How many times have we been so certain that we heard from God concerning a matter? At that point we are usually very confident that God is on our side and we have the victory over that situation.
But then we wait for the manifestation and after a while it may seem like nothing is happening; instead of victory, we experience delays and the situation may even get worse.
The story is told of King Hezekiah in the Bible. An adversary- the King of Assyria, came against Israel and had encamped round about her. When Hezekiah sought the face of the Lord and His intervention on behalf of the people of Israel, God sent His servant with this message:
And Isaiah said to them “Thus you shall say to your master,’ Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servant of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. “Surely I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.” (2 kings 19:6-7)
When the Answer Does Not Take Effect Immediately
You would think that with such a declaration of God’s proclamation on Israel’s enemy, the judgment would be swift and immediate, instead, Hezekiah is sent a letter from the same enemy saying:
Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying “Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” Look, have you heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands by utterly destroying them; and shall you be delivered? (2 Kings 19:10-11)
Hezekiah like many of us must have been perplexed, why is this happening after God had promised victory? Why is there a delay in the manifestation of His promise? Could it be that God did not really speak, or perhaps that indeed the enemy is more powerful than God?
It is at this crucial moment that our faith in God is tested. What do you do when the lion is still roaring even after it has been shot? The answer lies in Hezekiah’s response to the letter.
Immediately after hearing the words of the letter, Hezekiah took it to the house of the Lord, spreads it before Him and begins to pray. The rest is history because the word that was first spoken came to pass.
How Do You Respond to Delays?
It is so awesome to see how God demonstrated His faithfulness in that situation. The reality is that we do not always act like King Hezekiah did.
Most times when we experience delays in answers to prayers, we tend to panic. We question the authenticity of the word we first heard and perhaps even try to proffer a solution of our own to the problem.
Hezekiah could have panicked and gathered an army to try and fight the king of Assyria, he could have solicited for help from other kings to help him fight his enemy, but he did none of that.
Instead, he reminded God of who He is, and prayed for His intervention. Notice that the Lord sent Isaiah the prophet back to the king saying “because you have prayed to me, I have heard…. I will defend this city, to save it for my own sake.”
When tempted to find an alternative because the way of the Lord does not seem to be happening, remember Hezekiah’s situation and return to God in prayer. The enemy has already been defeated; though the shot lion may still be roaring, it is only a matter of time before it will fall down dead.
Be encouraged, for the word of God will not return to Him void, it will definitely accomplish its purpose! Sometimes it may seem as if God is not hearing, or He is not concerned about the situation that has troubled you for so long.
But you can always be confident and rest assured that He is always faithful and He has promised that “I will never leave you or forsake you”. He has already gone ahead of you and He will perfect all that concerns you.