When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:6-7 ESV
What is going on in our families, our communities, our country, and the world is a HEART ISSUE. Jesus was always interested in the heart. The heart is the place of our fears, desires, our hatred, and our hope. We are called to be in this world, NOT ‘OF THIS WORLD’. We are strangers in a foreign land, and as such things get attached to us. If you had a boat in the water for an extended period of time you would need to pull the boat out of the water and ‘scrape the hull’. Critters, unwanted passengers attach themselves and then are transported out of the water onto the boat and then carried into other bodies of water. How can we interact with lost people without being influenced by the unbelief and hostility towards God so prevalent in our culture? In John 17:14 Jesus says, “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.” Again keeping with the analogy of a boat in the water. The boat is designed to float in the water – to be in the water, surrounded by it on all sides. But there should not be any water in the boat. Our goal as followers of Christ is to actively engage our culture with the Gospel without allowing the culture’s ungodly morals, values, attitudes, and behaviors to infiltrate our lives. Unfortunately, many sincere Christians struggle to get it right. For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, As were all our fathers; Our days on earth are as a shadow, And without hope. (1 Corinthians 29:15)
Leader, Circumcision is the REMOVAL of the foreskin from the tip of the penis. Yet, this cutting away of the foreskin of a male’s penis was symbolic of God’s covenant with Abraham when he had already been declared righteous by faith. This is an outward physical act, but God is more interested in the internal act of the heart, and CUTTING AWAY all that keeps it dark, hard and at-war with God. In the Bible, circumcision almost always refers to a physical act. And this is true of Paul’s writings as well. But in at least three passages he alludes to a circumcision of the heart, a spiritual circumcision. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:3) This circumcision, rather than cutting off a small part of the flesh, is a cutting off of the fleshly nature. It has a spiritual meaning. It signifies purification of the heart, inward circumcision affected by the Spirit ( Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6; Ezekiel 44:7; Acts 7:51) In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ. A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (Colossians 2:11, Romans 2:28) Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (Romans 1:24,25) God has turned some people over to a mindset that does not allow them to understand the times. He may have given some people you care about over to a reprobate mind Four of the most terrifying words in the Bible are “God gave them over.” The obsession with social justice has replaced the good news that the King is coming. It has also replaced the Great Commission and the gospel of salvation. Many would rather save the planet, march for Black Lives Matter, or protest against the leader protecting Christians and babies in America- than save souls or talk about the Lord’s return. We need to CUT THIS AWAY, and refocus on God’s purpose for us.
Conduit, gotquestions.org put it succinctly. God has always wanted more from His people than just external conformity to a set of rules. He has always wanted them to possess a heart to love, know, and follow Him. That is why God is not concerned with a circumcision of the flesh. Even in the Old Testament, God’s priority was a spiritual circumcision of the heart: “Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done” (Jeremiah 4:4). Both the NEW and OLD Testaments focus on the need for repentance and inward change in order to be right with God. In Jesus, the Law has been fulfilled (Matthew 5:17). Through Him, a person can be made right with God and receive eternal life (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9). As Paul said, true circumcision is a matter of the heart, performed by the Spirit of God. The opposite would be to have a VEIL over your heart. Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. (2 Corinthians 3:12-16) This is one of those times that subtraction beats addition. A ‘veil’ adds things, blocks things- but circumcision is the cutting away, the removal of something that is IN THE WAY. Jesus said, I AM THE WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE- nobody comes to God the Father except through the Son, Jesus. In order to get to JESUS we must remove the FLESH from our HEART. Our flesh is weak, but our SPIRIT IS WILLING! Today be willing to remove those things that KEEP US FROM JESUS. Lord please search our hearts and remove anything that is keeping us from loving you more, conforming to your will MORE and DESIRING YOUR WILL, MORE! Lord Jesus, please TAKE IT AWAY! Amen!