Monday, October 19, 2015

Whose Voice are You Going to Listen to?

On her Unguarded CD from 1985, Amy Grant recorded a song that says, “You gotta know who to and not to listen to.” These lyrics pretty much sum of the theme of Steven Furtick’s book, Crashing the Chatterbox.

The book’s subtitle, “Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others,” is what intrigued me, but this book does not contain a list of the top ten ways to be able to better hear from God. It is more of a discussion on how to know which voice in your head to listen to, and how to recognize and listen to the voice of God rather than the voice of the enemy, or the “chatterbox.” Or as the Amy Grant song says, “who to and not to listen to.”

Are you familiar with the tricks of the chatterbox? Do you battle a constant barrage of destructive, self-condemning, accusing, hope-crushing, fear-inducing, faith-shattering chatter? I know that I do, and from this book, it seems that the author does as well.

Throughout the book, Furtick is very transparent about the struggles in his own life and the chatter that goes on inside his own head. He acknowledges that sometimes the condemning, discouraging voice of the enemy sounds so loud that it can be difficult to hear anything or anyone else, and he makes this observation about the differences in volume:

“If God wants us to hear and know and obey His voice, why does He whisper? I don’t know all the reasons, because God has never consulted me in His methods of communication. But here’s how I’ve come to understand it. He whispers because He’s close. The enemy has to shout his threats because, although he can distract and disarm you, he knows he ultimately can’t destroy you. He can’t get to you…He can only forecast fear into your future” (pp. 106-107).

He addresses a number of the enemy’s tactics, including his propensity for attacking us with unfounded fear and lies. Because of this, we must be able to distinguish between these lies and the truth of God. Similar to a bank teller’s training on recognizing counterfeit bills, “…maturity in Christ is largely about becoming familiar enough with what is true to see through what’s false” (pg. 128).

Near the end of the book, Furtick delivers the news that we must have a strategy to tune out the chatterbox because the chatterbox is not going to go away on its on. There is no secret way to completely crash the chatterbox so that it will cease talking to us. As long as we continue to follow Jesus, we will never reach a point in our lives when the enemy is going to give up and move on. Furtick says, “…the chatter will keep coming. Every day of our lives for the rest of our lives…The more you grow in Christ and the closer you get to fulfilling the things He put you on the earth to do, the more intense the battle with your chatter becomes” (pg. 157).

While this sounds like bad news, we don’t have to listen to the chatterbox if we focus on listening to God. I think the bottom line of this book is that “Every Christian has a calling. And the chatterbox is assigned to interrupt that calling. The ability to overcome discouragement is driven by our intentional decision to reassure ourselves: God says I can” (pg. 171). So who’s voice are you going to listen to?

I received this book from "Blogging for Books" for this review.