Sometimes we all wonder, “Why does there seem to be a delay to answered prayers?” or “When is that prophetic promise ever going to come to pass?” If you find yourself pondering these types of questions, you are not alone.  We all live in the “until” clause to one degree or another. There is “promise revealed” and then there is “promise fulfilled”.

Between these two positions, there is the gap we live in called the “until”. But, we do not have to stay there. We can learn the ways of the Holy Spirit in this thing called, “Contending for the Prophetic Promise” and step into our Promised Land!

The following scriptures and principles have helped me and others over the years to not remain stuck in a rut.  They are tools to help us keep moving forward in Jesus’ name.  Contend “until”!

Scriptural Background for Contending

  1. I Timothy 1:18
    “This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight.”
  2. Genesis 32:22-29
    Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him and said, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And he blessed him there.
  3. Daniel Chapter 9 and 10 (especially 9:17-19, 20-23, 10:12-14)
    “So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications, and for Your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary. O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. He gave me instruction and talked with me and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding. “At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision.Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. “Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.

Why Contending is Necessary

  1. You Are Contending for More than Just Yourself – Your Breakthrough is for Others!
    Please realize that what you are going through is not just about you! Every personal breakthrough is so that you can release faith, courage, healing and the grace package you just received from God to others. Maybe you are contending for a breakthrough in cancer. Maybe you are laboring for a victory over generational curses. Well, your individual personal victory builds a testimony which helps others receive what you fought so hard for. You are contending for your family, church culture, city and even nation. Come on now, you are contending for more than just yourself!
  2. It Strengthens You in God. It Builds You Up!
    If you work out, you look buff. If you are a couch potato, then you will resemble one.  In the ways of God, contending in the spiritual is a lot like lifting weights – there is a resistance factor that eventually works in your favor. Your contending causes you to grow up spiritually, cleanses your motivations and builds you up. The process of becoming might seem intense at times, but believe me, it strengthens you in the long run.
  3. There is a Real Enemy who Opposes Your Promise. Your Fulfilled Dream is the Enemy’s Nightmare!
    Why is contending necessary? Because we have a real enemy and your success is a threat to the kingdom of darkness.  We must put on the full armor of God cause your wrestling match is not against your boss, spouse, pastor or children. Our battle is against the powers and principalities of darkness, evil spirits in the heavenly places. Get over it. You were born in the middle of a great cosmic war and you were born for war. Enforce the victory of Jesus Christ won on Calvary.
  4. We Live and Work with Frail People
    Reality check! Why is contending necessary? A part of the empowering of the Holy Spirit is because man is weak and frail. Part of the fulfillment does not just depend on us; it involves the will, attitude and fortitude of others. Some people, some churches, some cities and nations, just give up too soon. I have seen promises of revival or breakthrough for entire cities seem to be dropped only for another generation to arise and pick up the dropped promise until it is birthed in earth as it is in heaven. In all honesty, we all fail from time to time. But then God, strong in mercy and loving kindness, comes through, revives us again and calls others to step to the plate with us.

Requirements to Keep Moving Forward

  1. Walk in Faith
    All progress in the Christian life is through faith. This is a truth for people of all ages, every background and every gift mix!  We walk by faith and not by sight! God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. He rewards faith!
  2. Receive and Release Grace and Mercy
    This is a big one. Do you want to move forward in your personal or corporate destiny in God? Then you need to realize, it is a relational community. We must learn to receive God’s great love, grace and forgiveness and turn around and demonstrate this upside down Kingdom to others. We are never too old for the Sermon on the Mount. Be merciful and you will receive mercy.
  3. Others – Being a Practical Part of the Community of Believers
    Here is another principle that deals with our relationship with the Body of Christ. We need each other!  We need the friendship, prayers, encouragement, and strength which come by walking with others. This is the victory that overcomes the world, even OUR faith.
  4. Greater Intimacy
    It is a love war that we are engaged in. Look into His face. Get in His face. How do we continue? By engaging in the art of beholding. The fulfillment of the prophetic promise is just as much about us being transformed into the image of His Son, as it is answer to a problem. Continue on the journey of earnest longings and gaze into the beauty of the Lord and cry out for greater intimacy with Christ.
  5. Sacrifice Releases Power
    Today’s sacrifice releases tomorrow’s provision and privilege. Today’s humility releases greater grace for the future. What you do matters and how you live determines, in part, your outcome. So stretch yourself in prayer, love, fasting, and acts of kindness. Sow some seed in desperation and faith, and watch God move in your behalf!
  6. Fresh Progressive Vision
    Without a progressive vision, the people perish. Are you keeping God first? Are you seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness? Are you keeping the authentic confirmed prophetic promise in front of your eyes? With renewed prophetic vision, you are strengthened in your resolve and you have grace for the journey.
  7. Perseverance
    Just don’t quit! I have a word on a card from my late wife. As many of you know, it was her last word given to our family and me by an actual angel of the Lord. On the front of the card it states, “Never, never, never, never give up!”  I carry that card with me in my Bible everywhere I go. Don’t quit! Persevere! It will pay off. The promise will come! You will move from promise revealed to promise fulfilled!  Just don’t quit!

Truths from the Trenches!

James W. Goll