“For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” -Hebrews 4:12-13
Most of you by now have experience with MRIs. This is the most modern medical technology today, surpassing the X-Ray, that can give doctors a better look at what is going on inside you. As amazing as the MRI is, it cannot see all of you, for it will never capture your soul and spirit on film or computer. It utterly fails to produce any picture of your personality or the psyche quickening your body.
The soul and spirit is invisible to the eye. Strangers really have no idea who you truly are if they only see you laid out on a mortuary slab. But you still reside in the memories of those who knew and loved you. Those memories are within soul and spirit. Without them energizing your body, you are but matter which quickly decays. “You are dust, and to dust you will return,” says the Creator of your body.
Most have no idea how to “divide” soul and spirit or even if they really are two separate entities. What you do know is that you are a conscious, thinking, emotional person with your own identity. These intertwined realities are your private world of self-consciousness, and they provide the personal tools you use in relating to all others.
Most critically, these soul/spirit-properties connect you to God, whether or not you believe He is and especially when not seeing Him by faith. After all, you are made in His image even if you erroneously think your original human forebears sprang and evolved from primordial soup, rendering you merely the product of materialism. You, nevertheless, have an innate sense of God, even though you may ignore it. Created in His image, you cannot shake the natural inner sense that you are invariably connected to Him.
There are many things in this life which are invisible: wind, love, hate, anger, sense, thought, feeling. They are integral to soul and spirit, or whatever you choose to call your consciousness. You are aware there is a very real world which exists around you not consisting of matter. Whether or not you can see soul or spirit, they constitute what is most treasured in you.
Our text actually names the “MRI maker,” if you will, of your invisible self: God revealed in His Word. That Word which is self-described as “living and active” is far different than any other book or document. The One who spoke this Word to its authors says, “No creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” He describes this “soul and spirit MRI” of you as naked and exposed, bared to God alone. Even as you change, His “MRI” continues to capture the changes in you.
Do you truly want to understand the division between your soul and spirit? You must if you desire to know who you really are. It has been rightly said that all true knowledge consists of the knowledge of yourself and the knowledge of God; you cannot know yourself apart from a true knowledge of God. Fail to capture this, and you will remain in the dark in this life.
Learn who you are from God’s Word. It is a penetrating sword which will dissect your heart and mind, soul and spirit that you might know them thoroughly. You may not want to know, but remember, you cannot avoid such knowledge forever, especially when you stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ.
So, take up and read! Take time to meditate on what concerns you and God within your spirit. Come to know and see yourself in the light of God’s “MRI” of your bared soul, your natural breathing self, and your spirit’s yearning for God and eternal life.
You need not fear, for God is good to all who love Him. He puts “soul and spirit clothes” on you, and He sees you in the righteousness of His Son when He is yours and you are His. He will never cast you out of the wedding hall because you do not have the required dress. He provides the very clothes that those who cleave to Him will wear with ultimate joy.
“Search me, O God, my heart discern; try me, my inmost thought to learn; and lead me, if in sin I stray, to choose the everlasting way.”
(Fifth verse of Psalm 139, The Psalter, 1912)
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