When God entered into covenant with His people Israel, circumcision, the removal of the male foreskin, represented what was fleshly being cut away. The Hebrew word for covenant, in fact, means “to cut.” The physical act of circumcision was to be symbolic of a greater reality for God’s people–that which was ungodly and driven by lust had been removed by the hand of Jehovah.
When foretelling Israel’s entry into the Promised Land, Moses said, “The Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love The Lord with all your heart and all your soul, that you may live” (Deuteronomy 30:6).
Under Joshua’s leadership, physical circumcision had to take place before God’s people could take possession of the Promised Land. The generation before them had been set free from slavery in Egypt (symbolic of salvation), but had died in the wilderness because they did not believe God would deliver the giants, currently occupying the Promised Land, into their hands. Likewise, we as believers can not enter into our Promised Land and overcome the giants we face while we’re still fleshly. This is why so many Christians die in the wilderness, never having walked in the fullness of God’s promises.
Paul says, “In [Christ] you have been made complete …. and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ” (Colossians 2:10-11).
So often, we attempt to live the Christian life on our own best efforts, rather than asking God to help us in everything. While teaching and disciplines are important, nothing can compare with a personal revelation of Jesus Christ Himself. Many youth especially are struggling to live what they believe, but haven’t been taught that they can rely on the Spirit, rather than self. Whether a teenager or a retiree, male or female, God can circumcise us and cut away our fleshly desires.
Have you asked God to circumcise your heart? What attributes of the flesh is He removing from your life?