(6) And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.Deuteronomy 30:6
Circumcision was an outward sign of the children of Israel’s covenant with the Lord. It was an outward expression that was to represented an developed attitude of devotion and relationship with God. It was an accepting of the covenant between God and His people.
The problem with outward signs is that they were supposed to be an expression of the attitude and heart of a person. Yet, often outward religious signs were not reflective of what was going on in the heart. This can be true today. Much or religion is man going through certain ceremonial motions brought about by shere tradition.
Moses tells the people that once they returned from being scattered (see yesterdays post) God would “circumcise their hearts”.
The result of this inner surgery is that they and their children would “love the Lord thy God with alll thine heart, and with all thy soul”. Frankly, it would mean that the outward sign of covenant between them and God would begin to match the inner man. There would be a love for God, for the law of God, for the purposes of God and it would be reflected in them and in their children.
Repentance would lead to a return. The return would lead to an inner revival of the heart. This revival would lead to right living. God would remove the hardness of their heart and give them a heart that is soft and responsive to Him.
There can be so much that turns our hearts away from the Lord. We often think that religious participation will generate spiritual life in us without an inner change. We think we’re good with God simply because we attend church, pray before our meals, and avoid the “big sins”. This is a dangerous place to be, because we think we are good with God, and may have no relationship with Him at all. We may just be participating in the ritual. What we are living on the outside may not match on the inside. That kind of relationship with God gets passed on through the generations and wreaks havoc on their spiritual lives.
God emphasizes the heart.
(23) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
(34) O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
To be what we ought to be we must have a heart that has been transformed by God. That starts with regeneration. We must believe in Christ and be made alive by His Spirit at salvation. Repentance will lead to a return to God and a revival of the heart. This will allow us to be responsive to God as we grow to be more like His dear Son.
Here are some good verses to pray today:
(23) Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
(24) And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.