Book Review: Whisper

Whisper

 

“Nothing has the potential to change your life like the whisper of God.  Nothing will determine your destiny more than your ability to hear His still small voice.” Mark Batterson, Whisper

Whisper  is another great read from Mark Batterson.  He continues to amaze me with the quality of writing that he puts out on a very regular basis in addition to pastoring National Community Church and speaking at a variety of conferences and other leadership training.  I’ve reviewed several of this other books on this blog as well including: Chase the LionIfThe Grave RobberAll InPraying Circles Around Your ChildrenThe Circle MakerPrimalWild Goose Chase, and Chase the Lion.  I’ve long appreciated Batterson’s ability to tell a great story in order to illustrate a principle from Scripture.  He is a repository of interesting facts and stories that really draw in his audience to want to learn more about what the Lord is trying to point them to in His word.

I am grateful for the opportunity to receive an advance copy of this book and can’t wait for it to hit shelves in October!  I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…

  • Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. 1 Samuel 13:9 p. 1
  • Is God’s voice the loudest voice in your life?  That’s the question.  If the answer is no, that’s the problem. p. 2
  • After the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:12 p. 7
  • My dictionary defines whisper as “speaking very softly using one’s breath without one’s vocal cords.” p. 9
  • When someone speaks in a whisper, you have to get very close to hear. p. 9
  • Nothing has the potential to change your life like the whisper of God.  Nothing will determine your destiny more than your ability to hear His still small voice. p. 11
  • When our lives get loud, with noise filling every frequency, we lose our sense of being.  We run the risk of turning into human doings rather than human beings. p. 15
  • If you want to hear the heart of God, silence is the key.  If you want the Spirit of God to fill you, be still. p. 16
  • Silence is the difference between sight and insight.  Silence is the difference between happiness and joy.  Silence is the difference between fear and faith. p. 18
  • So is my word that goes out from my mouth. Isaiah 55:11 p. 35
  • When I look through the Bible, I see whispering spots everywhere…
    • For Abraham, it was the oak of Mamre
    • For Isaac, it was the well outside Nahor
    • For Jacob, it was Bethel
    • For Moses, it was a burning bush
    • For Joshua, it was Gilgal
    • For Gideon, it was the oak tree in Oprah
    • For Samuel, it was the tabernacle at Shiloh
    • For David, it was the cave of Adullam
    • For Elijah, it was Mt. Carmel
    • For Mordecai, it was the kings’ gate at the citadel of Susa
    • For Ezekiel, it was the Kebar River
    • For Daniel, it was an upstairs window facing Jerusalem
    • For Jonah, it was the belly of a whale. p. 38
  • Genuine listening is ultimately an act of submission. p. 41
  • Change of pace + change of place = change of perspective p. 50
  • God spoke to our ancestors…at many times and in various ways. Hebrews 1:1 p. 53
  • God will never lead us to do something that is contrary to His good, pleasing, and perfect will as revealed in Scripture. p. 60
  • All Scripture is God-breathed. 2 Timothy 3:16 p. 63
  • “Never lose a holy curiosity.” Albert Einstein p. 65
  • No mater how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:20 p. 69
  • The Word of God is longer than the longest memory and stronger than the strongest imagination.  It’s also deeper than the cortex of the brain.  p. 72
  • Reading the Bible for breadth is lector continua. Reading the Bible for depth is called lector divine.  p. 74
  • “Christianity has not so much been tried and found wanting, as it has been found difficult and left untried.” GK Chesterton.  You can’t just read the Word, meditate on it, pray through it, and contemplate it.  You have to do it.  Until you obey it, you’ve simply been educated beyond the level of your obedience. p. 75
  • Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 p. 77
  • Seeking God first is delighting yourself in the Lord.  Seeking God is giving Him the first word and the last word.  Seeking God first is making sure His voice is the loudest voice in your life. p. 81
  • “The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” Martin Luther, p. 84
  • Diligence is doing what you do with an extra measure of excellence.  Diligence is doing what you do with an extra measure of love. p. 84
  • Tears are clues that help us identify God-ordained desires. p. 86
  • The Bible calls us a “peculiar people”.  So why are we trying to be normal?  If uniqueness is God’s gift to us, then individualization is our gift back to Him.  And it starts with hearing and heeding the voice of desire.  And when God’s voice is the loudest voice in our lives, we can dare to be different. p. 93
  • These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David.  What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. Revelation 3:7 p. 103
  • A check in the spirit is God’s red light, and if you don’t obey the sign, you might be headed for trouble.  God closes doors to protect us.  God closes doors to redirect us.  God closes doors to keep us from less than His best. p. 107
  • Coincidence suggests shipwreck.  Providence demands divine appointment. p. 107
  • And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how fain the whisper we hear of him! Job 26:14 p. 114
  • The dreams God gives us are for us, but they’re never just for us; they’re for everyone who will be affected by and inspired by them. p. 120
  • Strange visions…
    • God-given dreams won’t ever contradict Scripture
    • God-given dreams will confront prejudice
    • The meaning of dreams isn’t always discernible
    • If you want to establish God’s reputation, you might have to risk yours. p. 125
  • Each of us is a link in the chain of “beats” that started with Adam and Eve.  The chain is filled with unsung heroes who won the day and hidden figures that saved the day.  We all stand on one another’s shoulders.  The writer of Hebrews calls this human chai the cloud of witnesses.  (Hebrews 12:1) p. 131
  • Johari Window
    • arena quadrant: those things you know about you and others know about you
    • facade quadrant: those things you know about you but others don’t know about you
    • blind-spot quadrant: those things you don’t know about you but others know about you
      • “Without knowledge of self, there is no knowledge of God.” John Calvin p. 136
      • Sometimes God speaks to us for us.  Sometimes God speaks to us for others. p. 138
    • unknown quadrant: those things you don’t know about you and others don’t know about you. p. 140
  • Hidden Figures…
    • No one is above rebuke
    • Don’t let an arrow of criticism pierce your heart unless it first passes through the filter of Scripture
    • don’t make decisions in a vacuum
    • listen long and hard before you dish out advice
    • always encourage before you correct
    • tough conversations get tougher the longer you wait p. 146
  • For such a time as this. Esther 4:14 p. 147
  • Discerning the voice of God requires an internal clock that perceives His promptings. p. 148
  • Chronos time may be measured in minutes, but life is measured in kairos moments. p. 150

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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