At Gateway Church in Austin, we continued our new series called Triggered.
The Four Messages in the Series:
Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
Message Notes from John Burke:
So we’ve been working through how we get Un-Triggered:
Spot the Symptoms Early
When fully triggered, your Amygdala hijacks your brain and floods you with adrenaline and hormones –doesn’t care about relationship, just protecting you, fight or flight, so it’s too late to relate.
When you feel intense emotion, your face muscles start to tense up, your heart starts beating faster, your mind is racing to defend you…
STOP – De-escalate, Re-engage the Rational Brain
You need 20 minutes to De-escalate and let the hormones dissipate from your hijacked brain.
Ask “What’s going on inside of me” or “What’s going on between us?”
Just observe facts—this re-engages your higher functioning brain that cares about relationship.
But this doesn’t get at the roots of what’s Triggering you. So today, let’s dive deeper into how you:
Search for Lies, Agreements, and God’s 3rd Story perspective
Let God Heal the Wound because Triggers are sure signs there’s something unhealed that God wants to heal in you.
Jesus said in John 10:10:
“The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, Jesus came to bring abundant, overflowing life.”
But Here’s how evil works to steal, kill, and destroy.
Evil propagates through unhealed wounds, lies or agreements, and triggered reactions.
Evil hurts us, then lies to us about God’s intentions, or tricks us into taking our own paths to protect ourselves, or get Core Needs met against God’s ways, and we become pawns used to spread hurt and evil.
Most of us don’t choose to spread evil. We believe lies because our unhealed wounds made us vulnerable to them.
But God is overcoming Evil in and through us—if we let him in.
When beginning his public ministry, Jesus stood up and read a passage written by Isaiah 700 years earlier about the Messiah, God’s self-revelation foretold:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…” Isaiah 61:1-2
It’s interesting, the next line is about God’s day of Judgment, the Day when he will bring justice. The day when all evil like sexual abuse, all the hidden evils never brought to justice will be brought to justice and paid for.
God is for you, he’s not against you.
Jesus was proclaiming that Now is the time of God’s Favor!
God came to deliver every willing person from this cycle of evil we get swept up into—hurt people hurting people.
And notice—Jesus came not only to proclaim good news about forgiveness, but to bind up the brokenhearted, and set captives free.
If we are reacting to old wounds and lies—we are not free—we are slaves to the past and to the evil choices of others.
But Jesus promises to set us free. How?
We let God into the painful emotional memory to heal it.
If you’ve had severe trauma—it can be terrifying to go there (which is a sign it’s still raw, painful, unhealed). But you’re not going alone—God goes with you to heal it so evil’s past wrong doesn’t still affect you today.
This is where a Restore/Recovery group at Gateway and a trusted Christian counselor can really help.
Jesus came to give us life, overflowing, abundant, love joy and peace—but we have to accept his forgiveness for the wrongs we’ve done, and we have to follow His lead in order to experience His life in our Spirit.
Forgiving others is critical to allowing God to heal our wounds from the past.
But there’s one more thing I had to do to maintain that health—I had to break agreements I had made. What is an agreement? It’s any place where a lie has been suggested, and we’ve agreed with it. Jesus told us the evil one works is through the power of lies:
“He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44
But YOU can say NO More! Jesus died to bind up the brokenhearted, to heal our wounds, and with Jesus help, I’m breaking this chain of events.
Search for Lies, Agreements, and God’s 3rd Story perspective
So here’s what I did…
1). Write down agreements.
I Listed agreements that I may have believed (or still believe). It’s not that easy to discern agreements because you’ve been deceived so you may need to get a few spiritually mature friends who know the Bible well. They know what God says is true. Bounce off of them some of the beliefs guiding your actions. I did this with a Volunteer Leader and some close Pastor friends who are my Spiritual Running Partners.
See, God’s Word promises that He wants to lead you into life, freedom, joy, peace, hope, trust, love.
So any thoughts trying to set against these things is probably NOT from God.
So I took inventory on some of statements going through my head that kept moving back into a victim mentality.
So once I rejected what God said was true, and started agreeing with lies, it was open season–I could be manipulated by evil.
The antidote to lies is the truth!
The Scriptures and other followers of Jesus can help us know the Truth when we are believing in the lies.
A verse I memorized as a new follower of Jesus has always been one I go back to:
“I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:9-10
So this is what He had said was Truth,
God tried to tell me “I have chosen you, I have not rejected you.” But my unhealed wounds made the lie feel like the truth.
God said, “Do not be dismayed, I am your God.” But dismay covered me like a wet, smelly blanket because I felt so opposed, like I was trying to build a house in a hurricane, all my efforts seemed in vain. I lost hope.
Pretty soon, any little bit of opposition, resistance, or bad news—I’d Trigger– sink in dismay, “why bother?” I’d give up.
So what do you do?
You first write down what you hear in your head:
- “I can’t ever win so why try?”
- “I’m worthless.”
- “I’ll never be loved.”
- “I’ll never succeed.”
- “I’m uniquely evil.”
- “My soul is dirty.”
- “God is disgusted with me.”
- “God has given up on me.”
- “I’ve failed too many times.”
- “I can’t stop.”
- “I’m a victim”
- “I’m weak, unable”
- “I can’t be wrong.”
- “I don’t need anyone.”
Thinking too lowly or too highly of yourself – in both case you are thinking too much about yourself!
These are all lies—if you think they’re true—you’ve agreed with evil. So you must break those agreements. So first, write down the lies, the agreements, then…
2). Write down God’s truth.
Jesus said, “God’s Truth is the antibody to the lie.”
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
If you want to be free—First, you must believe, or trust in Jesus. To the Jews who had believed him he said this. Why is that important?
Because of who Jesus is:
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him…his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed [trusted] in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:9-13
God can’t lead you if you don’t want God in your life.
God is love, and love doesn’t force you to love back, love is built on trust.
For 1000s of years prior to Jesus, God told us He would enter the world—He foretold the time, the place, the what, how, and why—and it happened in real, verifiable history. Jesus was man with an address in History (I’ve done many messages on this). Like Isaiah foretold why He would come 700 years in advance—Jesus read his mission—Isaiah also foretold Jesus crucifixion:
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. Isaiah 53:5-6, 680 B.C.
See, evil hurts people and turns them into pawns to hurt us. But no one is fully innocent. We all turn from God, believe these lies, and go our own way—hurting ourselves or others.
But Jesus died to pay for all our wrongs, for all humanities wrongs. So that you can KNOW you are forgiven, adopted as God’s son or daughter, more loved than you can imagine. That relationship will never end—God will never leave you or forsake you. But you must choose God.
That’s what we are celebrating today with Baptism. All it takes to be made right with God is a simple act of trust, one prayer saying:
“God, I want what Jesus did to count for me. Forgive me, and come lead and guide me.”
God says He grieves the evils done to you, but also the evils you and I have done.
But He paid the price we owed in Jesus’ death on the cross. If you receive it, believe, trust what God’s done and let him into your life, you will be adopted as God’s child forever.
You can pray and make that decision today—leave here knowing you’re right with the Creator of the Universe—forever.
Baptism is the outward proclamation of that unseen faith and trust. Jesus told us to be baptized as a first act of our love for God.
When you go down in the water you’re saying “Jesus died was buried for my sins, it should have been me. When you come up you’re declaring—I trust God’s power that raised Jesus to life and has washed me clean and given me new life. I want to invite you to make that decision today if you never have or if it was a decision made for you. Being baptized as your own choice is a fulfillment of your parents’ hope for you if they were the ones who had you baptized.
We’ll give you towels to take home—don’t let anything stop you if God’s tugging on your heart.
Here’s why that sets us free—To those who believe—he said now HOLD ONTO my teachings, abide, soak your minds in them until you’re living them in a full overflowing way of life, then you will know the truth and it will set you free.
So like little children in a loving, safe home, we are loved and can let God grow us up spiritually to live in God’s truth (his 3rd story, Capital “T” truth that makes sense of all our stories and little ‘t’ truths).
So look at the list of common things you say to yourself or hear in your head—that you wrote down—and ask, What does God say is true about this?
Use www.Biblegateway.com to search, or here’s where Life Groups –can help you really know what God says and how to grow up in it. You don’t have know anything, but you have to be willing to grow.
Often Agreements are accusations, condemnations, fear-motivated thoughts, self-protective thoughts.
These are NOT from God. Write down what God says is true—if you wrote worried, fearful, self-protective thoughts, 1 John 4 says
“perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” 1 John 4:18
So next to the lie you’ve agreed with—write down the truth serum according to God.
3). Renounce the lie.
Tell God out loud that you renounce this lie (say what it is), and you agree with His truth (say what He says). There’s something powerful about verbally renouncing these lies outloud, and breaking those agreements.
4). Make a list of Daily Beliefs.
You maintain health by abiding/soaking in the truth. Going over these daily beliefs that are God’s truth helps you fight off those old lies—that keeps you spiritually healthy and joyful.
Next week talk about how this plus walking with God’s Spirit gives new habits, new auto-responses to produce more and more love, joy, peace, patience, self-control.