When the children of Israel had all crossed over the Jordan River, they made camp in a place called Gilgal. This was their base of operations for possessing the land.
Immediately after they had made camp at Gilgal, God spoke to Joshua and told him to circumcise all the males of Israel. “At that time the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Make flint knives for yourself, and circumcise the sons of Israel again the second time.’ So Joshua made flint knives for himself, and circumcised the sons of Israel at the hill of the foreskins. And this is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: All the people who came out of Egypt who were males, all the men of war, had died in the wilderness on the way, after they had come out of Egypt. For all the people who came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness, on the way as they came out of Egypt, had not been circumcised.
“So it was, when they had finished circumcising all the people that they stayed in their places in the camp till they were healed. Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.’ Therefore the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day.” (Joshua 5:2-5, 8, 9) Gilgal means “rolling away,” and it was here at Gilgal that God “rolled away” the reproach of Egypt from His people. Circumcision is a perfect type of the believer renewing his mind with God’s Word!
The generation that died in the wilderness also had a physical circumcision, but God was not ultimately looking for an outward change. He was looking for a circumcision of their hearts. He had brought them out of Egypt and now He wanted to take Egypt out of them. God has not only saved you from hell and the world, but He also wants to take the world out of you by renewing your mind.
Deuteronomy 10:16 says, “Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.” And Deuteronomy 30:5-6 says that “the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul that you may live.”
When you were born again, your spirit came into perfect relationship with God. By the Blood of Jesus Christ, you were justified, sanctified and made perfectly righteous. Your name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and heaven became your home. You were given eternal life and delivered from hell. Your salvation experience is a one-time final and eternal decision. It is finished and completed. But is God done with you after you’ve been born again? Hardly! He’s just begun with you.
Now that you are on your way to heaven (when you die or when Jesus comes again), God wants to bring heaven down to you! “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2) We are not to be conformed or patterned like this world. We shouldn’t look like, live like or think like the world. God delivered Israel from Egypt, but He had a hard time taking Egypt out of the children of Israel. Don’t conform to the world’s system of living, but be transformed — completely changed by the renewing of your mind with God’s Word. God’s Word will transform your life as you renew your mind with it.
The Joshua Generation is a generation of believers that has learned the secret of transformed living.