READ: 1 Chronicles 16-18, Psalm 121, Mark 4, Hebrews 6
Obedience gets harder. As we progress in faith our obedience becomes more costly, not less. As we hear (and obey) we are given more to surrender (Mark 4:24). In God’s holism there is a priority on the preservation of the soul. F.W. Boreham writes: “God is as sensitive to any injury done to the soul as I am to the apple of my eye.” God does not seem to maintain the same caution for our bodies. God will afflict our bodies if it will help to protect or heal our souls. He will not sacrifice the soul for the sake of the body. This priority does not mitigate the importance of the body; it bluntly reminds us that losing a piece of your body is not to be equated with losing a piece of your soul.
The Bible is replete with references to divine protection. God reminds David in 1 Chronicles 16:21-22 that “He permitted no man to do [His people] wrong… ‘Do not touch my anointed ones and do My prophets no harm!’” God preserved David wherever he went (18:6, 13). Psalm 121 promises help from the Lord, protection from stumbling, shade, and preservation from all evil–going and coming. The Bible is just as full of God’s people suffering incredibly painful harm. There are twin scriptural truths, neither muting the other: We have incredible immunity and protection until our time AND it is a normal thing to suffer intense physical pain for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Knowing that we are indomitable, untouchable unless God decides otherwise gives us great boldness to advance in the world without fear. Knowing that we are destined to suffer for His name gives us great assurance in trial for we recognize that it has been allowed by an all-knowing, all-loving Father. It is important to note, however, is that God promises the evil has no right to touch our soul–no matter what it does to our bodies. “Preserved from all evil” (Psalm 121:7) must be understood primarily in spiritual terms as all men have been marred and scarred by evil. Hebrews 6:19 reminds us that our hope is “an anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast which enters the presence behind the veil.” We have full soul immunity from evil; we have unbroken refuge in the presence of God because of what Jesus has done for us. We have only seasonal body immunity. In this life, followers of Jesus will get sick, suffer, and die. Only our glorified bodies will be fully immune from the effects of sin.
And what of the mind? Hebraic worldview has an interesting understanding of mental affliction. When a demoniac was brought to Jesus, the literal expression was “moon struck.” We derive our term “lunatic” from “lunar, pertaining to the moon.” We inherit this from Semitic peoples. When Psalm 121:6 promises the “moon will not strike me by night,” it is implying that God will preserve my mind. God has the capacity to keep me sane, to beat back the thoughts and concepts in my own thinking that would destroy me.
God is immeasurably concerned about the whole person: body, mind, and soul. He does prioritize the eternal soul, however, and will afflict (or allow affliction) on body and mind if it will preserve or purify the eternal soul. We have eternal immunity of soul when we completely trust our souls to Jesus