Book Review: 'Just Do Something', by Kevin DeYoung
I couldn't really help but simper when I read the front cover of Kevin DeYoung's book, “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.” There have been far too many times where I have pondered whether I was correct in understanding that God's will wanted me to pursue a certain direction and even more times where I have been paralyzed in doubt thinking that I have failed to attain God's will in my life, and brought to question my affirmation in Christ. There have been times where I feel like I'm aimlessly floating around, dabbling in various different ministries waiting for God to display His proverbial neon sign reading, "Yes, this is the ministry I want you to do".
In as much as we all ought to desire to do what God wants us to do, Just Do Something helped me discern the false theology of what has been imprinted onto my understanding of what is God's will. Instead of overcomplicating day-to-day decisions, or over-delaying the bigger life-changing choices, this book has better helped equip me into knowing how to make decisions with what God has given you. As well, it has liberated me through the knowledge and understanding that gives me permission, within the guidelines of Scripture, to make choices through utilising God-given knowledge, which is wisdom.
An undeniably relevant issue to the epidemic of indecisive millennial
For my millennial peers or those who are mentoring and discipling the millennial generation, I can't help but feel that I now have a better understanding of my generation of a more prolonged adolescence in Western culture. In this current age where we are faced with a bombardment of choices more than ever before. In almost every area of life - food, travel, lifestyle, music, occupation, education, relationships, dating websites, blogs, and so on - it is no wonder that one can get overwhelmed by trying to make "the right" choice.
Reading this book will certainly help you understand, explain and see how today's younger generation seems to lack the same follow-through, conviction, determination, maturity that our grandparents and great-grandparents had. Being able to approach and speak into the indecisiveness within the church can only help equip our future leaders of my generation to gospel-driven action that is unhindered by a non-resolute and uncertain mindset.
Correcting our misguided and commonly misunderstood theology of God's will
If anything, this book was helpful in deconstructing the myths and false beliefs that have indoctrinated the Christian culture, and our commonly misunderstood ideas surrounding the topic of God' will and personal calling and therefore our unbiblical expectations. Moreover DeYoung's biblical expounds biblical examples, scripture and truths over the theology of God's will while also giving us great examples of seeing that knowledge lived out in the generations before us, especially fantastic stories about Grandpa DeYoung.
Don't get me wrong, DeYoung does not minimise how God might affirm a certain call, goal or direction in our life, because God most certainly can and has done so, even in my life, in many ways, shapes and forms. However, there have been times where I have strongly debated, to the point of inaction, which ministry I should pursue when opportunities have presented themselves. Seeing that I have tried to make a decision by choosing the "right" or "correct" answer was a mistake in my understanding of how God's will act. With all this in hindsight, either of opportunities would have been good and godly choices, God sometimes gives us two choices that could both be right - but it takes wisdom to discern.
Idols in Idleness
Another thing that this book showed me was that I had made my life now, my “kingdom”, more important than God's kingdom that is to come. It showed me that I had a higher expectant longing of having my own heaven on earth right now than God's Kingdom to come to earth as I ought. I've busied myself trying to make the “right” choices for my best life now, and not the morally good choice that I only ought to concern myself with.
A book that urges us from complacency to conviction
I have found that the truths expounded on by DeYoung have freed me from the burden of trying to divine the future. Taught me to stop spiritualizing my inability to make a decision and calling it an elusive quest to discern God's will.
The book simplified what I have overcomplicated in my understanding of God's will and my responsibility to make good choices, and in turn, has freed me to make the day to day choices I need to make. As well, I feel better equipped in knowing how to pray for the weightier choices presented to us, such as work, marriage and other people's salvation. I now better understand that God is not so much concerned with what choices I make as He is interested that in my heart; He desires that I make morally right choices in whatever paths I choose to take. I felt liberated to make any choices that is within the boundaries of God honouring and glorifying obedience to His moral law that is clearly outlined in His word. I feel far more compelled to ask God for His wisdom, which is the utilisation of the knowledge of God.
Understanding purpose in my mundane
In the light of God’s overarching story of salvation being played out, Just Do Something also helped me understand the weightiness and urgency of my obedience in the most mundane tasks and my very unspectacular office job and has spurred me on to strive to be a God glorifying worker.
In the age where we assume a great calling of God to be something that demonstrates His glory in the limelight of media attention, fame, or being a spectacle within Christian circles (local or global), I now see the greater calling of simply obeying God’s simple will of abiding in His word and by His word at all cost. I see that my daily choices and life-changing choices need not be complicated by the anxiety of trying to correctly divine and choose the predestined path that God wills for me, rather, that God has given me access and the counsel of godly wisdom to discern which is a morally right choice.
Allowing me to dream
Through better understanding the theology of God’s will explained in this book, I feel freed from my unrighteous desires to aspire to a worldly greatness within ministry. So often in my Christian walk I have aspired in aiming for a ministerial position or title to affirm my “success” in ministry and affirmation in Christ; of course, this is contrary to the Gospel, for success and affirmation have all been resolved in the finished work of Christ.
Now, in the freedom that the truth that God has revealed and clarified to me through ‘Just Do Something’, I feel liberated to simply pursue the passions God has given me with all the gifts He has given me. Truth has given me permission to simply allow all that I love to do to be for God’s glory.
Do anything you like, work hard in your mundane and feel free to pursue your passions all within moral boundaries outlined in scripture, make choices with and utilise the knowledge that God has given you - wisdom - and just do something.