The Circumcision Of Our Hearts: Sermon By Rev. Geoffrey Muchai
And the people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month and encamped in Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal.
And he said to the Israelites, When your children ask their fathers in time to come, What do these stones mean? You shall let your children know, Israel came over this Jordan on dry ground. For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up for us until we passed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty and that you may reverence and fear the Lord your God forever.Joshua 4:19-24 (AMPC)
When we rend our hearts before God, He rends the heavens and opens the heavens over our lives.
In our African culture, circumcision is referred to as transition from childhood to adulthood. In the Bible, it’s a rite that God asked Abraham to perform.
Covenant is a transfer of the nature of God through an outward rite of circumcision.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”Genesis 17:1-14 (NKJV)
God introduced Himself to Abraham as God Almighty. It meant that any promise He gave him, He would be able to keep it.
It’s by the power of God that enables what He has said to come to pass.
As God transacted with Abraham, He changed how Abraham saw himself.
The identity God gives us is an expression of the manifestation of His nature.
There is a level of intimacy Abraham had with God before God changed Abraham’s name. The vision Abraham got from God was transgenerational.
There is a place of intimacy that God desires us to be at. It’s at that place where God will give us a new name.
God changed Abram’s name to Abraham to reflect the new realm that He had allowed Him to enter.
The point of circumcision that God had instituted was not pain but something about the blood.
There is something about blood that we need to understand. The blood of Christ is a channel and doorway for us to experience God.
Circumcision is an outward expression of an inward reality of faith with its focus on the person and the nature of God.
Anyone who was circumcised in the house of Israel had access to every benefit of the covenant.
There is a certain reality that Abraham touched base with that opened a portal that enabled every child born of the house of Israel to access the benefits.
God had a deeper dimension that He wanted the Israelites to experience. It was more than just inheriting the land of milk and honey.
God has always desired of us as mankind to not only walk habitually in relationship but also to grow progressively in our revelation of Him.
God has desired for our revelation of Him to be progressive from one generation to another. Sons are meant to flow in double portion or more of their father.
When God invites us to dine with Him, He is implying that He has availed a portal for us to be able to access Him and everything about us in Him.
For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but only faith activated and expressed and working through love.Galatians 5:6 (AMP)
The demonstration of circumcision as new covenant believers is by us walking in the expression of faith and love for God and others.
In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but in a [spiritual] circumcision [performed by] Christ by stripping off the body of the flesh (the whole corrupt, carnal nature with its passions and lusts).
[Thus you were circumcised when] you were buried with Him in [your] baptism, in which you were also raised with Him [to a new life] through [your] faith in the working of God [as displayed] when He raised Him up from the dead.
And you who were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (your sensuality, your sinful carnal nature), [God] brought to life together with [Christ], having [freely] forgiven us all our transgressions,
Having cancelled and blotted out and wiped away the handwriting of the note (bond) with its legal decrees and demands which was in force and stood against us (hostile to us). This [note with its regulations, decrees, and demands] He set aside and cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross.Colossians 2:11-14 (AMPC)
In the new covenant we learn that it’s one thing to know the law and another for our hearts to be transformed so that the law can be written in our hearts.
The decision to live a holy life is not because of who is policing us but because of our submission to God.
Baptism is an expression of us allowing Christ to strip us of our carnal nature with its passions and lusts. We give up our free will and submit to the will of God over our lives. It is God who prescribed the path we take.
For David says of Him, I saw the Lord constantly before me; For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken [from my state of security].Acts 2:25 (AMP)
The life we live is not out our own. The promises and nature that we have access to are not our own.
When we are born again we enter the Kingdom (of God). When we are baptized, Christ through His Spirit ushers us in the Kingdom by stripping our carnal nature.
The promised land is not physical but spiritual. It has a spiritual reality that impacts and influences our lives.
The Kingdom of God is governed by the purpose of God.
Seasons are governed by revelation and truth.
Part of being in the Kingdom is you changing to be a priest and a king.
Understanding the heart and mind of God is what enables us to endure.
You will never know the fullness of capacity in you until you go through certain circumstances.
For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature.
If we set bits in the horses’ mouths to make them obey us, we can turn their whole bodies about. Likewise, look at the ships: though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines. Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze!
And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man’s nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna).James 3:2-6 (AMPC)
We underrate how much our tongue can betray us. The nature you carry will be evident in your speech.
In light of our circumcision, our tongue will always betray how much the carnal nature has been stripped from us.
And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place, when suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting.
And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them. And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues), as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression [in each tongue in appropriate words].Acts 2:1-4 (AMPC)
The covenant we have in Christ is not just stripping away the carnal nature in us, but putting on the nature of Christ.
It’s the Holy Spirit who diffuses into our soul. He establishes, defines and creates a route for us to access all that has been given to us in Christ.
For the tongue to be sanctified, the heart has to be sanctified first.
By virtue of us being filled by the Spirit we have been given a capacity to speak new things. To speak what God desires us to speak.