I Insist!  

Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
I Insist!  

Have you ever felt so strongly about something that you just had to insist? You couldn’t let it go? Well, that’s how Scripture is on some points. Because the content is from God, the writers often say (in so many words), “I insist!” In Eph. 4:17, the Apostle Paul says he “insists on it in the Lord.” He feels strongly about how God’s people should live – and not live.  Let’s unpack this.

A Little More of This Insistence

You know, as I think about it, we could use a little more of this kind of insistence. Socially accepted practices have infiltrated the church to the point some of Christ’s principles and standards have been watered down. Even Jesus followers have compromised and interpreted His messages to serve their own desires and interests. They then give reasons and excuses why it’s OK to change things up a bit. Sometimes they sacrifice critical issues God values to sound more current and contemporary.

This kind of witness by Jesus followers to the world is not effective. Plus, it doesn’t give you, the believer, practice growing and wielding Jesus’ character. Yes, Jesus gives righteousness freely to every person who trusts Him for salvation. But it takes a lifetime of hard work to hone Christ’s character in our lives. This work is a “must.” We are told to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil. 2:12) This suggests commitment and respect for God. It takes Him seriously with a great deal of gratitude and a sense of indebtedness. Living the same as those who don’t know Jesus is disrespectful and dishonoring to God. He went to the cross for the very actions some engage daily. His holy, pure, perfect principles have been dummied-down into mere suggestions – if it’s convenient.

So – How Do You Work It Out?

When you become a follower of Jesus, there must be a complete change. All or nothing. Even if it takes time to fully adopt, the changes should be observable. It takes time for a baby to learn how to walk. In the same way, it takes time to learn to maneuver in faith. Yet, just like a toddler eventually gets around and into everything, a growing believer in Jesus should be clearly making progress in Christ-like character, development, and action steps. Otherwise, you are lukewarm, ineffective, and still in bondage.


Old habits, practices, and patterns need to be put off. (v. 22) A Jesus follower who truly loves God will willingly work to set aside old patterns. They will eagerly jump forward to put on (v. 24) new practices that refine personal character and prove their heart wants to be holy like Jesus. Put off. Put on. You work as God works. Your work partners with God as He transforms you. This is the path to freedom in Christ. Jude 21 says, “Stay always within the boundaries where God’s love can reach and bless you.” To put it another way – you need to insist on staying where God wants you. Agree with God. Insist!

What Does “Insist” Mean?

Insist means to be emphatically firm or resolute in something. There is usually a good reason. For example, we mentioned Scripture says to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” That sounds like a strong directive – insisting. Yet, this one little phrase describes the difference between a believer who grows strong and lives in freedom, and a Christian who stays stuck in the same place for a long time. Paul says you must “no longer live” a certain way. (v. 17) This implies participation. You don’t have to stay stuck with the Spirit of God living in you. God has given you “say so” to partner with Him in this new life He has made possible. In fact, He insists. There’s no other way to live a holy life. This is the path of transformation.

Have you felt discouraged that your experience seems futile? Perhaps you sense your understanding of life is muddled, always lurking in the gray. Your reality is different from the life you thought it would be when you trusted Jesus for salvation. You don’t feel very free. Perhaps you feel trapped. Paul is writing to believers in Jesus, not to non-believers. Apparently, you are not alone in this place. Others join you.

Trapped in Old Patterns

Paul says it’s possible to be a Christian and still be trapped in old patterns. He is as tough as nails on this point of insisting. Interestingly, he then gives an instructional message of hope as he explains how straight-jacket-living is because of a kind of ignorance that comes from hardening one’s heart. That hardening can be a deliberate choice – or it can result from not deliberately choosing to not harden your heart This is passive hardening.

How to Apply, “I Insist!”

The territory of the soul is where believers are forged, and this happens in every-day living. Big decisions, little choices. Big problems, little irritations. Choosing to align everything with God, you learn how to put off and put on. God cleanses the deep recesses in your life and makes you new in your attitudes and mind. If you follow His training, you will notice stability and balance forming in your life with frustrations slipping off. Even though you will still have stresses and frustrations, they won’t control you like they used to. You are becoming a new person. Plus, you can be current and contemporary without sacrificing God’s holiness and messages. Some of the most refreshing believers are current and contemporary without sacrificing anything. They’ve learned how to insist. Yet, they have “come into themselves.” Chances are they are living in freedom, enjoying their unique personality, and having fun. Plus they know how to roll up their sleeves and get things done. And they are faithful when trouble-shooting life hardships.

Are you willing to practice these new strokes? You need to insist. Literally participate in becoming the new creation. You become what you practice.You can be hard on yourself in the right way. Why not eagerly embrace this process? Why not insist?

This training will help you be an effective, intentional life e-pistle others can read. If you respond to God’s training, you will leave a powerful mark on the i-generation that needs Jesus. Will you commit to this? Just say, “I insist!”

Article developed from Eph. 4:17-24 .


Another Resource

I’m Not A Loser: How to Change Old Habits And Patterns

Description – It’s hard to change habits and establish new patterns. Old, unhealthy patterns can feel like a ball and chain you drag around. It seems to take a mam­moth effort to dump the old and introduce the new. Practicing new strokes takes energy, focus, and resolve. It almost seems easier to just put up with the old even though you know it’s not your best – or the best for you. So, what do you do?

I’m Not a Loser! lays out a short and simple fail-safe plan to help you overcome fears and other barriers that keep you from growing. The clear action steps make it so much easier to change.



Connect with Us and Get a FREE Resource!

SIGN UP and get – “How To Turn Scripture Into An Alive and Active Life” with practical ideas to refresh your Bible Study.

You will also receive weekly inspiring articles to read. If you are super busy, you can listen and multi-task, using the web player at the top of each article – OR – subscribe on your favorite podcast app.


* indicates required

Been Lied To?

Have you ever been lied to? I’m guessing you have. I have, too. It’s a devastating experience. You don’t know who to trust going forward. Consequently, that’s the power of a lie. It tears down trust and ruins what could otherwise be healthy and dependable. Although it’s become more common – even normal – to lie, all lies come from one place. Jesus identifies that source. Read More …

Read More »

When You Need Something Sharp

Some days you need a newspaper. Other days, you need money from your bank. Still other days, you need a prescription for illness. More than not, you need your phone – or some other form of technology. Then there’s the day you need a good friend to talk to. But more often than you might expect, are days when you need something sharp – like a sword! For protection, accuracy, carving away, cutting a path, and making a point.

As we explore this content, I hope to provide a word picture you can take forward into daily challenges. Let’s face it. In today’s world, you need a practical tool that’s reliable, effective, safe, and strong. And it needs to be applicable and versatile with current life issues. So – you need something sharp. Read More …

Read More »

A Resource For Better Thinking

I remember as a kid how excited I was when school let out for summer. That meant – freedom and fun. Then there’s the happy childhood memory of when I received a beautiful “Little Girl Lotion-Perfume” set from my grandmother at Christmas. As an adult, I’ve been thrilled when I owe less taxes than I thought – or get an extra bonus day off work. And at any age, there’s the joy of seeing new daffodils, tulips, and lilacs starting to share color and fragrance in spring. But nothing compares to how thrilled I was when I discovered a “Thinking Grid” in my Bible – a resource for better thinking! Read More …

Read More »

Sometimes It Takes A Third Party

I don’t think there’s a person alive who doesn’t sometimes need a third party in some way. Surely, you’ve been there. I know I have. When you’ve done all you can, when you’ve reached the end of your knowledge or resources, when you simply can’t see clearly . . . that’s when it takes a third party!

Here’s the backstory . . . Read More …

Read More »

When The Coffee Isn’t Good

I had a coffee nook  some years ago. I LOVED IT! My favorite place to visit first thing in the morning was this little spot in my kitchen. Half awake with blurry eyes and a groggy brain, my slippers dragged me toward the coffee nook. And much as I’d like, my French Press didn’t make coffee on its own. So, in a drowsy state, I found it’s best to wake up a bit before making coffee. All it takes is one miscalculation to ruin the coffee. Too much. Too little. Knocking it over. Forgetting cream or sugar. That’s when the coffee isn’t good.

But there are more times the coffee isn’t good – in your daily life – even if you don’t like coffee! Read More …

Read More »

It’s Your Choice

Do you ever get tired of making choices? You make them all day long! If you had to keep track of all your choices, you’d have thousands to track. God gave choice to each individual. Yet choice also brings significant responsibility to make informed, good decisions.  Because choices can be overwhelming sometimes, you need support and assistance. Still, at the end of the day, it’s your choice. What will you do? Read More …

Read More »