I just finished Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will (sub-subtitle: How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, etc.), and I came across this excerpt that made me laugh out loud:
I’ll never forget my poor beleaguered roommate talking with me after he took a risk and told a nice young lady that he liked her. They went on a long walk. He was pretty sure she would reciprocate his declaration of affection. But it turned out she wasn’t interested. She was a sweet girl, a good Christian. She didn’t mean to have bad theology. But instead of just saying “I’m not interested” or “I don’t like you” or “Quit stalking me” or something, she went all spiritual on him. “I’ve been praying a lot about you,” she demurred, “and the Holy Spirit told me no.” “No?” my confused roommate asked. “No… never,” she replied.
Poor guy—he got rejected, not only by this sweet girl, but by the Holy Spirit. The third person of the Trinity took a break from pointing people to Jesus to tell this girl not to date my roommate.
DeYoung’s point is that we should be very careful before claiming we’ve gotten a message from God. He actually argues that God has no will of direction for individuals—though he may not mean what you think he means, because God does have two wills relevant to each believer’s life:
- He has a will of decree which determines all things (DeYoung cites Eph. 1:11; Mat. 10:29; Acts 4:27–28; Ps. 139:16; Isa. 46:9–10).
- He also has a will of desire which expresses how we ought to live (1 Ths. 4:3; 1 Jn. 2:17; Heb. 13:20–21; Mat. 7:21).
To understand how all this works, you may want to pick up the book. I found it quite profitable, and it was an intensely easy read.