Finochio had me at his opening sentence. “Have you ever felt like you're just not as 'spiritual' as everyone else?” (1) This is a book for people who hear others say, “God told me...” yet struggle with hearing from God themselves.
I really appreciate Finochio's comment, “God isn't the problem when it comes to hearing Him; we are.” (12) Ouch. It is our responsibility to get to that place where we hear God with confidence. That requires growth and this book helps us on that path.
I appreciate clarifying why God speaks to us. He wants to see us transformed into the image of Jesus, not find a convenient parking spot. I was really struck by Finochio's teaching on Matt. 16:22-23. Jesus said Peter's words were as those of the devil. “Why? Because they were a distraction.” (57) We must identify our distractions, keeping us from hearing God (email, entertainment, etc.) We must learn to be patient (and quiet) in a noisy world.
There is one area where I take issue with Finochio and many in the charismatic realm. That area is prophecy. He says prophecy in the New Testament era is different than that in the Old Testament time. (113) The serious consequences for those giving false prophecy in the OT no longer apply. Finochio gives no Scripture basis for this view of change in the biblical responsibility with respect to prophecy. I've seen too many false predictions based on blood moons or a tree planted by the twin towers in New York. Saying something like, “God is telling us...” should make us quake in our boots.
Except for that one area where I disagree with Finochio, I really liked this book. I like him placing the responsibility on us to grow to where we can hear God clearly. I like his sense of humor. I like his practical suggestions he has included at the end of the book.
You can read the first chapter here.
Food for thought: “God speaks to us in ways we would never expect. Only humility lets us hear Him when He does.” (196)
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Nathan Finochio is a teaching pastor at Hillsong New York City. He is also a worship leader and songwriter for Royal Royal. He and his wife live in New York.
WaterBrook, 224 pages. This book releases June 11.
I received an ARC from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review. The quotes in my review may have changed in the final edition of the book.