The Battle For Relevancy

“How much is tradition affecting our mobility?” “Are we carrying old paradigms limiting us in this new era?”. These were the questions that were asked in a recent conversation I was in, I did more of the listening than talking. Finally leaving the comfort of the restaurant in which the discussion was held. I walk toward my car contemplating those questions. It forced me to ask new questions. Are “we” as the church relevant? Are we even supposed to be relevant? Does relevancy play a crucial role in the propagation of the gospel? Realizing it or not, these questions enlisted me on the proverbial battlefield many have fought on: the battle of relevancy.

Before we start I’d like to state that the rest of this post presupposes that you’ve settled core doctrinal tenets. In our defense for truth we can sometime engage in friendly fire, causing spiritual casualties because we become trigger happy. Quick to discredit and destroy someone with genuine questions and concerns because we perceive their questions, as doctrinal retractions. Let’s get this clear. There is no question about the doctrine. Apostolic principles and doctrines will forever maintain their relevance. They transcend culture and time. In fact, that’s what makes them apostolic. I’m not talking about attempting to hide heresy under the disguise of relevancy. In most discussions dealing with relevancy, the central concern is not the message, but methods.

Methods and boundaries act as extensions to apostolic principles. It attempts to take the universal truths of scripture and give them specific cultural application. The issue occurs when we can no longer distinguish the extension from doctrinal truth. Then what once served a purpose, has the possibility to become a hindrance. It is comparable to the serpent that Moses erected to bring healing, but years later brought about idolatry. This occurred because the medium to God became as important as God Himself. The opposite can be just a detrimental. When men with week spiritual eyes attempt to remove traditions not realizing that they’re grasp has extended beyond old boundaries (now current tradition), and into truth. It’s the “Eve syndrome”. Eve touched the fruit before she ate it. The “touch not” was established by the man of God to inhibit the “eat not” settled by the word of God. Adam understood that connection would validate consumption. Those inflicted with the Eve syndrome ignore the fact that boundaries acknowledge that the external touch will affect internal desires, causing relational damage, with God and others. Both the veneration of the serpent and the underplay of boundaries can have enteral impacts.

It has been the uptake of numerous cultural and sub cultural groups that has brought relevancy to the forefront of discussion. Consider that for years culture took time to adjust and change. But now culture is constantly adjusting and perpetually segmenting. Because of the fast growth and diversity of culture, we are forced to adjust our presentation of the Gospel. If we fail to acknowledge cultural variance in age, ethnicity, educational status, and geographical backgrounds, we can see very little results in place where there should be success. Not because of WHAT we communicate, but HOW we communicate. I understand that there must be a sense of individuality when reaching people. But culture is the door in which you walk through to reach and deal with the individual.

So, how do we keep the balance of trying to be culturally relevant yet not lose our identity. The answer might be in the scriptural scenario. Jesus making His way to His greatest triumph has an interaction with Simon the Cyrene. Simon is from a different location but possibly a different race. Simon’s encounter with Jesus would cause him and his family to believe. Jesus impacted someone who was from a different place and race. What allowed Jesus to be relevant and still effective? What made his reach beyond what cultural background affective in someone else’s? The cross. The cross allowed him to pull outside other close to Him. The same will be true for us. The cross will allow us to hold on to doctrinal truths, while adjusting our methods to reach various cultural groups. It’s the ONLY avenue that allows us to love God and others at the same time. The cross allows us to both do whatever necessary to reach people – at the same time doing whatever asked to please God. It is the cross that keeps us suspended beyond the world and its desire while allowing us to reach for those condemned to die.

Paul found this invaluable truth while attempting to find relevancy in the cultures he reached with the Gospel. And He listed the result of his finding to be: I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. The cross allowed Paul to fit their cultural context to transform their spiritual state. He only did this because he was cross centered. The cross adjusted Paul so that God could reach others. Paul became broken to become flexible. God’s love for others will break us.

The battle of relevancy is not fought between liberals and conservatives. Rather, it is fought by saints who conserve the truth handed down by the ages, to bring liberty to the captive. Young minister, your battle is NOT against your elders. As long as your sword is faced the wrong way you will always lose. Rather your battle is for the lost around you and the greatest tool you have in your arsenal is a cross. It is the catalyst to any method you could use. Be relevant but make sure you’ve find a cross to die on before you make adjustments. Make sure your desire to please God and love for the lost has brought you to your conclusion. Only then can we win the war of relevancy.

Dealing With Accusations & Confidence in Ministry: Part 2

Fellow Young Minister,

Thank you for your welcoming response regarding my previous letter. I wrote to you concerning the challenges we face through envy and accusation as we grow in ministry. These influences are birthed from the kingdom of darkness and are the roots of the spiritual resistance, tempting our passions by challenging our character, that we may become distracted and take our eyes off of God’s mission.

Nehemiah is our prime example.

He distinctly had 3 men oppose him: Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arab.

In the heat of our character being challenged, we will face these 3 spirits. Remember, their ultimate mission is PARALYSIS BY DISTRACTION!

First is Sanballat, the Horonite. His name means “strength” from the lineage that means “two caves” (Strong’s H5571 & H2773). Through accusation, this spirit tries to remove the vigor and strength we apply towards the vision God has given us. If it is successful, our spiritual vision is left cavernous. Second is Geshem, the Arab. His name means “rain” from the lineage that means “sterility” (Strong’s H1654 & H6152). Through accusation, this spirit tries to discourage us by having us think that God’s blessing in the mission will end up becoming unfruitful, because our character cannot “hold up”. Third is Tobiah, the Ammonite. His name means “Jehovah is good” from the lineage that means “tribal” (Strong’s H2900 & H5983). Through accusation, this spirit tries to dampen our passion with complacency, that we may focus only on the status quo of our own unit. The temptation is that we don’t have the character through Christ to push the envelope.

Be aware. When the letter was sent to Nehemiah after the fourth wave of opposition, the Bible says that only Sanballat and Geshem spoke in the letter. Tobiah is silent, because complacency is almost always a feeling and not a voice.
These three spirits were calling Nehemiah to come out to the plain of Ono (Nehemiah 6:2). Ono was the valley of craftsmen and holds the significance that these spirits want to take us to the place where we are only focusing on our own “craft” and not on the bigger picture of the kingdom of God (Strong’s H207). Their strategy is to paralyze us from growing in leadership because we will begin to question our character and ability to lead others in God’s direction, so we ought to stop trying.

These are critical points of strategy that are operating when accusations come our way. We must recall that the enemy is a spirit, not a person. These spirits may follow us to an altar call, to the platform, to the pew, to our cars, to work, to wherever. We must endure like a good soldier of the Lord Jesus.

The Bible equates our enemy as the accuser of the brethren. So we must learn to not only protect others from falling prey to these pressuring accusations, we must find safety in loving brethren who will speak against these accusations with us. There are prayers that we cannot pray over ourselves, because God wants us to lovingly pray for one another (Ask Paul). We must come to a place where we say, “I am my brother’s keeper!” The adversary knows that we are focused on becoming who God wants us to become, so the wedge he tries to insert is between each other, by having us fall prey to these accusations – either in isolation or cooperation.

I must say, I have another letter for you next week to elaborate on some final matters regarding accusations and confidence in ministry. It took me awhile to just digest Sanballat, Geshem, and Tobiah. But some others come on the scene as well, to compromise our confidence in ministry. Remember, EVERY evil work is at hand. Though we are dealing with demonic wisdom as James would say, God has made us “wiser than our enemies” through His Word (Psalm 119:98).

Music & Prayer

Prayer is something that is sacred, never to be taken for granted. It is the way we communicate with the infinite God and a way we can impact the entire planet from our closet/meeting place. One issue that may negatively impact the direction of a prayer meeting (alone or 2+) is the use of (recorded) music.

I’ve found that music can often be like crutches for a drowning man. 

When we pray, we have the opportunity for GOD to lead us and direct us to affect the supernatural realm in a way that directly affects the world around us. Sometimes He wants us to meditate. Sometimes He wants us to war in the SPIRIT against demonic influence over our communities, or maybe He just wants our adoration and affection. The point is, prayer meetings are a vehicle for God to do what HE wants through HIS people.

Sometimes when we pray, there is an apparent need to have music in the background to accompany us. I hope whoever reads this doesn’t stop here. But using music in this manner, can very easily hinder the effectiveness of your prayer. Some qualifiers that I will elaborate on later:
1. God will surely lead a person to sing or to play, laying a song on their heart in order to direct the focus of a prayer meeting.
2. I believe GOD will honor all ambition to seek His face.
That being said, there’s often a better way. At times, we play music to create an atmosphere of prayer – did you already see the possible issue? “Create an atmosphere of prayer…” is indicative of trying to manufacture something by way of our own ability. Kind of like when the Philistines found a more convenient way to carry the ark of the covenant around (on wheels). Yeah, it’s working. But is it accurate? Is it authentic? The only thing we need to “get” into the presence of the LORD is thanksgiving and praise. From experience, I can say that simply thanking Him for any and all things you can think of, will surely connect your mind and your heart to His mind and heart; but that’s another story altogether.

I love gospel music. I love that someone out there was so focused on the Word of God and in prayer that they were impressed to write a song to commemorate what they were experiencing in that moment. But that’s just the thing. The song is commemorating a very specific experience and is coming from a very specific place of prayer/thought. The musical component of each song is going to accompany that place of prayer/thought in a way that invokes our emotions toward the Lord. It’s something we can’t escape. It’s how music works. Certain modes, tempos, and dialogues affect what kind of emotions will be invoked when we listen. On an objective level, I can’t see anything wrong with that, honestly. I love that my heart can connect with God by the provoking of a tune. However, this becomes an issue when we are ready to go DEEP into the Spirit and God is prepared to do something specific through us. 

These specific avenues of prayer require a certain level of emotion with them. He made us to have emotions and they are a way we can relate with what HE is doing as WE pray. If He is trying to move in a certain direction of prayer but our music is aggressively pulling our emotions in a different direction, we aren’t exactly in sin but we are missing out on effective prayers. I’ll stick to this single example to avoid planting paranoia in your mind:

Let’s say a group has been praying for a while and everyone has repented and are praying in the Spirit and God decides He wants to do some aggressive warfare against the prince of a certain place. That type of prayer is usually exerted through an aggression in our emotions. A certain intensity in our person. If there’s a slow song about the love and grace of God playing even moderately loud in the background, we risk the chance of distracting people and their emotions as they gravitate toward thanking the Lord for His mercy.

Anything wrong with thanking the Lord for His mercy? No way. But they may have missed out on something mighty in the Spirit. Something effective. A man in the Bible prayed a prayer that stopped the sun from moving (Joshua 10). Men and women in the bible have prayed prayers that literally brought walls down to rubble. Did they try to create any kind of atmosphere to do this? Not so. They knew what God wanted to do and acted accordingly. Very simple. These are the experiences we could be missing out on when we rely on music to guide our prayer as opposed to the guidance of the Lord.

Qualifier: Maintaining the visual, crutches are not a bad thing. We don’t scold folks who break their foot and then use crutches. We scold that kid in grade school who broke their foot but uses crutches even after it completely healed, because they got comfortable with the convenience and attention. There was a moment in Scripture where GOD was giving David his huge debut/open door following his anointing. Once Saul was “bothered” by an evil spirit from the Lord, his servants called for David. When he played on his harp (lyre), the evil spirit departed from Saul (1 Samuel 16). I believe there’s a legitimate principle on the use of music here. The playing of the lyre was in response to a spiritual disturbance. There will be bad days. Sometimes those bad days involve wicked influences (anxiety, lust, anger, vengeance just to name a few). This is a great time to bump Jesus music! Those modes, tempos and dialogues will provoke you unto the love of GOD when your heart has been inclined toward your emotions of negativity. For me, that works every time. The Word of GOD tells us to make captive the thoughts to the obedience of Christ just after describing the need to casting down imaginations. So it’s clear that taking captive the thoughts to the obedience of Christ is the weapon in which we cast down imaginations (2 Cor 10). I’ve found that Jesus music will do just that. All you have to do is press play.

I hope this is insightful or helpful and is a blessing!

Dealing With Accusations & Confidence in Ministry: Part 1

Fellow Young Minister,

I spoke to Ron this past weekend. The moment I heard his voice I knew something was disturbing him. He kept on heavily sighing till he cracked, “Man, I don’t know if ministry is for me.” I could feel him covering his own face on the other side of the phone. He proceeded, “I want to please God, and I’m giving it my all, but I feel like people think I’m drawing attention to myself”. He paused, “Some bozo said that I think I’m all that.” Ron wept.

I’m sure there’s not a single honest person in ministry that likes to be accused. Yet, I believe it is one of the most acute ways that our character is challenged. Ron was facing something that I believe we will all face in becoming who God wants us to become: accusation.

Accusations can really cut to the heart because they often seem to slice right into our vulnerabilities. We can say something that was misinterpreted, misunderstood, or miscommunicated – doing it with focus on God’s kingdom, and encounter something called envy. The Bible says “where envying and strife is, there is confusion and EVERY evil work” (James 3:16). Using Strong’s G2205 and G2052 causes the verse to read this way, that “where [rivalry] and [factions are], there is [disturbance and instability] and every evil work”. That is a frightening verse that God has had to remind me of – not SOME evil work – EVERY evil work. Certainly, evil and opposition come against those that give up everything to become who God wants them to become. It’s a spiritual necessity that is supported by the Scriptures over and over again. And I want to share with you something that I discovered about Nehemiah, because though the Scriptures say we effectively overcome evil by doing good and God DELIVERS from evil; it’s not a humanly simple thing (Romans 12:21, Matthew 6:9-13).

Nehemiah was a cupbearer made governor, who got a burden for the people of God and the mission of God. He determined to rebuild Jerusalem’s torn wall, knowing it represented legacy and security for the city of Jerusalem. He set out to do this after being able to enlist builders from the nation, only after enduring the challenges of bringing people together and other socio-economic battles. At this point, the accusations begin. Four times, Nehemiah was pressed to stop his endeavors. While the fifth time, a letter came to him. It stated:

“It is reported among the nations, and Geshem says that you and the Jews plan to rebel; therefore, according to these rumors, you are rebuilding the wall, that you may be their king. 7 And you have also appointed prophets to proclaim concerning you at Jerusalem, saying, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now these matters will be reported to the king. So come, therefore, and let us consult together [among the villages in the plain of Ono].”

Nehemiah was accused of trying to make a name for himself, because he had given himself to God’s mission and God’s people. They even said he was appointing a prophetic ministry unto himself to get self-approval.

Nehemiah’s response? He plainly says that these things aren’t so, but invented in the heart of the enemy in order to make God’s people AFRAID and DISTRACTED (Nehemiah 6:8-9). Many times, in pursuit of God and His kingdom, the adversary will try to distract us with the fact that we may be making others feel uncomfortable because of our pursuit in God. The adversary knows we love people and have a burden for God’s kingdom; so he tries to use our passionate sincerity against us in order to halt our hunger. We are reminded that Peter possibly faced the same thing when he got out of the boat in Matthew 14. Jesus NEVER singles Peter out to be the only one to step out of the boat, yet only Peter responds.

Why does God allow this? Because for different areas of His kingdom, God establishes precedent through those who are wired for leadership. So, how do we know if we are wired for leadership?

Well. Do we feel the pull to establish a precedent?

It is through this PULL to establish a precedent that we will face opposition. Two forces that oppose those hungry to establish a precedent are accusation and envy. Accusation is the voice of envy and if we do not have a revelation of our IDENTITY and INTEGRITY in Christ, we will look at ourselves in the mirror of torment, over whether or not we fit the description that we are being accused with. Accusations come from the adversary, correction comes from the Lord and His appointed, anointed leadership. It is critical to understand this. We must respond like Nehemiah, “THESE THINGS ARE NOT SO…” (Nehemiah 6:8-9).

The thing is, my beloved fellow young minister, is that we will become WORN OUT by the accuser of the brethren IF WE DO NOT SPEAK AGAINST this voice of envy called accusation (Revelation 12:10). Our primary enemy is not people, it is the spirit that acts behind them. God allows this to happen through people even close to us because He is shaping our character through it. But we must allow God to use us in return to shape the spiritual realm – this is done by WHAT WE SPEAK.

This is one of the principles of true prophecy and false prophecy – BOTH considered prophecy; yet, one God initiates, the other the enemy initiates. Verse 11 shows us that Nehemiah considered this accusation a PROPHECY spoken against him. But in order to nullify the false prophecy, Nehemiah had to SPEAK a TRUE prophecy about his identity in the Lord. So we must do the same.

REMEMBER. This is done almost entirely, if not completely, in a prayer room, because our primary adversary is a spirit, not a person. Through this, we must endure hardship like a good soldier of the Lord.

I have more to share with you next week, because it is devices like these that paralyze prophetic ministries from coming into fruition.

I believe in you. Remember Ron in your prayers. Let him know how great he is, too.

Love, Fear & Vulnerability

If I would ask an individual what the opposite of love is, it’s likely they would say “hate”. Although, I would contend that hate is only a fruit of love’s antonym and not the root. The Scriptures state that “there is no fear in love; but [complete] love casts out fear; because fear has [punishment with it]. He that fears is not made [complete] in love” (1 John 4:18, Strong’s G2849/G2851/G5046).

While love does not room with fear, complete love confronts and casts out fear, wherever it is. It appears that it is possible to have God’s love operating in our lives, but not possess maturity in God’s love, causing us to not confront and cast out fear. Hence, a mature flow of God’s love in and through our hearts causes a third party to become involved. For the sake of this writing, I will be using “complete”, “wholesome”, and “mature” interchangeably. Here’s an example of what I mean: let’s say Alan possesses love that is given by God – two parties. Since Alan is not operating in mature love, he does not confront and cast out fear. On the other hand, let us meet Alan operating in COMPLETE love. He is compelled by God’s complete love to confront and cast out fear, which was not resident with Alan since the beginning. Alan must be drawn to Brian (3rd party), in order for God’s complete love to become evident and impact Brian and his challenge with fear. God’s complete, mature love is only achieved when a third party is involved. I believe this is why John said that if a man does not love a fellow believer whom he has seen, how can he love God, whom he has not seen (1 John 4:20). John sets the foundation in verse 12 stating that “if we love one another, God [actively] dwells in us, and His love is [continuously MADE COMPLETE] in us”. So in order for us to grow from God’s love to God’s complete love, we ought to simply exercise the initial love of God we receive, as a seed sown into the lives of others – because the process of giving, is the process of maturation in God’s love.

Now why bring vulnerability into all of this? I believe vulnerability is the human experience that acts as the middle pivot point which holds the seesaw of love and fear. How we handle our vulnerability is what can cause us to go further in God’s love or further into fear. Consider the moments where you have felt vulnerable. Why did you hesitate? Why did you feel the call to insecurity? Why did you begin to open the invitation to hide? Why did you feel fractured? And seek to become disengaged?

I believe it was because you began to feel the spirit of fear begin to beat its drum on the side of fear and not allow the Word and Spirit of God resound the beautiful tempest of truth on the side of love. I would not be afraid to say, that God’s love is terrifyingly beautiful. The terrifying portion being a product of the fact that God’s love meets us at the degree of our EXPOSURE – whether mental, spiritual, emotional, or even physical. God’s love is first manifested as a response to our exposure. This is a reason why the Scripture states that God demonstrated His love towards us, that while we were yet sinners, Jesus Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Jesus shows us His love at the highest degree of human exposure: the point where a human corrodes in their sin. Now let me quickly and simply define sin: “missing the mark” (Strong’s G266). I sin whenever I miss the mark. It could be a simple request from God, but me still miss doing it how He asked, by His means, not my own.

I define sin because even when dealing with our weaknesses and vulnerabilities, we can sin by insisting on hiding from God. God is the epitome of patience. Yet, if we refuse to come before God with our vulnerabilities, we sin in His sight; for it is a good thing to come before God with our weaknesses (James 4:17, 2 Corinthians 12:9).

So we get to choose what we do with our vulnerabilities. Many people teeter and totter on this seesaw of love and fear, trying to bear some vulnerabilities with the love of God and others with the fear of exposure. When the truth is, vulnerabilities ought to be cast everyday, not carried (1 Peter 5:7). We must cast our vulnerabilities at the feet of Jesus, where we can walk towards the side of His love, to grow unto complete love and cast off fear behind us.

That is love, fear, and vulnerability in the context of Jesus and us. But here’s the additional layer that God uses to challenge us into growing with complete love.

The people closest to us.

These are the individuals that learn what makes us tick and what makes us ticked. And it’s possible that we would have more trouble being seen of others than being seen of God. It is possible we have more trouble being exposed to those closest to us than being exposed to God. There are many reasons why this can occur – whether it is a childhood experience, lack of effective communication, unhealed wounds, conflicting perspectives, and much more. Yet, God uses these relationships to produce COMPLETE love in our lives, because a third party is now involved. This is the valuable characteristic that God wants to produce in us: complete love.

So, on this weekend when many celebrate Valentine’s Day, remember to thank those who, with God’s complete love, have helped you confront fear in your life when you were in a vulnerable place.

Unrecognizable

Ever look into the mirror and think to yourself, “Where did time go?”

“HOW OLD AM I?”

Try going through pictures that go further than your 10-year challenge and look at your parents and siblings, cousins, childhood friends. You’ll notice that some people become more unrecognizable than others; then we have those whose facial lotion is labeled “The Fountain of Youth”.

But what about internally?

There are situations in this life that can and will cause stark character adjustments in our lives. It may even be people that contribute to major change in our lives, whether positive or negative. These conditions can cause us to become unrecognizable, in others’ sight – or even our own.

To quote every human being with an honest, existential thought process, “LIFE IS CRAZY”. Every person is a combination of their experiences and their perceptions of those experiences. Perceptions shaped by inner wirings, parents/guardians, friends, relationships, leadership, nutrition, habits, culture, religion, academic background, you name it. We come across people that we once knew very well, and 5 or 10 years later, are vastly different – yet, strangely the same.

It is much like the difference that comes to our lives when we begin to grow deeper in God, where we release things from our lives that are not representative of Him. Friends that we may have even grown up with, would give us a look of, “You’re different.” But we’re still ourselves.

What is this phenomenon? And how or why does it happen?

First off, ever think about the likelihood of God allowing something grave in our lives to happen, in order for us to become better? It’s funny because sometimes we think we know better than God does, in order for us to become better. Yet seeing that our concept of “better”, is no better than a human’s best, what about God’s concept of “better” and “best”? We may have heard it 1000 times, something like, “We pray for God to change our situation, while God is wanting us to change.” We are reminded by reading “The Blessing of Losing Control”, that God will allow us to lose control in our lives, in order for us to realize that we need Him. This positions us for a powerful process of change that I want to discuss today.

The Scriptures state that we are “transformed by the renewing of [our] mind” (Romans 12). And so God’s first field of work, is our minds; because if God can cause us to think differently, He will get us to behave differently. It does not matter how religiously inclined our thinking and living may be – God is God – we ought to allow Him to work in and through us to form the person He wants us to become. Many people try becoming who God wants them to become, using their own human means. I’ve done this, too. They condemn themselves into praying. They burden themselves into the work of God’s kingdom. They chastise themselves into serving others. These people greatly lack a sense of fulfillment in their lives and are often critical or cynical towards themselves and others. They may even be SINCERE and WELL-MEANING, but their ability to see afar off who God wants them to become, is not complemented with a surrendered way of thinking. These individuals will eventually become weary and possibly lose their faith in God. This lifestyle is very grievous.

On the other hand, what happens when we allow God to do the shaping for us to become who He wants us to become? We are encouraged of Him to pray. We share His burden for His kingdom. We love our way into serving others. We live in fulfillment of our God-given role. But the process that takes us into that role, can really change us.

We ought to remember that Jesus resurrected WITH His scars still visible – present for all of eternity and a representation of the fact that He used to look a different way. The Bible states that His appearance was marred more than any man (Isaiah 52:14). This meaning that Jesus was beaten with such pain and affliction, an unrecognizable experience for His divinity, to become recognizable in His scars for our humanity. It was the scars of Jesus that helped Thomas recognize His Savior (John 20:24-27). It will be the scars that identify Jesus to the Jews at His second coming. His scars are a testimony to the fact that we can be healed and live with the scars of experiences from this life, yet walk in the new one that Jesus provides. Even if we go through an experience in our lives that leaves a deep scar, it demonstrates how deep God’s healing can go – for no scar hurts. So while scars can leave us unrecognizable, so will the glory of God through our lives make us unrecognizable.

When you allow God to operate in this manner, people will praise you for who you will become in Him. But the scars will remain as a teacher, teaching us to give glory only to God.

Romans 8:18-19 NKJV For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.