Prepare to Seek the Lord
Read Time: 6 minutes
Building anything takes preparation. If you are going to build a house, even before you lay the foundation you must prepare the land. If you are going to plant a garden you must first prepare the soil. You must clear out unwanted plants, add soil amendments, till it in and level it out (or tier it if on a slope). You cannot just stick some plants out there a expect great results without preparation.
It is the same with God's Word. We must prepare our hearts to seek the Lord. You cannot just through some Bible verses in there and expect results. You have to clean out the unwanted items, add heart amendment (the preached Word) mix it in letting the Word fill in all the gaps in the unfertile areas of your heart, and level it out, make it right for receiving the Word of God. THEN you will see growth, strength and harvest. There are no short cuts. Some may see results quicker than others but the same preparation must occur.
:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?
and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
and how shall they hear without a preacher?
:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent?
as it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace,
and bring glad tidings of good things!
:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel.
For Esaias saith,
Lord, who hath believed our report?
:17 So then faith cometh by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God
First we hear the Word of God--we need to know what is available. Then we believe what we have heard then we are at the place where we can call upon the Lord. What is it to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved? Let us back up in Romans:
:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart
that God hath raised him from the dead,
thou shalt be saved.
:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
:11 For the scripture saith,
Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. [disappointed in their expectations]
Jehoshaphat prepared his heart to seek the Lord. Even when he made a mistake it carried him through. After he was nearly killed helping Ahab the King of Israel (an unbeliever) he returns home to Judah.
II Chronicles 19
:1 And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah
returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem.
:2 And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him,
and said to king Jehoshaphat,
Shouldest thou help the ungodly,
and love them that hate the LORD? [backwards spiritually]
therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.
:3 Nevertheless there are good things found in thee,
in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land,
and hast prepared thine heart to seek God.
God stayed the hand of the adversary from Jehoshaphat because he prepared his heart to seek Him. Because Jehoshaphat had disobeyed God and made an alliance with Ahab an unbeliever he should have received the consequences. He made a mistake, repented, and God forgave him and protected him. Jehoshaphat's response was to set judges and priests up in Judah to continue to administer the Word of God.
:4 And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem:
and he went out again through the people from Beersheba to mount Ephraim,
and brought them back unto the LORD God of their fathers.
[when the king strayed from the Word the people strayed from the Word]
:5 And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city,
:6 And said to the judges,
Take heed what ye do:
for ye judge not for man,
but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.
:7 Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you;
take heed and do it:
for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God,
nor respect of persons,
nor taking of gifts.
:8 Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites,
and of the priests,
and of the chief of the fathers of Israel,
for the judgment of the LORD,
and for controversies, when they returned to Jerusalem.
:9 And he charged them, saying,
Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD,
and with a perfect heart.
:10 And what cause soever shall come to you of your brethren
that dwell in their cities,
between blood and blood,
between law and commandment,
statutes and judgments,
ye shall even warn them that they trespass not against the LORD,
and so wrath come upon you,
and upon your brethren:
this do, and ye shall not trespass.
:11 And, behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the LORD;
and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael,
the ruler of the house of Judah,
for all the king?s matters:
also the Levites shall be officers before you.
Deal courageously, and the LORD shall be with the good.
Prepare yourself to receive God's Word. Always keep the Word as your standard. It is what you use to determine your actions and eventually reactions. By reading and studying the Word daily you will see yourself become Word centered instead of circumstance controlled. Seek and you shall find--God will make sure of that. (Matthew 7:7). Study and you will not be disappointed in your expectations (II Timothy 2:15 Because Jehoshaphat prepared the people by teaching them the Word and judging thereby God takes care of Judah. Next week we will see Jehoshaphat's and the people's reaction to a very threatening situation.