Battles Christians Face
As our society has become increasingly free speaking and open to new moral ideas, it can be difficult for individuals to develop their own personal response to a number of hot topics. For me, as a Christian, I have found it very difficult to figure out my personal stance on a number of issues as I want to remain true to God’s teaching and I want to allow that to influence how I view and respond to certain challenges, and to not be influenced by those around me.
Vaughan Roberts’ book “Battles Christians Face” is a great read for both those who are young in their faith, and those who have a deeper level of faith maturity. Roberts tackles a different challenge in each chapter, all of which are highly relevant to this day and age. Each chapter begins with a passage of scripture which is used as the central tool to unpack the topic. The first chapter begins by presenting Colossians 3v1-14 and looks at the topic of “Image”. I feel this is a good place to start as it is ultimately our image and identity that feeds into how we present ourselves and our ideas to the world around us. It outlines how we are to be set apart in our mind set and our “overriding ambition is to be more like Christ” rather than be sucked into the obsessions of culture and society. This led well into the rest of the book as topics discussing depression, lust, pride, homosexuality (and more) were discussed; each chapter following the same format of opening scripture and unpacking the topic.
I found it a helpful reminder throughout the book that even though we may strong in our faith, temptations and struggles are a reality we all face – that’s life. It is well rooted in scripture and Roberts always brings it back to what is taught in the Bible, and always points back to Jesus. We need not feel guilt or shame, because God is far bigger than any of our struggles.
It is a well written and concise read as Roberts sticks well to his main points. While it is simple in its delivery and understanding, the content has not been watered down and you don’t become bogged down with complicated theological terms. It is a good starting point to understanding many of life’s big challenges and provides a solid base to continue building scriptural knowledge and developing Godly wisdom.
Just Do Something:
As I’m sure you are aware there are so many books on the market which deal with the topic of God’s will. Naturally this can sometimes leave you in a p
osition where selecting an option is often quite difficult. I don’t know about you but I often find myself questioning, in fact actively seeking, to see if it is God’s will for me to undertake a particular task or to do something in my life. In Kevin DeYoung’s book ‘Just Do Something’ he approaches the topic of God’s will head on and carefully dissects the key questions and topics which Christians have in relation to the will of God. Although this book is short in length and could be read in an afternoon, it certainly packs a punch.
At the beginning of the book Kevin DeYoung deconstructs our need for God’s will to be clear in our lives by looking at the different traits which each generation contain. For instance, those who grew up in his Grandfather’s generation focused on a natural line of human progression; graduate, get a girlfriend, get married, have a job, have children, whereas his generation and the generations to follow are people who like to change things (tinkers). He explains how we actively change our religion, jobs and so on. This inconsistency then leads us to question if it is God’s will for us to ‘tinker’ with the key areas of our lives.
Throughout this book DeYoung compliments biblical truth against real life experience which combines, in my opinion to make a very compelling book. Over the course of the entire book DeYoung deals with the key questions regarding God’s will, for example, “If God has a wonderful plan for my life, how can I discover what it is?” DeYoung also deals with the idea of why Christians need to be aware of God’s will in their lives, making the right decisions, getting the right job and also finding and having a relationship which is of God’s will.
In writing this book DeYoung states that, “My Goal is not as much to tell you how to hear God’s voice in making decisions as it is to hear God telling you to get off the long road to nowhere and finally make a decision, get a job, and perhaps, get married.” Through reading this book it is clear that DeYoung has the fear that many Christians are actually wasting their lives. This, in his option, is due to unbiblical understanding of knowing and doing the will of God.
As I mentioned before DeYoung definitely does not shy away from the big questions in relation to God’s will. Within each chapter DeYoung begins by stating a typical question which we may have had in relation to the will of God like, “If God has a wonderful plan for my life, how can I discover what it is?” Then he carefully unpacks the question by drawing upon biblical truths and personal experiences. In doing this he makes points such as, “God is not a magic 8-ball we shake up and peer into whenever we have a decision to make” which honestly made me stop and think for a moment.
The conclusion of this book is that ultimately we have to remember that God has a prefect will and plan for our lives. DeYoung states that, “God isn’t going to give us the answer before it unfolds…God is with us every step.” In many ways this book is written with the intention for Christians to stop pleading with God to show us the future but to be confident that he ultimately holds the future.
Overall ‘Just Do Something’ is well worth a read. Although you may not completely agree with all of DeYoung’s statements within his book, it defiantly provokes thought and challenges you to think differently about God’s will for your life.