Staying in the camp

“So it was, when they had finished circumcising all the people, that they stayed in their places in the camp till they were healed.” Joshua 5:8

I don’t think I need to elaborate on the painful process of circumcision. When the Israelites crossed the Jordan, all those who had not been circumcised during the 40 years in the wilderness had to undergo this process of being set apart to God. Jericho lay before them, and I’m sure the men of war would rather have gotten right to the task of taking the land. But God had other plans.

How often do we want to rush into battle instead of waiting? How often are we compelled to get busy for God, instead of going through that painful process of circumcision…the cutting away of that which is most dear to us? We’d rather work than wait. Why? Because it’s easy to hide in work. It’s easier to misdirect and bury ourselves in activity than it is to allow God to take the knife to our heart. That’s why there are so many broken and hurting people in ministry work, because they rushed right into battle without “staying in the camp until they are healed”

Don’t get me wrong, there is most definitely a time for action, just as there was a time to march around the walls of Jericho. But how many of us have truly let God have His way with us first, preparing us for the battle ahead? How many of us are willing to stay put long enough for God to cut away our attachment to the world and to heal the brokenness caused by our sin?

Sure, circumcision is scary and painful and it would be easier to run and hide. But since when did a great victory not require great courage?

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