Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 24, 2013 … Healing Before Battle

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 114

 Passage of the Day: Joshua 5: 8 [In the context of verses 6-8] [NLT] …
  6 The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years until all the men who were old enough to bear arms when they left Egypt had died. For they had disobeyed the LORD, and the LORD vowed he would not let them enter the land he had sworn to give us—a land flowing with milk and honey. 7So Joshua circumcised their sons who had not been circumcised on the way to the Promised Land—those who had grown up to take their fathers’ places. 8 After all the males had been circumcised, they rested in the camp until they were healed.
 Contextual Study of today’s passage: Joshua, Chapter 5 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Romans 10: 9-10 : [The moment of Spiritual circumcision.] …[NLT] …  
9 For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

My Journal for Today: The scenario in the Fifth Chapter of Joshua’s biblical journal had to have been a bizarre episode to witness as the Israelites had crossed over the Jordan River and were poised to enter into a series of battles in the Promised Land. And because the chosen people, who had been wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, needed to reestablish their covenant with God, all the males who had crossed over the Jordan had to be circumcised, especially those of fighting age. Wow!! What a bloody scene that must’ve been, … thousands of adult males having to be circumcised to show their commitment to God’s covenant and their future walk with God into the Promised Land.

As Os Hillman points out in his devotional entry today, the physical act of male circumcision is painful, bloody, and very personal. And after the circumcision of all these men took place, before they were led onward into the Promised Land and into battle, Joshua had all of the people rest for a season of time … to allow for the healing of the circumcised and for the people to re-grasp their surrender to God’s Holy Covenant.

My fellow seeker, have you been circumcised? Because anyone who is truly saved by God’s grace in faith (see Romans 10: 9-10 copied above) has had a circumcision of the heart; and quite often the radical change in one’s life – from being lost in sin to being saved in Christ – is a circumcision process which produces pain and bleeding in one’s soul; and consequently it requires a period of healing.

On April 13th, 1983 (or shortly thereafter), I went through the process of radical heart circumcision, having surrendered my heart to Christ from a wandering walk of years of selfishness and Spirit-less living. It was a bloody and very personal process; and in reality, it required almost seven years of healing, being purged of all those years of sinful living, to allow me to be placed on the road to my “promised land” … and especially before I could be effective in doing battle with our spiritual enemies or reaching out to minister to others.

Perhaps you have been saved (i.e., again see the Romans 10 passage above); and this has brought about a Spirit-imparted circumcision of your heart. If not, you will have to believe in the saving grace provided by Christ on the cross and confess Him as the Lord of your life to go through that heart circumcision. And if and when you’ve done that, you may discover that it will take some healing time before you’re ready to do battle in Christ’s Name in this very hostile world as we march toward our personal promised land.

As I said above, it took several years of healing, discipleship, and preparation for battle before I was able to walk with confidence in my new life of surrender to Christ. But when I did go through the healing process and the preparation for my walk with Christ after my Spirit-led circumcision, my walk – I believe – has been one of purpose and direction ever since. Oh, … have I faltered any along the way? Of course I have; but my healing and equipping as a circumcised warrior for Christ, has given me ways to recognize my weaknesses and to shore them up daily, to be cleansed, and to do battle with my enemies.

If you are a circumcised warrior for Christ, especially if that is a newly established circumcision and commitment to Christ, I pray that you’ll take the time to allow for healing; … and then, … once healed, to follow Godly leaders – who’re following Christ – into battle in marching to your “promised land.”

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I am Your circumcised warrior; and today I’m dressed and ready to do battle! … Amen

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