I love brainstorming. I was wired to be a strategic planner. I love thinking about a big event, a project or an initiative, and thinking through how we can make it successful. You can get me in a brainstorming meeting and I will go for days.
However, what I have come to discover, and continually need to remind myself, is that I can’t control everything. Maybe I can control finances and how much money is spent on a specific event, but I can’t control whether or not that money is well spent, whether it makes much of an impact or not. Maybe I can control what to do and when, but I can’t control how an event is attended or perceived.
I can try to control my family, but if my spouse wants to leave me, I don’t have control over that situation. When a parent walks away from a family and the kids don’t have a mother or father at home, the children have no control over that situation. If a medical condition takes over a loved one, they have no control over that situation.
Only God is in control.
We don’t have control over life because life has people, and people make decisions, and those decisions impact others whether they are good or bad. We live in a fallen world, and 2020 may have made that fact more apparent than ever. No person is as “in control” as they think they are.
Yet, the enemy wants us to believe we can be in control, and the more we’re in control the more things will be OK. And many of us believe this lie. We try to control more and more, yet grow more and more angry or frustrated when we lose control.
Often, we lose control because we get triggered. Something happens that triggers a negative emotion in us, and a trigger is almost always rooted in control. We believe that control is the key to life, and we won’t even be triggered if we can just be in control.
But let me tell you the truth: Control won’t get you to the goal. Only trust will lead you to triumph.
When we’re triggered, we need to see it as an invitation to trust the Lord. It’s an opportunity for internal healing and breakthrough. We can stay stuck in our pain, or we can seek God for healing. When a trigger sets us off, we can turn and run away from God, or we can turn to Him and seek His healing.
The enemy loves to bring external things into our life that set off emotions inside us. We could be having a great day, but all of a sudden, something happens that just sets off something inside — anxiety, fear, anger, jealousy. It could be a place, a person, a song, an expression, a phrase, a smell. All of a sudden, our day or week or month or season is ruined.
These triggers can affect us in multiple ways. We’re often impacted emotionally, as I just mentioned, with anxiety, fear, anger, jealousy, depression or discouragement. We can also be impacted physically — headaches, sleeplessness, loss of appetite. And further, we can be impacted spiritually if we run away from the Lord instead of running to Him.
We can try to deny the trigger, but that’s just not being honest with ourselves. This often leads us to self-medicate through things like drinking or drugs or overeating or excessive spending.
What we need to do is slow down the fears that set us off. We need to realize God is with us in the battle, and we can trust Him.
“He shall say: ‘Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.'” — Deuteronomy 20:3-4 (NIV)
When you feel triggered, stop and ask God to reveal what took place to set off that negative emotion in you. Then acknowledge the emotion and give it to God. Tell Him it’s an emotion you don’t want to feel, and ask Him to change your heart.
Also know that Thrive Church is here for you. If you need prayer or assistance, please feel free to contact us
and we will do everything we can to help.Most importantly, though, rest in the fact that God is for you, not against you, in whatever battles you may be facing. He promises that we will see trials and tribulations in this life, and He also promises that He will walk with us through those valleys. When we seek His guidance, our faith in Him strengthens as He equips us to endure the battles.
Remember: We’re not in control, God is. And your trust in Him will lead you to triumph.