Knowing God’s will
This little book may be for you. Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung doesn’t claim to be a divining rod for discerning God’s will.
But it does suggest you can discern God’s will easier if you stop making life so complicated by overanalyzing every decision.
Instead, love God, seek His kingdom, and die to self.
Then feel free to choose between jobs and houses and schools.
Why the delay?
Put aside the passivity and the perfectionism and the question for perfect fulfillment and get on with our lives.
So why do we belabor the decision-making process? Kevin suggests we’re often too preoccupied with getting the future right.
Our fascination with the will of God often betrays our lack of trust in God’s promises and provision. We don’t just want His word that He will be with us; we want Him to show us the end from the beginning and prove to us that He can be trusted.
We want to know what tomorrow will bring instead of being content with simple obedience on the journey.
Kevin gives five reasons we put off making a decision:
1. We want to please God.
That’s a good thing. If God has a path for us, we don’t want to miss it. But being afraid we’ll end up in Fargo when He wanted us in Nashville makes us delay deciding until we’re absolutely sure, which we may never be.
2. We’re too timid.
Some of us are too scared of messing up, so we do nothing (not realizing that “doing nothing” can be another way of messing up.)
3. We’re waiting for perfect fulfillment.
We often have it so good that we no longer have a pilgrim attitude. If we’re looking for heaven on earth, we’ll put off making a decision until God shows us the way to make things perfect.
4. We have too many choices.
This one is huge. We don’t want to cut off any of our options. What if Plan B would be better? Or should we hold out for C? But what then will happen to A?
5. We want to avoid pain.
Do we sometimes pray cowardly prayers? “Lord, I want you to tell me exactly what to do so I’ll have no discomfort and so I won’t have to face any unknowns or dangers.”
Tools for discernment
But doesn’t God care about your future? Of course he does! But he cares more about your willingness to trust HIM with your future.
We become what we behold. God wants us to behold Him in His glory so that we can be transformed into His likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18).
If God figured everything out for us, we wouldn’t need to focus on Him and learn to delight in His glory. God says, “I’m not giving you a crystal ball. I’m giving you My Word. Meditate on it; see Me in it; and become like Me.”
Kevin lays out a God-centered approach to knowing God’s will as this:
- Search the scriptures
- Get wise counsel
- Then, make a decision!
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.
Kevin ends the book with these final words,
So the end of the matter is this: Live for God. Obey the Scriptures. Think of others before yourself. Be holy. Love Jesus. And as you do these things, do whatever else you like, with whomever you like, wherever you like, and you’ll be walking in the will of God.
I really liked this punchy book and recommend it, maybe because I’m drawn to decision-makers and I respect those who can settle a matter and move on. I’m all for making life simpler, more like Jesus meant for it to be. That doesn’t mean life will be easy, but a greater focus on Jesus can certainly make many of our decisions less complicated.
And that is liberating.