The key verse for this week is from the book of Hebrews. Hebrews 4:12. “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Wow. What power in the word of God! God speaks His thoughts to us in His Word.
Remember the battle lines drawn in the movie Braveheart between the courageous Scots and the mighty English army? Sir William Wallace (played by Mel Gibson) was one of the main leaders of the Scots in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the late 13th century. He and his men fought bravely.
Battle lines are drawn in our hearts every day of our lives. Satan wants to mess us up. You are certainly aware of that. As we previously mentioned last week, God has set His spirit in our hearts to completely control it. But by applying Hebrews 4:12, you can think about it this way. Your heart is divided into two halves. The right half is where the spirit of God dwells. This is where He speaks to you as it says in Romans 8:9-10. Check these verses out.
You are a new creation – 2 Corinthians 5:17, and have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). God made us to operate out of our spirit, but we are often sabotaged by our soul not aligned correctly with our spirit. The problem is that Christians often operate day to day out of their soul rather than their spirit. Just what makes up the soul?
For diagrammatical purposes, the right side of your heart is where the spirit of God resides. And the left side of your heart is where your soul is. The soul is made up of basically four parts: your mind, will, emotions, and imagination. The left side of the heart (so to speak) is where Satan can have a heyday. It’s not meant to be like that because we have the mind of Christ. But…..for example, maybe you’ve had a super stressful day at work and your mentally frazzled and emotionally spent. Watch out. This is when you are weak and perhaps more easily tempted to sin, and you may “give into” that temptation. Let me ask, have you ever had a meaningless argument about nothing important with your spouse when you are just tired out from a long day? Most likely.
If one has a mental challenge, such as OCD, anxiety, or depression (such as S.A.D.-Seasonal Affective Disorder), it obviously makes things even tougher.
Simply said, the soul must be renewed daily with God’s truth, the Bible. This is the only way that you can make His promises work in your life. Thoughts precede actions, and intents (moral understanding or conscience) go before thoughts. Even if you don’t have your Bible with you, you can memorize some key verses that help you through the day.
In conclusion, within the heart, there are two main aspects. It is the Word of God that is able to penetrate and distinguish the soul and the spirit. It is ideal when the soul “lines up with” the spirit. When they DO line up, nothing is impossible with God. This is how the power of God through His Holy Spirit is released in His people.
The Bible’s words are living, dynamic, and life-changing as they work in us. God’s Word reveals who we really are and gives us a barometer as to where we are at spiritually. It penetrates the core of our moral and spiritual life. It discerns what is within our hearts, both good and evil.
The demands of God’s Word require decisions to be made. We must not only listen to the Word, we must also let it shape our lives to action.
Maybe the blog this week is a little heavy, but I wanted to circle around and try to explain why God wants us to love Him with all of our might, and with special emphasis on all our heart, soul, and mind.(Matthew 22:36-37) Hopefully now the differentiation of heart, soul, and mind makes more sense?
Next week: Going on the Offensive in the Battle in the Heart