“We cannot choose what we love, but always love what seems desirable to us. Thus we will only change what we love when something proves itself to be more desirable to us than what we already love. I will, then, always love sin and the world until I truly sense that Christ is better.” ― Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith
Reeves reminds me of what Matthew writes: “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (6:21). That treasure, therefore, must be desirable enough to capture and keep my heart. If numerous desires capture our hearts each day, how do we truly sense that Christ is better? And how do we share his desirability with others?
Let us start with looking at how our hearts are captured by the world. Jesus tells a parable that highlights this in Luke 14:15–23. Imagine the scene, God has prepared this glorious banquet with freshly baked crusty bread (warm from the oven), whipped butter, fragrant slow roasted meats and vegetables, sugared almonds, spiced wine, fresh plump apricots and buttery apple crumble with Rodda’s clotted cream. Everything is ready and as my Mum would say “dinner is getting cold.” This is a desirable scene, no?! But those who have been invited begin to make excuses. Here is how the conversations would play out in my mind:
“I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.”
“Are you just so enamoured by soil and grass that you would rather sit and admire the ground for the evening thinking of all the beautiful crops that it could produce rather than feasting abundantly at a banquet? I know you want to be good at your job but is this one trip going to make you outstanding in your field?”
“I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I must go to examine them. Please have me excused.”
“I’m assuming that when you bought your yoke of oxen you would have examined them from head to toe to make sure you were getting a good deal? Do you think they will have changed? Or do you just prefer the company of oxen to people? I’m just going to grab the bull by the horns and come out with it: I think this is a cock and bull story!”
“I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”
“Is your wife the one who bought the field? What a soil-mate. But I just want to stop you before you overshare about your first night of marriage.”
These excuses are shamefully disrespectful. The master’s heart has been dragged through the thorns as his guests blatantly show him that they do not value him. What he has to offer is worthless. These guests have their hearts captured by the desire for land ownership, the desire for a successful job, and the desire for romance. Are we not also, like these original guests, those who have rejected God?
As the parable continues we see the master invite “the poor and crippled and blind and lame,” those who would never be able to invite him back to a feast. And even more than that he invites those from the countryside, those who really had no place, those who were in utter desperation and could not even beg in the city streets. In this culture where you invited to be invited back, here generosity replaces reciprocity. Are we not also those who have empty hands and yet our hospitable God still invites us to eat with him, to enjoy a relationship with him. Is this not a God we can delight in? A God by whom our hearts can be captured.
So how do we untangle our desires for home ownership, a good job and deep relationships (insert your own heart’s desires here)? We are to be captured again by the Father’s love and homely welcome. We are to be drawn to the Son’s grace that says no work will change how my Father sees you. We are to be beckoned by the Spirit’s comfort that speaks of the God who sees our depths, knows our hearts and yet loves us still. The Spirit of he who “told me everything I ever did.”
Reeves recalls a question that was important to John Owen: what is the treasure of the gospel? Might we look forward to heaven, to the eternal banquet with God? No! Reeves says that “the treasure of the gospel is God. What makes heaven heaven is God. And not just any God but the triune God, who is Father, Son and Spirit.” So how are our hearts drawn to and captivated by the good news? We are captured by a God who is love in his very being. Reeves expands “indeed, in the triune God is the love behind all love, the life behind all life, the music behind all music, the beauty behind all beauty and the joy behind all joy.” He captures the desire of our hearts and reclaims his place as the treasure of our hearts because of who he is.
Does this not then change how we think about evangelism too? The truly desirable triune God invites us into eternal life— of a relationship with himself. This is “the gospel offer that we can bring to the world. That the Father will embrace you as his dearly beloved son, even as Jesus himself. With this God, this richer God, we have a far richer gospel.” What a beloved and precious treasure is our triune God! He fulfils our desires and captures our hearts.
 John 4:29.
 Michael Reeves, The Good God (Carlisle: Send the Light, 2012), 43–44.