The exhortation to ‘prepare your heart’ is found in several places in Scripture. The wording might be slightly different, but the principle of ‘preparing your heart’ is found throughout the Scriptures.
As we begin to learn God’s Ways, we will find that preparing our heart is an activity that is an on-going, regular practice of ‘Thirsty Souls.’
‘Preparing your heart’ is what Thirsty Souls attempt to do over and over again in order to partake of the cool, refreshing waters of the fountain of living waters.
But what can we do? How can we ‘prepare’ our heart?
The prophet Samuel told the children of Israel to
” … prepare your hearts unto Yahuwah [the LORD], and serve Him only” (1Samuel 7:3b).
This exhortation [from one of Father’s amazing prophets], is basically telling us to seek to make ourselves receptive and willing to love and obey Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God].
Preparing our heart is something that we are to do, by the grace of Abba Father. It is not something to hope that ‘somehow’ our heart will mysteriously be prepared without any effort on our part. We can pray and ask Father to help us. We can ask Him to give us His grace to help us prepare our heart. But preparing our heart is a process that we must begin to practice.
So how do we do this — how do we prepare our heart?
Here are three steps that I have found to be very helpful.
First of all, preparing to do anything [including preparing our heart], takes fore-thought.
Just as we would go to great effort to plan and prepare for a project, a trip, or a goal, in the same way this is true for preparing our heart. The first thing we do in preparing our heart is fore-thought. We must go through the effort required to think, to plan, and begin to prepare for fulfilling our goal of preparing our heart.
The secret to this first step for preparing our heart is found in one of the most valuable verses for Thirsty Souls: Matthew 6:33 —
” ….. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness.”
This first step means that we will begin the practice of regularly seeking Yahuwah, learning His Word, and maintaining an open heart with Him (1John 1:9). This first step ought to be our highest priority — to seek first the kingdom of Yahuwah, and His righteousness, in all that we do — our thoughts, words, and actions. We do this by daily prayer, and by daily study of, and obedience to, the Word of Yahuwah [the Bible].
The second step for preparing our heart would be to begin making adjustments within our life that need to come into obedience to Yahuwah’s Word. Some adjustments are actually major changes within our lives since we are coming out of a way of life that has been against the Word of Yahuwah and His Kingdom. Many of us have to un-learn lots of the ways of the heathen, as the prophet Jeremiah warns us:
Thus saith Yahuwah [the LORD], “Learn not the way of the heathen …” (Jeremiah 10:2a).
Walking according to the abominations of the heathen is certainly something to un-learn!
The prophet Samuel gives us the clue as to how we can begin to un-learn the ways of the heathen.
[Let us remember what an amazing prophet this Samuel, son of Hannah, was! From a very young age, Samuel ministered to Yahuwah. Yahuwah was with Samuel and allowed none of his words ‘fall to the ground’! (1Samuel 2:18;3:19) Therefore, heeding the warnings of this prophet would be to our advantage. (see Luke 24:25-27)]
When Samuel told the children of Israel to ‘prepare your hearts’, he told them the key ingredient for this process:
” … put away the strange gods [Baalim] and Ashtaroth from among you” (1Samuel 7:3,4).
This is the same exhortation the patriarch, Jacob, told his household to do — ” … put away the strange gods that are among you” (Genesis 35:2). This is a crucial and vital step for preparing our heart! It is the beginning of the cleansing, deliverance, and maturing process that each child of Yahuwah must do to be sanctified wholly in spirit, soul, and body (1Thessalonians 5:23).
As the Scriptures teach us, putting away the strange gods [idols] from among us is a major ingredient of preparing our hearts! This is how we can be diligent to … be found in Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ] in peace, without spot, and blameless (2Peter 3:14).
A good place to start with this would be to ask ourselves, “Have I put away the ‘strange gods’ from my life?” In other words, “Am I obeying the Second Commandment?”
Most of us, as Believers in Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ], are confident that Yahuwah, the Holy One of Israel, is our only God [Elohim], He is our only Mighty One [God] (Deuteronomy 5:6)! But many of us need to make sure that we have no graven images [idols] — no strange gods, and no abominations in our lives (Deuteronomy 5:7-10; Luke 16:15; Revelation 21:27). This is a vital, absolutely necessary step for preparing our hearts — to be in obedience to the Second Commandment (Exodus 20:3-6 and Deuteronomy 5:7-10)
The Second Commandment
Obedience to the Second Commandment is an essential step in walking in Yahuwah’s blessings, and in avoiding curses. The Second Commandment is one commandment that the Enemy of our souls works incessantly to twist and hide its TRUE meaning. Thereby multitudes of Yahuwah’s people have been deceived for centuries regarding this Commandment.
The knowledge of this subject [obedience to the Second Commandment] is something the Enemy wants to keep hidden from our understanding. Since Satan is out to destroy the people of Yahuwah, then our lack of knowledge of God’s Word is a major key to Satan’s plan!
Yahuwah warns us through the prophet Hosea:
My people [Yah’s people] are destroyed for lack of knowledge [the knowledge of the Word of Yahuwah] (Hosea 4:6).
As Believers, we must begin to clean up our lives, and heed Father’s Word with a serious attitude. We must begin to address the Second Commandment, and the important subject of idolatry, because ‘idolaters’ … shall not inherit the kingdom of God (1Cor 6:9).
For such an important subject, we need more understanding and knowledge! It is not a subject to be ignored, which is why I point out this very vital step in the preparations of our heart. Obedience to the Second Commandment helps us to begin to walk in Father’s blessings.
This subject of removing idolatry from our lives [and thus come out from under a curse], was the specific directive given by many of the prophets as to how we can prepare our hearts.
For serious Thirsty Souls, who desire a better understanding of this subject — this putting away the strange gods from among us, I strongly recommend reading the following articles: Graven Images and Idols: What Your Pastor Never Told You About the Second Commandment and Removing the Abominations: A Warning to the Bride.
The third step for preparing our heart would be to make it a regular practice to personally pray for the following:
- a tender heart
- a clean heart
- a willing and obedient heart
- a contrite and humble spirit
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
As this verse teaches us, our heart is the root of all that we do. That is why we are exhorted to keep and guard our heart with all diligence. Guarding our heart is even more reason for why we need to prepare our heart!
- A Tender Heart
Praying and asking Father to give us a tender heart has good rewards. Someone with a tender heart will be quick to be humble and submissive to the Word of Yahuwah. King Josiah is an example of one who had a tender heart and he was rewarded:
Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, … Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spoke …. (2Kings 22:18,19).
King Josiah was rescued and delivered from Yahuwah’s wrath because of his tender heart, which enabled him to walk in obedience to Yahuwah’s Word. King Josiah therefore earned the reputation that … there was no king like him that turned to Yahuwah [the LORD] with all his heart (2Kings 23:25).
- A Clean Heart
King David was a man after Father’s heart. He prayed and asked Father to create a clean heart within him (Psalms 51:10; Acts 13:22). A clean heart begins with confession of our sins, as King David’s example teaches us in Psalms 51 (1John 1:9). A clean heart includes putting iniquity and wickedness far away from us (Job 11:13,14).
Yet we need Father’s help, for it is only Yahuwah that can create in us a clean heart. Therefore we need to seek His help, His cleansing, His forgiveness through the blood of Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ]. We must regularly ask Him for this treasure of a ‘clean heart!’ There is a reward for praying for and having a clean heart: Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart (Psalms 73:1).
- A Willing and Obedient Heart
Praying and asking Father to give us a willing and obedient heart is another key prayer for our on-going practice of preparing our heart. Yahuwah, Who is infinitely wise and good, is working within us by His Holy Spirit to help us to will and to do of His good pleasure. This is why He desires to put His laws [His Torah] in our mind and write them on our heart (Heb 8:10). Therefore, let us make it a regular prayer to seek to cooperate with Him by praying for this treasure — a willing and obedient heart, which also has its rewards and blessings (see Isaiah 1:19; Philippians 2:13; Jeremiah 7:23).
- A Contrite and Humble Spirit
Lastly, the prophet Isaiah gives us another clue for preparing our heart:
… Prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people. For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite [sorrowful] and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. (Isaiah 57:14,15).
Praying and asking Father to help us maintain a contrite and humble spirit is another treasure to be seeking. And what a glorious promise for those with a contrite and humble spirit — Father’s Presence! If we will be praying for a contrite [sorrowful for disobedience] and humble spirit, then Father delights to answer such prayers because He gives His grace to the humble (1Peter 5:5). If this is a genuine prayer, then we will find that, more and more, our hearts will be quick to repent, and eager to learn of Yahushua, the One Who is meek and lowly of heart (Matthew 11:29).
- Receive The Holy Spirit
For those who have not yet received the initial Baptism in the Holy Spirit since first believing in Yahushua, then an additional [and essential] step for preparing our heart is to seek the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). Please see the article Have You Received the Holy Spirit Since You Believed?
Serving Yahuwah Acceptably
As Thirsty Souls, let us seek to maintain this on-going, regular practice of preparing our hearts!
By preparing our hearts, we are more ready to serve Yahuwah acceptably with reverence and godly fear (Hebrews 12:28). Let us review these steps periodically, heeding the prophet’s warnings, seeking to not neglect our maturity and growth in the knowledge of God and His WORD.
Yahuwah, the Mighty One of Israel, is worthy of all our praise and devotion! He is worthy for us to prepare our heart in every way, so that we can follow Him in a way that is pleasing to Him!
He is worthy of our fore-thought, our obedience to His Commandments, and our prayers to maintain a heart that is prepared to serve Him, and Him alone.
- A Way That Seems Right: Avoiding the Strong Delusion
- Water the Dry Ground of Your Heart With the Rain of the Spirit – Teaching Video by Hoshana Rabbah (1½ hr)
- Unite My Heart To Fear Your Name – looking to Yahuwah alone as our only hope of salvation and deliverance
- Chosen For The Master’s Use – Yahuwah has a particular task for each one of us
- Thy Torah Is My Delight – a look at King David’s secret
- Acquiring A Teachable Heart
- Bringing Forth Fruit With Patience – looking at four clues for acquiring this highly desirable ‘Fruit of the Spirit’
- Breaking Generational Curses – 1 hour video by Derek Prince; includes teaching on the importance of obedience