When Israel reestablished their covenant of circumcision with the Lord, they returned to God with total abandonment. They didn’t want anything to stand in their way. They had witnessed the weakness of their fathers in the wilderness and now they only wanted God’s plan for themselves and their families. There comes the time when we must forsake the things that have held us back and put ourselves totally in God’s hand.
Something supernatural happened once their covenant relationship was restored with Jehovah God. The nation’s experience in Egypt had taken its toll. They had continued to carry the reproach of their captivity. It constantly plagued these people even after 40 years of freedom from Egypt. They still thought like slaves!
In spite of all their experiences after leaving Egypt, they still would not allow themselves to think like the conquerors they actually were. They had already seen the utter annihilation of Egypt’s powerful army. Yet they clung to a slave mentality.
God had brought them into the wilderness of freedom, but with each new challenge they cried out to be back in Egypt, where they did not face the insecurity of the unknown.
Notice in Joshua 5:9 it says: “And the Lord said unto Joshua, ‘This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.'” Through the powerful leadership of Joshua, and the new generation of fearless followers, the reproach that had dominated their fathers was removed. The site of this important event became known as Gilgal: “the place of removal or rolling.”
The stigma of slavery was no longer a part of their thoughts. They had truly entered a new land. But even more important, they had entered a new relationship with God Almighty.
The attitude we carry toward ourselves plays a significant role in our success and in our achievement in growing in the kingdom of God. How do we see ourselves? Are we receiving our mental stability from Christ, or are we governed by thoughts of past failures? Can we receive ideas from the Holy Spirit to deal with the issues we face, or have we confined ourselves to carnal answers? The old carnal attitudes and ideas will not bring about the kind of power or results we long to see.
The Apostle Paul quite often mentions the importance of right thinking. When we are “renewed in the spirit of our mind” as Ephesians 4:23 directs, we set aside the slavery syndrome and put on a conquering consciousness. We learn that the endless opportunities to become offended and discouraged can be replaced by a commitment to contentment.
By choosing the right thoughts, we lift our own lives. We choose the thoughts that are consistent with God’s Word. When God has said we are an overcomer, then we think like an overcomer, we replace thoughts of defeat and failure with God’s Word.
Our thoughts are like seeds planted in our own lives. Our minds are like a garden. We can cultivate our minds and plant the seeds we want to grow, or we can neglect it and allow the weeds to take over. Either way, it will bring a harvest into our lives.