See Not-So-Spiritual Warfare if you missed it. Delays and setbacks are part of everyone’s real-world experience. They can be disheartening and rob our initiative. Yet, when the breakthrough comes it’s like a “tree of life.”
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Prov 13:12 NIV
Answer me quickly, O LORD;my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Ps 143:7 NIV
Who Did It? – What I do during delays depends on where I think it came from! If I believe in “divine delays” I will submit to the postponement of my dream. I may also nurse a grudge against God and wonder why He has abandoned me (or) assume an impurity in my life is the root of His judgment (condemnation). If God has the future all mapped out and my “time is not yet” then I can just sit and wait for God to do his thing – he’s responsible for the plan. That’s a theology that will inevitably lead me to be entirely passive in approaching my destiny. The enemy will see to it that I run into just enough obstacles to stay defeated and out of the fight.
If I believe my delay is circumstances or warfare, then I have an opportunity to work through or around the blockage knowing that God himself is sharing the emotion of my frustration. It’s really His plan that is being delayed. I’m his ambassador and friend; my plan and His plan are really the same thing. We are not surprised or defeated by problems. They do develop our character even though God is not in the business of “attacking” his people. Paul spoke of evil in the context of warfare in terms of “when it comes” not “if.” God’s expectation is that we “stand” against it… after we “have done everything.” We do all we can to resist the delay.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Eph 6:13 NIV
Fight Back – God is teaching us how to be Kingly warriors and embrace the mentality to not only fight, but win. Paul was very clear in his approach to ministry and life. He embraced initiative and warfare to fullest extent possible. So should we!
I do not fight like a man beating the air. 1 Cor 9:26 NIV
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Cor 10:4 NIV
Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight 1 Tim 1:18 NIV
Fight the good fight of the faith. 1 Tim 6:12 NIV
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Tim 4:7 NIV
Doing Everything – We all find ourselves encountering delays and obstacles the slow our progress in the Kingdom. When we’re in a season of postponed expectations we should sit down with the Lord in prayerfully make a list of what “doing everything” means in response to the blockage. Here are some examples.
#1 Position Your Heart above the obstacle – Daniel’s answer was delayed 21 days over spiritual warfare. What’s interesting about this event is God’s first message to Daniel was to speak into his heart, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed…” (Dan 10:11). The Holy Spirit is saying the same thing to Kingly warriors in this present hour, “You are highly esteemed by God.” Hearing those words in your own spirit will position you for breakthrough… seated in heavenly places; favored by God. Note that Gabriel takes the same message to Mary. Big assignments take big courage and large doses of encouragement.
He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed… Dan 10:11 NIV
The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:28 NIV
#2 A Cheerful Heart – Faith to overcome in warfare doesn’t operate out of a heavy heart. The Joy of the Lord really is our strength. So, we have to “count it all joy” when we fall into the soup of warfare. Your greatest weapon is laughter.
A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. Prov 15:13 NIV
All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. Prov 15:15 NIV
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Prov 17:22 NIV
#3 Find the Way to Escape – We really are more than conquerors. So, in every dilemma there is a way through. We just have to get the revelation on how. Praying with the understanding that there is an answer and God is very willing to show it to us puts a different light on being stuck.
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Cor 10:12-13 NIV
#4 Never Give up – We often view wealthy, spiritual, or successful people as though they never face the setbacks we have. It’s not true. I’ve been amazed to see the level of tenacity in believers that consistently find their breakthroughs. They simply will not quit. Every day is a whole new list of new new things to pray and try.
As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. James 5:11 NIV
There is music in the air… songs of deliverance.
Life is an adventure. People are a blessing. God is amazing. We’re winning.