The sharp two-edged sword of the Word of God divides between “soul and spirit” (Hebrews 4:12). Man’s soul and his spirit are so intertwined in Scripture that the Bible often speaks of them interchangeably. It is only the “quick and powerful” Word of God, which “is sharper than a two-edged sword,” that can pierce deep enough within us “to divide” for us what is “soul” from what is “spirit.”

How can we know what is soulish; that is, what is us, and what is spirit; that is, what is God? According to Hebrews 4:12, it is the Bible that distinguishes between the two.

Unfortunately, we can do right things with wrong motives. For instance, we can do right things to make a name for ourselves rather than to glorify God. When we do, God is not in it. We are doing it ourselves and in the strength of our flesh. Whereas we may be doing something right, we are nonetheless doing it for the wrong reason. Therefore, God is not pleased with it nor will He be a party to it.

On the other hand, if we are doing the things the Bible teaches, as well as doing them for the right reasons—our love of Christ and the glory of God (2 Corinthians 5:14; 1 Corinthians 10:31)—we can rest assured that God is in it. We are doing what we’re doing in the power of God’s Spirit, not the strength of our flesh. Therefore, God is pleased with it and a party to it.