Why prophecy is delayed?

By Brandon Bailey

I had people ask me on several occasions why their prophetic word is delayed. These types of questions do not have a generic answer and these delays can be attributed to several different reasons. Each individual will have to understand it in their personal context and not necessarily as a formula.

The prophecy you received might have flowed from a place of familiarity from the preacher

I remember a number of years ago I was known to someone who was prophetic. The person never gave me a prophetic word. One day my past gave me the responsibility to speak for a few minutes on a public platform. This prophetic individual heard me speak and immediately had a word for me. The word was “God graced you with the ability to speak/teach”. I was quite skeptical about the word. I tried to understand why the prophet needed a trigger point to determine what I carried. I understood in that moment that she identified with something obvious in my life and gave it a prophetic identity. She became familiar with an attribute in my life and decided to score prophetic points with me. This was the spirit of familiarity. People sometimes call it prophetic when it is just an observation and they then try to establish a prophetic premise for your life. A similar incident happened when I stood in for our worship leader who was running late, again a prophet told me about the calling to sing upon my life. I don’t consider myself a singer in any form,shape or size but this person identified an attribute and gave it a prophetic identity. In 1 Kings 13 we see how an old prophet pulls a young prophet from his assignment because he operated in a spirit of familiarity. The story ends tragically for the young prophet. It was a word from a placed called familiarity. These type of prophecies at best should be discarded and not set you on a wild goose chase pursuing something that is completely disconnected from the assignment or dominant grace on your life.

Delayed Maturation

The second reason why prophetic words are delayed is because of failed or delayed maturation. Prophetic words are consistent with our cycles of maturity and certain words manifest at a level of maturity. A word that is fulfilled without weighing maturity will breed in the recipient of that word pride and arrogance. In the book of Genesis, God gave Joseph a word that his family will bow before him (Genesis 37). That word came to pass many years later when Joseph was at a different level of maturity. A phrase that is often associated with prophecy in the bible is the phrase “And when the time had fully come”. That term is used to describe the maturation process of wine and is used as symbolic language to describe patterns of maturation. Prophetic words move at the pace of maturation and maturation is unfortunately something the individual have to work at consistently. A word can be delayed because the recipient is not maturing. Maturation also deals with the maturation of a revelation. There are times God watches over his revelation in you because that word itself must mature for a set time. Apostle Paul best explains the thought in the following verse where he draws parallels between the law and Christ (grace) as a prophetic process from one dispensation to the other: Galatians 3:23-25 “23 Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. 25 And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.”

Resistance both natural and spiritual

A prophetic word is resisted both in the spiritual realm and the natural realm. The purpose of this resistance is to frustrate the recipient of the word and also to frustrate the purposes of the kingdom. In the book of Daniel 10 the angel explains resistance to Daniel but also takes him on a journey to understand how human life is organised to resist the fulfilment of a word. Every prophetic word carries a kingdom agenda and every kingdom agenda will be resisted by both the natural and the spiritual realm. (Read Daniel 10). The goal of resistance is to keep transformation out of the natural realm and to sustain a demonic culture by keeping out what God wants to birth in the earth. This resistance requires persistent and ongoing prayer.

God’s Sovereignty

Prophetic words are delayed because through it God articulates his Sovereignty. If God fulfils words when we ready then He is subject to our dictates. God will sometimes be deliberate in delaying a word,solely to establish His sovereignty in our life. Delay at times is God’s way of saying “I decide when”.