Book Review: Just Do Something
Finding God’s will is always a popular topic. Do you want to find out what God wants you to do with your life? Is there a secret formula, or a special process to follow so that you can know that you are making the right choice for your life? Kevin DeYoung has written a book, Just Do Something, to help us with such questions.
DeYoung begins his book by describing the different ways that Christians understand God’s will. He describes them as God’s will of decree (what God has planned out from eternity past); God’s will of desire (what God has commanded us to do); and God’s will of direction (what God wants me to do with my life). It is this last area that is the topic of his book. And it is also this will that Christians are seeking. He provides us with a short answer: “While we are free to ask for wisdom, He (God), does not task us with the burden of divining His will of direction ahead of time” (p. 24).
To some people, such a statement seems rather unspiritual. But if you follow DeYoung’s explanation throughout the remainder of the book, you will see that it is both spiritual and biblical. Before showing its biblical basis, he offers several reasons why so many Christians are waiting to hear directly from God on His plan for their life. Thinking that God is going to reveal specific details about our future lives (jobs, college, marriage, etc.) is “an invitation to disappointment and indecision. Trusting in God’s will of decree is good. Following His will of desire is obedient. Waiting for God’s will of direction is a mess” (p. 26).
DeYoung gets to the real heart of this issue in the fifth chapter, A Better Way? where he uses Matthew 6:25-34 to support his position. All of the details of our life that concern us in seeking God’s will can be entrusted to God as we apply the teaching of these verses, which concludes with the command to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these other issues will be handled by God.
He follows up that chapter with a discussion on what he calls “supernatural surprises” where Christians are waiting to hear from God. The point is made that we are guided in our life by the Bible itself. Using Hebrews 3-4, he shows that God has provided us with the Word of God to direct our life. He says, “When we read the Bible, we know we are hearing from God. We are not only reading what God has inspired by the spirit, but what He continues to say by the same Spirit. By contrast, hearing from God outside the Bible in these last days is always more tenuous, less clear, and less authoritative” (p. 69).
One word of caution about this chapter: DeYoung leaves the door open for God speaking directly to a person. He says at one point, “I don’t deny that God can still speak to us in direct, surprising ways. Of course, it must always be tested against Scripture, but I believe God can still give visions” (p. 70). He does not offer any proof of such a claim from the Bible. He does qualify this statement by saying that such an experience was rare even with the apostles. He also points out that you do not find the apostles seeking such an experience. It should also be added that you do not find anything in the New Testament that encourages us to seek such a revelation. To be clear: scripture is all-sufficient for living a life of godliness. We have no need of any further revelation from God. He does not promise to show us His secret will for our everyday life.
With that caution in mind, DeYoung’s book has a great deal of wisdom to offer on the topic of finding God’s will. There is much in the book that you will find helpful as he explains some of the ways that Christians today talk about finding God’s will. He offers valuable suggestions on making decisions. And he even shows how these suggestions might work in a couple of important decisions that people need to make (job and marriage). Perhaps his most important piece of wisdom is in the title itself: Just do something! Examine the situation, seek God’s wisdom from scripture and other godly people, pray, then make your move. God will be directing your path as you seek Him (Proverbs 3:5,6).