The only books I’ve written about so far on this blog are the Bible and Narnia.
Welp, here’s another.
It’s called “Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will, or, How to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random Bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc.” by Kevin DeYoung.
I expected it to be thought provoking, but I also expected it to require a grain of salt. People in the Bible did, after all, hear from God through dreams, visions, and the wet skin of a sheep.
But man, it was really good.
From the time I got my Bible at 8 years old until I got to college, really, my spiritual growth consisted almost entirely of me, Jesus, and my Bible. My parents modeled a Christian lifestyle and there were some scattered youth events (good and bad (mostly bad)), but I had very few friends intensely following Christ and no real theological training. I didn’t know what a Calvinist was until Aca Deca my senior year of high school, and I didn’t know that you were supposed to request prayer for your tests and quizzes until small group sophomore year of college. Anyway, I feel very blessed that I got such a deep grounding in the Bible and I know it created my falsity detector.
This book had the ring of deep, Biblical truth. (As my mom would say about having new and different teachers tell the same dancers to again point their toes, “Preach the same old Gospel at them, they just need to hear it from someone else.”) It blasted away a lot of the very Christian-sounding ideas that I’ve heard since coming to a Christian school. Though each point in the book is supported by Bible verses, it’s not the individual verses that give it credence. It’s a faithfulness to the message of the whole Bible.
God’s will? Follow Him.
It’s not the nature of God to have a perfect detailed plan for us that we are expected to discover before we do anything that He then makes difficult to find.
Well, doi! When you put it like that…
God will use you in whatever career you choose, in whatever city you reside, and with whichever partner you choose. Each decision, for grad school or career or spouse, should be made with wisdom and with the intent to honor God, but without agonizing for a specific revelation. That’s it.
The Bible tells us over and over not to worry about our future. So why are we asking God to tell us what will happen in our future?
God’s will is that we become more like him.
The Bible, God’s revealed plan, speaks over and over about gaining wisdom. Just read a Proverb. Why would He tell us to gain wisdom if we are supposed to wait for His specific revelation of an answer to every decision? God guides us and our minds and our circumstances, and gave us brains and wisdom to use them to make decisions.
Part of the book speculates that the reason we’re often paralyzed as we wait for God’s will is that we have so many choices. I actually had a conversation about this with a friend the other day. I watched part of some expert babysitting show a while back in which a mom was having great difficulty getting her daughter dressed and ready. The “expert” told her not to offer the child so many choices: instead of offering her the whole closet, offer her the choice of one of two outfits. It worked. 🙂 [I’ll write more about this idea in another post.]
The end of the book is quite interesting, especially for college kids. He talks about applications of this idea to finding a job and choosing whom to marry. It was good, down-home, just-feels-right kind of advice. He then tells the stories of his two godly grandfathers, who lived through the Great Depression and WWII. They never sat around agonizing about God’s will. They did what work came to them, married and raised families, and followed God’s revealed plan (the Bible) to the best of their abilities.
Forgive this slightly disorganized post as it’s just after reading the book and it’s rather late. Go pick up a copy if you have a chance.