Have a Tremendous Expectation!

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Notes & Transcripts

Carl H. Stevens Jr. is pastor of Greater Grace

World Outreach located in Baltimore, Maryland.

Pastor Stevens is also chancellor of Maryland Bible

College & Seminary and host of the international

Christian radio program “The Grace Hour.” This

booklet was created from a message preached by

Pastor Stevens.

Pastor Stevens can be seen weekly on cable

television stations throughout the United States.

Call us for information regarding programming in

your area.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from

the King James Version. Italics for emphasis are ours.


P.O. BOX 18715


Printed in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Copyright © 2003

Grace Publications is a ministry of

Greater Grace World Outreach, Inc.


Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Chapter 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Chapter 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Chapter 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


CONCLUSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


How big is God to you? Do you see Him as

the One who inhabits eternity? As the One who

holds the universe together by the power of His


If you do not see Him in this way, then God

is small to you. Furthermore, your expectations

from Him are probably very small as well. God

wants us to expect big things, wonderful things,

for our lives. He longs to bless us in ways we

never thought possible. He wants to revolutionize

our lives, our families, our churches, and our

nations with His power.

Many Christians, however, just stumble

through one day after the other. There is no urgency

in their lives because they think things

will just keep going along as they are. What a lie

they have received!

We have no idea of what tomorrow will

bring. Therefore, as this booklet will discuss, we

ought to live in the urgency that this moment

may be our last. With that, let’s have a tremendous

expectation that God will provide great things to His

children no matter what may come.

Chapter One


“For all things are for your sakes, that the

abundant grace might through the thanksgiving

of many redound to the glory of God.

“For which cause we faint not; but though

our outward man perish, yet the inward man is

renewed day by day.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a

moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding

and eternal weight of glory;

“While we look not at the things which are

seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the

things which are seen are temporal; but the

things which are not seen are eternal”

(2 Corinthians 4:15-18).

“My times are in thy hand: deliver me from

the hand of mine enemies, and from them that

persecute me” (Psalm 31:15).

“Redeeming the time, because the days are

evil” (Ephesians 5:16).

God is no respecter of persons. He lets the

rain come upon the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45).

When disaster strikes, it affects godly

people and ungodly people alike. None of us

knows when a storm may interrupt our life.

What causes storms? Sometimes Satan is

allowed to do it. Over the Sea of Galilee, the

prince of the power of the air was allowed to stir

up the weather as Jesus slept in the boat. The

disciples woke the Lord, and addressing the

demons in the atmosphere, He said, “Be still”—

or more accurately interpreted from the original

Greek text, “Be muzzled!” Immediately, the

storm stopped, which emphasizes the fact that

God is always in control (Mark 4:36-41).

Many times, however, God allows storms so

that we will draw close to Him. As we do, we realize

that they are part of the plan He has had for

our lives since eternity past. He gives us just a

few short years on earth followed by eternity—

the immeasurable, unending ages, when time is

no more.

Everyone will live forever either in eternal

life or in eternal torment. For this reason, I plead

with people to go all the way with God. It is

only reasonable and right. God has a perfect

plan for each of us. That plan was sealed when

Jesus shed His blood, died on the Cross, was

buried, and then rose again.

Boast Not of Tomorrow

We cannot afford to be hasty or proud Christians.

A proud Christian will not honor the authority

of the Word of God, which is sent from God to protect

and to guide us through life. A proud Christian also

does not understand that tomorrow may never come for him.

There is a reason why the Bible tells us not to boast of

tomorrow. Our lives are like a vapor (James 4:14).

Wars, earthquakes, tornadoes, accidents, diseases—any

of these things could bring us to eternity in an instant.

A father was at the door of a storm shelter

when he saw his three teenage daughters

snatched up and killed by a tornado. Their time

was up. It didn’t matter how much money they

had or what status the family held in the community.

It was appointed for those girls to die at that moment

(Psalm 68:20b, Hebrews 9:27). In the same area, there

was a couple with two small children. The wife was lifted

up but was set down again and not hurt. It was not her

appointedtime to die. We must always be pre p a red

to meet God at any moment. We need to prepare in prayer.

We need to pre p a re by taking up our cross. We need

to be prepared with a life that is broken and humble before God.

This is a difficult thing to communicate to people who seem

to have so much. It is so important for every Christian to find

a church where wisdom (the application of doctrine) is promoted.

All of us need a church where the whole counsel of God

is communicated. We need pastors who preach and teach,

who understand isagogics (the historical frame of reference

of the Scriptures) as they communicate the Word of God.

Chapter Two


“For surely there is an end; and thine expectation

shall not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:18).

“So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto

thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there

shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not

be cut off” (Proverbs 24:14).

“ According to my earnest expectation and

my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but

that with all boldness, as always, so now also

Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it

be by life, or by death” (Philippians 1:20).

“When a wicked man dieth, his expectation

shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth”

(Proverbs 11:7).

Every one of us needs to live and walk with

God in such a way that despite what may happen,

we will have a wonderful expectation. God

has not promised us tomorrow, but if He does

give it to us, it can be wonderful. How? By numbering

our days and allowing God to teach us to know wisdom

and to apply it. God wants us to have a great expectation,

so that if cancer comes, we will not surrender. Instead,

we will fight with faith and with prayer, believing and living as long as we can. Even if we die, we have the tremendous expectation

that to be absent from this earthly body is to be present

with God. It is a beautiful thing for a servant of God to

find in the Scriptures a guarantee that his expectation will be fulfilled.

John Wesley, the great Methodist preacher, was said to have traveled 250,000 miles on horseback to preach some forty thousand messages.

He was motivated by a great expectation for God to move and save souls.

Charles Finney was another great man of God who had a tremendous expectation. He was a successful yet unsaved lawyer when he

watched several people die as a factory went up in flames.

Though he didn’t know God, he cried out to heaven,

“I do not know why this happened, but I have to find You,

God. If it takes studying day and night, I believe You are up

there, and I have to know You.” Then he found Jesus Christ

and received Him as his Savior.

Finney developed an amazing prayer life

with Jesus Christ. His faith saw great works accomplished

in people’s hearts. In his biography,

there are accounts of how he would enter into a

factory and people who did not know God

would literally shake from the conviction of the

Holy Spirit. He was often granted permission to

preach in factories, where scores of men and

women were gloriously saved by the grace of


He was still preaching at the age of 84 when

he became very ill. In the last months before his

death, people would gather around the little

piazza at his old farmhouse. They would wait to

see if he would come out to preach—and preach

he did! He would go out at 7 o’clock in the morning

and deliver a twenty-five minute sermon to the people

who were there. Then, he would go out again at 9 o’clock

and preach for another twenty-five minutes. At 10:30, he would

preach again for twenty-five minutes. He gave three sermons

a morning when it was all he could do to walk through the

door, open his mouth, and preach about Jesus.

“My expectation will never be cut off,” he

would say, speaking from Proverbs 23:18 and

Prov 24:14, “and yours will not be cut off either. When

you are a child of God, your expectation will never be cut off.”

What was Charles Finney’s secret? What

kept John Wesley traveling thousands of miles

on horseback to preach the Gospel? They both

had a tremendous expectation of what God

would do. These men of God said, “I do not

know if I have tomorrow, but I do know whom I

love and whom I am going to serve today. I will

live for Him every day of my life.”

The Greatest Grace

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he

saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace

unto the humble” (James 4:6).

The Greek words for “more grace”—meizona charin

(literally, “greater grace”)—in this context

reflect the superlative degree of the word, so

“greater” really means “greatest.” In other

words, the Holy Spirit is saying that the greatest

grace in the world is given to the humble.

How can we define what it means to be

humble? An unsaved man can never be humble.

He can be kind, he can be good, and he can live

in self-effacement. But he cannot be humble.

Neither can a carnal Christian. Humility is something we acquire as we

agree with God and prepare to meet Him (Amos 3:3 and Amos 4:12).

A humble Christian does not boast himself of tomorrow.

For him, to live is truly Christ alone. Filled with the Holy Spirit

and the Word of God, he is able to receive the

greatest promises imaginable through humility.

Humility means that I find a promise from

God and I embrace it, knowing it will never fall

to the ground (see 1 Kings 8:56). Humility means

that I go to the Cross without rationalization,

understanding that in me dwells no good thing

(see Romans 7:18). Humility means that I receive

the provisions God has for me while I concentrate

with academic discipline in church services.

Without exception, I will be able to hear

something that will make a difference in my life


Reception, Retention, Recall

By faith, I can enter into biblical and spiritual

reception of God’s thoughts. First I receive the

Word of God in the perceptive area of the brain

(channel A*) and I become aware of a truth. But

as I mix what I hear with faith in the living God,

the truth that I perceive is transferred through

my human spirit (channel B) into my soul

(channel C), including my mind, emotions, conscience,

self-consciousness, and volition.

It is vital that God executes this transfer

through energeia, the transforming power of the

Holy Spirit, which only operates in people who

have been regenerated by the saving grace of

God. The Word is effectually worked into my

life as I submit to God. Having submitted, the

Holy Spirit can establish God’s words in my

memory where they are retained and ready to be

recalled in a moment’s notice.

So, first comes reception, then retention, and

then “recall” or recollection. At this point, the

precious Word of God is dwelling richly in my

memory, and it is expressed in my vocabulary

and in the consciousness of my soul. At last, this

Word of God takes on so much meaning to me,

often breaking me, because it is eternal and forever

settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89).

When storms come and destroy property

and lives, the Word of God lives on forever and

ever (Isaiah 40:8). It is always there, and it will

not change. Heaven and earth shall pass away,

but this precious Book, which is the mind of

Christ, shall never pass away (Matthew 24:35).

Expect to Be Uplifted

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord ,

and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10).

To be in the presence of God, “in the sight of

the Lord,” indicates a dynamic relationship between

God and us. Aware of the angelic contest

that is going on unseen around us, we redeem

the moments by our humility in the sight of

God. When humility comes in and we begin to

understand it, we draw near to God and He

draws near to us. If we fail and we become broken,

we simply need to humble ourselves in the

sight of God, and then God can promote us.

Humility allows God to promote the Christian

in business, giving him blessings he never

had. God promotes his health, his marriage, his

heart, and his soul, which includes promoting

his memory. Blessings are given to the believer

who humbles himself in the sight of God, receives

the authority of the Word, and honors the

office of his pastor-teacher in the church services.

Along with the authority of God’s Word,

the authority of grace and love are established

in the one who receives the protection and provision

of the indwelling Christ.

*Refer to The Hearing Heart, by Pastor Carl H. Stevens,

Grace Publications, 1996.

Chapter Three


“For thus saith the high and lofty One that

inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell

in the high and holy place, with him also that is

of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the

spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of

the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:15).

“Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken

me according to thy word” (Psalm 119:154).

The high and lofty One who inhabits eternity

also inhabits the believer with a contrite and

humble heart. According to the living Wo rd of

God, He is there to quicken and to revive the

heart of the humble.

In these last days, it is very crucial for every

Christian to concentrate upon the Word of God,

which some do so well. Others, however, do not

have that capacity. Humility brings capacity.

When I am humble and broken, living as if I

might meet Jesus Christ today, He quickens me

in His lovingkindness. He quickens me in the

way of righteousness. He quickens me so I will

not feel threatened, so I will not become subjective,

and so I will not experience some form of

paranoia. When I do not exalt myself against

others, God quickens me so that I am revived in

a moment, having an expectation from Him. He

then can promote me in every area of life.

The Higher the Promotion, the More Humble the Man

“Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He

that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his

brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the

law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a

doer of the law, but a judge” (James 4: 11).

“Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is

not? for riches certainly make themselves wings;

they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

“Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an

evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats”

(Proverbs 23:5-6).

A Christian who is promoted is one who

never speaks evil. According to Zechariah 3,

when Satan came to Jesus Christ to report accurate

details of the high priest’s sins, the Lord refused to

listen because it was a family affair. The Father and

the Son had taken the high priest into the family of

God and they would not let a neighbor or an enemy

accuse him (see Zechariah 3:1-10). God had taken

care of his problems and had given him clean new

garments. He would quicken him and give him another

opportunity to experience the loving grace of God in the

covenant of compassion.

Redeemed for Revival

“And the LORD passed by before him, and

proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful

and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in

goodness and truth” (Exodus 34:6).

Wasted time and wasted hours don’t need to

be part of our lives. Time is short. Christ’s re t u r n

is nearer than it has ever been. These are days

when we must be more serious than we have

ever been. I pray for the families who have lost

loved ones in recent disasters. I pray for those

caught in the midst of wars, whatever the reason.

I pray for the refugees especially. I pray for

the condition of our nation.

Most of all, I pray that born-again believers

will be quickened in a revival of the Word of

God and quickened according to God’s grace.

Let’s prepare to meet our God in prayer. Let’s

prepare to meet God in meditation. Let’s prepare

to meet God in study. Let’s prepare to meet

God today.

Expect the Blessings

“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat

the good of the land” (Isaiah 1:19).

God is not one to withhold good things from

His people (Psalm 84:11). It is time we have an

expectation from God. We must expect our

prayers to be answered. It is time we realize that

humility means submitting to God, resisting the

devil with the whole armor the Lord gives us,

and seeing Satan flee.

Don’t entertain Satan with subjectivity. Don’t

entertain him by confessing frailty and weakness

with presumptuous remarks from the basement

of the unconscious mind. Develop a

tremendous expectation by grace through faith,

and confess the truth according to the character

and nature of God. Trust God to take care of all

the details in every situation; He is a God who

wants to bless us and to give us grace (Isaiah 30:18).

When are we going to realize that God is the

Blesser? Everything about Him from eternity

past was done to find a way to bless the Christian.

He is out to bless you. In life or in death,

God is out to bless you. In death, angels stand

ready to escort you to heaven before you even

taste death’s pain. God has a way to protect

every Christian who trusts and believes His intimate



When a Christian becomes broken and humble

in the sight of God, he is promoted in his relationship

with Christ and in his rank in the

Kingdom of God. God provides him with opportunities

to redeem the time. Let’s enjoy the

great gifts and truth the Lord has given us. Let’s

avoid withdrawing into the negative patterns of

our personalities. We need to go before God on

our knees and on our faces in praise and thanksgiving.

We cannot afford to be satisfied until our

souls are filled with truth, which makes us willing

and obedient to follow God.

First I am willing, then I become obedient,

and God is able to guide me by the skillfulness

of His hands (Psalm 78:72). He quickens me,

giving me everything I need even in my worst

moments. Ultimately, I have Christ, and He is all

in all. I love Him and expect Him to bless me.

Cling to the expectation of God’s blessing.

He will bless and honor us—not because we are

worthy of blessing and honor, but because we

are His children, redeemed by the Blood of the

Lamb and the grace of God.

Lord, bless each of us with a new expectation and

a new urgency in this late hour of human history.

Help us to be quickened according to Your Truth .

Quicken us moment by moment through the grace

and mercy and love of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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