The soul. The body. Let the games (and battle) begin.
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Combat Zone is the foundational post for soul basics.
SUGGEST READING THE SERIES IN ORDER. COMBAT ZONE SERIES: PART 1—YOUR SOUL
READING TIME: 2 MINUTES.
U nlike the soul breathed from God, your earth-derived body has a different agenda. It has an appetite and cravings for our physical world/natural realm. (Hello, Garden of Eden debacle.)
As noted by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz—teacher/author, famed for his edition of the Talmud:
“The body is blind . . . it has the physical power but doesn’t have the understanding, the inner side . . . the soul, on the other hand, has all understanding [my note for clarification—it’s not visible but sees spiritually], but it doesn’t have the physical power to do it.”
Steinsaltz says the soul-body combination is powerful, being able to do everything: feeling, thinking, saying.
But it’s not that simple. He says with the creation of man, a lump of matter, of earth, God inserted a soul. That resulted in two different and separate entities whose usage later is far more complex—and in daily life takes on a more “symbiotic coexistence of two elements.”
Symbiotic in that the soul and body are working together and influencing each other . . . creating a type of combined entity.
You, me, today: This soul-body union can cause us to travel a rigorous obstacle course.
The question remains, will the soul get its earthly partner (the body) to look upward—or will the God-breathed soul be duped or falter and be pulled downward, eyes off God and His ways?
Introducing perhaps a more familiar term: In Judaic fashion, Jesus/Yeshua used the terms soul and body—as in Matthew 10:28 (ESV).
“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
New Testament writers [followers of Jesus, the Messiah], like pharisee-turned apostle Saul Paulus, later called the body’s world-tethered component the flesh—referring to the physical body and its self-driven characteristics.
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion [degrading, vile, lustful], evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” —Colossians 3:5 (ESV)
“For those living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit [of God] set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit [of God] is life and peace.
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it doesn’t submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” —Romans 8:5-8 (ESV)
But I say, walk by the Spirit [of God] and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
—Galatians 5:16-17 (ESV)
The dynamic-duo struggle, body and soul, is real. It’s part of the refining, spiritual, and God-designed journey down here.
But does it have to be so chaotic, such a Wild West ride? Depends. And that brings us to part three of this series—how to navigate the battle within and without.
READ PART 3 NEXT: COMBAT ZONE SERIES: PART 3—RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
Combat Zone is the foundational post for soul basics. The original article was created/posted in 2009, but for easier reading divided into four posts in 2020. Judaic scripture number references used