The Engine Without Steam

The Engine Without Steam

On a very cold night in January a long freight train was steadily moving through the darkness toward Chicago. A cold bright moon and deep snow on the fields made a clear night. The temperature was below zero.

The big powerful steam engine was chugging and puffing under the strain of its heavy load. The bitter cold made it extra hard to keep up enough steam in the engine to pull the long line of freight cars. The fireman had to shovel coal almost all the time to keep up a hot fire.

The engineer looked at his watch and knew that it would soon be time for the fast night passenger train to meet them. At the next small town the freight train pulled on a siding to allow the passenger train to go through on the main track. Here it would have to wait until the passenger train came through otherwise there would be a head-on collision. But the passenger train was late for somewhere along the way it had trouble. There was nothing for the crew of the freight train to do but wait.

The engineer being hungry went into a nearby restaurant which was open all night leaving the fireman to keep up the steam. But the fireman taking a little time to rest fell asleep. The fresh, cold air and his hard work had made him sleepy. Finally, the passenger train came thundering along the main track. The fireman awoke with a start, the engineer climbed into the cab of the engine to pull back on the main track and on to Chicago. The engineer opened the throttle a little way, and then opened it all the way. There was no response. The wheels would not turn. There was no power. While the fireman slept the fire had burned down and there was no steam in the boiler. The engine no matter how big or perfect it may be cannot do its work unless there is the power of steam.

Steam is not something that you cannot hold in your hands. If you should try to grab a fist full, it would simply not be there. Yet when it is in the boiler of the engine it will turn the heavy wheels and easily pull a long line of cars.

As the engine needs the power that comes from steam to do its work so man needs the spirit of God in his heart. The engine is not good for much without steam, and man is not good for much without the spirit of God in him. The steam is the power in the engine, and the spirit of God is the power in us.

Abraham Lincoln set the slaves free. The spirit of God in his heart told him that God made all men to be free and equal. God did not make the Negroes to be slaves. Lincoln knew this. But he would not have known this if he had not had the spirit of God in his heart. Lincoln wanted to do what was right and what God wanted him to do, and he did it. But he could not have done it without the spirit of God in him. This gave him the power to do the right.

As the steam gives power to the engine, so the spirit of God gives power to man. The fire in the engine burned down and there was no steam. If we do not read the Bible, if we forget to pray, and do not go to Church to worship, the spirit of God dies down in our hearts, just as the fire burned down in the engine. Without steam there is no power in the engine, and without the spirit of God there is no power in us. We have the spirit of God in us if we live close to Christ and listen to the voice of God.

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