Integration

This morning at the women’s bible study, my mother-in-law said something I found fascinating: if the word of God divides soul and spirit (Heb 4:12), then maybe God also has a reintegration of soul and spirit.

That makes perfect sense to me.  Where does God destroy that He does not also rebuild?  His love works like a surgeon, doing damage so that we can be healed.  He breaks us down so that we can be made new, expecting us to give up our lives so we can find them again.  (Matt 16:25)

Too often, our spirits are willing but our flesh is weak.  Our spirits see the truth, and we can assent to that truth but have trouble believing it.  But God is the one who can reintegrate our spirit and soul, so that the truth our spirits see is the truth we can live by.

One of the dilemmas in reading the Bible is that our ideas of mind and body stem from Greek thinking, and much of the Bible uses Jewish thinking.  Greek thinking sees mind and body as two very different things – one spiritual and abstract, one physical and concrete – and the two are only loosely connected.  Hebrew thought integrates them: the physical and the spiritual realms are so interconnected and inter-related that they are essentially the same thing.

We try to divide mind from body, soul from spirit. But we don’t understand how they are related, so we do a terrible job at it.  God does know what He is doing.  He can divide us up, dealing with each part as it needs to be dealt with: healing our hearts, clearing our minds, bringing our spirits into harmony with Himself.  Then He is the one who reintegrates us, so that each part shares its new vitality with the whole person, and we stand before Him whole and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:4).

God is the one who restores us to perfect wholeness and makes us new (2 Cor 5:17).  He will eventually make all things new (Rev 21:5) and all creation will be at peace and enter His rest.  And that is a good thought.

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