It had been 6 months since I finished my Masters degree and I was starting to feel pressure to figure out “what’s next” and how God would use me in this new season. I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be in life, but I didn’t know why. Why am I at this job? Why am I at this church in Rancho Santa Margarita, California? What is God calling me to in these areas? How specifically is He going to use me to impact His kingdom? These were the questions I was asking myself.
I picked up a copy of “Just Do Something” by Kevin DeYoung, hoping to get some perspective on God’s will for my life. What I got was both refreshing and freeing. Following are some key quotes from the book that highlight a few of my takeaways:
“Trusting in God’s will of decree is good. Following his will of desire is obedient. Waiting for God’s will of direction is a mess.”
Kevin DeYoung speaks of Christians’ tendency to over-spiritualize every decision, even when it is not one that calls our holiness into question. Nine years ago, I was challenged to consider traveling to East Asia for a summer mission trip between my junior and senior years of college. I had never been out of the country before, so this was a big deal. On top of that, my parents were very much against me going. I think my dad was convinced I was going to be detained over there. He told me at one point in one of our many discussions about why I wanted to go: “I believe in Acts 1:8, just not for you.”
Although I gave my parents plenty of grief in my formative years, I had never done anything in direct defiance of their wishes. However, I was 21 now and the decision was mine. I remember praying to God to give me a clear sign that I was supposed to go. I didn’t get one, but I went anyways because I couldn’t come up with a reason not to. Not only could I not think if a single way going on this trip was outside God’s will, but I was motivated by the command of Acts 1:8, which states,
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
Similarly, when I made the decision to move to California, I didn’t spend weeks or months on end praying about it. The opportunity was set before me and I did put some amount of thought and prayer into it, but ultimately my decision to get on the plane was not because I received some sort of revelation from God. The reality is that I wasn’t opposed to going and I had nothing keeping me in the Midwest. God doesn’t care where you move to, what job you take or even whom you marry as long as you are living your life in pursuit of righteousness..
“The most important issues for God are moral purity, theological fidelity, compassion, joy, our witness, faithfulness, hospitality, love, worship and faith.”
I recently saw an Instagram post from Annie F Downs about settling in to quarantine life, but not feeling satisfied because this is not how things are meant to be. Likewise, DeYoung touches on the difference between complacency and contentment in our circumstances when we consider God’s will: “Contentment is saying, ‘God has me here for a reason and if he never does anything different, I’ll still serve and praise him.’ Complacency is saying, ‘things will never change so why bother trying?’” There are things we can do to grow no matter what our circumstances. We just have to think outside the box a bit.
“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 and you will be walking in the will of God.”
It was freeing to read this book and realize that as long as I seek first the kingdom of God, whatever I do and whatever decisions I make will be in His will. Before this global pandemic, there seemed to be a lot of “unfinished business” in my life and I was feeling a little directionless in what to do about that. However, this time of forced rest has established some very fruitful rhythms that I intend to continue to pursue as life begins to return to normal.
You can grab your copy here: Just-Do-Something