BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
Delay is a familiar word. It means interruption, postponement, suspension, deferment, adjournment, holdup, lateness, and so on. When delay involves minor issues of life, such as flight schedule, bus departure or arrival time, a social or official meeting, and the like, it is considered sometimes inevitable in any human system. The effect isn’t on one person.
However, there is a type of delay that is more than a common delay. It is a delay that has become a spirit that rules either a department of a person’s life or other departments. There’s a kind of delay that a person experiences in life that is more than ordinary and can lead to frustration and depression. This happens when something is taking a time much longer than normal to come, happen, go, or end.
Persons experiencing delays in marriage, conception, employment, promotion, or healing don’t need anyone to convince them that something is wrong. If care is not taken, a two-month delay can become a delay of one year, two years, or eighteen years. It is spiritually wise to recognize this and deal with it appropriately.
The woman in the Bible with the issue of blood that lasted twelve years would never have believed she would battle with that problem for that long. It started one day like a child’s play. Unfortunately, she was in that pitiable condition for twelve years before she encountered Jesus.
At the time she met Jesus, she was not only seriously sick, she had become poor. If you give the devil an inch, he will take a mile. “Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.’ Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?’” (Mark 5:25-29 NKJV). I decree your liberty from that sickness, that infirmity, that delay or that problem in Jesus’ name.
Delay can last as long as a man or woman lives if left unattended. There is a man in the Bible who was sick for thirty-eight years. That sickness must have started as a joke, and he must have thought it would soon be over, but that wasn’t so. He was in it for thirty-eight years. Just imagine that! That was not an ordinary sickness. The enemy held his destiny hostage.
We have no idea how old he was before he was attacked by that sickness. Add thirty-eight years to whatever age you assume the man could have been before the sickness and you’ll realize that the enemy had wasted a substantial part of his life. The enemy delayed him in life. At the time Jesus met this man, relations had abandoned him. He told Jesus he had no man to help him, apparently because relations had abandoned him.
Praise God! Jesus healed this man and put an end to the delay the enemy had caused him. Thirty-eight years of delay ended just in one encounter with Jesus. “Jesus said to him, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk.’ And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath” (John 5:8-9 NKJV). That delay didn’t just disappear on its own. That’s a lie the devil employs to prolong people’s stay in their pitiable conditions. They assume their problems would go on their own. That’s not always the case. It took the power of Jesus to end the delay in the lives of these two people mentioned. They could have died in their conditions merely lamenting. In the name of Jesus, I command that same power to terminate that delay in your life now.
The man delayed from the womb
The Bible tells another story of a man delayed by the enemy from his mother’s womb. He was physically disadvantaged before he was born. Acts 3:2 says, “And a certain man that was lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple” (ASV).
In a way, this man was better than the man sick for thirty-eight years, who told Jesus that he had no man to help him. Why did I say this? Because this man born lame from his mother’s womb still had some people to carry him with his ugly legs to the Beautiful Gate to beg for alms! However, it is also possible that they were not doing that out of a good heart; they could have been benefitting from the alms! Who knows?
The enemy delayed this man until the power of Jesus healed him through Peter and John. “But Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but what I have, that give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. And he took him by the right hand, and raised him up: and immediately his feet and his ankle-bones received strength. And leaping up, he stood, and began to walk; and he entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God” (Acts 3:6-8 ASV).
Peter used the same name of Jesus to heal Aeneas, a man paralyzed and bedridden for eight years. Peter said to him, “‘Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up and make your bed!’ And he was healed instantly” (Acts 9:34 NLT). By the power in the name of Jesus, an end came to the eight-year delay in Aeneas’ life. Such a miracle shall be your experience today in Jesus’ name. I declare an end to your delay now.
Delay means waiting. As I’ve said, there is a time when waiting for healing, marriage, conception, child delivery, promotion, success, admission, employment, etc. becomes more than normal. The normal nine months, two years, or five years for that thing becomes three years, ten years or thirty years. How long have you been in that condition? How long have you been waiting? Do you think it’s ordinary or normal? Don’t you think that it has gone beyond an incident, to become a spirit, and when a spirit is involved, it takes more than wishing to break that yoke? It takes divine insight, the Word of God, the power of God, the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
It’s time for that delay to end in your life. It’s time for that yoke to be broken. It’s time for you to get married. It’s time for you to become pregnant. It’s time for that stagnancy to end. It’s time for you to move forward. It’s time for your promotion to be released. It’s time for all those great dreams you’ve heard and the wonderful prophecies you’ve received to be fulfilled. Delay is a bad thing. It ages you. It wastes your potential and abilities. In the name of Jesus, I command every unnecessary delay in your life to end now.
Causes of Delay
Many things can cause delay, which may eventually open the door to the devil to establish a stronghold in someone’s life.
1. A Lifestyle of sin. If you’re living in sin, it will open the door to the demon of delay in your life. You will waste your resources and opportunities and slow down your journey in life. So what do you do? Repent, give your life to Jesus, and begin to live a holy life. In other words, begin to live in obedience to the Word of God. Hear the prayer of Daniel: “O my God, listen to me and hear my request. Open your eyes and see our wretchedness. See how your city lies in ruins — for everyone knows that it is yours. We do not ask because we deserve help, but because you are so merciful. ‘O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, O my God, do not delay, for your people and your city bear your name”(Daniel 9:18-19 NLT). Verses 4-14 reveal that sin was the reason Jerusalem must lie in desolation for seventy years.
2. Unconfessed sins. The Bible says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13 NKJV). You may have given your life to Jesus, but you’re in your Christian walk covering up a sin or the sins in your life. This will only open the door to the demon of delay. It will cause stagnation in your life. What’s the solution? Genuine repentance, confession and change. Will you do that right now?
David, in his openness, shares with us his experience to learn from: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden.I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him” (Psalm 32:1-6 NKJV).
3. Ignorance and unbelief. Ignorance of what to do to move forward can hold someone down in life. It may look as if some demons are fighting one, but the problem could be lack of knowledge or ignorance of what to do next. Lack of knowledge puts one in captivity. Isaiah 5:13a says, “Therefore my people have gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge” (NKJV). The knowledge, in this case, was the knowledge of God. “So I will send my people into exile far away because they do not know me” (Isaiah 5:13a NLT).
When God opens one’s eyes to what to do next, there will be progress. The right prayer may be, “Lord, teach me or show me what to do.” Sometimes it takes the help of others with insight for some people to know what to do. They could be suffering from the blindness of familiarity until someone opens their eyes to what is around them or even before them.
David prayed, “Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day” (Psalm 25:4-5 NKJV). In Psalm 27:11, he prayed again, “Teach me Your way, O LORD, and lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies” (NKJV).
The guidance of God is very important so that one doesn’t remain on the same spot or go astray, further complicating one’s conditions – movement but no progress. Lack of knowledge does not only put one in captivity, but it can also destroy. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6a NKJV). In other words, they didn’t know God. “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me” (Hosea 4:6a NLT).
God is more willing to guide than we are willing to ask for His guidance. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you’” (Psalm 32:8-9 NKJV).
You must be sincere and ready to do what God will tell you to do. That was the problem of the army officers and the people of Judah, who told Jeremiah, “Please, let our petition be acceptable to you, and pray for us to the LORD your God, for all this remnant (since we are left but a few of many, as you can see), that the LORD your God may show us the way in which we should walk and the thing we should do” (Jeremiah 42:2-3 NKJV). However, they had no intention of acting on God’s guidance. They were not sincere. Jeremiah told them the mind of God, but they didn’t do it, and they suffered the consequences.
Some people’s problem is not ignorance; it is unbelief or lack of faith in God or the Word of God. Therefore, they fail to act and remain at the same spot in life. The cause of their delay is not any demon. Perhaps they are the demon! The unbelief of the children of Israel delayed them for forty years. They listened to the evil report of the ten spies and disbelieved God’s assurance that He had given the land to them and they should go and possess it (Numbers 13, 14).
Just as God had said, all those who were twenty years and above that had left Egypt died in the wilderness during their forty years of delay – forty years of wandering in the wilderness. They tempted or tested God and limited, frustrated, offended, or provoked the Holy One of Israel (Psalm 78:41).
Even the Bible says Jesus could not do many mighty works in Nazareth because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58). They frustrated Him, so to speak. Unbelief will limit God in a man’s life and cause a delay in his life. In this circumstance, repentance from unbelief and faith in God will deliver anyone in that situation from the delay. “So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God’” (Mark 11:22 NKJV). Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus, said, “Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2:5 NKJV). That is one way out of delay in life. No doubt; no unbelief; simply, “Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38 NKJV).
4. Disobedience. If anyone disobeys the Word of God or the voice of the LORD, he may open the door to the demon of delay in his life. The demon will supervise his life and ensure that he doesn’t go forward in life!
Jonah disobeyed God. God told him to go to Nineveh, but he headed for Tarshish (probably in southern Spain). He didn’t get there but ended in the belly of a great fish. Jonah didn’t make progress until he agreed to go to Nineveh. “Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish’s belly. And he said: ‘I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction, and He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and You heard my voice. For You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the floods surrounded me; all Your billows and Your waves passed over me. Then I said ‘I have been cast out of Your sight; yet I will look again toward Your holy temple’” (Jonah 2:1-4 NKJV). The fish eventually vomited him on the beach and he obeyed the voice of God to go to Nineveh.
Disobedience will cause a delay in your life. The solution to this is obedience. The Bible talks a lot about obeying God. Disobedience caused Saul the throne. There is a throne waiting for you, but disobedience is one of your greatest enemies. “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22b NKJV).
5. Wrong choices and decisions. These include wrong choices and decisions about location, career, relationships, church, etc. Make sure that the Word of God and the Spirit of God guide you in making your choices in life. Not all that glitters is gold. In reality, things are not as they appear to be. You may have to review some of your previous decisions.
Some people are experiencing delays in life because they are members of churches with wrong messages and practices. Their destinies have been held hostage. Until such people quit and join Bible-believing and Bible-teaching churches, they may not advance in life.
The psalmist prayed, “Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe Your commandments” (Psalm 119:66 NKJV). That prayer is very powerful. Because the psalmist lacked good judgment and knowledge he went astray, as he said in verse 67: “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word” (NKJV). It’s not enough to be born again, you must be able to make the right judgment in life. Ask God for good judgment and knowledge. Everybody needs it.
Furthermore, some people are experiencing delays because of some relationships, including family relationships. Abraham didn’t obey God to go to Canaan until Terah, his father, died. “And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran” (Genesis 11:31-32 NKJV). Did you see that? Terah died in Haran at the age of 205.
However, immediately in Chapter 12, the Bible says, “The Lord had said to Abram: Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1 NKJV). This means God had told him before, and that was while Terah, his father, was alive, but it seemed his father didn’t allow him to go beyond Haran, which was a good place; he left Haran with possessions or wealth (Genesis 12:5). Nevertheless, Haran was not God’s best for Abram. He obeyed God in Chapter 12 after the death of Terah. The Hebrew word translated Terah or Tarah, the father of Abraham, means “delay” (Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon).
There are some Terahs in your life that must die if you’re going to go forward in life and fulfill your destiny. Some family relationships (relations) must die; some friendships must die because they won’t allow you to become who God wants you to be in life. It is not that you kill the persons physically, but you kill the relationships by separating completely or keeping your distance from the persons concerned. However, you must protect your heart against hatred and bitterness. God wants you to love everyone, including your enemies (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27,35).
6. Demonic operations through ancestral power or curses from different quarters. Abraham had a long delay in child-bearing. Sarah was barren and at old age, she gave birth to Isaac, her only child. However, that demon of bareness that attacked Isaac’s mother also attacked his own wife. He had to pray to God to deliver him from this ancestral power of barrenness before his wife could conceive. “Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian. Now Isaac pleaded with the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived” (Genesis 25:20-21 NKJV).
Even Jacob, his own son, had to contend with this demon in one of his wives. It took some time before Rachael was pregnant. Before then, she was frustrated and envied her rival, Leah, who was her elder sister. She threatened to die unless her husband gave her a child. “Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, ‘Give me children, or else I die!’ And Jacob’s anger was aroused against Rachel, and he said, ‘Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?’” (Genesis 30:1-2 NKJV).
Some delays could be very frustrating. The demon that delayed the father or mother always wants to delay the children also. That demon is defeated in your life and the lives of your children as from today in Jesus’ name. They’re rendered powerless in your lives in Jesus’ name. Isaiah 49:24-26 says, “Who can snatch the plunder of war from the hands of a warrior? Who can demand that a tyrant let his captives go? But the LORD says, ‘The captives of warriors will be released, and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved. For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children. I will feed your enemies with their own flesh. They will be drunk with rivers of their own blood. All the world will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior and Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel” (NLT).
I pray for you Psalm 115:14-15: “May the LORD give you increase more and more, you and your children. May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (NKJV). The same scripture is presented in the New Century Version thus: “May the LORD give you success, and may he give and your children success. May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 115:14-15). Your “children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed” (Psalm 112:2 NLT).
Sometimes the demonic operations causing delay are through the wickedness of some people or someone’s past or current involvement in demonic activities. If you know the cause of the delay, the problem is half-solved. If it is self-inflicted, you need to repent, renounce your involvement in demonic activities, and seek further spiritual counsel for you to walk in total victory. If it’s from the attack of wicked people, you should be ready for spiritual warfare based on the Word of God and on the accomplished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’)” (Galatians 3:13 NKJV). If the delay persists, seek further spiritual counsel! Don’t let the devil exploit your ignorance to delay you longer than necessary.
You can be free. You can have victory, and you will in Jesus’ name. “It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil” (Isaiah 10:27 NKJV).
Satanic delay is not a good thing. It wastes people’s lives and destinies. When David could no longer cope with delay, he cried to God, “As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord is thinking about me right now. You are my helper and my savior. Do not delay, O my God” (Psalm 40:17 NLT). He made a similar cry in Psalm 70:5: “But I am poor and needy; Make haste to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay” (NKJV). Don’t keep quiet over an unusual delay in your life. If delay persists, you need to examine your life: Is anything wrong that I don’t know? Why is this so? Does God want me to do something in a different way? You may make some findings that will lead to your early victory over this delay.
O LORD, satisfy me in the morning!
Moses is believed to have written Psalm 90. He said in Psalm 90:13-14,“O LORD, come back to us! How long will you delay? Take pity on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives” (NLT). Some blessings are better enjoyed in the morning of one’s life when one is still young. The enemy shouldn’t delay that in your life till you’re old. I didn’t read in the Bible “the wife of your old age.” It’s usually “the wife of your youth.” You and your wife will live to be old, but all other things being equal, you should marry when you’re young, not when you’re old.
Psalm 92:14 says, “They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing” (NKJV). You may interpret that to mean the power to procreate until you go to the grave! I have no reason to doubt the word of God, but there is more to that scripture than procreation. Do you want to be raising children or paying children’s school fees when you should be resting and your children coming to bless you? It’s not easy to do some things when you’re old. Some people had or have to marry at old age after experiencing God’s deliverance, which is still better late than never because the devil probably never wanted them to marry at all.
Paul wrote the Thessalonian church, “Therefore we wanted to come to you — even I, Paul, time and again — but Satan hindered us” (1 Thessalonians 2:18 NKJV). Even the great Paul confessed that he was hindered by the devil in coming to that church – he couldn’t make it. He also talked about another hindrance in Romans 1:13: “Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles” (NKJV). Nevertheless, on this occasion, he didn’t mention the cause of the hindrance.
I pray that the LORD will deliver you from the power of delay wherever it’s manifesting currently in your life, whether you know the cause or not. It won’t waste your life and destiny in Jesus’ name. There’s no more delay for you this season in Jesus’ name!
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
1. I repent of and forsake any sin that the devil is using to cause a delay in any department of life in Jesus’ name (Mention those sins)
2. O LORD, open my eyes and give me insight into whatever is causing a delay in my life.
3. I’m redeemed from the curse of the law, every ancestral power causing a delay in my marriage, business, the lives of my children, etc. be destroyed in Jesus’ name.
4. In the name of Jesus, I’m free from all forms of delay; I’m blessed of the LORD; my destiny is blessed; I’m prosperous; I’m no longer held hostage by delay.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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