In Search of God’s Will

One of the best things about Kevin DeYoung’s book on finding God’s Will in your life is the title:

How to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random Bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc.

That’s not to say the actual content of the book is sub par, it definitely is not. In Just Do Something, Kevin DeYoung explains the difference between God’s will of decree (referring to what God has ordained), God’s will of desire (referring to what God has commanded), and God’s will of direction (referring to God’s specific plan for our lives). When we ask questions like, “What job should I take?”, “Where should I live?”, “Which college should I attend?”, or “Should I travel abroad or stay home on my vacation?”, we are asking God to show us the specific who, what, when or where for our lives. We are asking God to reveal to us His “will of direction.” De Young asserts that many Christians worry so much about missing God’s will that they either “tinker around” and never settle down or become so paralyzed in their uncertainty that they end up doing nothing.

Mr. DeYoung is quick to affirm that the Bible has already revealed God’s will to us. We are to love God, love others, and walk in obedience to our Lord. He also maintains that we should pray, ask for wisdom, and seek godly counsel. However, unless there is some moral reason why we should or should not do a particular thing, sometimes, as the title of the book suggests, it’s best to… just do something.

This little book (122 pages) is filled with Scripture and Biblical examples. The only slight criticism I can muster is that sometimes DeYoung’s advice can seem simplistic considering the complexities of life. But, Mr. DeYoung insists, and I agree, that believers can avoid the paralysis and confusion that often accompany seeking out God’s will by simply making a decision “confident that He’s already determined how to fit our choices into His sovereign will” (51).

Kevin DeYoung does a masterful job weaving together God’s Sovereignty over our decisions with our human responsibility to make them. I highly recommend this book. In fact, I plan to buy several copies and give them out as gifts to young people (i.e. high school or college students) who are just beginning to learn about making life decisions. DeYoung ends his book with the following 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” (122).

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel

About Terrie van Baarsel

4 responses to “In Search of God’s Will

  • Michele

    Terrie, I really enjoyed getting to talk with you yesterday and I’ve enjoyed reading your blog :) What a great idea to review books! I appreciate your thoughts on DeYoung’s book and I wholeheartedly agree. I especially like the quote you put at the end…it’s like in the sermon yesterday when Carlos quoted from Ecc “Fear God, keep His commands.”

  • teeveebee

    Michele, it really does boil down to that, doesn’t it? We tend to make things more complicated than they really are. For me, I think it’s because I am a “list” person. Just give me a list of things I should or should not do, and I think I will be ok. Hah! Much better to keep it simple and allow God to work out the details. A true walk of faith, I dare say! And, quite liberating, too.

    Can’t wait to get a chance to read your book, Michele. Would you mind if I review it here on Gospel Apprentice?


  • Anita Doty

    I really appreciated the simplicity of this message on determining God’s will. Why do we make something that God is so anxious to reveal to us so complicated? …”in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He WILL direct your paths.” I also liked the quote you added..I find myself looking for lists and “How to” manuals for the Christian life as well. Thanks for keeping it simple :)
    p.s.Your blog is such an encouragement to me! This will be a part of my devotions from now on.
    Resting in His grace~

  • teeveebee

    Hi Anita,
    Thanks for stopping by and for YOUR encouraging words.

    I agree, understanding God’s will need not be complicated. We have His revealed will (the Scriptures) to build upon and what He does not reveal, we simply trust Him for.

    By the way, did you notice I added Michele’s web site to my links on the home page of Gospel Apprentice? If you haven’t already, you can check out her site from here.

    Blessings! And see you tomorrow! =)

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