I had an interesting experience early one morning recently. About 4 a.m., a friend called me who told me about a friend of his who was staying in his house. This man was somebody who worships Satan, but he came into his home and expressed a desire to give his life to the Lord. My friend was trying to help him and he called me at 4 a.m. so I could pray and talk with him. I initiated a conference call with a couple of other brethren and we all talked together on the phone. Sadly, the man believed a lie of Satan and became convinced that it wasn’t going to work out, so he hung up the phone, walked out, and disappeared. He came back a couple of hours later, but his desire to give his life to the Lord was gone.
In this experience, I learned a few things that have been helpful to me and have challenged me. I thought of myself. I talked with my wife, Kendra, and thought, “What would happen if one of my friends showed up on my doorstep like that, someone who was into Satanism really heavily?” Most of us haven’t encountered people like that very often and maybe we have never seen anybody or talked with anyone in that kind of situation, but this is the way this man was. It makes you wonder how you would react if someone came into your house like that, because you can be almost confident that he is not alone when he comes; he brings with him other evil influences. So, there may be demons in your home now. It would be a pretty frightening situation if you didn’t know that God was watching out for you and caring for you, and that is one thing my friend said. He said he and his family were not afraid because God was with them. As the Bible says, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
Psalm 118:6 says, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” And not just man, but anyone. John writes, “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) Paul boldly declared that, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
We can trust in God completely. However, what if there are certain things in our lives that shake that confidence? Perhaps we have been walking contrary to God’s Word, and have not been as steadfast, faithful, and true as we should have been. Then we might wonder if God is going to watch out and take care of us because we have not been close enough to Him. This is one thing that went through my friend’s mind, and he challenged me, and it went through my mind too. Am I really close enough to God to deal with a situation like this and to help a person like this?
I just want to pass on that challenge to you, friend, because the Bible says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” (2 Corinthians 13:5) We need to take an examination and test ourselves to see where we are at, where we have been, and where we are going. It really helps us, because if I tell you how to get to a certain place, the very first thing you have to know is where you are now. That’s important! If we expect to get to heaven, we first need to know where we are now, and what our current condition is. And it is not just about heaven, because our goal shouldn’t just be heaven! Shouldn’t we have a better goal? That goal should be always pleasing God the best way possible. Like Job says, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” (Job 13:15) Job had faith that even if God destroyed him, he was going to serve God no matter what. You know why? Because Job loved God and learned that he could trust Him no matter what!
Letting Our Light Shine
Let us notice a couple, of the many, beautiful things in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16) Here it says that you are the light of the world and that you should let your light shine before men so other men can see that light. “What kind of light are you?” Are you a little, tiny light, or are you a bright and shining light that the Bible mentions. Is your light shining where it can be seen or is it hid under a bushel? Or is it even there? We need to look at what kind of light we are portraying to the rest of the world.
Second Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Here we are told that as we behold the glory of God, we are changed into the same image. I understand “glory to glory” to mean, that it is from one glory, or one amount of brightness, to a greater amount of brightness. From glory to glory we are to go onward and upward. That is God’s plan for the way He wants us to walk. The Bible says that if we behold the glory of God, this is what will happen. The glory of God is so much more than any glory that we have, isn’t it? As we behold that glory, then we become changed, onward and upward, evermore.
One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 4:18. It says, “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Sometimes we might be content with the light we have. “Oh, look at my light. It is bright. It is shining quite well, and I think I am going to just leave it like it is.” But here the Bible talks about a light that shines more and more. It gets brighter and brighter and brighter, unto the perfect day. So, we shouldn’t be content in just having a little flashlight that may be just enough to get by with.
I live close to the office where I work. Many times I go home after dark, especially in the winter, and I have to walk down a narrow road and, unless you have ever done it, you don’t know how treacherous it could be at night. Unless you have the light of a full moon, it is easy to find yourself right at the edge and maybe even falling over the bank. You probably wouldn’t die falling down there, but it wouldn’t feel very good. Anyway, when I walk along without a flashlight sometimes I take my cell-phone out and it puts off just enough light to get by, barely enough. I hold it down, and I can see the edge of the road, just barely, and I walk along like that, very careful not to go over the edge. I am content with that, just enough so that I don’t fall over the edge.
But are we that way with our Christian lives? Do we have just enough light to get by? The Bible says that “if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Peter 4:18) Do you want to be scarcely saved? Scarcely saved just by “the skin of your teeth,” so to speak? Do you want to just barely make it; just do enough to get by? Is that the kind of life that we have? I would much rather have a big, bright light! Perhaps you have seen a million candle power light used in boating a lot. With one of those lights I could surely get from here to home without any problem. Sometimes, even with my little light, I get a little stumbled up. I think I am seeing the edge of the road and I am not. So, it is much better to have a bright light, and that is what God wants us to do—to have a bright light; and not just a constant light, but one that gets brighter and brighter and brighter. That is what God wants us to have, and that is what Proverbs 4:18 means. The path of the just is as a shining light that gets brighter and brighter, shining more and more unto the perfect day.
Job 17:9 says, “The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.” He that hath clean hands will be stronger and stronger. Do you know that when you go out to a battle and win, the next time you go to battle you are stronger? That is one reason the army of Alexander the Great had so much success. They never once failed. They had no past history of failure to look back on and think that since they failed once they might fail again. Instead, they always won the victory. So, they were eager to go out to battle, they were ready. They were confident that they were going to make it, and that is the way of a righteous person when he has the victory in his life. We have a battle to fight, don’t we?
I was made more aware of this spiritual battle that we are fighting last week when I was talking with my friend. There is a spiritual battle going on. It is not just what we see, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes, things that we can’t see. There are angels, many angels that we can’t see, watching over Christians. One sister, in relating some very challenging things that happened to her, mentioned her angel was working overtime last week to make sure she was safe and protected.
I know that each one of us has an angel watching out for us, but Satan has angels too who are trying to harm us. Yet, we don’t have to worry about them, because God is stronger. If we walk with God and follow God, then we don’t have to worry about Satan and his angels because the Bible says if we submit ourselves to God, and resist the devil, he will flee from us (James 4:7), because he has been defeated already at the cross.
When we get to a battle in our lives, when we enter into temptation, then we can pray to God and He will give us the victory, if we want it. If we really want the victory, we can have the victory every time. Isn’t that true? Every single time! And when you get the victory at one time, the next time you come to that battle, you will be stronger. And the next time, you will be even stronger.
I used to be on drugs, addicted to marijuana, and all kinds of things. When I first decided to give my life to the Lord, the marijuana was a really hard thing for me to give up. When I first started on my way, I was still around a lot of drug addicts and drug dealers. I was among them, trying to witness to them, and I sometimes found myself doing the same things they were doing. I felt very guilty and very dirty, but that is the truth. It is what happened to me and that temptation was very strong because it was something I had been accustomed to do all the time in the past. But, what happened is the Lord gave me the victory and He kept giving me the victory over and over again. Even though that temptation had some pull on me for a while, I have gotten stronger and stronger and stronger, so that now if somebody would come in with a marijuana cigarette, it wouldn’t faze me. I can walk along and smell that smell, which occasionally happens in the city, but I don’t have a desire anymore to go back and do that, because God has given me the victory over that, and that is what He will do for everything.
That is just one example in one little area of life. He will do that for every single thing that we have, whatever we are struggling with. If we fight and win the battle through God’s help, the next time we come to that battle, we will be stronger, and the next time stronger and, pretty soon, we will be very, very strong in that point. And that is what God wants us to do, to continue on that upward path.
Jesus used a vine and a husbandman as an illustration of the work He wishes to accomplish in us. “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:…” (John 15:2) Just like any man who has a grape vine, God trims off the things that aren’t working anymore so that they don’t suck sap from the Vine. And then it says, “…and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (John 15:2) God is not content with just getting a couple of grapes on a little branch. He wants that branch to put out as much as can possibly come out of that branch. So, He is going to purge it. He is going to work with it. The purging doesn’t always feel good as it involves cutting and clipping. However it is done so that the next year it will bring forth more fruit. That is what God does with us. He is happy when we bring forth fruit, but He wants us to bring forth more fruit, so He purges us and works with us. Unfortunately, sometimes His people are content with bringing forth just a little fruit.
Growing in the Lord
Remember the story of the ten talents? (Matthew 25:14-30) One man was given one talent, one was given two, and one was given five. Then the master came back, and the one who had been given five had increased them to ten. The one who had two talents increased them to four. But, the one who had one talent, went and hid it in a hole in the earth and was content with the little bit that he had. When the Lord came, he showed it to Him and said: “See, I still have it.” The Lord said, “Why didn’t you do anything with it? Why didn’t you improve it?” And, he didn’t have a good answer, so the Lord took that talent away from him and gave it to the one who had ten talents, because He knew that the one who had ten would make good use of it.
So, we shouldn’t be content with just one little bunch of grapes and when the Lord comes say, “Look, I have a couple of grapes here on this branch. Aren’t you happy?” You are proud of these little grapes, but God doesn’t want us to have just a little fruit. He wants us to have a basket that is overflowing, so much so that you have to bring in more baskets to fill up what can’t fit in the first basket. God wants us to bring forth much fruit and He is going to work with us and purge us until that happens. But, if we are stubborn and disobedient, then His work is going to be in vain for us. and finally He is going to have to cut us off. Do you want to be that way? Do you want to be one of those dead branches that are cut off? No! We need to stay in the vine so we may produce more fruit and become stronger and stronger.
In Matthew 5:48 our Master set the standard for Christian attainment. Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” That is a high calling, isn’t it? He didn’t say be perfect just like Paul is perfect, or be perfect like Peter. He says be perfect like your Father in heaven; even as your Father in heaven is perfect. That is a very high calling! This call to perfection is not only here in Matthew 5, but Abraham was told to be perfect. (See Genesis 17:1.) God expected and asked of Abraham to be perfect, and the Bible says that Job “was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed [hated] evil. (Job 1:1) God asked Satan, “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 1:8) What would He say about you today, right now? Just consider that for yourself. We really need to ask ourselves these questions, don’t we? If God in heaven said to Satan right now, “Have you considered my servant, Lynnford?” What would be the next words? Would He say, “A perfect man who fears God and eschews evil?” Are those the words that God would say next?
Ezekiel records Noah, Job, and Daniel as being three righteous men. (See Ezekiel 14:14, 20.) What was so special about them? Were these supernatural people? Were they any different from you and me? Were they made differently? Made out of different flesh? No. All of us are the same. It says God has made of one blood, all men. (Acts 17:26) All of us are made the same way. If these people were just men, then we can be like they were. If these people were perfect men, then we can be perfect men and women! We can live to the same standard, and isn’t that what God wants? Even though just these three are mentioned, are there more who are going to be in heaven? Sure, there are going to be lots of others in heaven, but God singles out some of these special people. God said David is “a man after mine own heart.” (Acts 13:22) “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24) God took him to heaven because he was so close to God. His basket of fruit was so full that it was overflowing.
You have to think, were these people content with a little light, a little light that was just enough to get them by? Is that the type of people they were? No, they didn’t want just enough to get by. I remember hearing David Clayton from Jamaica say, “I want to be the closest friend to God, the best friend that God has upon this earth.” Isn’t that what you want to be? God’s best friend!
There is a slogan for the United States Army—“Be All That You Can Be.” Isn’t that what we need to be for God? I think about this every single day, that there was more that I could have done. There were opportunities missed of blessing people, of helping people, and I would just hate to come to the end of my life and think I have wasted my time. How did my life affect people? How did it help people on their Christian walk? One might say, if he were a scientist, “I made a rocket that went to the moon.” That might be a great accomplishment in some respects, but does that accomplish anything for what is after this earth? When you look at a timeline and you try to draw the time that this world exists, from when God created it until the Lord comes and takes all His people home, how big, in the scope of eternity, would that mark be in your timeline? You couldn’t even see it. You would have to get a magnifying glass or a microscope to see that little, tiny speck of time that men are living on this world from the time that it was created until the time that the Lord comes. Six thousand years is nothing compared with eternity! When we even think of our lives, we are given seventy years and it is nothing compared to eternity.
So, all of these things that are going to pass away are not what matters. What matters at the end of the day, at the end of our lives, is what have I done to help others to know God? What have I done to let my light so shine before men that it will help people to glorify God?
Are We Growing or Stagnant?
If we would draw a graph of our Christian experience, what would it look like, from the time that we began our Christian experience until today? Would it go up for a while and then start dwindling off, or staying at an even spot? Is that the way you would draw a graph of your spiritual experience, of your relationship with God? Has it gone up at the beginning and then stayed the same ever since, or up and down ever since? Is that the way that God wants us to be, or does He want us to continue growing stronger and stronger? If we would draw the graph of Christ’s life, it would show that His spiritual experience with God was growing and growing and growing, continuously going upward and upward. That is the way the path of the just is, like a shining light, growing brighter and brighter. That is the way a just person lives, and the just, like it says in Job, get stronger and stronger. They continue to go onward and upward but, unfortunately, a lot of people are content with going upward for a while, but then stopping and staying at an even keel. They say, “Oh, I am good enough now. I’ll just stay where I am.” We really need to think about this and press onward. Have you made advancements in your life today, further than you were yesterday, or, are you the same? Are you the same today in your spiritual experience as you were last week; or last month; or last year; or, even worse, ten years ago? Are we at the same place, or have we gone upward? If we haven’t gone upward, we have a problem, because God wants us to continue higher and higher, stronger and stronger.
I really like what Paul said in Philippians 3:12-14, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” What is that mark Paul is talking about? If you look at the context, it is perfection. He is pressing toward that mark. Absolutely perfect, just like God the Father is perfect. Paul wanted to be just like God. Isn’t that a good mark to look forward to? It says, “I press toward that mark,” onward and upward. He saw something ahead of him, something higher that he could attain. He kept his eyes on that goal and went toward it, and that is what he is calling us to do. That is what God wants us to do—to look at that goal of being exactly like Christ. Like Paul says, “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Keep that as the goal, that every thought, every word, every action comes from God. “Till we all come… unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13) That is what Paul was looking for. It says he pressed toward that mark, and that is what we need to do in our experience. We can’t be content with a righteousness that is equal to all those around us. Jesus warned us about such comparisons when He said, “except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20) Don’t be content with having just that level of righteousness that is considered satisfactory by the majority of Christianity, or even of the majority of the church here, or the majority of your family. Wherever you are, don’t be content with that kind of Christianity. Press higher and higher. Jesus said your righteousness must exceed this. Be better, go on above, higher and higher.
Is Your Spiritual Life a BMW or a Junker?
We are familiar with automobiles. Most of us have cars and we have all ridden in vehicles, haven’t we? You buy a brand-new car and when it comes off the lot, there is nothing wrong with it. The handles all work, the electric windows all work, the door locks work, all the gauges work, everything in your vehicle works properly as it is supposed to when it comes off the lot, but perhaps you are like me. I have never owned a brand-new car. I always have acquired cars after someone else has used them for awhile. Do you know what happens to vehicles as they age? Things cease to function the way they should. In my car right now, the speedometer doesn’t work properly. There are certain other defects that just kind of creep up on you so that your car doesn’t function properly. There are also different types of owners. Some people just don’t care about things falling apart in their cars. As long as it gets them from point A to point B, they are going to continue using their vehicle. The only things they fix are the things that prohibit the vehicle from moving any longer. If the bumper is hanging down, or the muffler is dragging on the ground, or there is a big rust hole in the side, sometimes people just let those things go and keep going. It doesn’t matter. Maybe you have to climb through the window to get in your car. In West Virginia we possibly see those things a little more often than people of other areas. Sometimes cars just start to fall apart. Some people are content to let those things go.
Other people, as soon as one little thing goes wrong, a little scratch in the side of their car for example, they go to the body repair shop and say, “I want that little scratch fixed.” Whatever it is, they make sure that everything is working properly all the time, a hundred percent.
I thought about that example in our Christian life. As Christians, are we content having a little dent, a malfunction here in our character, a little malfunction there? We may not be quite up to par in different areas, but we are still doing the main things that we think are necessary to go to heaven, so we will just leave off all those other little details that aren’t that important. Is that the way we are sometimes? I know that some people have a tendency to do that, to let things go, to let things slide by that aren’t just right, but does God want us to do that? Christ wants to have a spotless bride, “not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:27) That’s one reason, if you look at the sacrificial system, the sacrifices representing Jesus were always presented spotless, without blemish. They represented Christ, but Christ is to live in us, so we are to have the same thing. We are supposed to be spotless, without blemish.
Let’s not get to heaven driving this “old junker,” with things falling apart here and there and just not quite right. Let’s make sure that our Christian experience is one comparable to a car that has been to the maintenance shop, the car wash, and the detail shop so that everything is shiny and working properly. This is the way we need to be as Christians. We need to make sure everything in our life is a light.
How Do We Get There?
How does that happen? It is one thing to say, “Okay, this is what needs to be done,” and then leave you there. It is another thing to say, “This is what you have to do and here is how you do it.” That is what is important. It is not enough just to know where we have to go. We have to know how to get there.
First Corinthians 13:4 states, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.” Now, “charity” here is self-sacrificing love. When we read this whole chapter, is this a description of you? The reason I picked out this verse is because I have found myself (all of us suffer with different things—Paul had a thorn in the flesh), suffering long with a particular thing but I find myself being unkind and not very nice about it. So, I read this verse and I say, “Well, this isn’t a description of me. This isn’t the kind of person I am.” I suffer long, sure, but then I am unkind about it. Is that the way love acts? Not according to this verse. It says it suffers long and is kind, tender, and gentle. So, when I read this, I say, “Well, Lord, this isn’t me. This isn’t a description of me.” Something is wrong. It is like that car. One of the doors doesn’t open. The only way to get in is you have to go through another way. So, there is a problem here and how can it be fixed? With the door, you have to take the door off, remove the lining, and fix the handle. In the case of my character, something also has to be done. If I suffer long and I am not kind, well, then I need to learn how to suffer long and be kind. That is what it says love does. So, I must not have the love that I need.
We Need God’s Spirit
Galatians 5:22, 23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Here it says the fruit of the Spirit, the first thing, is love, and then joy, peace, longsuffering, and gentleness. The word gentleness is almost the same as the word kind back in 1 Corinthians 13:4. Love suffers long and is kind. Here it says longsuffering and then it says gentleness, or another word would be kindness. So, here are things that I need. If I need them and I don’t have them, it is because the true Word of God says I don’t have enough of the Spirit of God in my life. The Bible says the fruit of the Spirit is these things—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, gentleness. So, how do I get these things, then? I receive them by having the Spirit of God in my life. So, if I am low on these things, then I am also low on the Spirit of God. How do you get the Spirit?
Jesus said: “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:11-13) Jesus said no good father would ever give bad gifts to his children. He was telling us that if we ask God for His Spirit He will give it to us, if we believe. The Bible says, “ye have not, because ye ask not.” (James 4:2) It also says, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23)
This is something that I really believe we can depend upon, exactly like it says. As a parent, I truly want to give good gifts to my children. Friends, the good news is, God is much more willing to give us His Spirit than we are to give good gifts to our children. God is going to do it because He said He would. If we depend upon that and trust Him for that, then He is going to fulfill His word. He is going to do just what He says.
We need to come to God in childlike faith, depending on His Word. We need to use the Word like Jesus did when Satan came against Him. Jesus 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) “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Matthew 4:7) “It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:10) Jesus used the Word of God as a tool to fight against Satan, and that is what we need to do too. It is a tool that will enable us to become stronger and stronger; that will enable us to go higher and higher. We need to use the promises the way they were intended. We need to accept them just as they are.
One thing I learned from the experience with my friend I mentioned at the beginning: Satan is constantly trying to convince people that God is not going to be able to help them, that God is no good, and that He is not as faithful as He claims to be. The biggest battle with people, who are into Satanism, is over their faith in God. If they get presented with a little hope that maybe God can help them with this problem, that they are not going to be destroyed because of it, then they can go forward. But Satan tries to crush out that hope, so that they don’t see any way that they can get through it, without being harmed or becoming worse. That is what the real battle is that is going on—it is for our faith.
Do you trust God? Do you trust God enough? Some people asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” (John 6:28) Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:29) That is what God’s work is in the world—to empower you to believe and to trust. Satan’s work is to help you to disbelieve and to distrust. These are two opposing views that are in a battle right now. God wants you to believe. Satan wants you to disbelieve.
Second Corinthians 7:1 says, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” These promises are given to us to help bring us to perfection. We can depend on these promises. We cleanse ourselves from the filthiness that is in our flesh and in our spirit through, and by, God’s promises. So going back to our car analogy, if you have a defective door handle, or if you have a speedometer that doesn’t work, or whatever is in your experience, some defect that is not quite right, but you have been content so far to just go along with it because you are getting by just fine by leaving that defect there, here it says that you need to cleanse yourself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. All of those defects must go, every single one of them. It says we do this by the promises that God has given us. We have so many promises, and we can depend upon the promises, and they are everywhere in the Word of God. We are not going to see the promises and we are not going to know them if our Bible sits on the shelf and collects dust!
We Need Spiritual Tools
I like to have a lot of tools. Sometimes I take it to extremes. I have this little tiny car and much of the trunk is filled with tools. I carry them in case I break down and need to fix something. In our spiritual experience, what is the toolbox? The Word of God! God tells us that we have these promises so that we can cleanse ourselves from filthiness. If you have a problem with something, there is a promise in the Bible just for that problem. There is a tool that fits just right.
The other day I was fixing my brakes. There is a special wrench that you have to have to take the brake line off. Many other jobs also require specific tools. There are special tools in God’s Word, but you will not know about them unless you open the Bible and find them. The more you study, the bigger toolbox you are going to have. You will keep adding tools. The more you study, the more tools you will have and you will even increase your tools from specific verses as you will continue to gain insight from them through continued study. That is why it is so important to keep going over it, to keep gaining your tools, so that you can cleanse yourself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit; so that you can go onward, upward, and higher!