We all desire to seek God. But to find Him, there are certain steps we can take that are very helpful in our search. 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.
I have written previously about ‘preparing our heart,’ since this is what Thirsty Souls seek to do over and over. We seek to prepare our heart each day, in order to walk in honesty before God, to know the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and to do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
Because of the great importance of this subject, I again want to present this principle of ‘preparing 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 to prepare ourselves, is telling us to make our heart receptive and willing to love and obey Yahuwah Elohim [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 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 being willing to make adjustments to our schedule, so that we can have the necessary time to fulfill our goal.
But is there a clue to help us “prepare our heart” in practical terms?
Yahushua Messiah [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).
This verse tells us our daily priority: to seek Yahuwah, and the ruling and reigning of His righteousness in our daily walk. To do this, we simply begin to learn and obey His Word.
Notice in the above verse, that this is to be our highest priority — to seek first our King Yahuwah, and His righteousness, in all that we do — in our thoughts, our words, and our actions. We do this daily by prayer, by reading and study of the Word of Yahuwah [the Bible], and by committing ourselves to obey what Father’s 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 only. This means that we will make it a regular practice to personally ask Father to give us the following:
- 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 need to keep and guard our heart with all diligence, which is part of our necessary preparation for seeking God.
Having a Tender Heart
One important element necessary for preparing our heart is acquiring a heart that is tender, a heart that is no longer hardened. We ask Father to give us a tender heart so that we have a heart that is soft and quick to be submissive to the Word of Yahuwah. King Josiah is an example of one whose heart was tender:
“Because your heart was tender, and you have humbled yourself before Yahuwah [the LORD], when you heard what I [Yahuwah] spoke…” (2Kings 22:18,19).
Having a Clean Heart
Another quality of the prepared heart is having 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 3:25).
In our daily walk however, we all commit sins knowingly or unknowingly. We continue to need the daily cleansing of sin, the forgiveness of our sins by Messiah’s blood. Thus we must regularly confess [acknowledge] our sins to Father, turning away from our sins, and thanking Him for His cleansing and forgiveness (1John 1:7-9).
As we continue to ask Father for this treasure of a clean heart, He then imparts unto us a sensitivity to the guidance of His Holy Spirit, leading us to make any needed repentance and adjustments to our behaviour.
Notice that there is a reward for having a clean heart:
“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 would become full participants in His New Covenant by writing His instructions on our heart:
“Behold, the days come, saith Yahuwah [the LORD], that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: . . . . But this shall be the covenant that I 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. This is why the Holy Spirit works within us, to give us a delight to obey all of God’s Word, including His Torah.
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 need also to guard our heart against erroneous teachings that would prevent the fullness of Torah from being written on our heart.
Notice what 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 tells us that he himself delighted in the Torah. And then Paul repeatedly exhorts us to be an imitator of him, because He imitates Messiah. If we desire 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… his delight is in the Torah [law] of Yahuwah [the LORD]; and in His Torah [law] doth he meditate day and night… and whatsoever he doeth 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 what it says, then little by little, we nurture a willing and obedient heart, which is a precious treasure (Luke 6:45).
Having a prepared heart is to seek Father for a willing and obedient heart. And let us not forget — a willing and obedient heart has its rewards and blessings as well (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 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 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 (1Peter 5:5).
When we are praying regularly for a heart that is tender and clean, willing and obedient to Yahuwah’s Word, then we will find that, more and more, our heart will be quick to repent and make changes, quick to be sorrowful for our sin, and quick to humble ourselves by yielding to Father’s guidance.
We will also find it helpful to spend some time in fasting in order to encourage our heart to be prepared.
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 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 saith 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 as to how we can begin to un-learn the ways of the heathen.
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 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 to do: ” … 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 (1Thessalonians 5:23).
The Scriptures teach us that putting away ‘the strange gods [idols] from among us’ is a major step in preparing our hearts! This major step will help lead us to ” … be found in Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ] in peace, without spot, and blameless” (2Peter 3:14).
A good place to start with this preparation is to ask ourselves, “Have I put away the ‘strange gods’ from my life?” For example, “Am I obeying the Second Commandment?”
Thou shalt not make thee 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: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I Yahuwah [the LORD] thy 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)
Many of us need to make sure that we have no graven images or idols — no strange gods, no abominations in our lives (Luke 16:15; Revelation 21:27). This is a vital, absolutely necessary step for preparing our hearts, if we are to be found 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 the many curses associated with forbidden objects! The Second Commandment is one commandment the Enemy of our souls works incessantly to twist and hide its TRUE meaning. In this way 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 God’s people, then our lack of knowledge of God’s Word is a major key to Satan’s plan! As the prophet Hosea warns us: “My people [not the heathen, but Yah’s people] are destroyed for lack of knowledge [the knowledge of what the WORD of Yahuwah actually says]” (Hosea 4:6).
As Believers, we must begin to clean up our lives, and heed Father’s Word (Deuteronomy 5:7-10) with a serious attitude! We need to address the important subject of idolatry, because “idolaters … shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (1Corinthians 6:9).
Today multitudes of Believing ones are ignorant of the commandments in Scripture, and the consequences of disobedience. Their Pastors and Leaders have simply not told them anything about this Truth of the Second Commandment, because it would not “fit into” the theology they learned from their Theological Seminaries and Bible Schools.
For such an important subject as the Second Commandment and the removal of abominations from our life, we need more understanding and knowledge! It is not a subject to be ignored. It is a vital step for the preparation of our heart, so that we can begin walking in 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 for the ‘preparing of our hearts’ (1Samuel 7:3-4; see also Ezekiel 16, 20, and 23).
For gaining a better understanding of this important subject of removing idolatry from our lives, I strongly recommend 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.
Walking With Messiah
Thirsty Souls are those who diligently seek Yahuwah, seeking to walk with Him.
To walk with Him requires that we walk in the same paths He walks in, in paths of Righteousness (Psalms 23:3; Proverbs 8:20).
To walk with Him requires that we walk in the same manner as He walked, while He was on the earth (1John 1:6-7; 1John 2:6).
To walk with Him requires that we learn to be ‘yoked’ with Him, walking in obedience to His instructions — the guidelines revealed in His WORD (Matthew 11:29-30).
But if we refuse to walk with Him, choosing instead to walk in paths that are different from His paths, then we are not yet ‘yoked’ to Him (Proverbs 2:12-13).
Serving Yahuwah Acceptably
Thirsty Souls earnestly desire to maintain the on-going, regular practice of preparing our hearts!
By preparing our hearts, we are more ready to receive His 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 us, in order for us to serve Yahuwah acceptably, we first need the means whereby we can serve Him. Yahuwah enables us to serve Him, by giving us His grace!
But Yahuwah gives His grace [His enablement] only to the humble (1Peter 5:5)! A humble heart therefore prepares to receive His grace, just as soil is plowed and softened to receive the Seed planted by the Gardener.
And then, in order to serve Messiah we need to begin to follow Him, as we see in the Gospel of John:
“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).
But what does it mean to follow Messiah?
- The apostle Peter tells us we are to follow Messiah’s example, by following in His footsteps (1Peter 2:21);
- The apostle John tells us we are to walk as He [Messiah] walked (1John 2:6);
- The apostle Paul tells us we are to be followers [imitators] of him [Paul], as he [Paul] is an [imitator] of Messiah (1Corinthians 11:1).
So if we desire to serve Yahuwah acceptably, we must learn to become followers of Messiah, walking as He walked.
He Is Worthy!
Yahuwah, the Mighty One of Israel, the Lover of our souls, 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 His Word!
Let us therefore cry out to Father daily, to give us a heart that loves to yield to, and obey, His instructions and commands!
Let us heed the prophets’ warnings, by removing the abominations of the heathen, as we seek to mature and grow in the knowledge of God!
Truly Father is good to those who have a heart that is prepared to seek God!
Thank You Abba Father, for Your loving instructions and guidelines. Help me Father, to seek You always for a tender and clean heart, a willing and obedient heart. Help me to always have a heart that is prepared to love You, follow You, and serve You. In Yahushua Messiah’s name I pray. Amen.