Understanding and Overcoming the Spirit of Delay
"…In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes" (2 Corinthians 2:11). In order to be effective in spiritual warfare, we must know not only about our armor and weapons, but also about the strategies of the enemy. The spirit of delay is a strategy used by the devil to try and gain the advantage over people. To delay is to put off to a future time what should be done now. When I speak about delay, I am not dealing with general procrastination, which is a problem for many people, but with the specific problems of spiritual delay in answering the call of God. There are three areas to which God calls us; these are salvation, deliverance, and service. Satan and his demons are fully at work trying to keep people from answering these calls. His strategy for accomplishing this is to make people put off responding to God's calls waiting for a more convenient time, which unfortunately for many people never comes. Let's look at the three spiritual areas in which people delay in answering God's calls.
1. The call to Salvation
As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, "That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you" (Acts 24:25).
2. The call to Deliverance
With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished." When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them (Genesis 19:15-16).
3. The call to Service
He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:59-62).
How to overcome the spirit of delay
1. If you have never answered God's call to salvation respond to the call today. "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts" (Hebrews 4:7).
2. Rebuke and resist every thought to put off obeying God's commands. "I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands" (Psalms 119:60).
3. Don't wait for perfect conditions to answer God's call for service. "Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap" (Ecclesiastes 11:4).