Note: Today’s bible reading is Hebrews 4. If you’re reading along, we’re headed through the whole New Testament this year. Hang in there!
Whenever I speak to people who have served as pastors for a long time, I find they all hold one unexpected thing in common. They are unofficial medical experts. No, they don’t take a class on medicine in seminary, but after serving their flocks faithfully for many years, they’ve seen people go though just about every medical issue that a person can have. I haven’t reached this expert status yet, but I do know a few things that you probably know too from basic observation. For instance, sometimes major surgery is necessary. A person’s ongoing health hangs in the balance and the doctor simply must operate. It turns out doctors aren’t the only ones who do surgery. The Great Physician does surgery on his children on a regular basis.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
– Hebrews 4:12–13
Before God’s Word, we lie naked on the operating table. He uses it to do major operation on our hearts, souls, and minds. He sees our thoughts and even the intentions behind our actions. He finds the things in us that are killing us and cuts away at them. This may sound terrible until you think about what is happening. The Creator himself is doing the operation. The one who designed us is restoring his image in us.
Of course, after surgery always comes rehab. God does not operate and then leave us broken. Through the redemption we have in Jesus, soul surgery can be a blessed time of fellowship through pain.
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
– Hebrews 4:14–16
I want to encourage you this morning to allow our Father opportunity to operate on your soul through his Word. His grace poured out on you includes the messy work of opening up your heart and cutting away idols and all that would pull you away from him. His grace poured out on you also includes a great High Priest, Jesus Christ, who has made the way for us to be confident as we stand naked before our God. Receive his grace through both soul surgery and rehab. Let the Word do its work.