and verse 16 the topic of our heart check today.....
Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart,
and be stiff-necked no longer
and on to the end of Deuteronomy in Chapter 30, verse 6:
And the LORD your God will
circumcise your heart
and the heart of your descendants,
to love the LORD your God
with all your heart
and with all your soul,
that you may live.
Let's stop right here.
Circumcism? Isn't that only supposed to be for the men, in their "privates" to make the sign of Abraham's covenant with God to be his people?
Can you imagine how Abraham and those men in his household,
GROWN men I might add,
first responded when they learned that this was part of being God's people?
(Check out Genesis 17 for the origins of this)
But they obeyed.
Through Moses, God reveals what He desires most though, not the OUTWARD sign of male circumcism that all Jewish and most of the Christian faith practice yet today;
but the INWARD work of letting that "double edged sword" (Hebrews 4:12) of God's Word do a inner circumcism of our hearts.
God wants to cut away
and every thing that is NOT OF HIM!
OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!
But this cutting or, if you must, CIRCUMCISM, we can be emptied of the junk of the flesh
- so there is more room for those things that are of GOD.
I could go on......
Let me just say that the Paul's whole letter to the Galations deals with this topic per say. The first circumcism is on of the flesh, an outward sign that God's people indeed belonged to God. A sign for others to see... if you will.
This second circumcism, the one that requires a heart check, is the circumcism that GOD will be looking for in you. It is an INWARD SIGN and a spiritual circumcism. I could go to Jesus talking about the pruning of the vine in John 15 or Paul's defining the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit in Galations 5: 22-23.
But here it is - GOD DOES NOT LOOK SO MUCH AT THE OUTSIDE, but the INSIDE.
He has a plan for your heart, for the heart of _________ , who you are praying for.
ARE YOU WILLING TO LET HIM have his way.....
Going back to the verse of yesterday
from 1 John 4:11
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
and from Gospel of John 13:35
By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love toward one another.
Nope, it's not easy and it's not natural
AND IT HURTS!
If you go back and review the scriptures from Deuteronomy you will see that this circumcism of our hearts is first FOR OUR GOOD, and secondly so THAT WE MAY LIVE!
Much like a doctor telling us that due to a blockage in our physcial heart, he has to do a bypass around that blocked artery.
WE MUST BYPASS OUR NATURAL FLESH to allow God to APPLY CHRIST so that we may live in a spiritual joy....hmmmmm
Will you allow this surgery?
We pray for each other that we allow God
with HIS SHARP INSTRUMENTS
make our hearts more like HIS.
It certainly beats the the alternative!
So today in our heart check - I am not going to provide a prayer, but suggest you just sit silently and ask GOD to work on that part of your heart that needs a little trimming today...
Keep praying for _____________ as well!
Have a great Friday - and remember as God trims up that heart of yours, it will be lighter and happier and work more like it was created to.... on that Hike O' Life!