Prepare—"to establish, to arrange”;
Seek—"to resort to; follow; to be required of”
Rehoboam did not prepare his heart; he did not "establish" his will, nor did he "purpose to resort" to God.
Making godly choices requires a predetermined mindset that is focused on looking to the Lord and trusting Him for direction and strength. We have to point our minds toward pleasing God. We may not perfectly execute the plan, but we will have some progress if our minds are “set like a flint” (Isaiah 50).
We definitely won’t, however, have follow-through on something we never resolve to do because human nature always gravitates toward making the wrong choice.
A wicked, god-displeasing end may not begin as a sinful choice, but it will evolve from the failure to plan. Without a plan, human nature will take the path of least resistance. This will eventually lead to sin because flesh likes comfort, and comfort leads to indulgence, and indulgence leads to unrestraint, which leads to sin. While every choice along the way may not be an evil one, the trajectory is set when we are placid and fail to prepare our hearts to seek the Lord.
Thoughts do not, by human nature, aim for pleasing God and doing things His way. Isaiah 55 says our thoughts are not the same as God’s thoughts. They have a mind of their own and are counterproductive to God’s purpose. 2 Corinthians declares that we have to take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. Just as Christ subjected His will to the will of the Father, so we must pull our thoughts into submission to the higher plan and purpose of God. Of their own accord, our thoughts flee godliness.
Since our will is contrary to God’s will, we won’t absentmindedly follow Him down the path of righteousness. Instead, governed by our own dictates, we will be in opposition to God’s ideas for us. Even though God holds out blessing to us, we won’t like the requirements to obtain that blessing. Instead, we’ll think we can navigate a different course and reach the blessing an easier way. An opposite direction, however, does not lead to the same end. And it doesn’t route through choices of disciplines and service and sacrifice--the things God deems good and worthy of blessing.
Without a God-intent there is no force or motivation to propel us toward right. Evil presides. Our choices are wicked, and we imagine evil.
Lest we disregard the imperative nature of preparing our hearts to seek God, let’s let Scripture clarify the symptoms of such a heart. Psalm 10:3 says this heart boasts about its desires, blesses covetousness, is proud, doesn’t have God thoughts, has grievous ways, is puffed up at its enemy, thinks it’s avoiding adversity, curses and divides with the tongue, uses vain and mischievous words, lurks about, secretly murders the innocent, is set against the poor, lies in wait, draws the helpless into his net, assumes God doesn’t see wrongs, condemns God, and thinks there is no requirement of him from God. Ps. 36 says this non-seeker flatters himself in his own eyes and stops doing wise and good…but doesn’t hate evil. Matthew 13, the parable of the sower, says the devil catches what’s sown… because there is a lack of understanding that only comes from seeking. An unprepared heart sabotages its own strength, blessing, and calling while a prepared heart is able to nurture the seeds of God’s Word that are planted within it. This nurtured seed brings forth good fruit.
To have a prepared heart, we need a made up mind. Unlike Rehoboam, we can determine that we ARE going to follow God, that we ARE going to seek Him, and we ARE going to walk the path of righteousness. In return, God says we ARE going to enjoy His presence, we ARE going to abound in His hope, and we ARE going to receive His blessings.
Tip/Tidbit: What thoughts need to change so that God can do in you and for you all the good things He wants to do? What determinations do you need to make in order to draw closer to God?