RiseVibes: Just do Something: a liberating approach to finding God’s will by Kevin DeYoung
If you’re anything like me you will have found yourself at times agonising over or being bewildered by what God’s will is for your life. When a pastor at our church preached on God’s will he drew a large circle and put a tiny dot in the middle. Most of us, he said, try and aim for the dot. We don’t quite know how to hit it and we get disappointed when we miss it. But in reality God offers us a fair amount of freedom and we should just be aiming to stay within the circle.
Another time I listened to a young lady talk about her Christian faith and she explained that her father always told her to ‘love God and do what you like’. I pondered on this one for quite a few years because I was always taught that there were consequences to just doing ‘what you like’. Then I remembered Jesus calling us to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’ and ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ (Mark 12) It made sense, then, that if you love God the way Jesus described then every thought, action, attitude and behaviour that flows from that would naturally be within God’s will.
While this all sounds logical and straight forward, I still felt I needed some help working out how to find God’s will and, once found, how to actually act on it.
And then I discovered ‘Just Do Something: a liberating approach to finding god’s will’. I love the alternative title of the book: ‘how to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc.’ So often we need God to show us a ‘sign’ before we have the confidence to get off the couch and do something. And so often we miss out on what God has to offer us because we just don’t get that he’s okay with us making our own decisions.
Rather than be guided by ‘signs’, Kevin shows us that we can be guided by wisdom.
In an age where we are faced with unparalleled freedom and limitless possibilities, we find ourselves being indecisive, fearful of making the wrong decision. Another excuse for this indecision is an endless search for ‘God’s will’ which results in us drifting without direction or purpose.
Kevin points out that confusion comes about because we usually talk about God’s will in three ways:
- The will of decree, which refers to what God has pre-determined. This can never be changed.
- The will of desire, the way God wants us to live. We can disregard this and live our own way.
- The third one that we tend to talk about and that is more problematic is the will of direction, eg what does God want me to do with my life, who does God want me to marry, etc.
Kevin discusses why these kinds of questions are important to us as Christians. There are a number of reasons: we genuinely want to please God, we’re timid, we’re looking for perfect fulfilment, we have too many choices, we’re cowards.
God is all knowing and all powerful, and has planned out every detail of our lives for our good. Kevin assures us that we can totally commit to God’s will of desire – living wholeheartedly for him – without worrying about what he calls ‘a hidden will of direction’.
What this means for our lives is that while God cares about every detail of our lives, to him our most important decisions are not those we make about where we go to school or where we live or what job we take. ‘The most important issues for God are moral purity, theological fidelity, compassion, joy, our witness, faithfulness, hospitality, love, worship and faith.’
This book spoke to me about the importance of trusting in God’s sovereignty and in his ability to account for my decisions in his sovereign will. I have often found myself looking back and regretting some of the decisions I’ve made and directions I’ve headed in over my life and wondered ‘what if…’ But after reading this book my understanding of God has grown to the point where I now thank him for taking all those indecisive meanderings and wrong turns and turning them into a life of meaning and purpose.
Kevin tells us that the way to really find God’s will for our lives is to do just as Jesus taught: ‘don’t be anxious about tomorrow’ and ‘seek first the kingdom of God’.
The truth is, says Kevin, ‘God is not a magic 8-ball we shake up and peer into whenever we have a decision to make. He is a good God who gives us brains, shows us the way of obedience, and invites us to take risks for him.’
And our question should not be ‘where should I live’ (or who should I marry, or what job should I apply for) but ‘do I love the Lord God with all my heart, soul, strength and mind and my neighbour as myself’?
Whether you’re setting out on life’s journey and keen to make the right choices from the start, or whether you’re some way advanced in the journey and confess that you still struggle to make decisions or you are carrying the regret of past wrong decisions, this book will clear things up for you and help you understand God has a good and perfect plan for your life that you don’t have to discover on your own. His plan will unfold as you move forward in an attitude of trust, loving him, and making decisions with confidence, knowing everything is in his control anyway.
The book also includes a study guide which is helpful for personal reflection but would also be good for study in a home group setting.
Reviewer: Wendy Rush
This book can be purchased at Koorong or other good books stores, online or in store.