[This article was originally written in anticipation of a Campmeeting at our church. Take these same principles and apply them to your daily walk with God and your weekly church services…after all, Expectation isn’t reserved for the grand events in our lives! We need to have Expectation for our every day experiences, too!]
I was surprised to discover that, too. The other morning, I woke up with the word, “Expectation.” I pondered the word for a while and thought it fit well with all that the Lord is doing in my life right now, and that it also fit well with our upcoming campmeeting at Gateway. So, I began to meditate on the word and decided we would include a piece about expectation in this week’s Celebration. The morning I was to write my article, I awoke with the scripture, “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19, NKJV). I thought to myself, “Well, that’s an expectation for sure!” When I began to dig into the meaning of the word, I found, to my utter amazement and delight, that the word in Greek is apokaradokia, meaning, “sent out from the head to look and to watch.” Expectation, therefore, becomes part of our sent one dimension as apostolic believers! Go, figure!!
So what is our expectation? And of whom are we expecting something? The dictionary definition offers three levels of meaning for the word: expect, anticipate, and hope.
Expect implies confidently believing, usually for good reason, that an event will occur. I ordered something from Amazon a few weeks ago, paid for it, but still haven’t received it. But, I have a reason for believing it will arrive; I’ve paid for it. Well, I can also expect God to move mightily in next week’s campmeeting. I have reason to believe He will do so, based on my past experiences with Him and the trust I have in Apostle David’s conviction that God has told us to have this meeting.
Anticipate is to look forward to an event and even to picture it. The word sometimes refers to taking advance action, as to prevent the occurrence of something expected or to meet a wish or request before it is even voiced. It can also refer to having a foretaste of something expected. Do you anticipate next week’s campmeeting? Can you picture people being saved, healed, and delivered? Are you taking advance action by praying for the speakers and those in attendance? By giving to the meeting? By planning on being there and inviting others to attend?
And then there’s Hope. Hope implies a wish that an event may take place and an expectation that it will. To hope is to look forward with desire and confidence in the likelihood of gaining what is desired. The psalmist, speaking to his own soul, exhorts himself to put his hope in God (Ps 43:5). The confidence that comes from hope is based on the faithfulness of God. Hope involves all aspects of the definition of expectation. For example, we have hope that God will meet us in this place during campmeeting next week. We have a reason to believe God will do what He has said He would do. We look forward to and picture the promises of God coming to us, even taking action to ensure that they will do so by praising God and confessing His word over the meeting.
The three levels of expectation in action all at once become apokaradokia. The prefix apo suggests abstraction and absorption: abstraction from anything else that might engage our attention (the opposite of distraction), and absorption in the object expected “till the fulfillment is realized.” In other words, we are so filled with expectation, anticipation, and hope that we allow nothing to distract us from our assignment and the promises of God. This degree of expectation understands that we have a commission, we are sent ones, we are sons of God. That we must take action based on our expectation. As we do, we recognize that our expectation is not in ourselves or in any man, but in God’s grace in operation through us.
God will do what He says He will do. Next week, people will be saved, healed, delivered, and filled with the Holy Ghost. We will be refreshed, renewed, and transformed by His presence. Not only next week during campmeeting, but “until” the fulfillment of our assignment.
Expect it, anticipate it, hope for it… we were sent here to expect God!
Q: What are you expecting from God??