I have two main problems with Mark Batterson. Correction. I have ONE main problem with him and then I have a major problem with his current book, Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God. (Now that I typed out that title, make it two main problems.)
The main problem I have with Mark Batterson is he is a writing freak of nature. Fifteen books in 10 years. And it’s not that I can’t “keep up.” His books are a quick read. I’m just jealous. That’s problem number one. Turns out… it’s my problem and now I have to go repent of my jealousy. On to problem number two…
I really don’t like that title, and it’s not Mark’s fault. I simply don’t like titles on Christian books that say “How to…” It’s like, “Pick up this book on what I’m about to teach you and in three easy steps… WHAM! You’re an expert!” Again, not really Mark’s fault because, thankfully, that’s a deceptive title. Mark does nothing in three easy steps.
The problem I honestly do have with Batterson’s books is that they move too quickly. He has a book in hearing the voice of God and it’s honestly something I’ll read in about half a day. He could… and should… write a book off of each chapter. And I’m not kidding. His problem? It’s not his ability… it’s ours. We want quick reads.
But this kind of book needs to be digested in a deeper way. He spends two paragraphs talking about Lectio Divina. Mark… really? TWO PARAGRAPHS? Get another chapter out of that one, buddy!
I am honestly thankful he takes the time to write. He moves too quickly, but I have found twice now where the Spirit has specifically led me to two books (this one and Circle Maker) that have been needed in particular ways at particular moments in my life.
As I am grousing about how quick this book is going, the Spirit shouted to me out of a chapter I was about to bookmark and put away for a time… (Mark would say “whisper”, but that wasn’t the case on this one.)
I instantly recognized the chapter title and the main biblical reference and the Spirit basically laughed at me in the middle of my complaining and said, “THIS is why you got this book. This chapter. Here. Listen.”
When I resigned Heights Church, I related the decision to Paul in Acts 16 when he was trying to get into Bithynia and Asia and the Spirit stopped him both times. He ended up in Troas and it was there the Lord spoke to him about what was next. This is what the Spirit is leading us to do. I was so ready for what was next at Heights Church and the Spirit simply said, “No. This isn’t for you.”
This will be a time (in these months) to be at Troas to wait for what is next.
That was the main reference in the chapter in Batterson’s book. Then, this paragraph:
The language of doors requires the gift of discernment, which goes beyond intuition based on accumulated experience. It goes beyond contextual intelligence and emotional intelligence. Discernment is the ability to appraise a situation with supernatural insight. It’s prophetic perception that sees past problems and envisions possibilities. Simply put, it’s picking up what God is throwing down.
There is so much more but that was the start. It wasn’t a whisper. It was a shout. The journey to Troas is about listening. It’s about not pushing on doors I thought were open, but to stop and ask, “What am I needing next?”
What is ahead is simply not something I was open to hearing even just a few months ago. I wasn’t in that frame of mind. I didn’t have the spiritual ears tuned in. However you want to say it, that was where I stood last year. The Lord finally broke through to get me to a place of hearing. A place of discernment. A place of supernatural insight. And it is here I will find myself for some period of time.
The journey to Troas is about what is next. It is about listening… carefully listening. It is about being willing to stop and say, “Speak, Lord, your servant is (finally) listening.”