The Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.  It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. (Hebrews 4:12)

I love this verse!  Especially the part that says that the word of God is ALIVE and POWERFUL!  It does something good to my spirit when I read that!  Abundant life should be alive and powerful!  Right?

Today, the Holy Spirit drew my attention to the words “joint” and “marrow.”   So I looked up the meaning of the two greek words in Strong’s Concordance.  As usual, it was fascinating because what I found was unexpected but made perfect sense.

Now, clearly, I am not a theologian, but I do enjoy discovering word meanings when Holy Spirit makes me inquisitive about a verse.  So, for those who are interested, check out Strong’s G719 and it’s root, G716 for the word, “joint” and Strong’s G3452 for “marrow.”  For those who would never open Strong’s and do not have the app on their phone, let me just explain what I found.

The word for joint stems from the same root word as chariot.  Like a physical joint, it is an active word.  Specifically a “war chariot” armed with many scythes. The word for marrow means, not too surprisingly, “enclosed within.”

The writer of Hebrews tells us that the word of God is able to cut between joint and marrow.  

So, I’m interpreting that to mean that it cuts between (the joint), the active weaponry we wield to protect our hearts from pain,

and (the marrow), the innermost wound enclosed within.

Though we might try, in pride, to hide our wounded hearts, the word of God is able to seep in and take down our defenses and get past fig leaves to the innermost part of the matter.

I see that the word of God is able to lay open a wound, not to embarrass or expose, but so that it can be healed.  Through His living and powerful word, He points to the discord between our soul and spirit.  This place of discord is where wounds are formed and fester.

Although the soul of a believer has been made new, it is also being transformed, so fleshly habits sometimes arise here. Our thoughts, will, or emotions sometimes still agree with old habits.

The spirit of a believer, which has been renewed, agrees with Christ in me.  My spirit is alive to Christ and to the perspective of Heaven.

When the Holy Spirit exposes our wound, He speaks the truth of His word over it and His word brings light and life to those covert and dark places.   He shows us the separation between soul and spirit.

When we allow the Word of God to penetrate deeply within us, our hearts are being repaired and made new.   We are convicted of our wrong thinking, our strongholds.  From the point of my agreeing with God, repentance and healing begins.

Having just returned from a women’s ministry weekend in which I saw many wounded hearts healed, this interpretation was extremely clarifying to me.

Over the past few years, I have repeatedly seen the poor results of trying to protect our own hearts.  The wounded and self-reliant saint may be anesthesized to her pain, but she is also left without sensitivity to any other emotions.  A spiritual and emotional numbness characterizes a long-term case of self-protected heart.  Sometimes we call this depression,

As it is in the natural, it is in the spirit.  Just as it is vital to healthy living that a person be able to discern pain in their body, it is vital for a healthy soul to discern pain.  How else can the cause of the pain be addressed?

Many times the experiences that have wounded us, also make us reluctant to trust our hearts even to Jesus.  Here in Psalm 91:4 we see God’s Fatherly role: “With his feathers he will cover you, under his wings you will find safety. His truth is your shield and armor” (ISV)  His truth is supposed to guard your heart.  If we take up God’s job, we have entered into a subtle form of idolatry.  We are looking to ourselves for protection and covering, instead of to God’s truth.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:10

When repentance comes and we decide to stop trying to be God and turn it back to our Father, tears of joy, tears of acceptance, tears of relief, tears of remembrance come.  He peals back the calloused shelter we have built and reveals the new heart that He has written His truth upon.

At an event like the one I just attended, this kind of healing may come through the ministry of other believers.  But I know, personally I have been healed of many wounds in my soul, by allowing the sharp, double-edged sword to cut between my joint and marrow.   To take down my self-erected defenses in favor of truth and love.

Trusting Him with my whole heart is rewarded.  Holy Spirit begins to show us how to live from a whole and healed heart that trusts in Him wholeheartedly.  From this place I am free to truly experience the abundant life Jesus paid for us to live.  From this place, it is easier to take my eyes off of me and truly care about you.

When I don’t self-protect, I can offer my whole heart to you recklessly, just like God offers His to me, knowing I can trust him to both protect me and, through His word, to lay open the wounds I receive to his surgical Truth and laser Light.


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