This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.Genesis 17:10
What a strange thing this is, literally carving in the flesh the sign of God's lordship! This is the great sign of the Jews, intended by God to be the mark of His possession, that they were God's instrument to use as a blessing among the nations. It was placed upon this particular part of the body to indicate that they were to be physically separate from the other nations. The very organ by which that separation could be violated bore upon it the mark of God's ownership. As we read the course of Jewish history, we see how this mark, intended to be the sign of humility and instrumentality, became perverted into a mark of superiority and favoritism. Those who bore it began to look on others as
Gentile dogs and to be self-righteous and proud over their supposed favored position before God. Thus the spirit of anti-Semitism that troubles the world so today was born of the spirit of anti-Gentilism that preceded it. This does not justify either, of course.
Now let us remember that what was physical and literal to Abraham is intended to have spiritual significance to us. In the New Testament, we no longer read of circumcision of the flesh but of the heart. The heart is the symbol of the soul—the mind, emotions, and will, the whole personality. All believers in Christ are to bear on their hearts the sign of Christ's lordship. The total personality is to be at their disposal.
This is the meaning of heart circumcision: Believers' hearts are totally Christ's to use as He wills—all their emotions, mind, intellect, and will are dedicated and available, ready at the command of Jesus Christ to be used for His purposes. Paul says to the Philippians,
We are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3 KJV). We are to have no reliance upon ourselves but rely totally upon Him. Every thought, every imagination, is brought into captivity to Christ. That is the circumcised life.
Walk therefore before me, and be wholehearted, blameless. That will be a life of fruitfulness and blessing, a life that is well pleasing to God, for it all springs from the realization that the God who lives within is El Shaddai, the God who is sufficient.
Father, it is quite possible for me to give the impression that I am totally Yours, yet to be quite false to that ideal. Help me to discover the glory of the circumcised life.
As Christ's ones we are meant to authentically bear the sign of His lordship in our total personality. Are we thinking and responding as though Jesus is alive in us?