In 2 Chronicles 30 we read about King Hezekiah, who having seen his own father live in rebellion against God, set his heart and intentions on following God.
There were many rules and regulations that had been set on how to "consecrate" yourself before you could present yourself to God. However, most of the people who came to the feast had not properly done so (see verses 17-19). In 2 Chronicles 30:18b-20 we read:
"But Hezekiah prayed for them saying, 'May the LORD, Who is good, pardon everyone who sets his heart on seeking God - the LORD, the God of his fathers - even if he is not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.' And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people."
These verses reminded me of how even today we, the Body of Christ, oftentimes get so caught up on rules & regulations, traditions & programs, that we overlook the heart of the matter. What is God's heart? His heart is for the heart of the people! We need to get back to the heart of the matter! We need to individually, privately set our heart and intentions on seeking God AND we need to follow Hezekiah's leading in gathering the whole assembly together to do the same. Verse after verse we read words such as "the whole assembly", "entire assembly" or "all who had assembled". So repentance isn't meant only for the individual!
These verses also reminded me of how it is impossible for anyone to "clean up their act" before they can go to God. The Ten Commandments were given for the very purpose of revealing to us the fact that we ALL fall short of the glory of God! (Romans 3:23) We can't fully consecrate ourselves so that we can present ourselves to God. It's impossible! So what do we do? We acknowledge that fact and we "call on the name of the Lord and be saved"! (Acts 2:21)
If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord", and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
God's heart is to have our hearts. He isn't concerned about us following rules or doing anything in our power. He only wants us to realize that without Him, we can do nothing. But with God, ALL things are possible!
Go and read 2 Chronicles 30. Mark every time you read "return to the LORD" or "return to Him". Also note every time it mentions the "whole assembly". Determine today to set your heart on seeking God. If you seek Him, He WILL be found! (see also Deuteronomy 4:29, 1 Chronicles 28:9 , Job 8:4-6, Psalm 14:2, Psalm 24:5-7 and Psalm 69:32 just to name a few!)