UNDERSTANDING DIVINE DELAY (Part 1)
“When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4 NKJV)
When Lazarus of Bethany, the brother of Martha and Mary, was sick his sisters sent a distress message to Jesus, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” (John 11:3 NKJV).
Their expectation was that Jesus would respond immediately to their distress call and come over to heal their brother Lazarus.
But contrary to the expectation of Martha and Mary, Jesus stayed two more days where He was before leaving for Bethany to attend to their request and by the time He got to Bethany, Lazarus was already dead and stinking in the grave.
Did Jesus arrive late? Certainly not!
Jesus came at the right time, the set time His Father wanted Him to show up at Bethany. But apparently not Mary and Martha’s set time.
Like Martha and Mary, many times we also have been in a desperate situation that demanded immediate divine intervention, but which never came at our set or fixed time. Honestly, that could be very frustrating, upsetting and discouraging.
I have also been in a desperate situation when I was seeking, praying and believing God for a prompt intervention, yet for reasons best known to God He did not show up at the time I had set for Him.
However, as it was in the case of Martha and Mary, God later showed up and manifested His power and glory when all hope seemed lost. In such a time, I could not help but wondered and asked, “Why did God wait this long before manifesting His power and glory?”
From the Scripture and my few years of experience in life and ministry, I have come to realize that God is never late in answering the prayers of His children when they call upon Him in faith.
God takes delight in attending very promptly to our desperate cries and needs. But we get upset and impatient with God because our time is not always His time. Most times, our own time is always ahead of God’s time.
When Jesus’ brothers were persuading Him to show up at Jerusalem for the feast of Tabernacles at a time, the Lord would not be persuaded. Why?
Because His time has not yet fully come!
John 7:6-8 – NKJV
6 Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.
7 “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.
8 “You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.”
Afterwards, Jesus went up to the feast (John 7:10).
One of the major factors that determine God’s time of manifestation in our situation is the glory of God.
Most times when we are in desperate need or situation we don’t care who gets the glory or takes the credit as long as we get what we want, but God really cares about who gets the glory or takes the credit for what He does for us or through us.
Therefore, until the stage is set for God alone to be glorified in our life and situation, God will not show up. This is why the Lord Jesus had to wait until Lazarus was dead four days and stinking in the grave before showing up to bring him back to life so that God alone might be glorified in the situation.
Although Mary and Martha wanted Jesus to come much earlier than He did, yet Jesus showed up at Bethany only when all men’s helps and efforts to heal, sustain or revive Lazarus had failed, and He alone would be glorified.
This is why Jesus said to Mary and Martha early, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4 NKJV).
As much as God is willing to attend promptly to your passionate and desperate cry for help, but for His glory’s sake He will always wait until you have come to the end of your self – your wisdom, strength, efforts, plans or strategies, so “that no flesh should glory in His presence.” (1 Cor. 1:29 NKJV).
Until the stage is set and cleared for God alone to manifest His power and glory in your life and situation, God will hold Himself back.
God will never compete with you or anyone in your life for the glory due to Him. This is the reason why God always waits patiently until all those you have trusted to help you have failed or disappointed you before He shows up to help you.
God cares about who gets the glory, praise or credit for what He does in your life, for you, or through you (Isa. 48:11).
Therefore, until it is absolutely certain that it is God alone who will take the credit for what you are praying that God will do in your life, family, career, business or ministry; you might not see or have it.
When there is still someone on the stage playing “God” in your life, the time and the stage is not yet set for the Almighty God to manifest His power and glory in your life and situation.
God is too big to share the stage with anyone or anything in your life!
It is therefore your responsibility to ensure the stage is set or cleared for God alone to manifest His power and glory before calling upon God to intervene in your situation.
Beloved, God cares so much about who takes the glory or credit for His miraculous works in your life or situation and this is why He shows up much later than you expected, when no flesh can glory in His presence.
The truth is this; you are the one who actually determines when God would manifest His power and glory in your life and situation. If the stage is set and cleared early for God; He will show up without any delay.
But if there are still other people playing “God” on the stage, God will hold back until they have failed and disappointed you and then exit the stage before He steps on the stage to do the impossible.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, help and teach me by Your Spirit how to set up and clear the stage for You alone to take all the glory and credit for your works in my life, family, career, ministry or business, in Jesus’ name. Amen.