The account of the creation tells us that man is composed of three parts. God first formed the body from the dust of the earth, after which He breathed into it “the breath of life.” He caused His own life, His Spirit, to enter into it. By this union of Spirit with matter, the man became a “living soul.” The soul, which is essentially the man, finds its place between the body and the spirit; it is the link which binds them together. By the body the soul finds itself in relation to the external world; by the spirit, with the world invisible and with God. By means of the soul, the spirit can subject the body to the action of the heavenly powers and thus spiritualize it; by means of the soul, the body also can act upon the spirit and attract it earthwards. The soul, subject to the solicitations of both spirit and body, is in a position to choose between the voice of God, speaking by the Spirit, or the voice of the world, speaking through the senses.
Andrew Murray writes this as one of his arguments for why we should seek God in our sicknesses for divine healing. In my terms, he would argue that the more we listen to the voice of God, the more our soul (mind, will, and emotions) is transformed and made whole, and thus, the more healthy our body will be. On the other hand, when we listen to the voices of the desires of our bodies and its instincts, it will pull down our soul to the earthly; and thus, our spirit, will be more earth-focused and not God-focused.
You may not agree with everything he says about divine healing in his book, or you just might do so, however, I don't think you can argue with how the body, soul, and spirit interplay with each other. Take anger for example. Anger is an emotion that affects the body in many different ways:
Anger triggers the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. Other emotions that trigger this response include fear, excitement and anxiety. The adrenal glands flood the body with stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. The brain shunts blood away from the gut and towards the muscles, in preparation for physical exertion. Heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increase, the body temperature rises and the skin perspires. The mind is sharpened and focused. http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au
Long term anger leads to higher blood pressure, heart attacks, and so forth. The anger which comes from the soul affects the body.
But what about the spirit? As we allow God's Spirit to direct and guide our spirit more and more deeply, the things that cause us to become angry (anger is usually based on not getting your own way) grow less and less. This means our soul will experience more peace and less anger, resulting in our body not being triggered by anger as much. Having said this, our culture often medicates the body for the physical symptoms that come with prolonged anger and stress (soul issues) and not responding to life the way God desires (spirit issues.) The cure however, is in our relationship to God and listening to him and re-framing our view of the situation as God would (spirit issues). This then brings more peace to the emotions (soul issues) which then proceeds to a healthier body and no need for medication (body issues).
I just finished reading Deuteronomy lately. At the end of chapter 28 it sounded as if Moses was describing a person facing a panic attack. But why would this person (these people) have such panic? It began as a spiritual issue; they were attaching themselves to other gods for their answers of life.
I have yet to complete Andrew Murray's book. I haven't agreed with every single word. But there is no doubt in my mind that the body, soul, and spirit are intimately intertwined. The wholeness of the body is definitely linked to the wholeness of the soul and the spirit. Thus, the cure for some of our sicknesses and ailments is not found in medication, but in listening and obeying the Spirit of Jesus Christ.