The Great Delay

January 20, 2022

My blog today is designed to be a teaching that I feel Holy Spirit wants me to pass along.  I’m usually pastoral in my assignment at Antioch International Ministries but teaching is my main office gift and it is from that posture that I feel most motivated in this post.  In my time with the Lord today, I felt His nudge to be an exhorter/encourager and present a truth designed to keep us sharp and focused for the hour in which we live

At our Antioch International Ministries prayer meeting this past Monday evening (1/17/22), one of my focus Scriptures was Matthew 25 1-13 which is the reference to the Parable of the 10 Virgins as taught by Jesus.  I used this focus Scripture to build a foundation to point out our need to prepare and be alert to the things going on around us so that our God-ordained assignments and those of the ministries we represent will be right on target over the next year and especially the next three months.  Then, the Holy Spirit took me on a different twist and I felt the warrior spirit hit me.

Mat 25:1-13  “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2  “Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3  “For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4  but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5  “Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 6  “But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.‘ 7  “Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8  “The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9  “But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10  “And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11  “Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12  “But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13  “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.  (NASB)

I was particularly impressed to pray out of verse 5 with a focus on the word “delaying.”

In Matt. 25:5, the word delaying in the NASB above comes from the Greek word Chronizō̄  [Khron-id´-zo].  It is an action verb that means to Delay, Linger, or Tarry.  Here are 4 translations of this 5th verse.

  • 5 Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. (NASB)
  • 5 When the bridegroom didn’t come when they expected, they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. (TPT)
  • 5 While the bridegroom lingered and was slow in coming, they all began nodding their heads, and they fell asleep. (AMPB)
  • 5 The bridegroom didn’t show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep.(MSG)

Note: This Greek word is an active verb which means it is something that is done or performed; an act; a deed. an act that one consciously wills and that may be characterized by physical or mental activity.  This is in comparison to a passive verb which means that it is accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance.  In other words, and in this case, because the guest’s expectancy was not met, they acted by nodding their heads and falling asleep. So, by their own actions they brought about their disqualification.

In all of these translations of Scripture, it is clear that in verse 5 Jesus was teaching that the time the bridegroom was taking to get to the wedding and feast was longer than was expected.  Further, He was teaching that the guests not having their anticipated satisfactions fulfilled in the time they wanted them fulfilled, they actively and by their own will got lethargic, complacent, and fell asleep.  They were not sensitive to the coming of the central character of why the event was even taking place.  They weren’t thinking about his possible reasons for the delay or what he was experiencing that may be causing the delay.  They wanted their needs and self-centered desires satisfied.  “Let’s get this party going!” was perhaps their attitude.  When that didn’t happen, they of their own volition fell asleep.  They took their eyes off the prize and when the bridegroom did come, they were neither prepared nor alert and were left totally out of the celebration.

Now, relative to the current season of events happening around us, the prophetic impression I had at the prayer meeting was that there are many Christians who were at first on fire to believe that God was going to intervene in the earth (and especially the USA).  Since then, they have waned significantly in that posture.  The seeming delay in intervention has caused the same lethargy and dissatisfaction among the “guests” as it did in the parable and they are falling asleep.  (By the way, I’m personally not sure that He hasn’t begun to intervene.  I’ve seen many signs of intervention—maybe just not the way or in the time it was expected.)  Many Believers have totally forsaken the prophetic words of credible prophets and have called them false prophets and taken them to task by saying, “you should repent for being in such gross error.”  Some have quit praying and releasing their faith for righteousness to manifest.  Be careful; 1Ch 16:22  “Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.”   You don’t want the backhand of the anointing to hit you.

Let me ask the guests to today’s feast, “has God changed His mind?”  Is He just going to allow the gross sin and lawlessness in this covenant nation and in His creation to continue?  Of course not.  He is not a man that He should be found a liar.  So let me caution the “guests” to this season that you don’t become lethargic and complacent.  Be careful that you don’t willfully just fall asleep on this most important watch.  Revival and awakening is occurring in this nation and around the world.  We are on the brink of things never before experienced by mankind.  Justice will be prepared on the table before us in the presence of our enemies.  Let us war against the spirits of complacency and lethargy—especially if they are affecting our Brothers and Sisters in Christ.  WAKE UP SLUMBERING SPIRITS!  HARKEN TO THE VOICE OF HOLY SPIRIT!  Never quit!  Never yield!  Never move back one inch from the posture that our God will redeem—completely!  If you’re breathing, STAND!

Isa 60:1-3  “Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. 2  “For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you. 3  “Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. 4  “Lift up your eyes round about and see; They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, And your daughters will be carried in the arms. (NASB)