“For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.” Rom. 2:28,29 (ESV)
I wrote Monday about how we lose our thirst for God by satisfying our needs apart from Him. In order for us to fully sense our need and dependence upon God, we must first abandon our illegitimate methods of meeting our God-placed needs.
God has a name for this process. He calls it circumcising our hearts.
The heart is not only the seat of understanding…it is also the seat of our desires.
Notice I used the word desires…not needs.
Desires are very different than needs. Needs are created in us by God and meant to lead us to Him. Desires are the means we fulfill those needs. Unfortunately, we have desires that lead us astray as we seek to satisfy our God-placed needs.
We develop desires to be loved in a certain way by certain people. We develop desires to earn our own worth apart from Christ through personal achievement. We develop desires to have an impact on the immediate world around us rather than an eternal impact.
God tells us that we must have those illegitimate desires cut away…we must undergo a circumcision of the heart. God begins talking about this in Deuteronomy 10:16, and it remains a theme throughout the rest of Scripture.
Paul tells us that circumcision of the heart is done by the Spirit…but only with our cooperation. The Holy Spirit is the ultimate gentleman. He will not do anything without our consent and cooperation.
If we want to progress toward shalom…toward the abundant life, we need to cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He undertakes the circumcision of our hearts.
As we encounter our illegitimate methods for meeting our God-placed needs, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to remove those desires. Then we need to let go of those desires.
It won’t happen overnight. As I’ve mentioned before…it is a process. But as we look back on our lives, we should see clear movement toward greater dependence on Christ to meet our critical needs.
Prayer: Lord, circumcise my heart of the wrong desires that lead me away from You.