Does God Check His Voicemail?

Carl here. I grew up in a Lutheran world where prayer was pretty much practiced as leaving a message on voicemail for God to check later: you pray, you’re pretty sure someone is listening up there, and you go about your business.

Easy, right?

Obviously, God must have had a lot of unheard messages on His voicemail, because all around me, nobody seemed to be listening for a reply to their prayers.

That would be much harder. That kind of prayer life would require responsibility on my part. Far too easy to just give God a call and leave Him a prayer message.

When I became a true follower of Jesus, I began to realize that not only was He listening to me, He was responding!

Responding in love!

Love Speaks (that is a catchy title for a book, right)?

Many Christians believe they have never once confidently heard a reply from the Lord after they left Him a prayer voicemail. And why is that? According to Scripture, there could be multiple reasons. Here are just 3, along with possible solutions:

  1. Sin BLOCKS the communication lines. “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).

    The answer: repent! I actually practice a daily repentance for my sins. Repentance to the Father, in Jesus’ name, brings you into intimate fellowship with Him, and positions you to hear in fresh ways from the Word and the Spirit.

  2. We don’t EXPECT Him to answer. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

    The answer: start believing that not only will God hear you, He has wonderful plans ahead, and He is planning on prospering you!

  3. Maybe He’s being QUIET: “The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior, He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy (Zephaniah 3:17).

    The answer: learn to listen to His quiet love all around you, and be secure in this stillness!

So does God check His voicemail?

The answer is NO: He doesn’t even have a mobile phone!

What’s way better than all the instant communication, mobile phones, and the personal assistant of Siri (for all you iPhone users..)?

I mean, seriously, what can be better than Google or Siri on the information highway?

How about:

GOD IS ALWAYS PREVIOUS.

Meaning: He is Providential; He is Omniscient; He is Omnipresent; He is ALMIGHTY!

Memorize this verse and remember it the next time you go to prayer and are thinking of leaving a voicemail:

“It will also come to pass that BEFORE THEY CALL, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I WILL HEAR” (Isaiah 65:24).

 

***To learn more about this fascinating subject of hearing the multi-faceted voice of God, check out my new book, “LOVE SPEAKS: 21 Ways to Recognize God’s Multi-Faceted Voice.”

More info on our website: http://bit.ly/LoveSpeaksInfo

Buy it on Amazon U.S. here: http://amzn.to/2iicbal

Buy it on Amazon U.K. here: http://bit.ly/LoveSpeaksUK

 

 

 

green martyrs

The Green Martyrs of Ireland at the Ends of the Earth

Never heard of the once-renowned “Green Martyrs” of Ireland?

Neither had I, until I studied Thomas Cahill’s excellent book, How the Irish Saved Civilization. In it, he shares how Ireland was unique in religious history for being the only land into which Christianity was introduced without persecution: there was no shedding of blood. There were no Irish “red martyrs” as St. Patrick and others brought the reality of Jesus to the Irish with little or no opposition.

People became Christians through a gospel of both the love and power of Jesus Christ: even the Druid priests were converted when they saw the power of God displayed above the dark powers they were accustomed to.

The Irish monks in their ingenuity thought up another form of martyrdom that did not require persecution and bloodshed: they would come to call themselves, “Green Martyrs” and give their whole lives dedicated to worship and prayer.

The Green Martyr was one who followed the cost of discipleship that Jesus laid down, the “deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow me” kind of commitment that leads to a self-sacrificial existence.

They chose the most remote corners of the Island, places like Skellig Michael, a rocky outcropping some 8 miles southwest of the tip of the Irish coast. Literally, “the ends of the earth” as their maps simply did not go any further than this point.

To this day you can still see the ruins of perhaps the best-preserved ancient monastery in Ireland.

I was taken out to this island on a boat trip to celebrate my 23rd Birthday while on my first missionary journey many years ago.

Skellig Michael is an ancient outpost of continuous prayer, consisting of a collection of beehive stone huts surrounding a small oratory building.

Skellig Michael on the Skellig Isles

And here’s a little secret (you read it here first: Star Wars Episode 7 was filmed there with Luke Skywalker on Skellig Michael! The monastery ruins were featured briefly at the end of of Episode 7 and will open Episode 8 when released later this year)!

I think God is shining a spotlight on a very special “place” on the earth, known only to Him for 600 years. For generations, rotations of 12 monks came to live here and dedicated their lives to study, prayer, fasting, community and worship.

It’s kind of like the original 24/7 model of prayer. It links current movements like Pete Grieg’s 24/7 Prayer Community based near London, or Mike Bickle’s IHOP Community based in Kansas City, or even the radical expressions of worship coming out of Bethel’s Redding Community or Jesus Culture.

Perhaps without realizing it, all of these modern movements have their roots in the ancient “Green Martyrs” of Ireland!

So here are 3 possible applications to becoming a modern “Green Martyr” (without having to move to Skellig Michael in Ireland):

1. Cultivate a lifestyle of radical commitment to God in prayer.
You can learn to cultivate a daily, hour by hour dependence upon the Spirit by new levels of self-control and self-discipline. Pray more! Pray fervently. Fast & pray, too. Try checking in with the Holy Spirit every hour of the day.

2. Read & meditate on scripture, daily.
The monks did. I visited the ruins of Nendrum Monastery, between Belfast and Downpatrick in Ulster, Northern Ireland. It contains the best-preserved ancient sundial in Ireland, where I noticed there were 8 markers which marked 8 distinct times of the day that these men and women of God would pause in their lives, pray, and meditate on Scripture. Try this: set some markers on your mobile phone to alert you to pause and pray throughout your day!

3. Find a spot in your home to dedicate as “holy space” to God.
The Christian Celts called these places, “thin places” because the veil between Heaven and Earth was so thin and they could sense the glory and presence of God lingering there. This could be a prayer room, or even a favorite chair where you commit to daily communing with the Spirit of God, interceding for others, or just reading Scripture. And the more time you spend in communion with God, the more you personally carry a “thin place” with you, wherever you travel, and can bring the presence of the King of Kings to others who need Him.

Remember the “Green Martyrs” and become one, in full devotion to Christ! -Carl Wesley Anderson, founder, https://borntoblaze.com

“All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before You” (Psalm 22: 27).

Sky

The GREATEST SIGN (of the End-Times)

News reports have been buzzing all week with the sighting of the “Blood Moon” & solar eclipse in the night sky. This kind of “sign” in the sky will not appear again for 18 years. Many “prophecy experts” around the world are calling this a “sign of the end-times” and yet, I would like to focus your attention instead upon, the GREATEST SIGN and it comes from Jesus Himself.

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the whole world for a witness to all nations, and then the end shall come” (Matthew 24:14).

Jesus gives us a list of about 5 “categories of signs” (including world-wide natural disasters, wars and others). These all happened in the actual generation following His resurrection (about 40 years) leading up to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. They are also potential indicators, to the final generation of people, that His coming is approaching soon. I personally believe that His final “sign” in the list has been in motion 2,000 years until now, and is nearly complete.

Thus, we are about to see the GREATEST SIGN be fulfilled in front of our very eyes, and it is possible it will happen in the next decade or two. The GREATEST SIGN is the final proclamation of Jesus to all nations: the story of the divine life of Jesus, the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross to forgive sin, the resurrection of Jesus and His defeat of death, the inauguration of the Kingdom of God, and the pouring forth of His Eternal Life to all who will call upon Him and say, “YES!”

It is TIME TO ADVANCE THE KINGDOM! In the midst of spiritual darkness, your light will shine the brighter. It is NOT TIME TO RETREAT. It’s TIME TO KEEP ON ADVANCING until the witness of Jesus in the nations is finished.

God has been active in calling people to prayer and action, behind the scenes, (and not featured in world headlines), for many decades.

Back in 1934, just prior to the outbreak of evil and spiritual darkness of WWII, the Spirit of God called out to a young man in Wales named Rees Howells, and challenged him,

“Rees, do you believe that I can give the gospel to every creature?”

“Yes, LORD.”

“I am dwelling in you. Can I be responsible for this through you?”

What followed was a prayer directive, and has become known as, “The Every Creature Commission.” A new commission from the Spirit of God, for Rees and his team of intercessors in Wales to pray every year for 10,000 new laborers, both men and women, to be sent into the harvest fields, for the next 30 years!

That is approx. 1935 to 1965. They prayed, and thousands of people responded worldwide, in answer to this intercession.

Just a few examples: Billy Graham opened his now-famous Los Angeles campaign in 1949, and was jettisoned onto the world stage, proclaiming the gospel to millions in a huge awakening.

In the 1950’s alone, there were over 500 full-time evangelists traveling all over America in their famous “sawdust tent crusades” and saw countless people brought to the Savior.

There are also currently over 1,000 documented “awakenings” in small and large places all over the world. Revivals are breaking out all over, though you won’t hear of them on BBC News or CNN.

This incredible wave of the Spirit began to burst forth upon every continent during those initial years, & it continues through today.

Consider these facts,

*There are approx. 6,800 languages on earth. Only 1800 of those are left without a proper translation of the Bible. Of those 1800, Wycliffe Translators have missionaries working on 1500 of them!

*Many, many missions groups of all varieties are advancing the gospel into the unreached people groups. I had the privilege recently of meeting and hearing Loren Cunningham, original founder of Youth With A Mission (YWAM), speak at a Base near our home. He shared some incredible stories of the dedication of many young missionaries to carry the gospel to the un-reached, and how he felt that within about 10 years, in coordination with a number of other missions agencies, we could potentially reach the whole world and expose them to the gospel!

Will you begin to understand that the “GREATEST SIGN” of the end-times is not “Blood Moons” and solar flares, or natural disasters or wars. It is, quite simply, the finishing of the advancement of the Gospel to all nations, and then the end shall come.

It’s time to finish the “Every Creature Commission” and turn our daily prayers and expectation to, “Even so, Come LORD Jesus!”

So let me pose the question: what can you personally do to re-prioritize your time, your financial giving, & your prayer life, in alignment with this GREATEST SIGN?

At a recent Leadership Summit, I was honored preach a short, passionate message (about 15 minutes long) on the theme of this Blog. Please take a few minutes and hit the play button, or click on the “hotlink” to download the file, and listen when you have time. NOTE: this message includes my impression of the famous William Wallace “FREEDOM” speech from Braveheart in the Intro!

Enjoy and please share with your friends to stir them to missionary action & inspire their prayer life.

The Greatest Sign by Carl Wesley Anderson