Have a Tremendous Expectation!
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 can be seen weekly on cable
television stations throughout the United States.
Call us for information regarding programming in
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from
the King James Version. Italics for emphasis are ours.
P.O. BOX 18715
BALTIMORE, MD 21206
Printed in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.
Copyright © 2003
Grace Publications is a ministry of
Greater Grace World Outreach, Inc.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Chapter 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
HAVE AN ETERNAL VIEWPOINT
Chapter 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
HUMILITY BRINGS EXPECTATION
Chapter 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BLESSED AND QUICKENED FOR THESE DAYS
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.
HAVE AN ETERNAL VIEWPOINT
“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
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.
HUMILITY BRINGS EXPECTATION
“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”
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.
BLESSED AND QUICKENED FOR THESE DAYS
“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”
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
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.