So first of all, I should probably let you know (if you haven’t already figured it out) what the author of the book, Steven Furtick means when he refers to the ‘chatterbox’.
“The term chatterbox is my way of representing the lies we believe that keep us from
accurately and actively hearing God’s voice” – Steven Furtick
Remember that song “Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns? There is a line in the song that goes like this:
If this book had a theme song – this would be it!
The greatest way this book challenged me was in re-evaluating my approach in silencing the voice of fear.
One of Fear’s greatest weapons is the ‘what if..’ questions he plants in our minds.
“What if my husband leaves me?”
“What if I lose my job?”
“What if that person is chosen over me?”
“What if….(insert any fear that plagues you here)?”
I have always thought allowing my mind to linger in the what-if’s was a bad idea. The right thing to do is to suppress, ignore, dismiss, and refuse these thoughts to circulate in my mind. To take control over my thoughts and force them out.
But, the problem with this is that they seem find their way back to haunt me.
Furtick suggests we handle this a bit differently. Instead of pushing aside the what ifs, he suggests we search them out.
“When the chatterbox floods your inbox with what-ifs, you have a place to go. You can go straight to the bottom. Instead of trying to avoid your what-ifs, you can dive headfirst into them…It may feel counterintuitive, even unbiblical, to think this way. After all, aren’t we supposed to reject all worry and negativity? Listen, if it were possible to ignore all the impulses of panic and anxiety that come our way, I’d suggest we do so. And there are some irrational fears that we can train ourselves to ignore. But at other times, the only way to drive fear out is by diving in – and touching down on solid ground.” – Steven Furtick
‘Diving in’?? Ok – what’s that supposed to mean?
To do this, we pose a couple follow up statements to those ‘what if’ voices of fear.
The sequence suggested in this book goes like this:
“But, God will..”
To help further define this concept, I’m gonna get a little vulnerable on you. I’m going to take you on a journey and ‘dive in’ to one of my greatest what if’s.
Here it goes..
As a mom, one of my greatest fears is something happening to one of my children.
“What if ..my daughter was kidnapped? .. was raped? ..was tortured or abused? What if she was taken from me and I never saw her again?”
This is the point when I would attempt to put it out of my mind, then slam and lock the door!
Unfortunately, it usually manages to find an open window. What ifs can be sneaky like that.
So, instead of refusing it’s company, I allow it to take my mind to the bottom; I dive in; I swim to it’s depths. It’s good to ask the Holy Spirit to guide me and give me revelation in this.
“That would be the hardest thing I would ever have to endure, Lord! There would be moments when I would rather die then have to go on living with the pain. My daughter is one of the greatest joys of my life. Part of me would be completely ripped apart if something like this were to ever happen. And I fear that there is no glue in existence that could put the pieces back together.
So here we are – at the bottom, at the source and the root. What we do at this point is the most crucial part of this whole fear squashing theory.
We MUST bring it to the surface, out of the places of darkness and hiding and expose it to the light of God’s promises – and let His perfect love cast it out.
“But, God will comfort me (Isa 49:13). He will be my refuge. He will give me the strength (Psalm 46:1). He will carry me through. He will also comfort my daughter in her distress. He will protect her, even if that means His protection is bringing her home to Him. I do not need to fear what man may do to me, or to her because we belong to Him. “When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies” (Psalm 118:4-8). He will also give me the grace I need to forgive those who harm her – cause He knows I sure don’t have the strength within myself (Matt 6:14-15, Matt 18:21-22).
So there it is.
To be completely honest, I don’t know if this is the right approach or not, but it seems to make some sense, doesn’t it? Because God tells us to not fear, it makes sense that we shouldn’t fear to search out those thoughts that cause fear, as long as our intention is giving it all to Him.
One thing I’ve discovered since I’ve been handling the fear’s threats in this way – because I’ve applied the loving promises of God to them, it’s easier now, when they intrude, for my mind to default to and rest in those promises, instead of remaining in the ‘what if’ muck.
So how about you? What is your greatest what if? Let me challenge you to search it out – then find the promise in God’s Word that dispels it.
Along with fear, Furtick discusses many other voices that relentlessly attempt to drown out God’s voice of Truth. I recommend this book for anyone who struggles with distinguishing His voice among all the chatter. Which is probably all of us. So I guess I recommend this book for everyone!!