We are all aware of the Great Command to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We push ourselves (and others) to fully comply with the command. While this is the appropirate response, it's impossible without Christ loving us first. Our priority must be to grow in the knowledge of and revel in the love of Christ for us. It's then that we deepen our obedience to the Greatest Commandment. D. A. Carson, writing about Paul's prayer found in Ephesians 3, insightfully points out:
"It takes nothing less than the power of God to enable us to grasp the love of Christ. Part of the deep 'me-ism' is manifested in such independence that we do not really want to get so close to God that we feel dependent on him, swamped by his love. Just as in a marriage, a spouse may flee relationships that are too intimate, judging them to be a kind of invasion of privacy when in reality such a reaction is a sign of intense immaturity and selfishness, so also in the spiritual arena: When we are drawn a little closer to the living God, many of us want to back off and stake out our own turf. We want to experience power so that we can be in control; Paul prays for power so that we will be controlled by God himself. Our deep and pathetic self-centeredness is precisely why it takes the power of God to transform us, if we are to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge and grow to the maturity the Scriptures hold out before us.
It is wonderful to revel in the love of God. Truly to experience that love, to live in the warmth of its glow, invests all of life with new meaning and purpose. The brotherhood of the saints takes on new depth; 'fellowship' becomes precious, not the artificially arranged shaking of hands in a service or the shared pot of tea or coffee. Forgiving others becomes almost natural, because we ourselves, thanks to God's immeasurably rich love, have been forgiven so much. Others may despise us, but that makes little difference if God loves us. How shall trouble or sorrow or bereavement drive us into macabre despair, when we can say with Paul, 'Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?' (Rom. 8:35). Our speech, our thoughts, our actions, our reactions, our relationships, our goals, our values--all are transformed if only we live in the self-conscious enjoyment of the love of Christ. Our testimony is then no longer dry and merely correct; it is living and vital as well. We are, in short, growing up spiritually.
...Is this not what you want? When was the last time you prayed along these lines? Do you want to make it your goal to do so? Why not incorporate this sort of petition into your daily praying for the next six months? Can we perhaps hear God whispering, 'You do not have, because you do not ask God' (James 4:2)?"
(A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers, p.197-198)