The Heart – Preparation

The Heart – Preparation

The Heart: Preparation

Scripture Text – 2 Chronicles 30:1 – 20

When I was growing up I heard this phrase quite often, "Boy, you need
to get right with God." This was during the time of the "Neighborhood
beatings." Yes, any mama in the neighborhood could "whup" your
backside if you were messing up. This was a good thing because everyone had
more than one mom. Everywhere we went, somebody had an eye on us. Not only
this, but while we were raisin’ cain, the neighborhood watch program would call
our mothers at home. Yes Lord, back in those days, mothers did more policing
than the police did. And out of this wonderful local chapter, a few folks were
led out of the neighborhood clubs/hangouts and into the church – Praise God for
Policing Mothers!! But here’s the major question: How did these people, the
ones that needed to get right, actually get right with God?

In our text, Hezekiah, king of Judah, is in the process of undoing the mess
his father had made. His father, Ahaz, had turned his back on God by not doing
what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He had even desecrated the temple with
idols and ungodly sacrifices. Therefore, Hezekiah had the mission of purifying the
temple; he had to reconsecrate it (2 Chronicles 29). After the temple was
ready, Hezekiah sent word by courier to all of Israel, Judah, Ephriam &
Manesseh inviting them to the temple to celebrate the Passover.

The 10th verse tells us that the couriers went from town to town in Ephriam
and Manasseh and as far as Zebulun. However, they were scorned and ridiculed;
nevertheless, some men from those regions HUMBLED [Keep this word in mind]
themselves and went to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration (11th). Now
something big is about to happen because the 12th verse tells us, "the
hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the
king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the Lord" (NIV).

Once God gets ready to do a new thing, a big thing, a great thing, He
unifies people. He’s a big God and if anybody can deliver in masses He can.
Sure we know that He can deliver on the individual level, but Glory to God when
we all are being brought out at the same time!!! Don’t you want to be there
when He brings your best friends out, your sister out, your brother out, your
cousin out, and Mama Dem’ out too!!!! You’d better say this with me: "God,
I’m gonna be catching the FIRST BOAT to prosperity, the FIRST TRAIN to healing,
the FIRST PLANE to glory!!! Let Uncle Rufus dem’ catch the next one, but I’m
gonna get my ticket right now!!!"

So how do you get your ticket, your reservation, your confirmation? Well,
the first step is in the 13th verse: "A very large crowd of people
assembled in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second
month." What did they do? THEY WENT!!!!! That’s the first step— GO!!!
GO!!! GO!!! Stop waiting for an angel to come down on your door step — GO!!!
Stop thinking some world renowned minister is going to drive up to your house
with a million dollars and a bible and say, "This is all for you if you
would just accept Jesus." — GO!!! Stop saying, "But I’m not
ready….. I need to get right." — GO!!!! You can’t get right to meet
God; you just have to go and get your ticket so you can meet the Father. Jesus
has and is your ticket; you just have to Go!!! Now even after this, if you
don’t feel you are ready but you have an urge to go, we will show you what the
Lord will do with people who feel this way.

After the people gathered, the Passover lamb was slaughtered and the priests
and Levites consecrated themselves. But most of the people at the Passover had
not purified themselves; the 18th verse confirms this: "Although most of
the many people who came from Ephriam, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not
purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was
written." So now there is a problem or we should say a burden and a yoke.
We see God’s people wanting to worship Him, but according to what is written
they aren’t supposed to be able to. I know you can sense the power of God
getting ready to move. I know you know God is getting ready to move because his
people have moved toward Him and He’s not going to let them be denied.

In the midst of all of this, one man, Hezekiah, prayed for these people who
were "ceremonially (traditionally, religiously) unclean." He prayed
saying, "The good LORD pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek
God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the
purification of the sanctuary." Yes, God is getting ready to show up and
show out. According to the rules, according to the customs, according to
tradition, according to the law, according to religion, these people were not
clean, but they sought God in their hearts and the man of God prayed for them,
so something had to happen and something did.

The Lord heard Hezekiah’s prayer and healed (cleansed) the people (20th).
The people "got right" to meet God by seeking Him with their hearts
and not trying to prepare themselves to meet God. I used to fool myself or
really let the devil fool me into believing, "I’m just getting myself
right before I get saved. Yep, I’m going to practice being a better
person." All the while, the only thing I was practicing was SIN!!!! That’s
all you’re practicing without Jesus—–Sin. And a person practices for only
one reason — to get better. Musicians practice scales, baseball players
practice hitting, and sinners practice sin. Either you are to make a quality
decision and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior or you’re going to keep
practicing sin until you get so good at it that you reach the point where your
conscience will have little to no effect on your rationale. Here’s an example
— Lord help we with this one…

Years ago, I told a lie — one of those old Army stories. Well, every time I
told that lie something would happen — it would get more and more convincing.
It even got to the point where I began to believe it. After a while, I had
almost forgotten that it was a lie. This is almost the point of no return
because once you begin to believe your own lie, the ball game is pretty much
over.

The reason I shared that is because I don’t want you to begin or to keep
lying to yourselves about this getting right with God. We need to be like the
people of the Passover because they went. Just because we have to look a
certain way to go to the mall or the movies — that rule doesn’t apply to
meeting God. All you need is a heart that seeks Him and you will find that
which you seek. Don’t worry if tradition or religion tries to tell you you’re
not ready, or you need to get ready. That is a lie straight from the depths of
Hell!!! All you need to do is Go!! Let the Lord of lords — Jesus Christ — clean
you up. Anything He’s done before, He can do again — just like the people in
Jerusalem at this feast and the victims of the our neighborhood watch program.
They all got right with God because they just went.

They didn’t say, "I’m gonna stop hanging out and then I’ll go."
No!!! First, they went, and then they stopped hanging out. Also, remember those
men mentioned in the 11th verse who humbled themselves by simply going? In the
midst of the persecution and ridicule suffered by the messengers, those men
said, "I need this more than trying to look like a big-man," and they
just went. Sure, they could have been braggarts and boastful, but they wouldn’t
have gotten what the Lord had for them in Jerusalem. So stop trying to prepare
yourself to meet God and just go to Jesus — the Preparer. In John 14:6 He
tells us, "I am THE WAY and the truth and the life. No man comes to the
Father except through me." Jesus is THE WAY and the ONLY WAY. If you don’t
know Him, seek Him in your heart and just GO! Get what’s yours in the New
Jerusalem!!!