Posted in book review, theology

Don’t seek signs and audible direction, “Just Do Something”: A Book Review

By Elizabeth Prata

I mentioned in this week’s Potpourri essay that I’d disappointed myself that I had not kept up with the reading schedule I’d set for myself, a la Challies’ Reading Challenge. I have not read as many books so far, this third month of the year, as I’d wanted. I also read Challies’ follow-up article encouraging us to read. He wrote that if we hadn’t read a lot by now we probably wouldn’t. Gulp. I agree with that. Oy, I better get moving on my reading schedule.

I did finish Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something. If you’ve ever wondered about a big decision you need to make, whether to move across the country, take that job, marry this man, go back to school, to adopt…these kind of decisions often fall into the gray area of the Bible. The principles and commands are clear enough. But applying them to one’s personal circumstances, sometimes we’re tempted to seek additional confirmation from God. This temptation can be with good intent, we want to make sure we are on the right path, obeying well, doing something that God wants us to do. But it’s unnecessary and it’s wrong.

What makes it harder for us ladies is that we see and read of ‘celebrity’ Christian women who seem to receive specific pointers from God audibly as to these big life decisions. Joanna Gaines of the HGTV fame “Fixer Upper” and owner of Magnolia Silos shopping mall says she walked in a garden and asked God about her career (not motherhood, but the ambitious TV career she wanted) and He seemingly answered her in specific words and assured her that her TV fame would come. Beth Moore seems to receive specific answers to life’s questions, even as clear as which bus stop to go to in order to  give to the poor, which she later announced with trumpets before men.

So, is it normal to wait for a direct word from God as to whether this is the right man to marry? As to which college to attend? As to whether to accept that promotion? To go on the mission field? DeYoung’s book resolves all that with a clear splash of cold water- AKA the scriptures. He shows us that if we pray and know His word, that it’s safe, normal, and desirable to make those decisions without seeking direct revelations, signs, or omens. Here’s the book blurb:

Hyper-spiritual approaches to finding God’s will don’t work. It’s time to try something new: Give up. Pastor and bestselling author Kevin DeYoung counsels Christians to settle down, make choices, and do the hard work of seeing those choices through. Too often, he writes, God’s people tinker around with churches, jobs, and relationships, worrying that they haven’t found God’s perfect will for their lives. Or-even worse-they do absolutely nothing, stuck in a frustrated state of paralyzed indecision, waiting… waiting… waiting for clear, direct, unmistakable direction.

blog just do something

Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something is a very good book. I don’t write in my books but I add arrow sticky notes. I’ve removed most of them now that I’m done but I left these in the book so I can go back later and re-read meaningful-to-me passages. When my book looks like a porcupine, I know it has resonated with me.

DeYoung’s points are made with few words but with a punch. It is easy to read. My favorite doctrine is Providence and DeYoung’s highlighting of the Lord’s providential care of us, rather that the fad of Christian reliance on whispers, signs, or omens, is beautifully brought forth.

Here is Dan Phillips’ review of Just Do Something, it is an excellent and thorough review.

I hope you enjoy this good (and short!) book!


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

4 thoughts on “Don’t seek signs and audible direction, “Just Do Something”: A Book Review

  1. Hi E.Prata. I enjoy reading your blog. Retiring from 37 years clerical specialty in a factory 6 years ago, I have felt driven to merge into a new ‘purposeful’ mission for my new life. Have wrestled continually ever since retiring over Gods will for me now. Instead, I have done almost nothing toward leaving my home during the week and my aging body is robbing me of some abilities. While working outside home, and raising 4 children, those years I YEARNED to be a housewife. These past 6 years I have experienced serial losses and grief has been overwhelming. Through it though I feel that God has been showing me areas in my spiritual integrity and lack of emotional maturity needing work. I believe that I can live and serve God right here for now. How do I know this is not a form of further ‘meandering’ and paralysis vs time of healing and recovery? I was so certain of everything during my youth but even my church (I see is progressive) seems wrong to me these days. Do I stay or do I go?


    1. Hi D,

      I certainly can empathize with the feeling of finally getting to be at home and just sinking into a relief and not wanting to emerge from the cocoon. A body in motion stays in motion, a body at rest will stay at rest (Newton’s First Law of Motion). I’m there too. With me it’s when the school year ends, and I have summer break for 9 weeks. Ahhh.

      I’m SO sorry about your serial losses. Overwhelming grief also slows a body down, puts a weight on it like no other emotion.

      God uses us where we are, sometimes He has in mind for us to go to a mission field (if that is what you meant by ‘should I go’), while other times he has people laboring in Cleveland or in Provincetown or in Seattle.

      I’m sorry your church is going the progressive route. That doesn’t make it any easier to decide what might need to be done regarding better service to God. Still, do you trust your pastor or leaders at the church? Is it possible to ask them what they see in you as to whether your legitimate time of respite is lengthening into a self-serving cocoon?

      What are your spiritual gift(s)? Do you feel comfortable serving in some way at your church in a “small” capacity (not that there is anything small about serving, but meaning short durations, or lesser commitment?


      1. Thank you for responding. Stay or Go was related to staying in a progressive church or not. I don’t want to be a church-hopper, and I don’t want to be always critical of my church leaders either. I have remained as a musician but that is one of my serial losses as the service I accompanied was ended, and the new direction has to be different as the musicians are all aging. I’m still involved as Church Historian but conflicted there as I ‘discover’ more about where the church has been and where we seem headed. For now, I am concentrating on helping grands learn about Jesus. 😀 thank you for the ‘ears’ and caring. I’m sure this will smooth out eventually. This pandemic has created some new opportunities for sharing my faith with those I normally could not. Peace in Christ. Keep the posts coming…they are so edifying.

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