A Daily Word from the Word for Tuesday, July 22, 2014
“Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your hearts.” – Jeremiah 4:4b
Last week, my wife was instructed by the Lord to press in to the Book of Jeremiah. I decided to join her on this Spirit-led and Spirit-filled journey; therefore, you will join us as well, over the next few days (or weeks) as I am led by our Father.
If you have not read yesterday’s Daily Word, I encourage you to start there, as this was the first bread of revelation in our study together brought forth through the powerful prophet Jeremiah.
As mentioned yesterday, there are times in the Bible where God tells us to circumcise our own hearts (flesh) like in our study verse; and other instances in which the Great Physician needs to perform this spiritual surgery for us and on us (Genesis 17:11, Deuteronomy 10:16, Deuteronomy 30:6, Joshua 5:2). The Hebrew word for circumcise in all of the Old Testament Verses, with the exception of Genesis 17:11, is muwl (pr. mool), which is “to cut short, curtail, destroy.”
The Lord commands us here to circumcise ourselves. While there is an initial, necessary, and critical circumcision which only God can do upon every person receiving Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior (and then again as He needs to throughout our lives), it is our responsibility to circumcise ourselves as part of our Christian walk.
The Apostle Paul testifies of this truth as he instructs us to work out our salvation (Philippians 2:12). This “working out” is not to earn our way into salvation, which we could never do; but rather a constant examination of our walk, which needs to be in line with the Word of God. We are to “Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove your own selves” (2 Corinthians 13:5). As our hearts are deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9), we must examine ourselves with God’s Word using the Light of God’s Holy Spirit.
Even as we are to circumcise ourselves, we need to do so under the supervision and direction of the Spirit of the Living God. Saint John, the great revelator, discloses “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak” (John 16:13a).
Further confirmation of this truth comes from the original meaning of the word “ourselves” as used in this verse. This term comes from the Hebrew yad (pr. yawd), and means “a hand (the open one)” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). This is very significant, because there are various positions and conditions of hands in the Bible. Ezekiel 21:24, Isaiah 38:6, and Psalm 119:109 all reference a closed hand (kaph, pr. kaf). And yet, there are even more derivations of the hand, where some are positioned up or down, and right or left.
A hand represents each individual’s unique self. Just as no two sets of hands are alike, God did not create any copies—we are all originals. And we are all individually responsible for being open to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit, and for working out our own salvation.
In order for our circumcision to be meaningful, transformational, and lasting, we must be open to the leading and correction of the Lord God Almighty. Just as a closed hand does not allow anything to enter or leave, a closed spirit will not allow God to help us release the bad and bring forth His necessary good into us.
The “foreskin” (orlah, pr. or-law), means “uncircumcised.” Webster’s Dictionary defines “foreskin” as “spiritually impure.” The heart, which is the lebab (pr. lay-bawb), is the “feelings, will, intellect (mind) understanding, unawares.” It is these spiritual impurities which reside in the areas of our soul that we must put under the knife and circumcise—cutting away those hindrances that we are both cognizant of and oblivious to. And in cutting away, we are taking away (suwr, pr. soor), which is to “turn off (literally or figuratively), call back, pluck away, remove.”
Let us pluck away and remove any thing that stands in the way of our most perfect and holy union with the One Who created us in His amazing Image. And let us start with an open hand.
Father, help us in this process as we prepare to circumcise ourselves unto You. Steady us and ready us, Oh God. By Your Holy Spirit, give us the courage and conviction that we need to reach into those hard places of our inner beings, and pluck out everything that is not like you. Shine the Spotlight of Your Holy Spirit into every crevice that we may see what lies beneath the surface of our selves. Like the psalmist King David, we cry out “create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). In Jesus Name, we thank You that we are made clean, new, and whole by His Blood. Amen and Amen.
Take action! Challenge your thinking! Choose to examine yourself every single day. Choose to circumcise yourself in the presence of the Lord: morning, noon, and night. Lay yourself bare on the altar of the Most Sacred Father, and allow the marvelous light of His Holy Spirit to redeem you. And continue to fight the good fight of taking away the foreskin of your heart; for God, your Balm of Gilead, has already given you the victory!
If you have never received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do it today, right now, by saying this prayer out loud: “Jesus, forgive me for my sins. I am sorry. I truly desire to be saved and reconciled back to God, my Father, through You. I receive Your sinless Blood as payment in full for my sins—past, present, and future. I now call You my Lord and Savior, and invite You to live within my heart, and to permanently live within me. I make You Lord over me and over my life from this moment on. Amen.” Congratulations! You are now a child of God, made whole and made new, by the Blood of Jesus Christ!
God tells us that we are blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:2). Be a blessing to someone by sending them this word of encouragement. If God did not already put someone in your spirit and on your heart that needs to read this uplifting message from above, simply ask your Heavenly Father who to bless on today. Forward this message right now by email, facebook, or twitter.
Jesus is coming soon!
May God Bless you and keep you always.
With warmest regards,
And, in service of The Most High King,
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All references to Hebrew and Greek words and meanings, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance © 1990 by Thomas Nelson Publishing. All dictionary references are taken from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary © 2014, unless otherwise noted.