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Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to…

Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will (edition 2009)

by Kevin DeYoung (Author)

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1,2591511,921 (4.27)1
Pastor DeYoung counsels Christians to settle down, make choices, and do the hard work of seeing those choices through. God has already revealed his plan for Christians' lives: to love Him and to obey His Word.
Title:Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will
Authors:Kevin DeYoung (Author)
Info:Moody Publishers (2009), Edition: 1, 128 pages
Collections:Your library

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Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will by Kevin DeYoung


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A small book and a slim one, coming in at 120 pages, DeYoung managed to pack in quite a bit of wisdom. Far from today's sometimes piously indolent youth, he urges us to study the Bible, pray, know God's general will for His people, and then just get on with things, "Just Do Something." DeYoung recounts some warnings about over-spiritualizing every decision, and compares to his grandfather's WWII days when men worked hard, and just got on with it. Very easy to read, don't let its apparent simplicity fool you. It's a powerful book. ( )
  elizabethprata | Dec 24, 2021 |
Brilliant and much needed at this time in the church. DeYoung encourages to jettison our obsession with finding "the path" and rest in providence. Brutally he points out how we seek to save face with others under the guise of being spiritual. Oooo... It hurts to be called out on my lack of faith. ( )
  tillywern | Sep 18, 2021 |
Kevin DeYoung enters the fray with a book about the will of God in which he makes pains to keep the Scriptures as the source of its authority. The full title, Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will, adequately describes the overall thrust of the work – that the typical approach to God’s will at times bind one to a path of indecision or inaction, when in fact the path is not to find God’s will but to do God’s will, a distinction DeYoung makes throughout the work. This edition of the book is undersized, approximately 5 x 7, so the 122 pages are easily read; also, the layout is such that the book is easy to read. Since this work is relatively short, it could easily be covered in a typical class and to that end this edition also has a study guide section broken into eight sessions. DeYoung doesn’t hide his Reformed background and there are times when these leanings manifest themselves, but they are few and not overly aggressive as a theological position within the body of the work.

DeYoung begins with a discussion of the discernable types of the will of God that one, as a moribund creature of this existence, may perceive in the Scriptures. There is God’s will of decree that has reference to the fact that what God desires to achieve will be achieved regardless of humanity’s desire of a certain set of outcomes that are opposed to that will. There is also God’s will of desire which speaks to what God desires for and from His creation; this speaks to what ought to be despite the failings of humans to live up to the ought of God. Finally, DeYoung points to God’s will of direction which is what one tends to seek in a personal way when attempting to make decisions about the questions of life, and it is this idea – that God has a specific plan for everyone’s life that one must be discerned in some fashion or another before going forward – that this work seeks to address.

The bulk of the work seeks to help the individual appreciate the truth that too many times one finds ways to stall or blame the search for God’s Will for inaction when in reality “we should take some responsibility, make a decision, and just do something” (13). This becomes the mantra for the whole of DeYoung’s work with the inner chapters making up a discussion that addresses these three facets of seeking the will of God. In chapter 5 DeYoung discusses four specific points that can be taken from the writings of the apostle Paul (associated with 1 Thess. 4:3; 1 Thess. 5:16-18; Col. 1:9; & Eph. 5:17) that also mirror the statement by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, “seek first the kingdom of God.” This overall point is related to the decision-making process in the fact that, “(I)f you are seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, you will be in God’s will, so just go out and do something” (59). This is a over-simplification of DeYoung’s point throughout the work and his scriptural support for the position, but does as a snap-shot express the core of the author’s thought process.

After a discussion of the theory behind DeYoung’s ideal, there is a practical section (which is a much-appreciated) looking at two of the more important decisions that every person may engage: work and marriage. The practical application is seen in four steps that are to be considered when seeking a direction for one’s life. The first step is to search the Scriptures for principles that may be applied to the decision. So, when deciding to take a job the related principle might be a position that allows a person the give God the glory and not go specifically against explicit Scriptural mandates. The second step would be to seek wise counsel. In marriage this might take the form of asking friends or parents what they think of the match, the idea being that those on the outside can at times have a more objective view of a situation than those within in the situation. The third step is to pray – always quality advice. The point of praying first is not to tell God what we want per se, but to ask God that one might conform to His will first, to follow God’s will of desire and not specifically seek a will of direction. Finally, the last consideration is to decide. This point goes directly to the thought that what is desired may take work, hard work, on the individual’s part to make the choice work.

This study by DeYoung is a quality consideration of what it means to search for and put oneself into the will of God for life. DeYoung makes it very clear that he in no way limits the power of God to work in one’s life, but also makes it very clear that the individual should not be attempting to discern God’s will via “open doors, fleeces, random Bible verses, and impressions” (75). This book would make a great choice for the graduate, the inactive or paralyzed Christian, or simply a study among Christians regarding the God’s Will. Overall, a well done – if brief – study.

Quotes from the work:

“Second, our search for the will of God has become an accomplice in the postponement of growing up, a convenient out for the young (or old) Christian floating through life without direction or purpose.” (13)

“The better way is the biblical way: Seek first the kingdom of God, and then trust that He will take care of our needs, even before we know what they are and where we’re going.” (24)

“But why did the Lord give us brains and say so much about gaining wisdom if all we are really supposed to do is call on the Lord to tell us what to do in a thousand different nonmoral decisions?” (51)

“Remember, God’s will for your life is your sanctification, and God tends to use discomfort and trials more than comfort and ease to make us holy.” (76-77)

“Finally, pray less that God would show you who is the right husband or wife and pray more to be the right kind of husband or wife.” (104)

“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.” (120) ( )
  SDCrawford | May 26, 2018 |
The most best, and briefest, book I've read on biblical decision-making. An easy, yet challenging and instructive, read for non-readers. This is a great book for pastors to recommend to others ( )
  Pastor_Doug | Mar 30, 2018 |
This could be a useful book for Christian college aged students or younger adults when thinking about decision making. The advice is practical and theologically sound. I gave it a slightly lower rating because the author claims more than once that this advice could be useful for anyone facing major decisions, but I think most older readers will find the examples geared to a fairly young audience (i.e. unmarried, childless, probably still in school). ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
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Pastor DeYoung counsels Christians to settle down, make choices, and do the hard work of seeing those choices through. God has already revealed his plan for Christians' lives: to love Him and to obey His Word.

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