If we want to experience the fulfillment God has designed for us, we have to understand and embrace the main priority God has for our lives.
All of us have what I call a “Checklist of the Heart.” It’s a list of dreams, hopes, and desires that we've been carrying around inside of us since we were small. Sometimes we put things on this list, and sometimes we take things off, but this list is always there.
As we age, it often seems that there are more and more things vying for first place on our lists. But if we want to experience the fulfillment that God designed for us, we have to understand and embrace the main priority God has for our lives.
Can I Borrow Your Wife?
Imagine that a man knocks on a couple’s door and the man says to the husband of the home, “Hey, I really like the way your wife looks. I’d like to take her home for the night, but I’ll bring her back tomorrow.”
How do you think the husband would respond? Would he say, “Okay, but make sure you have her back in time to make my breakfast”?
Maybe he wouldn't say a thing, but he might punch the guy in the nose. Why? Because a man who loves his wife doesn't want to have to compete for her devotion; he wants to keep her all to himself.
God doesn't want to have to compete for your devotion either. Because you’re the greatest desire on His list, He wants to be the greatest desire on yours. This isn't because He’s bossy or controlling, but because He knows that when you love Him more than anything or anyone, you’re protected against the Adversary’s attempts to ruin your relationship with Him and thereby destroy you. God knows that the only place that you can find true fulfillment is in Him.
Maybe you’re thinking, Okay, I want to put God above everything else, but I don’t know how. Rest assured—it’s not all up to you. Yes, God wants you to be willing, but He wants you to love Him more than you want to. For this reason, He’ll nurture your relationship with Him through good times and bad.
Two Ways to Get to the Top
When it comes to your checklist, there are two ways Christ can move to the top of your list of desires: one is by getting everything you want and the other is not getting everything you desire
King Solomon knew what it meant to get everything he desired: women, wine, adventure, and all the money he could want. His heart still felt empty. (See Ecclesiastes 2.) All his earthly desires were met, but he learned that nothing but God could truly satisfy.
Paul, on the other hand, was shipwrecked, stoned, and mocked. In his need and greatest moments of desperation, he found God faithful and worthy to be the greatest desire in his life (Ephesians 3:8-9). Because God loves us deeply, He’ll use whatever means necessary to bring us to the end of ourselves, so that He’ll take His place at the top of our list.
Has God ever topped your list if only in a moment of desperation like Paul’s? How about after you chased a dream that you were certain would deliver satisfaction only to find that it didn't, like Solomon?
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:36-40