Rehoboam and Ezra were totally different in this respect: Regarding Rehoboam, the Scripture says, “And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord” (2 Chron. 12:14). Concering Ezra, the Scripture says, “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments” (Ezra. 7:10).
Rehoboam was the son of Solomon, the grandson of the psalmist David. His background was steeped in royalty. He had every advantage when it came to learning and knowledge. His father was blessed with wisdom. A wealthy and powerful lineage prepared him for the world, but, “He prepared not his heart to seek the Lord.”
One’s ascent up the scale of Christ is not attained by heredity or opportunity. Just because your father was a gospel preacher and your grandfather was an elder of the church doesn’t mean you were born to seek God. Your relationship with Christ is an individual matter. No one can obey the gospel for you. No one can be faithful for you. No one can prepare your heart. Those duties are exclusively yours and yours alone. Your parents can drag you to church services every time the door is open but it won’t make you a Christian. It is like the old saying, “Sitting in a church pew doesn’t make you a Christian any more than sitting in a chicken house makes you a chicken”. As Jesus declared, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Lk. 9:23).
Preparation of the heart is a daily duty. It cannot be ignored from one day to the next. Satan attacks whenever the shield of faith is lowered. So, whoever you may be, do not neglect this day to equip your heart.
How To Prepare Your Heart
Ezra prepared his heart to “seek the law of the Lord.” One must develop a desire and a hunger and thirst for the word of the Lord. David possessed this gnawing hunger (Psa. 119). Neglect of daily, diligent study will leave one’s heart weak. It may not be able to withstand the strain of attack from every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14). “Therefore, to prepare your heart, set aside time each day for reading, study, and meditation (1 Tim 4:13 f; 2 Tim 2:15). “But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night” (Psa 1:2)
Neglect of prayer, daily, fervent prayer, is a certain sign of distraction (1 Thess 5:17). Challenge your own heart. Is your life empty of regular, sincere prayer? Don’t just pray in church or at home, but pray everywhere you go. “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (1 Tim 2:8). A prepared heart is a prayerful heart.
If you walk in the counsel of the ungodly, stand in the way of sinners, and sit in the seat of the scornful, do not be surprised when you do evil. “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits” (1 Cor 15:33). Lot’s righteous soul was tormented by the evil deeds that were done in Sodom (2 Pet 2:8). To avert evil, you must avoid it. Practice purity. Sometimes all it takes is the switch of the channel or a turning of the head. Learn to avoid situations where temptations may be overwhelming (1 Cor 6:18).
When you hear and see good words and deeds, imitate them (1 Cor 4:18 cf; 11:1 ff; Philip 3:17; 2 Thess 3:9). “That you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb 6:12). If you become strong in the faith, teaching sound doctrine, you can become the example worthy to be followed. “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Tim 4:16)