I am a big fan of Kevin DeYoung and his book, Why We’re Not Emergent, but I was initially disappointed when I received his new book on the will of God, Just Do Something. It just seemed so small. But then I read it, and I realized that Kevin and the folks at Moody knew what they were doing. This book is packed with biblical wisdom and uncommon sense for doing God’s will, and it is just the right size for giving to a multi-tasking young person who may be intimidated by a larger tome.
I will always recommend my colleague Gary Meador’s book, Decision-Making God’s Way, but now I will also point people to Kevin’s practical guide. Here are a couple things that I appreciate about this book:
1. Kevin hits the sweet spot between rationalism and mysticism. He doesn’t preclude God from speaking to us outside the pages of Scripture, but he doesn’t give much weight to those messages either.
He says that he is not “suspicious every time someone claims to have heard from the Lord. Candidly, though, I’m just not blown away by these claims, either. If you think you’ve heard from God, I’m not ready to lock you up in the psych ward, nor am I ready to bless whatever you ‘heard’ because you think God said it” (74).
And this solid advice: “Apart from the Spirit working through Scripture, God does not promise to use any other means to guide us, nor should we expect him to” (68).
2. I like his emphasis on “just do something.” Kevin claims that many people today are suspended in a state of prolonged adolescence because they fear making the wrong decision or not finding God’s best for their life. He recommends that we follow the example of the greatest generation and get off our butts and try something. “In other words, God doesn’t take risks, so we can” (41).
3. I like how Kevin applies this to marriage. He observes that too many young women are forced into careers they don’t want because too many young men are afraid to step out and marry them. This leads to people marrying later, which further complicates their lives.
Kevin writes: “Sometimes when a couple with debts or young careers get married, their decisions about birth control and family planning—difficult decisions on which Christians can disagree—seem to already have been made for them. This is a tough spot to be in. There are always hard decisions to make and choppy waters to navigate, but I suspect some stories would turn out differently if growing up happened sooner, and men were thinking seriously of marriage at twenty-one instead of thirty-one” (111-12).
4. I appreciate how Kevin cuts through the spiritual fog and honestly says that leaving his church in Iowa for the one in Lansing was his decision. He asked God for wisdom but didn’t pull out the trump card that “God was leading him” to Lansing (49). He also wisely says that while we should expect our leaders to “bathe their decisions in prayer,” the fact that they have done so does not automatically prove that their decision is right (84-85).
Here is the upshot of this exceptional little book: God does have a specific will for our lives (in his sovereign decree), but he doesn’t expect us to figure it out beforehand. So just do something, so long as it’s not sinful or stupid. This short review is just scratching the surface of this wonderful book. It is well worth reading and passing along to anyone who desires to please God.
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