I just finished reading Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung (2009). The book’s sub-title: How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, etc. I am excited to recommend this book to anyone who desires to know the will of God for their lives.
Before reading this book, I read two books in the same genre: John MacArthur’s Found, God’s Will and Dave Swavely’s Decisions, Decisions. While all three books have essentially the same important message, DeYoung’s book was the most enjoyable. I will join Joshua Harris, who wrote the foreward, in calling it my go-to book on decision making and “finding God’s will.”
While there are many books on the subject of God’s will, DeYoung has made a welcome contribution by writing this short book which packs a powerful punch. The book is as necessary as ever. He notices, just as much as I do, that people can’t seem to make decisions. “Life is wide open and filled with endless possibilities, but with this sense of opportunity comes confusion, anxiety and indecision… Enter a passion to discern “God’s will for my life” (p.14). Therein lies the problem.
DeYoung wants you to stop waiting around for a sign, take responsibility and just do something. Those that hold off decision making to pray, so that they may know the will of God, may actually be praying a “coward’s prayer” as DeYoung puts it. “Lord, tell me what to do so nothing bad will happen to me and I won’t have to face danger or the unknown” (p.38).
All this uncertainty about the future is not the end of the world, but simply the world we live in. The future is not for us to worry about (Matt. 6:34). DeYoung argues that God’s way is not to show us the future, but to show us who he is. “His way is to show His holiness, declare us holy in Christ, then exhort us to grow in holiness in daily life” (p.58). That’s it. We are spending too much time worrying about what job to take or what person to marry when our main concern should be the holiness of God and his impact on our daily life.
Still, many Christians will insist they have been given a sign from God before and want to continue looking for those signs. DeYoung insists that there is no reason to believe those Christians are doing the right thing. Just because you prayed about a decision, doesn’t mean your choice is authoritative. Only the bible is our authority and in the bible, no one was seeking God’s will through any type of special revelation. In fact, many decisions in the bible were made based on wisdom and just plain desire. An extraordinary means of guidance was exactly that… extra ordinary. God’s word remains the primary way God speaks to us today.
Just Do Something is meant to be a liberating book. It may or may not be depending on your perspective. On one hand, it is, because we no longer have to worry about waiting for a sign from God before making an important decision. On the other hand, we still have to work hard in studying God’s word, seeking wise counsel and actually making a decision. At least with the latter, things will get done.