model train

The Model Train

    Using an illustration of a train, think of an engine and six cars. The engine is The Spirit of God and the six cars are the parts of an individual's life. Unless the cars are connected to the engine, the cars will be rolling backward downhill while the engine is moving forward uphill. Again, the engine represents the Spirit of God. The first car that must be connected to the engine is our spirit.  This is a picture of salvation when our spirit is joined with the Spirit of God through the rebirth. This establishes our relationship with God. The following three cars which make up the soul are the mind, the will, and the emotions. When these three cars are connected it establishes our fellowship with God. The next car would be the social relationships and the caboose or last car would be the body and our health. These last cars are not necessarily in absolute order, but generally this is the case.

body_relationships_emotions_will_mind_our spirit_The Spirit of God

    Some people think that getting saved will solve all their problems. It does give our spirit eternal life, but doesn't solve all the problems here and now. There are other people who connect their mind and will to the engine and start off on the right track. However, they look back at their emotions, and the rest of the cars, and don't immediately see a lot of change. They may still have broken relations, health issues in their body, and may be financially broke. They may give up saying, “This isn't working!”

    Again, all the cars need to be connected. However, even with all the cars connected and the engine has turned the curve on the track and is going in the right direction, it takes time for the rest of the train including the caboose to catch up to the curve. We are known as the microwave generation.  We want immediate success in every area of our lives. When we don't see immediate success on our time table, we may become discouraged, angry, and depressed. However, in contrast, if we will patiently wait upon God, He will work everything together for our benefit and in His time, we will find success even through it may not always be the way in which we thought it would be.

    The above photo is of a small wooden model train that I built to illustrate some spiritual truths. The baseline frame for the cars is from a plywood board use for shipping a love seat that my wife brought several years ago. The back part of the engine is from a small piece wood that was left over after I cut up a console stereo that my wife and I purschased in about 1965 while we were engaged. The larger block on the "spirit" car was from a broken baby crib that I rescued from someone's garbage about ten years ago. The large dowel on the "mind" car came either from the handle of an old broom or a bathroom plunger handle. The logs on the "emotions" car are from some wooden arrows that I had purchased about forty years ago to do some bow hunting.  However, shortly after I got into archery, I broke my wrist playing flag football on a hard dirt ground at a youth retreat.  For over a year, I was unable to shoot a bow; therefore, I stored the unfinished arrows in the attic where it was too hot.  When I got them down from the attic several years later, I discovered that they were all split, but I did saved them. The other wooden pieces with the exception of the wheels are also from various scrap boards that I saved from other projects. The only parts that I purchased for this train project are the wheels and the hooks to connect the cars. The truth is that God also often uses what others would throw away. 

    When people come to me for counseling, they are often discarded by the world. They may see themselves as rejects, failures, and outcasts. However, they all are precious in God's eyes. The men that God sent to David were in distress, debt, and discontented, but David led them to be mighty men of God and mighty in battle. "The Winner's Circle".

I. The
ENGINE is The Spirit of God.

A. God desires His best for your lives.

"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth"  (III John 1:2).

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly"  (John 10:10).

B. God has a good plan for your life.

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end"  (Jeremiah 29:11).

"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"  (Romans 8:32).

C. God is well able to carry out His plan.

"Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it"  (Jeremiah 1:12).

"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"  (Jeremiah 32:27).

"And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible"  (Mark 10:27).

"And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God"  (Luke 18:27).

II. First we need to have our spirit connected with the
The Spirit of God.

A. We must understand that we all have sinned.

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3:10).

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"  (Romans 3:23).

B. We need to understand that the consequence of sin is death in the spirit-man.

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned"  (Romans 5:12).

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"  (Romans 6:23).

C. We need to understand that Jesus suffered the consequences for our sin.

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"  (Romans 5:8).

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit"  (I Peter 3:18).

D. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus he offers us LIFE.

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me"  (John 14:6).

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him"  (John 3:36).

E. To become connected with God we must believe in Jesus by giving our lives to Jesus as Lord.

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved"  (Romans 10:9).

F. When we give our life to Jesus as Lord, the Spirit of God makes us a new creation in the spirit-man.

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new"  (II Corinthians 5:17).

G, God then gives us an eternal union with Him.

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever"  (I Peter 1:23).

"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand"  (John 10:28).

III. We need to connect our
mind to our spirit_The Spirit of God.

A. We connect our mind to our spirit-man through faith.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen"  (Hebrews 11:1).

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him"  (Hebrews 11:6).

"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth"  (Mark 9:23).

B. We receive faith through the Word of God.

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"  (Romans 10:17).

"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God"  (Matthew 4:4).

"Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls"  (James 1:21).

C. What we put in our minds affects the rest of the train.

"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee"  (Proverbs 23:7).

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God"  (Romans 12:2).

"A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things"  (Matthew 12:35).

IV. We need to connect our
will to our mind_our spirit_The Spirit of God

A. Connecting our will to the rest of the train is a choice that we make.

"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live"  (Deuteronomy 30:19).

B. We choose what thoughts we accept, entertain, and meditate upon and what thoughts we reject.

"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ"  (II Corinthians 10:5).

C. Obedience is a choice.

"And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams"  (I Samuel 15:22).

"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"  (Romans 6:16).

"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure"  (Philippians 2:12-13).

V. We also need to connect our
emotions to our will_mind_our spirit_The Spirit of God

A. We connect the emotions by finding peace with God.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee"  (Isaiah 26:3).

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus"  (Philippians 4:6-7).

B. We connect by choosing to loving others.

"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful"  (Colossians 3:12-15).

"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you"  (John 15:12).

VI. We need to connect our
relationships to our emotions_will_mind_spirit of man_The Spirit of God .

A. Proper relationships produce material prosperity.

"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success"  (Joshua 1:8).

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper"  (Psalms 1:1-3).

"And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before"  (Job 42:10).

B. Proper relationships are also associated with our health.

"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth"  (III John 1:2).

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much"  (James 5:16).

VII. We need to connect our
body to the relationships_emotions_will_mind_spirit of man_The Spirit of God   

A. We are to remember God's benefits.

"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases"  (Psalms 103:2-3).

B. We are to present our bodies to the Lord

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service"  (Romans 12:1).

C. The result is physical healing and health.

"He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions"  (Psalms 107:20).

"Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh"  (Proverbs 4:21-22).

"It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones"  (Proverbs 3:8).

body_relationships_emotions_will_mind_our spirit_The Spirit of God

"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you"  (John 15:7).