Until very recently, I have only used or heard the word triggered used a handful of times in my life. My middle daughter has a knack for finding a word she likes and using it FOR everything. Triggered is one such word. This word comes out of her mouth numerous times a day in all kinds of different situations.
In my walk with Jesus I have found that the Lord often uses crazy things like a simple word to teach me something. Does this happen to anyone else?
So this word; triggered. In this context, I’m referring to anything that serves as a stimulus and initiates or precipitates a reaction. By that definition, I was triggered this week.
I have been studying the struggle between the flesh and the Spirit. My heart’s desire is to function more in the Spirit than in the flesh so I was soaking it all up. I took copious notes so I could spend more time pondering the fact that the flesh is my default mode of operation but I can daily choose to allow the Holy Spirit to change that default setting and empower me to live in victory. I get excited thinking about the fact that I was created by God to operate under the power of the Holy Spirit. But I’m also painfully aware that my fallen flesh is always present.
Galatians 5 gives a solemn look at what operating in the flesh looks like and I want NOTHING to do with it.
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.” Galatians 5:19-21
Doesn’t the world and particularly our society have enough of this? Aren’t we called as followers of Jesus to be a light in this very dark world? How can I be a light if I choose to function in the same way?
Praise Jesus, then God! While that may be my default mode of operation it doesn’t have to be WHO I am. When I make that daily choice allow the Holy Spirit to be my helper, He “produces this kind of fruit in (my life): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23
I know I often get overly excited…but, I LOVE THIS! Not only is that exactly who I want to be, but the amazing thing about walking with Jesus is the heavy lifting falls on him, not me.
In Romans, Paul talks about not understanding why he does the things he does. He has a desire to do one thing (Spirit things) but he ends up doing what he hates (flesh things.) He’s triggered. Man, I can relate to this! I do not have the power to make my flesh get in line, but I know who does: Jesus. It’s not a matter of willpower but His power in me. Thank you Jesus!
I love what Jimmy Evans says here in the 21 day Inner Healing Journey,
“To be emotionally healed and healthy we must understand the nature of our flesh and it’s negative potential in our lives everyday. Every morning when we wake up we must reject the default settings of living by our fallen nature and decide to walk by the Spirit. This occurs as we acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives, acknowledge our sin nature and ask for help both generally and specifically for each challenge we face.”
Are you wondering what all this has to do with being triggered? Well, almost as soon as I was done studying this flesh vs. Spirit thing I was challenged to put it into practice. Sadly, I failed because I was triggered. I desperately want to be a person who can respond in the Spirit all the time but my wounds got in the way and in that moment they fueled my flesh in the wrong way. It’s happens to the best of us.
Thankfully, it doesn’t happen nearly as often as it used to and I’m much more quick to recognize my failures. I have learned to acknowledge it, ask for help and move on. Seems simple enough, right? This time, yes! But that hasn’t always been the case. For me, it’s been a lengthy process of allowing the Lord to deal with my wounds so I don’t live in a constant state of being triggered. I believe it is a process that will continue until I get to heaven. The beauty here is that each time I fail, own it, ask for help and move on I inch a little closer to being like Jesus. And that is my ultimate goal!
Can you relate to Paul and myself? Do you find yourself doing the things you don’t want to do? Do you find yourself asking over and over for God to fix same things in you? Are you able to recognize your triggers? If so, you’re not alone!
I found this verse to be encouraging today. My prayer is that you will as well. The answer is the Power of Jesus in us!
“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17