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.
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!