Many of us pursue relationships with people that we deem to be of benefit to us. Our human need for love and affirmation means that we avoid loneliness and isolation. We have an innate desire for human contact and relationships. What we grow up desiring to learn is how to cultivate lasting and healthy relationships. At times our negative early childhood experiences, can hinder our ability to form and maintain healthy attachments. The good news is that in the same way that we can learn unhealthy relationship patterns, we can unlearn these behaviours and learn new healthy ways of relating to others.
God created us for relationships and we also have an innate desire for a relationship with a higher being. The crux is what will we use to fill that need for a relationship with a higher power. Either we develop and cultivate a relationship with God, where we allow him to control our lives, or we replace this desire with the love of money or material things. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). God warns us that we cannot seek to serve him and money for example, for money is a master and we are likely to love money and resent God (Matthew 6:24).
It is a relationship with God that will last into eternity and we are advised to store up treasures for ourselves in heaven. We have an eternal reward beyond this life, so we have to live for a treasure that can outlast our earthly existence. We need a hunger for God to cultivate a relationship with him. We know for example, when people are genuine about wanting to be in a relationship with us and we reward this with an audience, when we sense a genuine care for our wellbeing. This has to be balanced against self interest and self seeking motives.
God knows our hearts and what is in our mind and our motives. He can sense either genuine commitment and passion to do his will, or a reluctant submission born out of guilt and shame. What God desires is our hearts, broken with our love for him because we know how much he loves us. A love for him which translates into a hunger and a passion to be close to him and a desire to pursue him into eternity.
“I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile” (Jeremiah 29:14).