Your SEO optimized title

Obedience | Something We Have To Learn

I believe obedience is something we learn to do. This is because we are born with an impulse of disobedience, which is indicative of the fallen world we live in. Good news is, that we don’t have to learn obedience only through disobedience. In fact, Jesus did not learn obedience through disobedience, he learned obedience through suffering (Hebrews 5:8-9) and not being disobedient, which is to teach us all that obedience is something we learn. And the fact remains that if the object or person we are obeying is trustworthy it increases our desire to obey and our trust over time. If you want to become a great person of faith – be obedient.

TEACHING CLIP:

MAN TALK VIDEOCAST:

MAN TALK AUDIO PODCAST:

TRANSCRIPT:

Hey guys, welcome to another edition of ManTalk. Glad to have you with you. My name is Vince Miller, founder, of resolute. We're excited to be in our new series still. It's called 30 virtues that build a man. Got The book right here, hot off the press. Hope you'll pick up a copy of it and follow along. Today. I'm joined by Keith TerHaar. Thanks for being with us, man. Yeah. So Keith, there, are you a founded an organization called intended for health, right? Working with men on physical and spiritual health pieces of, of life. Uh, I know we've had conversations before, but I'm super excited about talking with you about this because I think it's an, an area of our life that we often ignore spiritually but is incredibly important to vitality, right when you say. Absolutely. Yeah. And so today we're looking at the topic from our book of obedience and uh, of course I want to, I want to relate this a little bit to obedience, but it's more than that. So give us a little bit of an understanding of kind of what you do with guys through this organization that you founded intended,

right? Well, a lot of what I do is health coaching and an integrated health coaching, which is about looking at the whole person holistically and so you're looking at spiritual health, but physical health, emotional health, mental health, relational health, all those things that really fit together as a whole person. Uh, ultimately I love helping men identify where they're just not living up to what God has intended them for. Addressing those and making some really meaningful changes that, that help them live out their purpose more fully and help them live the kind of meaningful lives that we all want to live.

Yeah. Now what I love about Keith's perspective on things is the fact that Keith came from a counseling profession, right? Originally and you got a lot of expertise there. You were involved with resolute resolute for a number of years. We did, did a bunch of spiritual coaching with men and now you've moved on to health coaching. Very holistic. I understand that. But, uh, I think this is a much needed topic that is sorely addressed in Christendom, right? I mean, we don't often talk about our health, uh, from the platform. And I'm kind of wondering why. Do you have any thoughts on that?

It's a great question because I haven't stumped. Well, we were not talking about it sometimes. Maybe as Christians, we haven't been as a holistic or we haven't integrated faith into every area of our lives, you know, we think, well for, we're doing the spiritual disciplines, uh, isn't that enough? I grew up in a tradition that emphasize the, that God cared about everything and we looked at the scriptures that talk about, you know, taking care of our bodies as a temple and we, and we look at the way those things really matter to God as well. But I think what I become passionate about is even as we look at the purpose of a man and being a great father and husband and serving the kingdom, I think, how can you, how can you do that very well? If you're letting your, your body, your physical health goal, you're getting sick, you're becoming more sedentary or you're losing energy, and so to me, health physical health becomes. That means to really living out that purpose more fully.

So you're talking about leveraging the tool of our body for the kingdom by caring for the temple. Now I know that you've, I know that's part of this is born out of the passion that you've seen a poor examples of that in your own life. You've, you've watched people's lives kind of waste away from poor choices with caring for their body. Right? Can you tell us a little bit about that? Well, yeah, but I'll begin right here. Looking in the mirror and saying, when I turned 40, which I think is a lot of guys who was last year. Yeah, hang on a little little. Other than that,

I turned 40. I almost overnight I found A. I was starting to gain some weight. I was losing energy. I was becoming more lethargic. I was battling some injuries and different things going on, so I felt like I didn't like the trajectory I was on so personally I needed to make some changes to be able to live up to what I felt like I was called to do. But certainly you see more extreme examples around, you know, a lot of people becoming very sick and developing diseases that are very preventable. You know, diabetes and heart disease are things that don't need to happen in most cases they can be prevented.

Yeah. So you're, you're actually coaching people that are dealing with some of those issues today. Is that right? Like one on one coaching group coaching, stuff like that. Right.

Love to do the one on one. I do some men's retreats too to try to help guys come together with a group of men and get things turned around. But uh, we're all looking for a way to kind of pull the trigger on that and it's, it's hard to change behavior.

Okay. But let's just talk about this honestly, because I think I'm just thinking about the average guy and kind of some of the work you do. I probably be someone okay with sitting down with you one on one. I'd probably be a little nervous about meeting with you in a group and probably because of personal shame are, are, are you running into guys that you know, are, are that find what you do intriguing but are a little scared and hesitant to take that first step all the time? Yeah. Why do you think they are? They

are. Well, I think we know that change any kind of behavior change, whether it's trying to improve your spiritual health, joining a men's group, getting involved in church as well as the physical health elements. Uh, it's, it's really hard to get started and because of our pride, we don't, we don't often want to ask for help. We sometime get stuck in ruts and we tend to rationalize, right? Our, you know, our nature is to justify and rationalize what we're doing, why we're doing it. Um, all while things keep getting worse.

Oh Wow. They keep getting worse. And what's funny is today, today's lessons about obedience, right? So I'm kinda thinking, okay, here's ultimately I think you led us right here, but you know, I keep wondering if this isn't an obedience problem, right? Or are we lacking really being obedient to God complying with God. I'm submitting to God by not addressing some of these issues. And I guess I kind of want to pose that question to you is, is, is not addressing our emotional health or physical health or eating patterns is it isn't an obedience problem? Are we being disobedient by not addressing it?

I think so, yeah. I liked that you used the word submission. Don't we love that word?

Yeah. Yeah. We all want to submit them only if I'm wrestling with someone on the field of battle and they're doing it right, if I'm doing it

right, right. You don't want to. When we think about the very basics of our relationship with God dating back to Old Testament, his, his early people, he gave the commandments and in one of the first, the first one was you gotta. Keep Me God and worship me. And keep me first and I think historically the, the history of mankind is that we don't really want to do that. So we, we find other things that become first and let's say, you know, sometimes those are the very things that are a barrier to good health. You know, I, I think food for example, and I am the first one to say I love food, I love food. Most people like food, right? But it, but it has become something that is so in our face and it's a billion dollar industry and a lot of it very unhealthy, but most people when it comes to it, they don't want to give up eating a lot of food or eating really unhealthy foods that they enjoy. So to some degree I think that becomes a spiritual issue of are you willing to submit this area of your life to God or not? You know, because some people will say, well I'll do this and this and this, but don't. I don't want to touch.

Okay. So That's interesting because I think you're almost suggesting that by, by, by not making healthy choices, right? We're engaging in a subtle form of idolatry of self, right? Is that true? I think so. Okay. And what are the consequences of it? I mean, you're, you're probably this idolatry of self in this area of eating. So let's just stay with eating because it's one area of health, right? Uh, taking care of your health and exercise is another one. The types of food that you eat is another one, right? This is all idolatry of self we could say. Is that idolatry of self or disobedience? What are the, what are the ramifications of it? I, you're seeing people, I mean, you said some of them already I think, but what are the ramifications of it?

I think the beautiful thing is, is that we get really good feedback. Okay, no pun intended, but you eat poorly and you get great feedback. Not only do you gain weight and some of those obvious things that sometimes happen. We get sick or we get disease, but you know, I, I have clients who say, boy, when I started eating poorly or the next morning I wake up and I don't feel well. I have headaches, my energy is low and, and I think that's where I like to go with people because what we're often saying is that, you know, my values, what's really important to me require that I have good energy, that I feel good. You know, I want to be a great father. Well, it's hard to be a great father if you don't feel like playing with your kids, right? It's, it's hard to live with passion and energy if your body's just telling you, go sit down in a chair, take a nap. So I think you get feedback both as you look in the mirror on the scale, but you also get it in terms of just how you feel. And so I see that I see men saying I'm not living the way that I want to live. You know, these are my values, this is where I want to go, but unless I changed this, I'm not going to get there.

Okay. So let's, let's, let's dive into something that's a little bit more touchy I would say is, you know, I, I understand what you're talking about when you turn 40, everything changed. I kind of felt that the same thing. I think you and I talked about that during those years and kind of how our energy was waning and man, when I was 15 I could metabolize anything bro. I mean like I could eat an entire bag of chips and have a, a case of pop and I was totally okay. I feel great afterwards in all kinds of ways and I can metabolize that, but def definitely changes when I turned 40. Um, but there, there are people out there that actually have chemical issues that deal with this that keep their body from metabolizing things the right way. Right. I'm assuming that you wouldn't say exactly the same thing to them. We may be more of the take have taken the standard path of our biological and chemical health. Right. And we need to just take in better food. But what about the guys out there that have struggled with weight their whole life or struggle with depression their whole life? How would you speak about this holistic kind of piece of health and obedience to them?

Right? Well, it is holistic, so I think without oversimplifying, no, God has given us a lot of examples in a lot of directives about how to manage and, and live more emotionally healthy as well as physically healthy. I love looking at, with guys at Philippians four and talking about not being anxious and things we can do to manage that. Um, but I do believe that for, for many men who do struggle more with this, um, there, there are other ways that their health is going to come into play in the way that those things fit together. So for one, uh, depression and anxiety are vastly improved through exercise, right? The way that changes brain chemistry, the way that gets their heart and lungs going.

So how do I know I feel better when I go work? Seriously? There's something that happens after I'm done. Not only am I beat up, but I feel like man, I accomplished something. I feel like kind of sweat some things through my body, right? I can. I feel more energy even after I'm done, even though I'm exhausted, you know, there are some things that happen. It's real.

We know what happens to brain chemistry when we do that. We also know the way certain foods that we eat, and it can be an extreme thing for some people who have a gluten allergy and so forth, but a lot of the foods that we have eaten and including process foods, you have such an inflammatory content to them.

Oh yeah. People are responding today all over the place regarding those things are they are. And so sometimes it's a matter of, yeah,

recognizing, you know what I, I, I respond to certain foods really poorly and maybe I had a look at that and eat a little bit differently. If I, you know, if I eat a ton of dairy for example, some people find that they, they feel really sore, they feel beat up, their joints swell, all those kinds of things can be changed by, by making some changes in what the.

Yeah. And this is what I love about what you do is you're kind of coaching people through this holistic process of kind of understanding things that they've maybe never understand understood before. Right? Some of these guys are like shocked it, oh my goodness, these foods cause inflammatory issues in me and I'm taking them in all the time. Gradually over many years, you know, um, or they have allergies to certain things and they take them away and all of a sudden they feel better or they start working out and they start feeling better and their chemistry starts kind of changing and adapting regardless of their age is what I hear you saying. And so you're having some really interesting, I would assume, conversations with guys who never thought about this stuff.

Yeah, they're great conversations and it's really rewarding work when when you see guys, the lights go on and they figure some things out and they come back saying, you know, I feel I feel so much better, and that's what we're going for.

Yeah. You know our text today from 30 virtues that build a man is actually from matthew seven and it's talking about food. Believe it or not. It's talking about how a good tree bears good you to a bad tree bears bad fruit. Of course Jesus is not just talking about produce here. He's talking about the outcomes of produce in our life, right? So he's using produce as an example of produce in our life and you get certain inputs, you get certain outputs, right? And then he challenges us to this call of obedience. I mean, it's an amazing call of obedience. He invites us into it and he calls us right into it and he says that there are certain, there's certain fruit that believers produce and we can't say that we produce it and then not produce it. In fact, he says here in verse 22, he says, on that day, many will say to me, Lord, Lord, we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name, and do many money works in your name, and then I will declare to them, I never knew you depart from me, you workers, a lot of us, I think that's a pretty frightening set of verses there because it's saying you thought you were producing the right fruit, but you really weren't producing the right fruit and the fruit that he's looking for is his obedience.

I would say a full out all out radical obedience to God, not just lip service. Right, and I think that's where this holistic piece is kind of coming in for you, is you're. You're seeing this holistic piece of the Gospel that says care for the temple of the body. Careful about what you put into it. Not only the time, the energy, the things that you think about, the food, the exercise to get certain outputs, and you're kind of watching men transformed by this process and they're becoming more obedient. You feel to the call of Christ.

Well, yeah, it made me think about the way I try to start with every client by doing an assessment and we assess seven different areas of health and some of them are things you necessarily think about as health, but they're like relationships and including your spiritual health. Right? And so I think it speaks to the need to stop and take a look at ourselves, which, which we are sometimes reluctant to do. We don't wanna we don't always like what we see when we look in the mirror, but doing this so to speak sometimes does help us identify the blind spots that go, you know, this isn't an area where I've really seen a and obeyed what God is asking me to do. So. And I'm sure you find that as you're working with the guys and the spiritual role mentoring them, uh, what do you see as the barriers or what are the steps that you suggest for guys who are saying, Hey, I want to work on this?

Yeah, that's great question. I think, I think part of the difficulty and the challenge with guys is like first assessing if they really do want to make a change, right? Like after what they have to want it, they have to decide they want it and I see guys repeat sin over and over and over again. You've seen this too, I'm sure you've seen this in counseling guys that come in wanting to be counseled but don't really want to change and I think it begins with first making a conscious decision that we want to change. It's like having, putting a stake in the ground and saying, drawing a line in the sand, you know, really probably a drawing a line in the concrete saying, look, we're gonna this is it. You know, this is, you have to. We're erecting a milestone right here and we're gonna move forward.

We're going to make a commitment. I think after that, then it's then taking a step of obedience by trusting something outside of ourselves. You know, you talked about feedback, right? I think, you know, you've first got to get a feedback and then figure out what is the right step of obedience and sometimes we don't know which is probably why you're in, you're talking to other guys, they, they don't know what to do. They know something in their life needs to change and it's something regarding their health but they don't know what it is and I think that's the next step is not only deciding but it's, it's getting feedback to then make the conscious that they're going to make after that. And I think next after that is choosing to make advanced decisions. Right? So that when we get into those moments, again, we don't repeat the same things.

I mean you're probably telling guys that all the time. I mean like, you know, if, if, if I go to the store and I buy a bag of m and m's, that's the size of a grocery bag, right? They make them, they do, they do. And I go buy that bag of ends and I bring it in my house. There was a high likelihood that I'm going to eat them, but if I make the conscious decision that I'm only going to buy good food and bring it into my home, then it's much easier. Now we're sitting at the table with a friend the other day and you know, I got. We had two plates of food and he had a. He had a hamburger and fries and I had, for some reason I had tacos and fries. I don't know why that went together, but we're at a popular restaurant.

I had tacos and fries and I ate my tacos that I didn't eat my fries and I actually asked the woman to come over and take my place so I didn't eat the fries while he's eating his fries and he's feeling bad and I actually said to her, can you take my fries away before I actually eat them? Right? Because I know that if I removed them, I probably won't eat them. So it's a conscious advanced decision. Those fries are bad for you. By the way. There is no fry in the world that you could ever eat that's good for you. But it's probably the worst, absolutely the worst food you could ever eat. If you looked at how many calories are in five fries, it'll blow your mind. But anyway, as he's eating, he's going, yeah, I probably shouldn't put this next prime of mouth. And they said, yeah, you probably shouldn't and you can make a decision not to do that. Right? We can make a decision not to do that. So I think that's kind of where some of this begins. For me, it's just making a conscious decision to draw a line in the earth permanently. Then getting some feedback about what would be the best decisions to make outside of our own self and then making some of those advanced decisions so that we don't keep repeating the same insanity over and over.

Yeah. I love that. I think, and you speak to two things that I think are so important. One is making intentional conscious choices versus being passive and just kind of letting life come and do whatever. But secondly, even with that other friend, you can lead in this area by doing something different and have another guy's not to guilt them, but to have them see that you're doing something.

Yeah, just positive accountability, right? Well, you don't. I think sometimes we only see accountability in the negative sense, right? It's, it's not always like shame on you, you know, bad, bad, good. I mean once in awhile we need a good kick in the pants, you know? Or sometimes they need a kick in the Shin and it's okay. But sometimes we just need to say, hey, how was it? How did it go last week? Did you eat a plate of fries? If you did eat a plate of fries in a bag of m and ms, then let's talk about removing that this next week and then try again and try more positive. Like how about I hold you accountable to eating a salad a few times this week or something like that or whatever it is. I mean it, I'm just saying it's positive accountability. It's not just the negative shaming accountability.

So anyway, Keith, thanks for being with us guys. Uh, I hope you enjoyed our time together today. I want to encourage you to pick up a copy of 30 virtues that build a man, uh, like, like I believe. I think every one of these conversations we're having here you can have, we're just modeling it for you and I'm hopeful that you'll do this because this is exactly how we become better men by the grace of God to guys Sharon stories learning from one another. And Keith, thanks for the work that you do with intended for health. I love these guys to connect with you. You can connect with keith straight on his website. It's intended the number four and health.org, right? Dot Com. Yeah. That just makes it a little bit of difference. Yeah. Intended for number four, help.com. Anyway, thanks kate for being with us. We'll see you right back here next time on another edition of Man.

THE MEN'S DAILY DEVO

SHORT | SIMPLE | MADE FOR MEN

Get into God's Word daily, and stop anytime.

Thanks for subscribing. Check your email!