For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (New American Standard Bible, NASB)
The writer of Hebrews compares the Word of God to a double-edged sword, and tells how extremely sharp it is. In the Message Bible (MSG), it is translated as being “sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel.”
The Word is capable of piercing our hearts and judging our motives. Like a surgeon’s scalpel can easily cut through human tissue, the Word can easily divide the soul and spirit. The soul is the mind, will and emotions, while the spirit is the part of man that has direct communication with God. Therefore, the Word is capable of cutting to the heart of things and identifying the thoughts and intents that are from God (spirit) and those that are from us and our own intellect and emotions (soul). For the Christian who is trying to live for the Lord, this is of utmost importance. We need to operate out of pure motives, seeking to glorify the Lord and advance His kingdom. The Word can tell us when we are trying to advance our own agenda instead of His, allowing us to make adjustments and correct our course.
A good scalpel is extremely sharp, which allows incisions to be made that will produce little, if no, scarring. In the same way, if we allow the Word to do the cutting away of things that are not of God, we will experience some discomfort, but we will have no lasting scars from it.
Allow the Great Physician to work His surgical skills on you today. Get into the Word of God and allow it to show you areas where your heart and motives need some work. His hand is steady, and He will not harm you. With God, you always come out better than you started, and you never need to worry about malpractice!