Yesterday we attended a local church pastored by a friend we met many years ago. The worship was sweet and spirit filled, it blessed us. The pastor got up to close the worship portion of the service expressing how we must open our lives completely to our Lord. We must surrender every aspect, nothing hidden, nothing locked out from our Father.
Many years ago I counseled a man going through a difficult time in his marriage. His wife had caused him many problems with his bosses in the military to the point they had considered filing charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justices. Ultimately they gave him a written reprimand that delayed his promotion to the next rank.
He still loved his wife deeply. They had many discussions as they worked to reconcile their marriage. His biggest problem, he struggled with what she had done to him even though she apologized over and over. He wanted justices for her actions, he wanted her to suffer as much as he had. After talking for the better part of an hour, I ask him one question, “We make choices everyday, can you choose to forgive her?” That was something he had never considered, to willingly lay aside his feelings and make the choice to forgive.
Putting aside our own desires and taking on the spirit of the one who lives inside us is critical to our relationship with our Father. Perhaps you struggle with lust, anger, depression, doubt or any other number of difficulties that plaque us as humans, if so, choose today to lay all of these things at the foot of the cross, it will change you forever.
by Os Hillman
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” – Psalm 116:15
The Bible often speaks of death as a requirement of living a life in Christ. This death is not a physical death, but a spiritual death. It is a death of the old so the new can be raised. It is the life of Christ that is raised in us. However, this death can be painful if we do not choose to willingly allow this “circumcision of heart” to have its way. If we are not circumcised of heart, we do not enter into God’s promises. Moses was called to deliver a people from slavery. But when he was about to return to Egypt to begin what God called Him to do, God almost killed him. He had failed to take care of the details of obedience. In this case, it was that all the males in his family were to be circumcised. This oversight on Moses’ part almost cost him his life. Imagine that – God prepared a man 40 years, and yet, he was almost disqualified because of an oversight. “At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses and was about to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it…” (Ex. 4:24).
None of us will ever enter the Promised Land of full blessing with God unless we have this same circumcision of heart. The psalmist above accurately describes the process of circumcising the heart.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. O Lord, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have freed me from my chains (Psalm 116:15-16).
We cannot be free to be God’s servant until this death takes place in each of us. When this death takes place, we become free – free from the chains of sin that held us back from becoming completely His. Oh, what freedom there is when this death takes place. No longer are we held to the sin of materialism, fear, self-effort, or anxiety, for we are dead to these things.
The Bible speaks of the seed that must die in order for it to spring up and give new life.
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life (John 12:24-25).
Each of us must ask the Lord if our seed has died. Is it in the ground now, yielding the fruit of brokenness before Him? This is the great paradox of a life in Christ – the circumcision of heart and the death process. Ask God to free you to become all that He wants you to be today.