By Leo Hellyer
Men, as we live our lives, there can be many distractions that can send our minds off track very easily. It is very difficult to always keep our priorities as they should be. We have many facets of our lives to try to keep in order. Every day we attempt to keep Family, Work, God, Sleep, Recreation, Education, Service, Nourishment, Mentoring, Being Mentored, etc., in balance. As we judge ourselves in how well we are doing, we can hear many voices in our heads concerning our progress and staying on course.
There is a great book available that I highly recommend for your Real Man’s Toolbox. This book does a great job of addressing the negative chattering that we may hear from ourselves and possibly from others. Steven Furtick, the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, N.C., addressed this specific challenge in his book, “Crashing the Chatterbox.”
He addresses the constant battle that we have between what we are led to do by God and all of the other things, people, and distractions that attempt to take us off course. Furtick presents the truth that even when we are distracted, God is with us and is waiting for us to call upon Him to get us back on course.
The challenges we are facing are nothing new. Furtick delves into the real life experiences of many of the heroes of the Bible and the struggles they had in staying on course. He is also transparent in discussing his own challenges with the ‘Chatterbox’ that he experiences in his own life.
What is your Chatterbox telling you? How difficult is it for you to stay the course? How often do you let the breezes, winds, gales, or hurricanes of life take you off course? As Christians, we are infinitely blessed. Anytime we find ourselves off course, we can call upon God Almighty, and He is always there and will lead us back to the correct course.
Furtick brings many words of vision and clarity to his book. He mentions that, “My joy is not determined by what happens to me but by what Christ is doing in me and through me.”
It is mind-boggling to attempt to understand God’s love for us. God’s unconditional love is something that is very difficult for us to wrap our minds around. He doesn’t love us for what we do or accomplish; He loves us for who we are and who He is. We are His adopted children, and he is our loving Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally. No matter how many times we go off course, He is always right there, ready to pick us up, dust us off, wrap His arms around us, and put us back on course.
Furtick brings us to the understanding that we need to have a huge amount of gratitude toward our Loving Heavenly Father because “we don’t deserve any of what we’ve been given – it is all a product of God’s grace.” He also points out, “I will not let discouragement of what I’m going through make me forget the benefits of belonging to the God who has been so good to me. He has saved me, blessed me, forgiven me, restored me, satisfied me, healed me, crowned me, and renewed me.”
God loves us so much that He does not make us puppets; He has given us our own minds, and He allows us to make our own decisions. He allows us to learn from our mistakes. He waits patiently for us to learn our lessons, and when we have realized that we have once again gone off course, He opens our eyes so we can clearly see through God’s ‘compass’ and get back on the correct course.
How often is your life controlled by your Chatterbox? How often do you feel defeated by your Chatterbox? Do you want to turn down the volume?
Our Chatterbox is part of the spiritual warfare that we face on a daily basis. When you are in any battle, it is usually not resolved in a short moment. It is a long, trying, exhausting experience. The secret to eventually being victorious in the spiritual battle that we are all in is to keep in the battle. We need to battle and press on. We need to be sure that we are wearing all of our armor, and we need to make sure that we are going into battle in God’s strength, not just our own.
Furtick explains that although the Chatterbox takes no breaks, we need to constantly be ready to show up for the fight, and we need to keep pounding away.
In closing, I would like to ask each you to honestly and fervently show God, in your way, your gratitude for Him allowing you to live in this nation, where we all have so much to be thankful for. There are many of our brothers and sisters who are in other places on this planet where they are in very perilous situations. Many of us wish we could be “boots on the ground” with them, and some of us are. For those of us who cannot be “boots on the ground,” let’s call upon God Almighty to be with them, love them, protect them, bless them, and reward them for their faith, dedication, persistence and obedience. In all things, remember we are not the judge, God is.
May you be successful in taming your Chatterbox to the point where you can hear God’s Voice above all others.
Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been married to his wife Norma for more than 45 years. The couple volunteered with the Boise FamilyLife Ministry Team for 20 years. Leo has also been serving with Boise Rescue Mission Ministries for 20 years and is currently serving at the River of Life Rescue Mission. He is president and chief firearms instructor with Helping Hands Firearms Training LLC. If you have questions about Real Man’s Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be reached at [email protected] or 208-340-5544.