If we don’t protect our heart, we can function with a distorted worldview. This world was never designed to satisfy us, but we ask it to. People won’t submit to the law of our kingdom for very long, but we try to force them. Circumstances won’t obey our commands, yet we are surprised when they don’t. Most importantly, God will not abandon his holy throne so that we can enjoy fleeting pleasure like little demi-gods!
It will drive you crazy. It will rob you of satisfaction and joy. It will eat your heart and consume your soul.
It may sound weird, but it’s biblical language: It will transform you into a brute. It will make you a beast.
What will do this horrible thing to you? Trying to find contentment in creation instead of the Creator.
Read the confession Asaph makes in the Psalms:
When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you.
(Psalm 73: 21-22, ESV)
How did Asaph get to this point? It starts with misplaced desire.
If you allow yourself to believe that lasting fulfillment can be found in the comforts of the physical world, then your everyday life will be a hot pursuit of pleasure. You will seek control over people and circumstances to ensure that you get the things that you have set your heart upon.
That misplaced desire very quickly morphs into envious frustration.
When you chase something that doesn’t exist and can’t be attained – that is, contentment in the creation – you will get exasperated. The harder you work to fill your heart, the emptier it becomes.