“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.”
There was a great reason the LORD used Ezra, and that reason is found in the verse above. It says about Ezra, “For Ezra had prepared his heart…” Ezra wasn’t just physically prepared, though being prepared was a great part of his success, but he also prepared his heart which enabled him to do the things God wanted him to do with the right attitude.
Many believers make the mistake of not being prepared as they serve the LORD. Preparation is the key to making everything work properly in the execution of duties. Those who fly by the seat of their pants often find themselves crashing when the unexpected hits them. Preparation takes the stress away from the job at hand. Preparation makes the average person look like a genius. Preparation is the key to being able to accomplish more than what one thought they could do.
However, though many people prepare the physical, they often never prepare their heart. Ezra wasn’t just prepared with plans and materials to rebuild the temple, but he also prepared his heart which helped him to endure the attacks and setbacks that came his way. The person who prepares their heart to seek the LORD will find it a rare thing to be overwhelmed. The biggest reason many are overwhelmed by adversity is because they have never prepared their heart to serve the LORD. A prepared heart is just as important as being prepared with plans and materials. Let me give you a few thoughts about a prepared heart.
First, prepare your heart by walking with God. Ezra prepared his heart by seeking the LORD. Your heart will never be ready to face spiritual endeavors if you don’t walk with God in the Scriptures and in prayer. You will find your heart feeling overwhelmed when you try to do the spiritual without being fed from God’s Word and empowered through prayer. My friend, the importance of having a daily walk with God can never be emphasized enough. If you want your heart to be prepared to face your daily life, you are going to have to walk with the God who knows what each day holds.
Second, prepare your heart by having a starting point. Ezra prepared his heart to do the LORD’s work. It is hard to have a prepared heart when you don’t have a set time to do the LORD’s work. Having a set time helps you to get your heart ready for the spiritual endeavor you are about to encounter. Just like an athlete gets themselves physically and emotionally ready for a set event, so the believer will be able to prepare themselves physically and emotionally to do the LORD’s work if they have a starting point.
Third, prepare your heart to invest in others. Ezra planned on teaching others the statutes and judgments of the LORD. Giving yourself to teach others takes a daily exercise of study to give yourself to help others. The best way to prepare your heart to seek the LORD is to have a purpose for seeking Him, and that purpose should be to invest yourself in others. Nothing gets the heart more excited about serving the LORD than knowing that you are going to help others.
Finally, prepare your heart to face adversity. Adversity will come, and preparing to face it keeps you from being overwhelmed. Adversity will become an adventure if you prepare your heart before it comes.