The Spiritual Principle of Circumcision

By Pastor Tim Klassen



When God first spoke to Abraham and told him to circumcise all the male’s in his household, I promise you it was about more than what you might initially think. What was unique about the Lord’s instructions for circumcision, was that it was speaking to a much deeper spiritual truth He would continue to unpack through the generations to come after Abraham. The first time we hear of this deeper truth regarding circumcision, is through Moses as he is leading them out of slavery in Egypt and towards their promised land. 


God speaks through Moses and tells the people of Israel, “circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn” (Deuteronomy 10:16). The Israelites had a characteristic that I believe many of us, if we were to be honest, would have to admit we might share as well—stubbornness! Even though God had demonstrated His faithfulness and His willingness to set them free from their enemies and provide for them in the midst of dire situations, they were still slow to believe, slow to obey, and slow to remain faithful to Him. Rather than trust that God would continue to provide food for them each day, they set aside more than they needed, and it went moldy (Exodus 16:20). Rather than enjoying a day of rest on the Sabbath—when God said no food would be provided—they went out to try and work and gather more food (Exodus 16:27). Rather than wait patiently for Moses to return from his meeting with the Lord on the mountain, they turned back to their worldly ways and worshipped idols formed by their own hands (Exodus 32).


Circumcision was never just about a physical sign of a covenant. It certainly was a physical sign of God’s covenant, but it was meant to convey so much more. It was meant to be a physical manifestation of a spiritual reality. That reality is this: there are things that we must be willing to cut off and remove from our lives so that we can better embrace and serve Christ.


I believe we must be willing to cut anything out of our lives that might hinder us from living in God’s best plans for us. Some of us may need to cut some unhealthy relationships out of our lives; separating ourselves from toxic people who are holding us back from being the best version of ourselves. Some of us may need cut out our current career; walking away from a job that might pay great, but deep down is destroying our soul. Some of us may need to cut out an addiction to our phones, to social media or some other vice that has a grip on our heart.


The good news is this: whatever it is that God may ask us to cut out of our lives, it is because He has something better in store for us. When God asked Abraham to circumcise all the men in his household (including his 13 year old son… and, might I add, himself) it was because He had a better plan in store. When we are willing to take steps of faith and obey God, we demonstrate that we trust Him—and when we trust Him, we demonstrate that we have (at least in that area of our lives) circumcised our stubborn hearts. 


May all of us who call Jesus Christ our Lord be willing to trust Him as the one who holds the knife, as He continually operates on our hearts.



Read the article in the Niagara Falls Review