Delay Doesn't Mean Denial

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As I listen to your phone messages, read your letters and emails, God allows me to feel your hurts and see your hopes for a better tomorrow.

Some of you have wondered either on paper or in your heart when the promises of God will be manifested in your life.

I know that delay tactics are a favorite deception of the enemy because he seeks to trip us up by filling us with doubt.

The enemy wants you to believe that salvation will never come to your family. . .but that’s not what the Word says.

The enemy wants you to believe that deliverance from debt will never manifest in your life. . .but that’s not what the Word says.

The enemy wants you to believe that your healing or that of your loved one will never manifest. . .but that’s not what the Word says.

The enemy wants you to think the job market is hopeless and you’ll never get another job. . .but that’s not what the Word says.

The enemy wants you to think that the Lord is not interested in your needs or in fulfilling the promises that He makes to each of us in the Word of God.

2 Peter 3:9 in the Amplified Bible says:

“The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people's conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.”

This scripture is often quoted as a verse to give hope to those who believe for a loved one to be saved.  However, I think there is much more at work in this verse.

“The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises. . .”

If you’ve been going through the fire. . .if you feel like you’ve been to hell and back, then you need to hold onto the first part of this verse.

God does not delay. . .but the enemy likes to see if he can hinder the arrival of God’s answer to the circumstances, situations and problems that you are facing.

Daniel 10:12-14 in the New Living Translation says:

“Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. 13 But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels,came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. 14 Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.”

You need to know God has heard your prayer . . . that your answer . . . your deliverance is on the way.  That’s why it’s so important that you obey the Lord. . .follow His instructions for living the good life. . .never doubt. . .because answers, direction and deliverance are coming.

Heed the words of Psalm 119:60 in the New Living Translation which says:

“I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands.”

Even though you’ve been waiting for an answer. . .a manifestation. . .don’t give up, give in, back up, back down or quit expecting.

As I was praying for you this morning, the Lord led me to the story of Simeon found in Luke 2:25-32.

And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.”

Simeon had been given a promise by God and he was holding onto it.  He may have been young when he received the promise and now he was old, yet he held onto the promise the Holy Ghost gave him.

It’s important that we never give up on the promises of God. . .if God said it or promised it in His Word, then it will come to pass.  As Dr. Robert Schuller once said, “delay does not mean denial.”

There are several characteristics used to describe Simeon that we need to emulate in our lives.

First, he was just.  According to Strong’s Concordance the word just is the Greek word dikaios (G1342) and it means:

“Upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God.”

The word just is found 81 times in 76 verses according to the Hebrew Concordance of the King James Bible.  Interestingly enough, the word dikaios is also translated as righteous on 41 occasions.

A further definition of just prompts a powerful question for us.  Strong’s Concordance also says:  “. . . whose way of thinking, feeling, and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God.”

How are we living our lives as we await the manifestation of His promises?

What are we thinking about?  Talking about?

Are we focusing more on the things of this world than on the Word of God?

Are we determined to stay full of faith. . .nothing wavering. . .no doubt. . .resting on His Word? 

We are the main character in the story of our lives . . . is our performance based on the Word?

Secondly, verse 25 says that Simeon was devout.  According to the Strong’s Concordance, devout is only found three times in the New Testament.  Devout is the Greek word eulabēs (G2126) and it means:

“. . . reverencing God, pious, religious.”

Devout men often take stands of faith that are misunderstood . . .  sometimes in the midst of persecution.

In Acts 8:2, the scripture says that it was devout men who buried Stephen after he had been stoned to death by an angry mob.  These men had such a commitment that it didn’t matter to them who saw them burying Stephen.  The scripture says they even went with “lamentation” or beating their chests in grief.

A devout person is not moved by circumstances or the opinions of others.

The scripture says Simeon was “. . . waiting for the consolation of Israel.”  He was “looking forward to, waiting for” the consolation of Israel.

In Strong’s Concordance we learn that consolation is from the Greek noun paraklesis meaning "comfort or consolation." It comes from the root word parakaleo which is to "call to one's side" then "help, encourage, comfort." The Holy Spirit is referred to in the Gospel of John as the Paraklete (parakletos), "mediator, intercessor, helper."

Thirdly, “. . . the Holy Ghost was upon him.”  Before Jesus’ resurrection, the Holy Spirit was on the prophets of God. . .after His death, the Holy Spirit came to live within us.

If you’ve been waiting for some promises of God to be manifested in your life like I have, Simeon gives us a good example of what’s expected of us while we wait.

We must be righteous, keep the commands of God, reverence God in the midst of adversity and anticipate the manifestation with the power of the Holy Spirit upon us.

If God promised you something was going to happen. . .the question isn’t whether or not He will keep His Word. . .the only question is how you and I obey His Word while awaiting the manifestation.

How we live our lives. . .can speed up or delay the manifestation. . .sometimes we just have to wait for the timing of God … but truly God is not a man that He should lie.  He will perform His Word.

Delay doesn’t mean denial.

If you hold fast to these three characteristics then, like Simeon, your eyes will see the deliverance the Lord brings come into your life.