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Set Your Heart

by Joanna Pierce on June 21, 2017

I love reading the Bible. I can’t say I have a favorite book, a favorite part, or even just one favorite Scripture. I recently took a survey for our ladies department and when I tried to think about just one Scripture that could possibly be my favorite, I couldn’t!

I know there are those of you smirking and wondering if I could really love the “begots” in the Bible. If I need an encouraging Word, the begots are probably not the Scriptures I would race to find (however, you’d be surprised how God has spoken to me through these before). But, when I’m studying, the begots fascinate me. There’s something about the history of God’s chosen people, the prophets of old, and the lives of select individuals that’s incredibly intriguing.

Of the many times I’ve read the Bible through, meandering through Scriptures as the Lord leads me, I’ve come across this verse in Ezra many times:

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, KJV).

I don’t think this Scripture needs a lot of explanation, but I like the different translations of this verse. Ezra:

  • Devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD… (NIV)
  • Determined to study and obey the Law of the LORD… (NLT)
  • Set his heart to study the Law of the LORD… (ESV)
  • Set his heart (resolved) to study and interpret the Law of the LORD… (AMP)

Ezra made up in his mind to seek, to understand, to study, to interpret, to practice, and to know God’s Word. He did this before He set out to study.

News flash—He didn’t have the New Testament to read, comprised of the Gospels, or the letters to the churches. This was the BC. What do you think he read? He read Scripture that, when I talk to most people, think of as the boring portions of the Bible…

I recently sat through a presentation at work where the speaker discussed how we all have the capacity to learn. And, scientists have proven when we tell ourselves (determine in our minds) that we can or want to learn, we activate the portions of our brain that will help us learn and retain new information. However, when we tell ourselves that we can’t or don’t want to learn, we shut off our brain, and are left with the small function of the brain stem—the truly “stupidest” portion of our brain.

When Ezra prepared his heart to seek God, this wasn’t the blood-pumping organ in his body. The heart, lebab in Hebrew, is actually the inner wo/man, or our mind, our will, and our emotions. And, where do you think that exists? Our brain.

When Ezra determined he wanted to learn God’s Word, he activated his mind to digest and know every portion of God’s Word. It didn’t matter to Him what He read. But, because He had a mindset to learn—he prepared himself to learn—all of what came before His eyes was desirous.

Today, if we prepare our own hearts before we sit down to read the Word, we would activate our mind (our inner being, our will, and our emotions) to take in and to ingest God’s Word. And, once it’s internalized, we’ll be able to practice it in our daily walk.

You might just find the begots as enjoyable as I do—but only if your mind’s been activated for it. There might just be a lesson in there you didn’t even realize before. So, set your heart to seek the law of the LORD.