We all desire to seek God. But to find Him — that is the challenge!
Why is it that God seems to hide Himself? We can find clues here and there to finding God, but to truly find Him seems to require real persistence and determination.
There are certain steps we can take that are very helpful in our search for God. One such step is learning to ‘prepare our heart’ to seek God.
Preparing our heart to seek God is a principle found throughout the Scriptures.
‘Preparing our heart’ is what Thirsty Souls do over and over. We seek to prepare our heart each day, in order to walk in honesty before God and to do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
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 to prepare ourselves, is telling us to make our heart receptive and willing to love, obey, and serve Yahuwah Elohim [the Hebrew name for the LORD God].
To prepare our heart is to have a heart that is yielded to Father’s will, a heart that is willing to be repentant and obedient to Father’s written WORD. This requires that we apply effort, and give ourselves to the needed forethought, adjustments, and time required to accomplish our goal.
Acquiring a prepared heart is a process that includes thinking about our goal and planning ahead. It includes making adjustments to our schedule, so that we can have the necessary time to fulfill our goal.
What is the clue to help us “prepare our heart” in practical terms?
Yahushua Messiah [the Hebrew name for Jesus Christ] told us the clue, and it is one of the most important verses for Thirsty Souls:
- “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33a).
We do this daily by secret prayer time, by reading and study of the Word of Yahuwah [the Bible], and by committing ourselves to obey what Father’s written Word actually says.
Guarding Our Heart
As we ‘seek first the kingdom of Yahuwah,’ we are preparing our heart, so that we may walk with Father, and serve Him. This means that we will make it a regular practice to personally ask Father to give us:
- a tender heart
- a clean heart
- a willing and obedient heart
- a contrite and humble spirit
Our heart is the center, the very source of all we say and do (Proverbs 4:23).
Our heart is as an artesian well, as a flowing spring from which everything in our life flows! For this reason, we must guard our heart with all diligence, which is a necessary part in preparing to seek God!
Having a Tender Heart
One necessary element for preparing our heart is acquiring a heart that is tender — a heart that is not hardened and stubborn. We regularly ask Father to give us a tender heart — a heart that is soft and quick to be submissive to the written Word of Yahuwah. King Josiah is an example of one whose heart was tender, and as a result, the Father heard the desire of his heart:
“Because your heart was tender, and you have humbled yourself before Yahuwah [the LORD], when you heard what I [Yahuwah] spoke… I also have heard you, saith Yahuwah [the LORD]” (2Kings 22:18-19).
Having a Clean Heart
Another quality of the prepared heart is a clean heart. Praying and asking Father to create in us a clean heart will result in regular confession of our sins, as King David’s example teaches us in Psalms 51.
This is an important ingredient in preparing our heart — to seek Father’s cleansing and forgiveness of our sins by the blood of Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ] (Ephesians 1:7).
When we first repented and received forgiveness by the blood of Yahushua, Father caused us to become born of His Spirit, or Born-Again. At that time we were forgiven, and received His initial cleansing of all of our past sins (Romans 3:24-25).
In our daily walk however, we continue to need the daily cleansing of sin, the forgiveness of our sins. Thus we must regularly confess [acknowledge] our sins to Father, turning away from our sins, and thanking Him for His cleansing and forgiveness by Messiah’s blood (see 1John 1:7-9).
As we continue to ask Father for this treasure of a clean heart, He begins to impart unto us a sensitivity to the guidance of His Holy Spirit. We become more determined to do any needed repentance and adjustments to our behaviour.
And there is a reward for having a clean heart — God’s goodness:
“Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart” (Psalms 73:1).
Having a Willing and Obedient Heart
Praying and asking Father to give us a willing and obedient heart is another key part of our practice for ‘preparing our heart.’
Yahuwah, Who is infinitely wise and good, desires that we become full participants in His New Covenant by writing His instructions on our heart:
“This shall be the covenant that I [Yahuwah – the LORD] will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith Yahuwah [the LORD], I will put my Torah (law) in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:31-33; see also Hebrews 8:8-10).
Notice that the New Covenant includes the putting of His instructions [His Torah] into our mind, and writing them on our hearts. The Holy Spirit works within us, seeking to give us a delight to obey all of God’s written Word, including His Torah.
The teachings, statutes, and judgments of Moses are known as “The Torah”, commonly known as the first five books of the Bible, but it also embraces all of the Scriptures. Torah [often translated as the word ‘law’] is the Hebrew word which means God’s set of teachings, instructions, and guidelines.
In order to become full participants in Father’s Covenant, we must cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s guidance and cultivate a willing and obedient heart, becoming a “DO-er” of Father’s Torah. We must guard our heart against erroneous teachings that would prevent the fullness of Torah being written on our heart.
The apostle Paul tells us:
“For I delight in the law [Torah] of God after the inward man…” (Romans 7:22).
“Be ye followers [imitators] of me, even as I also am of Messiah [Christ]” (1Corinthians 11:1).
Paul himself delighted in the Torah! Paul then exhorts us to be an imitator of him, because he imitates Messiah, who delights in the Torah! To imitate Messiah and Paul, then we too need to have that same delight in God’s Torah.
Here is a very helpful step in delighting in God’s Torah:
“Blessed is the man… whose delight is in the Torah [law] of Yahuwah [the LORD]; and in His Torah [law] he meditates day and night… and whatsoever he does shall prosper” (Psalms 1:1-3).
One way we can learn to delight in God’s Torah is to study, meditate, and memorize portions from the Torah. As we seek to become a “DO-er” of Torah, then little by little, we nurture our willing and obedient heart, which is a precious treasure (Luke 6:45).
Having a prepared heart means seeking Father for a willing and obedient heart. A willing and obedient heart also has great rewards and blessings (see Isaiah 1:19; Hebrews 8:10 and 10:16; Philippians 2:13; Jeremiah 7:23).
Having a Contrite and Humble Spirit
The prophet Isaiah gives us another clue for preparing our heart:
“Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits 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 indwelling Presence!
If we are praying for a contrite [sorrowful for our disobedience] and humble spirit, then Father delights to answer such prayers, because He gives His grace to the humble (see 1Peter 5:5)!!
When we are praying regularly for a heart that is tender and clean, willing and obedient to Yahuwah’s written Word, then we will find that, more and more, our heart will be quick to repent and make changes! We will be quick to be sorrowful for our sin, and quick to humble ourselves by yielding to Father’s guidance.
It is also very helpful to spend some time in fasting in order to strengthen our desire to maintain our prepared heart.
All these things are necessary ‘forethought’ prayers and actions for preparing our heart to seek Yahuwah Elohim.
Furthermore, our forethought preparations will include making adjustments within our life that need to come into obedience to Yahuwah’s written Word.
Some adjustments are actually major changes within our lives, since we are coming out of a way of life that has been opposed to Yahuwah’s kingdom! Many of us have to un-learn ‘the ways of the heathen’, as the prophet Jeremiah warns us:
Thus says Yahuwah [the LORD], Learn not the way of the heathen… (Jeremiah 10:2a).
Walking according to the abominations of the heathen [the nations] is certainly something to un-learn!!
The prophet Samuel gives us the necessary clue for how to un-learn the ways of the heathen.
Samuel told the children of Israel to ‘prepare your hearts’! He told them the key for this process:
” … put away the strange gods [Baalim or ‘lords’] and Ashtaroth [representation of a false deity] from among you” (1Samuel 7:3-4).
This is the same exhortation the patriarch, Jacob, told his household:
” … put away the strange gods that are among you” (Genesis 35:2).
This exhortation 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 (see 1Thessalonians 5:23).
The Scriptures teach that putting away ‘the strange gods [idols] from among us’ is a major step in preparing our hearts!! This step helps us to be ” … in Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ] in peace, without spot, and blameless” (2Peter 3:14).
Start to Put Away the Strange Gods
We need to ask ourselves,
“Have I put away the ‘strange gods’ from my life?” In other words, “Am I obeying the Second Commandment?”
You shall not make unto you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: You shall not bow down yourself unto them, nor serve them: for I Yahuwah [the LORD] your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. (Deuteronomy 5:8-10)
As these Scriptures teach, we need to make sure we have no graven images or idols, the likeness of anything that God created — no strange gods, no abominations! (See Deuteronomy 4:14-19; Luke 16:15; Revelation 21:27) This is an absolutely necessary step for preparing our hearts!
We must begin to understand and become obedient to the Second Commandment (Exodus 20:3-6 and Deuteronomy 5:7-10)
The Second Commandment
Obedience to the Second Commandment is a vital step for walking in Yahuwah’s blessings, and for avoiding the curses associated with forbidden objects!
The Second Commandment is one commandment the devil works incessantly to twist and hide its TRUE meaning! This is why multitudes of God’s people are deceived regarding this Commandment.
Satan is out to destroy God’s people, so it is no wonder that ignorance of God’s Word is the devil’s major plan!
God warns us by telling us:
“My people [not the heathen, but Yah’s people] are destroyed for lack of knowledge [the knowledge of the written WORD of Yahuwah, and what it actually says]” (Hosea 4:6).
As Believers, we must begin to clean up our lives, and heed Father’s written Word (see Deuteronomy 5:7-10) with a serious attitude! We need to address this important subject of idolatry, because . . .
“idolaters … shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (1Corinthians 6:9).
Today multitudes of Believers are ignorant of the instructions in Scripture, and the consequences of their disobedience. Many pastors and spiritual leaders do not mention the true meaning of the Second Commandment, because it would not “fit into” the theology learned from their theological seminaries and Bible schools. Many twist the plain and simple truth of the Second Commandment.
For such an important subject as the Second Commandment — the removal of idols (abominations) from our life — we need more understanding and knowledge! It is not a subject to be ignored. It is a vital and paramount step for the preparation of our heart, and to walk in the fullness of Father’s blessings! Removing idolatry from our lives, and thus come out from under a curse, is the specific directive given by many of the prophets. (see 1Samuel 7:3-4; see also Ezekiel 16, 20, and 23).
I am not going to ‘re-invent the wheel’ and try here, to explain the simplicity of the Second Commandment, when the following articles are excellent studies to gain a better understanding of this very important subject — the removal of idolatry from our lives. If you want to go further in your walk with God, then begin to understand and obey the Second Commandment:
Walking With Messiah
Thirsty Souls are those who diligently seek Yahuwah, and want to walk with Him.
Thirsty Souls earnestly seek to maintain the on-going, regular practice of preparing our hearts!
By preparing our hearts, we are more ready to receive Father’s grace and more ready to serve Him:
“Wherefore we, receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28).
As this verse teaches, in order for us to serve Yahuwah acceptably, we need the means whereby we can serve Him — His grace! Yahuwah enables us to serve Him, by giving us His grace!
But Yahuwah gives His grace [His enablement] only to the humble (see 1Peter 5:5)!
A humble heart therefore prepares to receive His grace, just as the soil is plowed and softened to receive the Seed planted by the Gardener.
In order to serve Messiah, we need to begin to follow Him:
“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour” (John 12:26).
If we desire to serve Yahuwah acceptably, we must learn to become followers of Messiah, walking as He walked, following in His footsteps, and learning obedience (see 1Peter 2:21; Hebrews 5:8 ).
He Is Worthy!
Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God], the Mighty One of Israel, Whose goodness and mercy endures forever — He is worthy of all our efforts and adjustments, whether big or small, to have a heart that is devoted to Him and to obeying His written Word!
Let us cry out daily, asking God for a heart that loves to yield to, and obey, His instructions and commands!
Let us heed the prophets’ warnings, remove the abominations, and seek to mature in the knowledge of God!
Remember — Father is good! to those whose heart is prepared to seek God!
- Learning to Hear Father’s Voice: Removing the Obstacles
- Only The Wise Shall Understand
- Lead Me In Your Truth: Part 1 – The Basics
- Quietness: Cultivating the Hidden Person of the Heart