How to Prepare Your Heart to Seek God

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Woman on balcony looking over a lake with hands folded in prayer

I have a reoccurring dream that leaves me so stressed out in my sleep that I wake up exhausted, as if I hadn’t slept at all.

In this dream, I get up to lead worship but I have no song list, we have had no rehearsal, no one knows what we’re doing, it is 2 minutes to the start of service and I’m frantically flipping through my song book trying to figure out what we’re going to sing.

Now, I’ve never done this in real life, thankfully.

If I err, I tend to err on the side of being overly prepared, not under prepared. I am a chronic overthinker, and when it comes to worship, I tend to complicate things more than be easy going.

But in reading 2 Chronicles 11-15 this week, I have to ask myself, “Do I prepare myself to seek God as much as I prepare myself for leading worship?”

We are now in our 3rd week of our Good Morning Girl’s Bible study through the book of 2nd Chronicles and it is proving already to be heavily convicting.

This week is no exception.

Solomon has passed away, the kingdom is now divided in two: Judah and Israel, and they are not friendly with one another.

The bigger problem, however, is their inability to remain faithful to God alone.

What we will see throughout the remainder of this book is a succession of kings who either start out faithful to God and passionate about his presence, but later turn from him, or kings who were vile from start to finish.

Most of the kings refused to eradicate idolatry from the land.

Most of the kings that began their reign faithful to God would destroy some of the altars to idols, but would leave others, and this would be their downfall and the downfall of the nation.

Last week, we learned that even a little unchecked sin can completely defile our life and turn us away from God.

Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, starts out as the king of all of Israel, but immediately a revolt takes place and the kingdom is divided.

Jeroboam ends up with 10 of the 12 tribes that make up Israel while Rehoboam has the smaller kingdom of Judah, made of the remaining 2 tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

Israel rebels against God to such a degree that the Levites leave Israel and return to Jerusalem – located in Judah – and help to strengthen the kingdom spiritually.

But it wouldn’t last.

Like his father, Rehoboam, after he became more established as king, he strayed from God’s law; so God allowed the king of Egypt to come against Jerusalem.

The people of Judah repented, and God didn’t allow Egypt to completely overcome Judah.

Now when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, “They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance. My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.

2 Chronicles 12:7

Instead, he made Judah servants of the king of Egypt “that they may distinguish My service from the service of the kingdoms of the nations.” (vs 8)

As it turns out, Egypt raided the temple and took the treasures from the temple of the Lord that Solomon had so lavishly built.

But that isn’t the greatest tragedy in this story.

We see the greatest tragedy in verse 14:

And he [Rehoboam] did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord.

2 Chronicles 12:14

This wise Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”

This absolutely applies to our walk with the Lord. When we fail to prepare our hearts to seek the Lord, we should not be surprised if we are distracted by the things of this world so that we are led astray by them.

Failure to prepare a strong foundation for a house will lead to an unstable and unsafe structure.

One storm could mean the difference between a house that’s standing an a house laying in ruins all over the ground.

Just the same, failure to prepare a strong spiritual foundation for our walk with the Lord is the difference between building a strong, stable spiritual life and a life that is shattered by wrong choices, idolatry, and a life of sin we never thought we’d engage in.

Over the years, I have watched many of my friends do things they always swore they’d never do, because they didn’t prepare their heart to seek God.

One little unchecked sin led to another, then another, and before they realized, they were deep in the very sins they claimed they’d never do.

It has been said: Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you can afford to pay.

When we fail to prepare our heart to seek the Lord, we lose the right to determine where our future will end up.

So, how do we prepare our heart to seek God?

When I think of preparing my heart to seek God, I think of Jesus’ parable of the sower. You can read this parable in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8

There were four types of soil: a hardened path, stony soil, soil full of weeds and thorns, and good soil.

If you’ve ever gardened before, you know that the success of your garden depends on how well you prepare the soil.

You need to break up hardened clumps, get rid of the rocks, weed regularly, and fertilize your soil.

You can’t just throw seed on top of the ground and hope for the best. But this is often how we approach our Christian life.

We often plan our vacations better than we plan our spiritual walk.

And yet, our eternal destination is infinitely more important than our 2-week vacation to Florida’s beaches.

1. Purpose to meet with God every day

If we don’t intentionally plan our daily devotions with God, they will more than likely be hit-and-miss most days.

A successful life of daily devotions requires a plan: setting a time and place, preparing that place, setting our alarm, and choosing ahead of time what we plan to read or study.

But, it goes deeper than that.

We must take that time to seek God for a genuine encounter and experience with Him; otherwise our devotions will be rote and religious.

Take time to memorize scripture and meditate on it, so that you are not just looking in the mirror and walking away forgetting what you saw. (James 1:23)

Instead, you are using God’s Word to build a solid, stable structure in your life.

2. Be careful what traffics in your heart

The seeds that fell along the wayside were seeds that fell on a well-trafficked path. People would walk up and down it and the soil was packed down hard.

There was no hope for that seek sinking down in the soil and taking root.

It just sat on top until a bird swooped down and ate it for lunch.

What’s trafficking in your heart? Social media? Podcasts? Movies and TV shows? Romance novels? Gossip and tea? Fashion magazines?

If we’re not careful, we will allow so much traffic in our heart that when we do sit down to read God’s Word, it can’t sink in and take root.

3. Build a godly worldview

The seed that fell in the stony soil sunk down in the dirt, but couldn’t take root because there were too many rocks clogging it up.

Jesus went on to explain to his disciples that the stones in the soil represented trials and tribulations that caused a person to stumble and fall away.

Most Christians in the church today have been raised with a secular worldview.

Even Christians that are 2nd and 3rd generation Christians; because a secular worldview has sadly shaped even our pulpits and sermons being preached on Sunday.

Many Christians – even pastors – take an imaginary black pen and cross out portions of Scripture that don’t agree with the worldview they have been raised with.

However, if we want to prepare our heart to seek God, we have to demand that our worldview submit to Christ and His Word, not the other way around.

4. Destroy your idols

The third seed that didn’t take was the seed that fell among the weeds and thorns.

Again the seed sunk in the soil, but there was no room for it to grow, because the soil hadn’t been cleared ahead of time.

Jesus went on to explain that the weeds and thorns are all of the demands of this world that distract us from what is eternally important.

Our careers, our kids’ sports practices and games, our social life, our “family time” that intrudes on Sundays, our overtime to pay for the expensive cars and houses and boats and luxury vacations.

We say we love God, but we easily shove our Christian disciplines to the side to take care of important demands that have no eternal value.

This is idolatry.

Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

Preparing our heart to seek God takes intention and purpose.

It doesn’t just happen.

It takes planning and dedication, but the rewards are great.

The seed that fell into the soft, plowed soil that had been cleared and weeded produced a crop 30, 60, and even 100 times more than had been planted!

Dear sister, don’t approach your Christian walk assuming things will just happen. Give it supreme priority, plan, prepare, and intentionally set your heart to seek Him.

Other Articles on 2nd Chronicles

If Your Worship Isn’t Costly, Is It Really Worship?

How Much Sin is too Much Sin?

How to Prepare Your Heart to Seek God

Compromise Will Cost You Everything

5 Ways to Respond to Spiritual Decline

Are You Ready to Live in Total Victory?

What Happens When We Push God Too Far?

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