“Triggers are only the flesh trying to convince you that you are weak–you are not….”
Pressure is pretty much unavoidable in this life so avoiding it is not really an option nor a sign of godly character, actually quite the opposite is true—it seems the more you care about others and doing right, being responsible and loving, the more apt you are to experience and feel pressure. And the more you are entrusted with, the more apt you are to feel pressure.
So then the question becomes—how do you respond to pressure? It’s how we handle that pressure? That becomes the important thing as far as our emotional and spiritual health goes; and that is what the Lord is watching and hoping we learn because if we are not exuding grace under pressure, we are probably not handling it right, and that can get us into big trouble.
There are many things that can trigger us. Trigger us to do stupid things–to sin.
Pressure can cause us to sin through anxiety or fear. ‘Oh my gosh! How am I going to get through this—survive this? What if I don’t? How could you leave me here to suffer and deal with this? Why God, why did you do this to me?’ That is a total lack of trust and faith and borders on blasphemy, blaming God for our troubles as though we deserve nothing but sunshine and roses.
God does not cause our troubles. Nine times out of ten it is a result of our own bad choices, somewhere along the line. And the rest of the time it is the result of someone else’s bad choices—maybe even all the way back to Adam and Eve whose bad choices brought sin, sickness and death into this world to start with.
Another way we can give way to sin under pressure, fail the trial, is by turning to harmful substances or behaviors to distract and “help us forget our troubles.”
Now there is the biggest lie we have ever told ourselves. Drinking, smoking, snorting or shooting, however you feed your mind numbing addictions, only make the troubles loom larger and seem more overwhelming as you dull or alter your ability to deal with or resolve those problems in a healthy constructive way. And that quickly creates a whole new set problems—more unneeded, totally avoidable, bad choice pressure.
Everyone forgets that alcohol is a depressant until they drink to forget their woes and turn into the saddest whiniest fool in the room.
And marijuana just makes you stupid as you forget everything, including your ambitions, goals, and where you left your car keys.
All the other drugs just make you forget what your car even looks like and how to drive it—but that’s okay because eventually you will not have a car, or a license, a job, or any dignity—but you will have a purpose in life—getting more of your drug of choice no matter what it takes. Addicts are the most dedicated people around, dedicated to self-destruction and avoiding all responsibility and pressure.
Anyway, backing up just a bit from sleeping in a carboard box surrounded by empty cans of Schlitz tall boys—the lie that gets us there, to that ‘nothing else matters anymore except getting my fix’ state, is much more subtle and starts small. It’s a little here, a little there as the flesh is a many deceitful thing left to its own accord.
‘A little was okay yesterday so more must be okay today, and I need this.’
Part of the deceit is that the things we claim to be doing to forget our pressures, are things the flesh is pushing us to do anyway, pressure or not. And this latest pressure we may be experiencing, whatever it is— there will always be something— is just a convenient excuse to indulge the flesh. And whenever we dull our senses, we open ourselves up to even greater sins.
The same goes for succumbing to lust, pressure is another excuse we use to indulge in things we know we ought not. I just need comfort, to relieve some stress, to be understood. This can lead to all kinds of unhealthy and grievous sin that only hurts our relationship with the Lord and damages our own souls.
So, you probably get the point by now—
Persevering under trial means not giving in to sin. Not giving in to temptation, not using it as an excuse or justification for sin, and not losing control of our emotions and lashing out to hurt others.
Grace under pressure, tapping into the power of grace under pressure, leaves us blessed—wiser and stronger—for the battles ahead.
We must allow the Lord room to work and give him the glory when he does—we are not in this, any of this, alone.
What do you do with pressure? Do you carry it alone thinking that you are alone, and you alone can fix it? Do you panic? Stick your head in the sand? Drug yourself until you are comfortably numb?
Or do you give it to God, seek him for wisdom and strength, and learn all that you can in the midst of it so you can be stronger and wiser the next time.
The answer is indicative of where you are in your walk with the Lord, your state of grace; whether you are walking the walk or just talking the talk, as James so poignantly challenges us with throughout his letter. God’s grace is fully available and accessible to all who trust in his Son. We must learn to trust in it and keep us in the fight growing and learning, don’t be deceived, you cannot be destroyed and God is not out to get you.
He loves you immensely and desires to bless, heal and equip you.
Triggers are only the flesh trying to convince you that you are weak–you are not, you are a warrior and a child of God.
Free your inner warrior today; Read Barbarians in the Kingdom