. That hunger has turned into starvation because we have made lesser things the object of our desire – things that cannot possibly fill us or satisfy. It’s like trying to live a healthy, vibrant life on a diet of Twinkies and popcorn.
You long for more because you were made for more. Things you can possess, the approval of others, all the great and lofty accomplishments, these things don’t last and will never satisfy. They are antichrists – opposed to, or in place of Christ himself. It’s not wrong to have things, or even to want things, but our desire – that for which we are willing to spend all else – must be for Christ himself. Even religious obedience, in itself, is fading because religion is founded in what we do and, as with the rich young ruler in Luke 10, it can become about our accomplishments rather than about God.
Christ himself – to know him and to love him – must be our greatest desire. He, alone, is our righteousness. We will always want more: we will want more of lesser things because they never satisfy, and we will want more of Christ because he is the One who sustains us and completes us. In order to live a full life, a significant life, we must desire the right thing. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Righteousness, biblically, is a right relationship with God where we love Him with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength. What are you spending your life to gain?