“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 KJV
Hebrews 4:12 seems to be one of my favorite verses as of late. It’s one of those verses that apply to everyone in every situation of life. The reason is simple. We are all human and being human means we are all the same in our makeup. We are made up of three parts: spirit, soul and body. Of course in this particular verse the body really isn’t the issue rather the spirit and soul are.
The Word of God distinguishes between soul and spirit. In other words God is the only one who can truly show us the difference between the two. My experience has been that I can learn lots of things from books and teachers but it isn’t until God himself shows me that it becomes real to me.
If we don’t come to the place where we understand the difference between soul and spirit we are easy prey for the enemy. The soul realm is made up of our emotions and intellect. This is where our reasoning faculties are found. The spirit realm is of course first and foremost where we meet with God. God is Spirit and we too are spirit at our core.
The Old Testament Tabernacle and Temple were great illustrations here. Remember how it was set up in three distinct parts? There was the outer court, the inner court and the Most Holy Place. In a manner of speaking they represented us. The outer being the body, the inner being the soul and of course the Most Holy Place, being the spirit where the priests would meet with God one on one. We too meet with God in our spirit, our inner man, one on one. There may have been lots of movement and activity going on in the outer two courts, but in that Most Holy Place the priest was meeting with God and receiving instruction from him. All the guidance came from the inner and then outward not the other way around.
Let’s get back to Hebrews 4:12. This verse lists six things. There’s soul and spirit; joints and marrow and thoughts and intents. Hold on to your seat because I believe there are some that are about to receive revelation about this right now. While there are six things listed we can safely place them into two categories describing the same thing. The verse is really about the division of soul and spirit right? Look at it this way.
Now think for a minute about what a joint does. Have you got it? A joint is moveable isn’t it? In fact it is designed to move isn’t it? Well, a joint corresponds with soul so could it be that God intends for our soul to move or fluctuate? Maybe those thoughts and feelings we are having are in fact okay. Maybe God isn’t expecting us to manage and control all of our feelings all the time. Maybe he wants those ever changing emotions and thoughts to push us into him.
If you look now at the marrow and how it’s under the spirit category you’ll think well, what’s up with the marrow? The marrow, unlike the joint, isn’t meant to move and fluctuate but rather it is that deep inner part of the bone where the real life is found. Without the marrow there would be no need of a joint. You could say the joint is the outer expression of the marrow. The joint would have no life at all without the marrow. We too are designed to live from the spirit not the soul.
Finally we come to the thoughts and intents. A thought is something that may flash into our minds without warning. If we would admit it we would have to say we all have thoughts that come to our mind throughout our days we don’t like. Sometimes we even think “Where did that come from?” Once again that’s okay we simply cannot control every thought that bombards us but what about the intent? Intent, on the other hand, is different. A thought is a passing thing whereas intent is something we have pondered and even decided on.
One last thing about this verse we need to see is the context it is in. The fourth chapter of Hebrews is talking about rest. I believe the only true rest we will ever get is when God makes the difference between soul and spirit clear to us. Once we really see that we are spirit joined to Spirit and we are not our thoughts and feelings we gain freedom and rest.
Let me finish with an example. Just before my usual lunch break at work I had to go on a delivery. Doing this was going to make me late for my lunch break so I began to get agitated. As I left in the truck it dawned on me as if God said to me, “Louie you really only have two options. You can get angry, take these deliveries and go home late for lunch or you can not get angry, take these deliveries and go home late for lunch.” I actually had a choice to not get angry. I know that’s deep but just follow me if you can.
Right then and there I became fully aware that the anger wasn’t me. The anger was real and I felt it, but I saw myself apart from it. I saw that my spirit joined to the Holy Spirit was my true identity and the anger was in my soul realm. God’s design for all of humanity is for his Spirit to join to ours and be the command center in order to lead our soul and body. In the fall mankind became turned inside out. We became lead around by our body cravings and desires and our soulish thoughts and emotions. We became outer court people when God’s plan all along is for us to be Most Holy Place people.
Written by Louie