Studying God’s Word – Part V
2Tim. 2:15, James 1:25, Prov. 4:20
Preparing your heart to Seek God
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel. (Ezra 7:10, NKJV)
To study God’s Word is to seek the Word of God. Bible says Ezra prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD. There is the vital step to getting the most out of the Word of God. And to seek the Word of God productively, we must prepare our hearts. We all should learn from Ezra to prepare our hearts when we want to study God’s Word.
What does it mean to prepare our heart? And how do we do it? To prepare our heart is like preparing the soil for ploughing – we get rid of the bush, clear the grasses, wet the soil, or allow rain to fall on it for easy ploughing. You don’t just put your hoe to a bushy land and start to plough or cultivate; you first clear the land and prepare it for ploughing. A plough is a device, like a hoe, pulled through the ground in order to break it open into furrows for planting.
If you want to get the best out of your study time, you must learn to get rid of every bush, grasses, thorns, and wet the soil. Get rid of the cares of this world, anxieties, worries, desires for other things, deceitfulness of riches, worldly cares, and wet the ground with prayers, worship and sometimes fasting (Mark 4:19, Hosea 10:12). Hosea 10:12 says to break up our unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD…
I believe anytime Ezra would seek the law of the LORD, he would excuse himself from distractions, cares, worries, closed the door to all distractions – distractions within, without and around him. It is not a time to allow your problems or past to set in or weigh you down. It is not the time to think about your debts, difficulties, challenges or assignments undone. Let all business appointments wait, for it is time to seek the LORD.
Spend some time to pray, worship God, confess all known sins, and address all matters on your mind and conscience. If you are hungry, eat. It is a good practice to study before eating, but nothing stops you from studying your Bible after you have eaten. Fasting only aids our spirit-man to being more alive and sensitive to God. These are some of the ways to prepare our hearts when we want to study the Word of God and get what is tangible from it. If we, like Ezra, will prepare our hearts to seek God’s Word, we will be able to find the treasure within the mine.