The Creative Soul

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I’ve been introspective lately, thinking about big topics, such as the presence of God in our lives. I want to be a person who is led by God, and I’m having trouble hearing Him. This would normally be a topic for my Religion and Politics page, but I’m going to leave it here, in the main part of my blog, because it’s also related to creativity.

God is the Creator, and He made us in His image. That means that to a certain lesser extent, we are creators also. We’re cooks and builders and artists and inventors. We make stuff.

I believe my ideas come from God, but sometimes I don’t know what to do with them. I’ve come to a dead stop on some of my books because I know they have the potential to be so much more than they are, and I don’t know how to get them there. I need God to show me what His plan for my work is. I want to catch His vision. I want to plug into His creative power, but I don’t know how to access it. Where is it? Can I reach it with my mind? Or is it deeper still? Is it in my heart? My soul? My spirit?

I’ve prayed about it, and waited quietly for an answer, but it’s been months and I haven’t heard anything yet. And so I wonder.

A book I’ve been reading with my Bible study group mentioned that the soul knows when you’re on the wrong path. I feel like I’m on the wrong creative path and I’m searching for the right one, but I’m so lost. I sensed a whisper that I should define soul, so I’m following a rabbit trail trying to get a handle on it.

Is my soul the same thing as my spirit? I googled the difference between soul and spirit, and one of the articles that came up looked at scripture for answers.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (NIV).” The way the sentence is structured in the original Greek infers that we are made up of three distinct parts: spirit, soul, and body.

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (NIV).” You can divide the soul from the spirit just as you can separate joints from marrow; they are two distinct things. But they are also intertwined; it takes something sharper than a double-edged sword to separate them. Have you ever tried to sever a chicken leg joint in order to cook or serve dinner? It helps to have a sharp knife, but even that isn’t enough by itself; you really need good technique not to botch it up. Why? Because it isn’t designed to come apart easily. It would not be beneficial to the chicken for her legs to come off with ease. The word of God divides soul and spirit. What does that even mean?

Glory Dy, the author of the article I read, says “The soul is basically our mind, our emotions, and our will. It is who we are as human beings.” When I tried to define soul in my Zoom Bible study on Monday, I said it is our true self, our essence. I’m not sure I have it nailed down.

In contrast, Dy says, spirit is where we experience God. It is how we connect to the divine.

I’m sorry that my post today raises more questions than it answers. I’m not being very helpful today. If you have insights on the soul and/or the spirit, please feel free to share in the comments.

More thoughts on soul vs. spirit.

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

7 responses »

  1. I think of our spirit more as a mixture of personality and energy; its part of our earth suit. Our soul is the eternal part of us that God created uniquely for this body. That probably doesn’t make sense to anyone but me….Psalms help me when I have BIG questions like this. David was so honest, it helps me to see that he struggled too. Blessings and hugs to you Andrea!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You should have seen my jaw drop! I have just a few weeks ago brought this subject of soul and spirit up with a pastor who blogs. He had me read a book that was good but never answered the question. You introduced two scriptures that I had forgotten. I don’t think we can fully grasp the difference in our finite minds. But, as I watched the life flow from my mother, I came to understand the spirit as eternal, that which gives gives energy and heat to our being, and when it was gone from Mama, she ceased to be human. The soul I am still working on, but when I hear the birds sing in the morning or stand at the seashore watching the immensity of the ocean, I feel a peace so deep inside, and somehow, I know my soul has found rest. The soul can become agitated and fearful. Some things we will not understand until we see Jesus. Keep up the great work of writing your blog. I love all that you add to the world for us to enjoy. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “God is the Creator, and He made us in His image. That means that to a certain lesser extent, we are creators also. We’re cooks and builders and artists and inventors. We make stuff.” Love this thought! I am probably biased though as a creative. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just some personal thoughts here………just as the Trinity are One yet 3 distinct Persons……our spirit & soul are able to be separated but are one. I know that really doesn’t answer the question but, in a way, it does!!!! I so appreciate your thoughts……much love with many hugs……..D

    Liked by 1 person

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