Would you join a club that required you to have surgery on an extremely private and intimate part of your body? Probably not. Yet this is exactly what God required of Abram in Genesis chapter 17.
God comes to Abram when he is ninety-nine years old and promises to change everything about his life. God tells Abram He will:
- Give him and his ninety-year-old wife a biological child.
- Produce generations of kings and nations from that child.
- Change his name to Abraham (father of a multitude.)
- Give him and his descendants the land through which they’ve traveled.
But God asks Abraham, and all the males in his household, to go under the knife and be circumcised! This command sounds strange to modern ears, but God wants to mark Abraham and his people as intimately and undeniably associated with Him. God calls it, “My covenant in your flesh.” (Genesis 17:13)
God is still calling us to follow Him. He is still promising to multiply our numbers and claim the spaces in which we travel for His own. He still wants to change us…not in name but in character.
And God still calls us to be circumcised, but not in our flesh. Instead, God wants to circumcise our heart. (Romans 2:28-29). He wants to put our hearts under the knife of His Holy Spirit, so it can be transformed and identified as belonging exclusively to Him.
Is there a part of your heart that still needs to be transformed by the scalpel of God’s Spirit?
Bret Legg is the Teaching and Counseling Pastor at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, GA.