Monday, April 30, 2012

The First Cut is the Deepest

The ancient covenant that God gave to Abraham and his progeny carried with it a sign that all male offspring wore with pride. Some covenants of antiquity required ritualistic cutting and so it was with the covenant the nation of Israel had with their God. Circumcision was seen as a physical sign of a spiritual covenant between God and the nation of Israel. This event was pregnant in meaning, an outward sign signifying God’s promise to His people as well as their commitment to His commands.

Apparently, after the Israelites left Egypt and wandered in the wilderness for 40 years the nation had become lax with their religious duties. They had neglected circumcision for decades. This procedure was so significant that prior to the campaign to conquer the Promise Land the Lord commanded Joshua (the new leader of the Israelite nation) to circumcise all of the male Israelites (see Joshua 5:2-3).

When Jesus established the New Covenant in His blood He established a new sign for all believers (both male and female). Paul refers to it as the circumcision of our hearts (see Romans 2:28-29).
This spiritual circumcision is the act of God cutting away everything in our lives that doesn’t bring Him glory. You see God has to work in us before He can work through us.

To be honest, as a male, I’m not sure which circumcision is worse, which hurts more. I have a feeling that spiritual circumcision is much more painful if for no other reason that I seem to have lots of extra tissue that needs to be removed.

When I was a young child I had a problem with scaring.  My body produced extra scare tissue. The doctor called it “proud flesh.” I guess my spiritual problem is similar, an excessive amount of “proud flesh” that needs to be excised!

If we want to be used of God we need to be properly marked as His and we need to allow Him to remove everything and anything in our lives that detracts from His glory!

Coming to you from the spiritual operating room

Pastor Val