We’ve Got to Do Something

As we begin to learn to live in the Father's love, it is easy to feel like we're not doing enough. Religion kept us busy and gave us validation for the meetings we attended and the activities we were involved in. What happens when that slows down and we don't have as many commitments to fill our lives? At that point our flesh can begin to scream, "But we have to do something." Probably more fruitless activities have begun from that timeless cry than from any other motivation and invites us to put confidence in our flesh rather than live in what God is doing around us. Brad and Wayne also end sorting through the email and blog postings about their podcast, "Will the Real God Please Stand Up" and the passionate responses that flowed from it.


  1. I love what Brad said about getting lost in our perceptions of God rather than in reality. Doesn’t it say somewhere that we were enemies of God in our minds? Wow, what a different perspective than I have been taught! Thanks!


  2. Thank you Brad for having the stones to start laying out the questions that everyone asks right at the end of the podcast.

    If I had to guess, I think the “touchy-feely” accusations may come from listeners not being able to relate to the way Wayne (mostly) describes living in God’s love. I think to the uninitiated it can sound like a string of vague adjectives. This isn’t a criticism. I think it’s just really hard to make plain to others an experience that’s so personal. An experience in fact, that God has tailor made for your particular life.

    But I think Brad might have articulated some of the questions people have. I sure would like to hear the answers to some of them.

    Wayne, when you attempted to layout what it was like to “hear from God” I was eating it up. If you’re willing, keep trying to make those kinds of experience plain. I find that kind of thing really helpful.

  3. Thanks for sharing your input at the end of the podcast. Asking, “how we know it’s God’s voice” helped pin a false reality down I’ve lived with. It’s hindered my end of the relationship with Jesus.

    I recognized that all the way back to when I was a child, I would play the voice of God inside my own head. I would make up the rules of what God thought and would say to me. I tried to be my own God. It gave me a false sense of security and control. Frankly, I liked the power I fooled myself into thinking I had, and I loved analyzing it with my mind. This way I could be in control of my value and worth, plus I could cut out what the scary world said. Not until about 5 minutes ago did I realize this existed. No wonder my brain hurts so much. I now recognize it for the evil it is. It is gorging yourself on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Telling one’s self that they know more than God. That they are actually God’s voice. I thank God that I’m learning His reality…. cause mine can be pretty miserable.

  4. I’ve been in churches for a few years. I am not intending any for the moment. But I never let my beliefs or my faith aside.

    To speak a little about the subject, I just want to quote one small sentence picked in Matthew Chapter 6 from the translated version of the Bible called THE MESSAGE, “Do you think God is in a boxseat (as if this was all a show to see who is performing better)?” That says a lot about how I was feeling back then and even now.

    And don’t get me wrong here, I have been a very confused believer for a long time before I could shake myself out of it a little. I was there, thinking I was doing the right thing, while most of the people out there were completely offtracks. It can get pretty hard. I know. I still think I’m doing the right thing but i’m not always right and the people out there are not always wrong either.

    Thank you for the topic and for giving me the opportunity to share this with you. I don’t get to do it often these days.


  5. Wow, I think after all these years as a LIFE TRAFFIC CONTROLER, could it be that I can trust our Father to lead me?!! That illustration of Jesus not anxious about what to do next and the suggestion NOT to do something especially when I feel “I JUST GOTTA DO SOMETHING” really helped me. I love you guys so much for taking the time to encourage us newbies in this journey!!! May God energize you both for the journey ahead!

  6. Enjoying this podcast….learning still to rest. Don’t attend the building. Was wondering what you guy’s opinion is regarding where new believers would go to be taught the word. And teens? Children? I know the ideal is for this to come from the home. However, that is the exception rather than the rule. Discipling one on one is good. But there is not usually that many of us willing to do that. So, where do we send new believers for growth in Him? Could you talk about this?

  7. “lose the need for fellowship, the need to connect,,,” It has taken me kany years to learn the difference between “love” and “need depravation”…..What I want, what I need is indeed totally I centered. i spent years looking for something or someone to fill my need. I read in ?Corinthians that lkove does not seek its own or what is best for itself but what it best for the beloved! It is hard for me to admit that ‘love” is not fixated on itself, its own needs, My own desires but what is best for the beloved.

    Thanks Wayne for eminding me once again taht its not all about me, my, and mine!

  8. To Dixie:

    these are natural concerns. I wonder, though, whether this isn’t part of the “need to do something” that we all feel, especially in American culture. Also, is fear at the bottom of the question? Are we afraid of what will happen to “new believers” if we don’t have some organized way of teaching these folks. Are we willing to trust that God is far more concerned for their growth than we could ever be, and that he will make it happen? I know this sounds vague and maybe reckless, but the alternative is to start designing classes and programs and ministries and movements and… where has that gotten us?

    Also, a timid observation on “new believers:” they seem to be in much better position to learn to hear Jesus’ voice than most of “old timers” who are too often struggling to free ourselves of all that religious teaching that we got growing up.

  9. Dixie, I think that your question is interesting. The way that you phrased it indicates how conditioned we have become. You asked “Where do we SEND the new believer…” Why should we send them somewhere? I think each circumstance determines that. For example, where did Phillip send the Ethiopian treasurer? He was headed to Ethiopia I suppose and there would have not been a church there. But Paul probably “sent” the Philippian jailer to the church at Phillipi ??

    It seems to me that when God gives us the privilege of introducing someone to Jesus or knowing someone that is a new believer that He is SENDING them to US 🙂

  10. “Where does our need to do something come from?”

    It looks to me, both from reading scripture and from experience, like it starts with our naive attempts to respond to happenings that scare and/or hurt us. Often the happenings are attributed to angry deities whom we try to appease. We are moved away from that by God’s continuing revelation to us that Jesus is the exact representation of God’s character and nature and that by the indwelling Holy Spirit we are being given that same character and nature.

    I don’t know that I did anything to make it possible for me to hear God. However, having once heard, a desire to hear more was birthed in me. Still, the Holy Spirit moves at God’s pleasure not mine. That I’m being changed is unmistakable. That it’s being orchestrated by Another is undeniable. How it’s being done is a mystery.

  11. I also struggle with “how” to teach younger children the Word and sometimes get the crazy notion to go back just to have them attend bible study, then I remember how long of a process it is to get all that junk out which in turn gives me great relief that I have not subjected them to it. I am being reminded over and over again that it is the Holy Spirit that teaches all things and that my responsibility to the younger generation is the same as to other brothers and sisters and the rest of the world. To be salt and light. Some say easier said than done. I say don’t give up, be honest with Father, get away from the distraction, stop doing. Father will reveal who you are as he heals, redeems, and instructs. It’s like Wayne says “those that are loved well, love well.” It is only after we understand that we are loved well that we can love and as we pour out that love from a heart that is repaired we are showering others with God’s love. See God is love and where ever there is love there is God. Love displays the fruit of the Spirit and children learn by this example and as I type this note I realize that Father has just told me how to overcome my struggle with teaching the children.. feeding them healthy fruit which only comes from a tree that has good roots planted deep and firm in the rich soil of God’s heart of love…

  12. I love how they spoke about the whole “comparative value system”!! I think that is something that trips us up more often than we know!!! Something I realize I fall into far more often than I would like to. “The foot should not say to the hand, because I am not a hand I don’t belong to the body” None of the parts should do that. WE DO IT ALL THE TIME!!! It is such a source of insecurity and can breed bitterness on so many levels!
    BTW… I was listening for quite awhile and was wondering if they would bring up the last podcast!~ LOL I think Brad did a very good job at not interrupting. I’m KIDDING! It never bothered me.
    I did think it was interesting how they felt the comments “took sides”… I think healthy discussion is ALWAYS a good thing. It’s something I wish we had more of in my local church groups… sometimes we’re so concentrated on “being nice”… or being FAKE really and NEVER wanting to disagree. That the deep and important things don’t get thought out and discussed. I think it’s also why people don’t feel welcome in group life often. They feel they will be judged if they share what they’re REALLY thinking on that subject. Back to the comparaitive value system again! I’m talking about discussion here, not argument. There IS a difference… I think good debate and discussion in a peaceful manner is something that is very REAL.
    I just got the book Authentic Relationships. Anyone read it?? Thoughts???

  13. Several months ago, I did a search on the internet on the meaning of the concept “work ethic”. I discovered that it indeed was another attempt by humanity to prop itself up and give itself value without having to acknowledge its own powerlessness and dependancy on Father. My struggle over the ensuing months was wondering whether I had stumbled upon a truth or whether I was clinging to a delusion in order to keep from having to see who I truly was, aka “lazy”. Thanks guys, for talking about this…you confirmed that what I felt was truth and helped me to feel not so alone. I also appreciated your discussion on what rest really is, how we can actually end up working more than we ever thought we could when empowered by Father. I have felt many times that what I considered contentment was mistaken as laziness by those around me…especially in the workplace. As a member of the special operations community in the military, I am surrounded by very driven individuals who have gotten to this place by consistent “hard work” but the cost is never recognized…..specifically, divorce, broken relationships, a death in the ability to recognize the value of humanity. On yet another deployment, it bothers me more and more when I hear the disparaging remarks torwards the locals, based upon their percieved value and worth stemming from their work ethic. In a country like America that prides itself on its work ethic and can do attitude, it’s easy to see how we view other peoples in other countries as so much less and having little value. Keep me before Father as I struggle for the time being to live the truth that everyone is valuable and precious in His eyes….even our enemies.

  14. Just listened to this podcast again this morning (it usually takes 2-3 times for everything to sink in), then read the above discussion about “how to teach the Word.” A thought came to me while listening to Brad and Wayne’s discussion with regard to an implication of 2 Peter 1:19-21 (that the meaning of scripture is spiritually discerned, and is not understandable by just human wisdom and intellect). A “thought experiment” popped into my head as I considered this: If a stranger to religion and scripture read through the OT, then wrote down what he perceived God to be like based on what he had read, what would he come up with? How similar or different would be his understanding of God’s nature than what has been taught in Christian sermons and writings for the past 1600+ years?

    I think that I can mostly imagine what his “image of God” would look like, and I suspect that it would look far more like the image of God that is in the minds of most Christians (and even the many non-Christians who have been exposed to Christian teachings) than we’d be comfortable with. To the extent that this turned out to be so, then we would have a fairly clear sense of how much of what we in the church currently hold to be true about God comes from human understanding, not spiritual revelation (and we would be shocked at the extent of our misperception).

    Getting back to the subject of this podcast and the subsequent blog discussion: Perhaps our difficulty in “knowing how to teach scripture” stems from an unconscious recognition that what we think we know about scripture is at odds with who we are discovering God to really be (for those on the journey into real relationship with him) or at least who we would inwardly hope him to be (a Father who is better than what we ourselves have known or been). This puts us in a position of “cognitive dissonance” (as Brad and Wayne have discussed in the past) in which what we “know” is at odds with what the Spirit is telling us, causing us to feel ambivalent about what we teach others (and rightly so!).

    So we may find, then, that we have then been long inculcated in a deficient understanding of God–an understanding that arises from our being taught to approach knowing him primarily through our own intellect, rather than primarily through the dance of relationship in the “unforced rhythms of grace.” It may well be that until we recognize this, release our claim to being able to fully apprehend the eternal, infinite God through the instrument of our human intellect, and relax into relationship with Father, we will ourselves not be able to clearly see the God that Jesus proclaimed he faithfully and authentically represented in his own life. If we do so, however, then I suspect that as we come to truly know God (with the consequent renewal of our minds), it will become quite clear to us how to represent him as we present scripture to others. In other words, it may well be that the problem is not one of selecting the “correct” modality of teaching, but is one of our having a fundamental misunderstanding of what scripture says (or even what scripture is, and consequently how we are to approach it).

    A couple of illustrations to chew on:

    1. When I was a young, not long out of college, a female friend of mine asked me to read a letter she had received from a young man she was dating, and to explain to her “what he means.” My observation (after reading the letter) was that he meant just what he had said–no more, no less. She, being unsatisfied with my answer, launched into an analysis of what she perceived might be “in between the lines” of his letter. Not knowing the letter writer myself, I voiced that I felt unqualified to either confirm or refute her analysis. Seeing that she was less than satisfied with my equivocation, I gave it my last shot: “Why don’t you call him and ask him what he meant? I’m sure that he would know!”

    My thought: One conversation with the author is of more value for understanding than any amount of personal pondering.

    2. How does a baby learn to play with blocks? Does a parent sit down with the baby to teach the baby a “language of blocks” or to tell “block stories,” teach “block concepts,” and prescribe “block applications”? Of course not! The parent gets the baby’s attention (not too hard to do at that age), picks up a block and stacks it on another block. In time, the parent may take the baby’s hand and help him pick up and stack a block. Only after some shared block stacking and a few intervening years does the parent send the former baby off to engineering school to learn the physics of block stacking.

    My thought: Perhaps it is the nature of creation that we first learn of God by paying attention, seeing (as best we can understand) what he is doing in the current moment, and joining in, all with the expectation that through this process we will, in time, learn the language of the relationship (that is, learn to clearly discern his voice).

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