Hebrews 4:12(NKJV) 12For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
2011 is a year for us to take a giant step forward in fulfilling destiny. To fulfill our destiny we must learn how to walk in the spirit. This simply means to walk with our inner man in the position of control in our lives. Last week we found from Romans 8:5-7 that the mind is the pivotal part of our being which determines if we will walk with our spirit in control.
This week I want to begin by taking a closer look at the nature of man. As we have previously stated man is a threefold being just as God is. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. One God, three parts. Man is Spirit, Soul and Body. One person in 3 parts. Each part has a purpose.
The spirit of man is the central part of his being. I believe it is the real person. It is that which was created in God’s image and it is that part which fell in the Garden of Eden. It is the part of him that was born again at salvation and became vitally joined, once again, to the Lord. The spirit is the part of us that communicates with the realm of the spirit where God lives.
The body is the container for the soul and the spirit. It is the part of us that is designed to communicate with the natural world. It does not have motivation of its own except for appetites that cause it to crave what it needs to be sustained. However these appetites can easily get out of control. The body will desire what it likes to the exclusion of reason.
Before the fall this tendency was meant to ensure survival. However after the fall things were introduced that the body will desire to the point of its own destruction. Any appetite can become a lust or addiction. The thing about the body, however, is that it was also designed to be trained. It can be trained to desire what it needs if we take the time and effort to do so.
The part of us that exists between the spirit and body is the soul. This is the part that contains the intellect, the will and the emotions. It is designed to process the information that comes from the body and pass it to the spirit. It is also designed to process the information that comes from the spirit so that it can be expressed through the body. It is the channel through with the psychological and intellectual world flows.
Since it is placed between the spirit, where the communication with God occurs, and the body, where our whole being is expressed to the outward world, it occupies a place of extreme influence over our behavior. Every word we read in the bible must pass through the soul to get to our spirit. Every word, thought or idea that comes from God must be processed by our soul before it can affect our lives. No matter who we are or what our life experience is, the soul will color how we see everything from God to other people.
This is what Paul was talking about in Romans 12:2.
Romans 12:2(NKJV) 2And 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.
Salvation is a transformation, or rebirth, of your spirit. However to be completely changed we must renew our mind. This is the process of changing our soul so that it can process the things of God in such a way that our spirit, that part which is in harmony with God, has a clear and efficient channel to our body, that part which expresses the God within to the world. When that happens we walk in the spirit and we live the abundant life the Father intends for us.
I want to introduce another part of our being today. Look at Matthew 12:35
Here Jesus says that good things or bad things come from the treasure of something called a person’s heart. In the New Testament there is a Greek word for spirit which means the source of life. There is a word for soul which means the seat of the emotions, intellect and will. This word is neither of those. This is the Greek word kardia from which we get the term cardiac referring to the physical heart.
Obviously Jesus is not talking about the pump in our chest which circulates blood. What, then, is he talking about. I always thought the heart was another term for the spirit, however this word is never translated as spirit. It is also never translated as soul. It is always translated as heart, hearts or some variation thereof. What is this part of our being that Jesus is referring to. Since both good and bad things come from it, I want to know.
The clue for me came from today’s scripture. The word has the power to divide soul and spirit. If something can be divided there is a point where it comes together. There is some point in me where soul becomes spirit and spirit becomes soul. What is that point of division? I believe it is the heart of man.
The heart is the deepest level of our soul, our intellect, emotions and will. It is the part that lies underneath our consciousness. Science calls it the sub-conscious mind. It is the repository of every experience, every thought and every word spoken to us. Science knows that the human brain has the capacity for such storage. All of the information is in there, but the brain is not able to fully access it all consciously. That does not mean it is not there.
We have all heard of people with photographic memories. These people do not have brains that store information that the rest of us cannot store. They have brains that access information that the rest of us cannot. The information is there either way.
Since the heart is the point of transition between soul and spirit, it is also the place where the information passing between them is processed. As it is processed it is “colored” by all of the stored information that has been deposited by our life experience. This includes both the memories and the emotions associated with the memories.
This part of us determines how we think. Our conscious mind is what we think at any given time. Nevertheless, underneath those conscious thought is a layer that determines how we process those thoughts. That layer is the heart. Out of the good treasure stored there come good thoughts. Out of the bad things stored there come bad thoughts or interpretations…..More tomorrow.