The meaning of this proverb is direct and easy to understand. If I want something and even crave it I have to diligently work for it. Few things are freely received and even most gifts have strings attached to them. Laying in bed and sitting in an easy chair watching TV seldom satisfies my soul when it wants something else.
Cain was a restless wanderer because the soil no longer yielded its crops and he feared someone would kill him as he killed his brother. He wanted to have a happy life, but the craving of his restless soul was never fully satisfied. Cain was not diligent in satisfying his soul’s desire to be in the presence of the Lord stemmed from a lazy offering. (Genesis 4:3, 7, 13-14, 16)
Desire, no matter how intense, will lead nowhere until I am willing to work for what I desire. The human heart desires acceptance in the presence of the Lord more than anything. That desire remains until my soul enters into full submission to the Lord’s will. “Cover their faces with shame so that men will seek your name, O LORD.” (Psalm 83:16)