Just Do Something – Kevin DeYoung
I decided to read this book based on a recommended reading list from the resurgence http://theresurgence.com/books/category/calling, which incidentally is a great resource if you’re looking for recommended reading on a particular subject.
Do you know the phrase ‘Never judge a book by it’s cover?’ Well, I do the exact opposite of that. If the cover looks trendy, quirky or design savy , I’ll probably go for it. So, to set the scene, I didn’t have any expectations, I didn’t know much about the author (except that he has links to the resurgence and the gospel coalition) and I had purchased the book based on its cover!
I was pleasantly surprised. In a nutshell, the book is about the will of God and how to discern His will for our individual lives. The sub-title of the book is ‘How to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky etc.’ DeYoung’s aim is to debunk the conventional christian approach to finding God’s will and get to the heart of God’s plan for our lives as revealed in Scripture.
DeYoung’s approach is entirely practical. As Christians, we have a lot of questions about the direction of our lives that are not specifically answered by the bible. How do I spend my money? Which job should I take? Where should I live? Who should I marry? Typically, we will agonise over these questions to the point where we will actually end up stagnating and doing nothing if they are not answered in the way we expect. DeYoung believes that a lot of christians are stuck in a cycle of indecision, waiting and waiting for a clear, audible voice that never comes.
So, what is the answer? DeYoung states;
‘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. We know God has a plan for our lives, that’s wonderful. The problem is we think He’s going to tell us the wonderful plan before it unfolds……the better way is the biblical way: Seek first the kingdom of God, and then trust that He will take care of our needs, even before we know what they are and where we’re going.’ p26
DeYoung looks at why we are so desperate to find out God’s plan for our lives, and highlights the problems with the ‘conventional’ approach to the will of God such as focussing our attention on non-moral decisions, encouraging a preoccupation with the future and undermining personal resonsibility. He then asks us to consider a better way by looking at Matthew 6:25-34;
‘But seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’ v33-34
‘The question God cares about most is not ‘Where do I live?’, but ‘Do I love the Lord with all my heart, soul, strength and mind and do I love my neighbour as myself (Luke 10:27). It’s that second question that gets to the heart of God’s will for your life.’ p58
DeYoung then goes on to look at some of the things outlined in his subtitle – fleeces, open doors etc, followed by an examination of the way of wisdom and biblical counsel. Finally ,he looks specifically at work and marriage – two of the biggest decisions people make and asks how we can make these big decisions.
I thought this was a fantastic book. It is only 124 pages long, so there is no excuse not to read it. He has a style that is extremely down to earth and practical while remaining entirely focussed on the Scriptures. Even though the book is short, there are some great scriptural insights alongside the great practical insights. In the end, his message is clear;
Just do something.
Just Do Something can be purchased here.
Pastor Kevin DeYoung’s blog can be read here.