JudySullivansozoThe Lord has been speaking to me for almost 2 years about Christmas. We don’t put a lot of emphasis on Santa in our family, but I’m hearing songs about Santa Claus in my head and I’ve had several dreams about Santa bringing gifts. I believe that a season of celebration is coming very soon and it will seem like Christmas. Songs like “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”, and “Up on the Housetop” are prophetic words to me. “Believe”, from the movie Polar Express, brings me to my knees.
At the same time I’ve been having dreams of upheaval and disaster coming to our nation. Charles Dickens wrote in A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. The Lord wants us to know that in the midst of the worst of times there is still hope. He will raise a standard against our enemy when he comes in like a flood (Is 59:19). The Lord’s “standard” in this season is making a way for His gifts and promises to be fulfilled in the Church. If we cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving in the midst of our battles, the Lord will set a banquet table before us in the presence of our enemies (Ps 23:5).

I’ve learned from experience that frequently events that occur prior to a prophetic dream are as important as the dream itself and can be a key to unlocking its meaning. On the morning before this dream I woke up early to read my Bible and pray. I’ve been on a diet, so before going downstairs I decided to step on the scale to see if I had lost any weight. I was a little disappointed because my weight loss had stalled. But I believed that eventually my weight would line up with my dieting efforts and went downstairs to read and pray. After my time with the Lord I noticed that it was still dark outside, so I decided to get in another hour of sleep. When I closed my eyes I had the following vivid dream.

My Dream – 7/28/12: I saw sentences written in the sky that were scrolling upwards. I knew that they were promises that had been written by the Lord, answers to prayers. These words were coming before the Throne of Heaven because it was time for these promises to be fulfilled. Then I saw a large white placard that reminded me of a wooden road sign. It was painted white but was completely blank and had stalled on its way up. There were two lights flashing on top of it, a red light and an amber light, indicating that this was a promise that had stalled or stopped on the way to its fulfilment.

Next I was talking to people who appeared to be our clients, although I didn’t recognize any of them. I asked a young man if he had gotten free from his addiction and he said he had stopped and was getting shots to help with his dependency.

In the next scene I was with my family. My daughter-in-law was doing some rearranging in the house. She removed the table and chairs from the dining room. When I asked her why, she seemed irritated and said, “I knew you wouldn’t like it.” This is uncharacteristic of her normally sweet nature but in the dream I was unhappy with the changes and thought it looked much better before. She put a smaller, prettier round table in the living room instead of in the dining room. But then she changed her mind and decided to replace it with 2 small banquet tables. At first it looked like there would not be enough room for me at the table. Just as I was getting ready to throw a pity party I noticed that there was room for a seat at the end of the table where I could pull up a chair.

The dream switched to the next morning. My family came to the banquet tables in the living room wearing red Christmas PJ’s and Santa hats. My daughter-in-law beamed with excitement, “Christmas is only a month away!” I was confused because it was the middle of summer, but I realized that it must be November because we just celebrated Thanksgiving. That was the end of the dream.

The visions, dreams, and promises that we’ve been holding onto for years are coming before the Throne of Heaven. Every good and perfect gift that has been stored up for this season is being made ready for distribution. It will be like a season of Christmas that will cause great celebration. But some gifts that are due now have been stalled. Answers to prayer can be delayed for a number of reasons but most often the delay revolves around God’s perfect timing. However, sometimes we are responsible for the delay because of unbelief or sin.

If you enjoy dream interpretation like I do you will probably see more in this dream, but for our purposes now I just want to share the 5 reasons for delayed promises that the Lord revealed to me in this dream.

Why are God’s promises delayed?

1. We have become addicted to and dependent on worldly things to keep us functioning and in a state of happiness.

When we are addicted to things outside of the Lord to bring peace, our spirits are made dull. Our promises will be stalled when we are in this condition because our connection to the Lord is clouded. Cultivate an attitude of worship and turn away from those things that you have depended on to escape the demands of life. When the Lord speaks, He wants to quicken our spirits to respond quickly to His voice. Ask the Lord to forgive and deliver you from your dependencies and renounce the mind-binding spirits that have held you captive.

2. We have fallen into the trap of self pity.

Come to the banquet table even if it seems that there’s no room. Don’t give in to a spirit of rejection, that’s the enemy’s lie keeping us from enjoying all that has been prepared. Don’t look for things to line up according to your expectations but be willing to come to the table in difficult or unusual circumstances. Remember that the Lord can prepare a table for us in the presence of our enemies. When He brings us to His banquet table it is filled with good things and it’s in this place that His banner protects us with His love (Song of Songs 2:4). So stop setting limitations on God and stop feeling sorry for you. Put on your red Christmas PJ’s and Santa hats because the Lord is coming with gifts!

3. We have stopped believing in the promise.

The minute we give up on the dream or promise that God has given us we move backwards and lose ground. It’s similar to a diet. If we give up, we get discouraged and can start gaining weight. Eventually, if we stay on this course, we will return to our former unhealthy self. Diets that are successful require discipline and diligence to stick to the plan, even when our weight loss stalls. In like manner, we must not lose faith in the promises that God has given us, even when things are delayed or seem impossible. That’s when God does His best work! Faith and belief are the fuel that keeps the promise moving forward. An act of obedience can jumpstart the engine. The key is to keep moving – keep hope alive!

4. We have rejected changes that we don’t understand or like.

We must allow the furniture to be rearranged in our world so that there’s room for the gifts that the Lord is bringing. Say good bye to status quo and get ready for change. Friends of mine have spent this past year cleaning house, getting rid of stuff that they no longer need because they sense that change is coming and they want to be ready. My youngest son and his wife and 2 infant sons took a trip to New Hampshire last winter because they felt it was time for a change. Within a few months he was laid off from his computer programming job in Denver, Colorado. Without knowing that a layoff was coming he had already applied for several jobs in New Hampshire because they liked it there. He was offered 3 out of the 4 jobs and now just a month later they are living their dream in New Hampshire. Their lives barely skipped a beat.

5. We have stopped being thankful.

Christmas always follows Thanksgiving. We must be thankful now for the gifts that we still do not see. Thankfulness is learned during the great difficulties of life. I learned it though heartache and pain, the loss of a business and the death of my husband. These were the times that I came to understand that it’s not about me it’s about the Lord and His greater purpose for my life. Being thankful when all hope is gone will completely change our outlook on life. Hope can survive when the unthinkable happens. Being thankful in the most difficult situations opens our eyes to see the Lord’s goodness. His plans are to prosper and not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future (Jer 29:11).

I hope this will help you understand some of the reasons why God’s promises are delayed and how to get them back on track. I believe a season of Christmas is right around the corner. There is still time for us to repent and change our ways so that we can receive the gifts that are due. Ask the Lord if you have done anything to hold them back. Look for understanding in the Bible, seek counsel from someone you trust and listen to your own heart. The Lord knows how to reach you and He wants you to enjoy this season of answered prayer. If you have done something to delay God’s promises, ask His forgiveness and change your ways, then take that simple step of faith that He has been showing you. The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made (Ps 145:130).

“Believe” (chorus) by Hassman, Nikki/Miller, Scott

Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that’s playing
There’s no time to waste
There’s so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe
Just believe