There are so many things that we want in life. From hobbies and interests to values and passions. Deep longings and surface temptations. Our hearts are full of longing. Some teachers and preachers tell us to die to longing. That doing so is necessary to live a life of service.
But the problem is not longing itself. God made us to desire. In fact, God wants to grant us the desires of our hearts. He wants our joy to be complete. He is a fan of our longings. He wants them fulfilled just as much as we do. He will give us all the wealth of the Kingdom, which coincides with the healthy desires deep within our soul. But in order to do that, we have to seek the right thing the right way.
The problem is how our good longings get twisted. Temptation lies in satisfying longings apart from God’s design. There are perversions of what was intended to be good longings – we turn to porn out of a desire for acceptance; we lie out of a desire to be influential. We seek to fulfill the longings to perpetuate an illusion that we are in control. But the true path to fulfillment lay in seeking God’s way. Obedience is the path to true happiness.
The key is to keep the first thing first. To pursue God, searching for his truth. To seek him and long for him. To listen to him, obey him, and chase him with a relentless determination indicative of how he chases us.
Without this, all that we might receive or achieve will range somewhere between empty and self-destructive. His kingdom is what exhilarates our soul. Only by seeking the source of desire will we experience the true reward of joy.