Are You an Engineor a Caboose?

Are you a conformist?
Do you simply go along with the crowd by following in the same direction that someone else has set?
In other words, are you simply acting like a caboose being pulled along at the end of a train with someone else setting the destination by acting as the engine?

GOD gave each of us a brain and a mind with which to think, to analyze, and to test, everything independently of others.
He also gave each of us
common sense and the power to reason.
How many of us have put these great gifts to good use, and how many of us have failed to do so?
Those that use these gifts are the true engines of this world and those that fail to do so are the cabooses.
The source of power in a train is its engine. The caboose is simply dragged along for the ride.
The engine is the leader. The caboose is the follower.
However, it is to be noted that some who think they are engines are deficient in common sense and / or reasoning power, but are articulate in that they try to fool those who fail to even try to use these gifts from GOD.

Let us see what Holy Scripture teaches us regarding common sense and reasoning power, or the lack of either or both.
See if you can distinguish common sense and / or reasoning power in each of the following verses?

Romans 2:15, "They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them."

Romans 16:18, "For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded."

2Corinthians 1:20-22, "For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why we utter the Amen through him, to the glory of God. 
(21) But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us; 
(22) he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee."

2Corinthians 3:2-3, "You are our epistle, written in our hearts, which is known and read by all men: 
(3) Being manifested, that you are the epistle of Christ, ministered by us, and written: not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God: not in tables of stone but in the fleshly tables of the heart."

2Corinthians 4:6-7, "For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (7) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us."

Philippians 4:6-8, "Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (7) And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
(8) Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

1Thessalonians 2:3-4, "For our appeal does not spring from error or uncleanness, nor is it made with guile; 
(4) but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but to please God who tests our hearts."

2Thessalonians 2:16-17, "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, (17) comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word."

2Thessalonians 3:5, "May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ."

1Timothy 6:10, "For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs."

Hebrews 8:10, "This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

Hebrews 10:16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,"

James 3:14, "But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth."

James 4:8, "Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind."

1Peter 3:14-17, "But even if you do suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, (15) but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence; (16) and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. (17) For it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God's will, than for doing wrong."

1John 3:17-22, "But if any one has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? (18) Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth. (19) By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and reassure our hearts before him (20) whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (21) Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God; (22) and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him."

Romans 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be reformed in the newness of your mind,
that you may prove what is the good and the acceptable and the perfect will of God."

We must put it all to the test:

"Test everything; hold fast what is good."
1Thessalonians 5:21
Does that sound like what a follower, like a caboose blindly being dragged along by an engine, should do?
That verse was written for each and everyone of us to obey.

2Corinthians 13:5, "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you fail to meet the test!"

Galatians 6:3-5, "For if any one thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (4) But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. (5) For each man will have to bear his own load."

1Thessalonians 5:19-22, "Do not quench the Spirit, (20) do not despise prophesying, (21) but test everything; hold fast what is good, (22) abstain from every form of evil."

Hebrews 3:7-11, "Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, when you hear his voice, (8) do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, (9) where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. (10) Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, 'They always go astray in their hearts; they have not known my ways.' (11) As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall never enter my rest.'"

James 1:12, "Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him."

1John 4:1, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world."

Psalms 26:2, "Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind."

Lamentations 3:40, "Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD!"

It is to be noted that not all of us are an engine and not all of us are a caboose.

Some are born leaders and others are born followers.
Some are in between. There are some of each. GOD Made us that way.
Regardless of which group to which we belong, we are obligated to use the gifts we have received.
We must use our GOD given common sense and reasoning power to question, analyze,
and test all things that we encounter in this life and not to live life by blindly following the leader.

Are you an engine or a caboose?

"A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it."
G.K. Chesterton
A dead fish always floats down stream but a live one can swim against the flow.

Written by Bob Stanley, February 11, 2010

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