Dealing With Delays
Dealing With Delays
TEXT: Daniel 10:10-19 Luke 18:1-8
Introduction: All of us one time or the other have prayed and asked God for something and have had to wait on the answer. Waiting is perhaps one of life's most difficult tasks. We hate the fact that we have to wait for something. We live in a society where everything is instant. We have instant potatoes, we have instant cameras, we have instant credit and we have instant pudding. All of this simply says you can have what you want without the wait. We have become a society where delays are not accepted or tolerated. We have become a society of impatient people and now it is pouring over into the church.
But the fact of life is delays are an everyday occurrence. We hate to admit it but we all face delays in our lives.
If you go to the doctor you have to wait in the waiting room for your turn to see him. If you go shopping you have to wait in a line. If you go out for fast food you have to wait in a slow line to get your fast food. When we are facing delays it is easy to become discouraged and give up on what we are waiting for. As it relates to your life in the Spirit things don't always happen at the snap of a finger. Sometimes God does something instantly and at other times He say's wait. You must understand that waiting time is testing time and not wasted time. Anytime that you spend waiting on God is never wasted if you do it wisely. (Just a note for those of us who are stubborn and hard headed. Sometimes it's God that does the waiting. He's waiting for us to obey Him so He can bless us. God will not bless us if we are living in disobedience.
When we face times of delay we can become frustrated, discouraged, and even angry. All of this combined together can become a breeding ground for the enemy to tempt you to quit and give up.
Jesus said in Luke 18:1 That men ought to always pray and not faint. In other words we need to be constant and persistent in our prayers. There is no need to grow faint and weary to the point that we quit and give up. What Jesus is saying, keep on praying and don't give up. In short, don't give up…. look up. The Apostle Paul said it this way in Galatians 6:9 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
In the parable that Jesus used in Luke 18 about the poor widow woman and the unjust judge, He was teaching His disciples a lesson on persistence. This powerless woman got what she wanted from this powerful judge because she was persistent and she never gave up. Don't miss the point of this parable. If you do you will leave here thinking that you have to wear God down to get what you want or need. This is not what Jesus is teaching. Jesus is not saying that we can wear God down or wear Him out with our persistence. He is saying by being persistent you can experience a breakthrough.
What is a breakthrough? A breakthrough is an act of breaking through an obstruction; an offensive thrust that penetrates and goes beyond the line of defense in warfare.
There are things in this world and the spiritual world that cause delays in our lives. If we can understand these things about the delays in our lives then we will be better equipped to handle them.
I. Who Causes These Delays?
A. Demonic Activity Can Cause Delays In Your Life. Daniel 10:13
Let me share this with you from another translation. The New Living Translation say's, "13 But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way."
1. Daniel's answer was delayed by the activity of demonic forces sent to disrupt the plan of God. Look at v 13 of our text: "... for twenty-one days the mighty Evil Spirit who overrules the kingdom of Persia blocked my way".
2. This delay was only temporary! God's plan will always be accomplished. Verse 13 continues, "Then Michael, one of the top officers of the heavenly army, came to help me, so that I was able to break through these spirit rulers of Persia".
1 Thess.2: 18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
3. Satan will continue to try and hinder us from being all that God wants us to be and from doing all that God wants us to do.
B. Dispute Within The Home Can Cause Delays.
1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
1. I believe that many of our delays come as a result of dispute within the home.
a) I'm saying honor each other and honor God's word by not allowing the sun to go down on your anger.
Ephesians 4:26-27 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.
b) A lot of people get angry and sin and that opens the door for Satan to come in wreck havoc in your home. If anger is not dealt with quickly it will fester and become worse. Your anger turns to bitterness, your bitterness poisons your spirit and then you become resentful in your attitude toward each other. When we become angry at each other we say and do things that we really don't mean. As a result, feelings are hurt walls are erected and blessings are delayed.
C. Divine Delays.
1. This is perhaps the hardest on to deal with. Divine delays come without explanation. Divine delays are hard to handle especially in a crucial time of your life.
2. When I think about these Divine Delays I think about Martha and Mary when they sent for to come and heal Lazarus. Jesus delayed going to them and as a result of this delay Lazarus died. This was a crucial time in their lives yet the Lord Jesus tarried without explanation.
John 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
3. This is hard for us to understand. You may wonder, "Why did He delay in coming to heal Lazarus?" Sometimes the understanding only comes after the miracle. I believe that there are four reasons for divine delays.
a) God Wants to Demonstrate His Power Over our Impossibilities. You've heard the saying, "when you come to the end of your rope tie a knot in it and hang on." Try this on for size. When you come to the end of your rope you will find God. I want to say that again, "When you get to the end of your you will find God.
b) To Demonstrate His Power Over Death. When Lazarus dies the Lord Jesus waited until he had been dead for four days. People in that day are much like the people of our day. They were superstitious. They like to explain away the super natural miracle working power of God. They would say he wasn't really dead. He was just in a comma. When the Lord Jesus showed up four days later they knew that Lazarus was truly dead. When the Lord Jesus Showed Up He Showed Out by demonstrating His power over death. He proved that He was and is the Resurrection and the Life. He conquered death, hell and the grave through the power of His Resurrection.
c) To Build Their Faith in Him. When you know that all hope is gone and only a miracle will do and then it happens. It becomes a faith building experience.
d) To Bring Glory and Honor to God. Everything the Lord Jesus did was to bring honor and Glory to God.
II. Who We Are When Facing Delays. Daniel 10:11; 10:19
Two times Daniel is told that he was greatly beloved. Another translation say's "Daniel, your God thinks highly of you," another translation say's, "Daniel, God loves you very much." Another translation say's, "O Daniel, man of high esteem,"
A. When you are facing delays in your life remember that you are greatly loved.
1. If you don't remember this you will become a prime target of the enemy. He will jump on your shoulder and say; "If God loved you He wouldn't allow this delay in your life." Or he might say, "God doesn't love you, if He did he would answer your prayer right away." Then he would begin to point out all the people that are being blessed and tell you that God loves them more than you.
2. The devil never shows you the persistence and faithfulness of those that are experiencing breakthrough and getting blessed. He doesn't tell you that these folks that are being blessed are being blessed because they refused to listen to him and give up. No, he didn't tell you that because he wants you to give up and quit.
3. How much does God love you? God loves you enough to cloth Himself in human flesh and offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice for your sins so you and I could have eternal life and live with Him forever. Remember God loves you very much.
B. When you are facing delays in your life remember you are highly thought of and highly favored.
Psalm 8:4-6 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
1. Look at what this scripture say's about us. We are crowned with glory and honor. We have been given dominion over the work of God's hands.
2. The last part of the verse say's that He has put all things under our feet. Sounds to me like we are highly though of and favored by God.
C. When You Are Facing Delays in Your Life Remember You are Highly Esteemed.
1. When we esteem something it means we give it value and worth. In fact the word esteem means value, worth and respected.
2. A lot of people determine their value and worth by what others think or say about them. Folks if you want to know how valuable you are and what you are worth to God, all you have to do is look at an old rugged cross. God values you so much that He lifted you from the murk and mire of this world and seated you in heavenly places with the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Don't determine your worth and value based upon what others say or think about you. Determine you worth and value based upon what God say's and thinks about you. God values us and loves us so much that He took 1400 years to write us a love letter called the Holy Bible. God's word is a love letter from the heart of the Father to a wayward children telling them they can come back home and then tells them the way home.
D. Let me tell you who you are when you are facing delays. You are greatly loved, highly thought of and highly esteemed or valued. That's who you are.
III. What Is God Doing When I'm Facing My Delays? Daniel 10:12
A. He Comforts Us By Lifting Us Up And Giving Us Strength.
1. We Have His Ability. Daniel 10:10
2. The word comfort means to come along side of.
3. The Lord Jesus Comes along side of us it is to pick us and give us strength. He is the God of all comfort.
4. It is God that will give us the strength to go on and face life's battles.
B. He Comforts Us By Speaking to Us and Listening.
1. We Have His attention. We have God's Opened ears to hear us when we cry out to Him. Daniel 10:12
2. God hears us and listens to us. Our prayers don't fall upon deaf ears. They come into the hearing ears of our Loving Heavenly Father.
3. I suppose one of the most wonderful things about our relationship with God is that He truly cares for His people!
4. God enjoys spending time with talking to us if we will just take the time to stop and listen. He loves to listen to us if we will just take the time to talk with Him.
5. When you feel like you like no one is listening or no one cares God is there. He's Listening.
C. He Comfort Me By Helping Me.
1. We Have His Aid. We Have His Outstretched Hand to help us when we need it.
2. Don't be frightened ... for your request has been heard in heaven and was answered the very first day you began to fast before the Lord and pray for understanding. That very day I was sent here to meet you!
Conclusion: We are going to have delays in our lives. It may be the result of demonic activity; the result of dispute in the home or it may just be a divine delay so God can demonstrate His power on behalf of your life. When the delays come know who you are. You are greatly loved, highly thought of and highly esteemed by God. God is working with you when you face those lonely delays in your life. God comes along side of you to pick you up and strengthen you. God comforts you by speaking to you and listening to your cries when you call upon Him. God stretches out His Hand to you to help you through those times of delay.
Remember delays are not denials. Sometimes it may be just a timing issue. God's timing is always perfect. Wait on God in times of delay. It may be that God has something better just a little later down the road.