A few months back my pastor quoted a very familiar scripture. We know it well when used in the context of turning our backs on God. Rejection of who God is in our life can be defined at various stages, situations or conditions. Let’s look…….
Jesus replied to Peter, “I can guarantee this truth: Before a rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you don’t know me.- Matthew 26:34
The story goes that Peter actually fulfilled that truth. What isn’t revealed was the different take on this scripture. It’s unlike anything I had ever heard taught before. Why did Jesus reference a rooster? Why didn’t he reference daylight or a specific person or event? There are amazing lessons in each word spoken by the divine Savior. Applicable lessons used thousands of years later! The sound of roosters crowing was an everyday occurrence in the life & times of Peter. Each time Peter heard a rooster crow, he immediately realized his denial. It goes even further than this. Peter was reconciled to Christ & became one of the most profound leaders in the revival of the New Testament church.
There is something even deeper than his reconciliation. As I pondered this teaching, I realized we all resonate with this. How do you think Peter felt when he heard the roosters crow thereafter? This was a daily reminder to Peter & would have been the perfect opportunity for guilt to eat away at his character & stand to serve Jesus. How many times have we been out of the will of God, reconciled back to Him & yet……something would immediately cause guilt, remorse, or shame? Those “somethings” are triggers & the enemy has recorded each & every one that pushes our buttons! I grew up on a small farm & had vicious roosters! The crowing was tolerable, but they had long, sharp spurs (talons) that could wreak terror!! Think about it! Does a certain smell, or lyrics to a song take you back to a time gone by? I know it can with me! I can hear the music from the late 70’s or early 80’s & suddenly transport to a dance floor! I can even remember conversations! I finally forgave Willie Nelson for being the typical male! Seriously! Can a phrase create a sudden lack of trust even though the phrase was spoken in a past life (divorce, past relationship, etc.) by someone long forgotten? I constantly & continually struggle with releasing a fear of commitment because of this. I said it! It’s out here in cyberspace now right? Triggers, like the mechanism of a gun, in a split second, can be vicious & change the very atmosphere in our minds becoming a catalyst spiraling to sway our decisions.
How do we counter these triggers? The best advice I can offer is to, first of all, know who you are RIGHT NOW. I am not the same person I was 20 years ago or even last week. I seek to grow, change & develop into who God wants me to be. This realization is empowering on many levels. Reminders of our past are perfect for triggers to arise & attempt to destroy us! You are not the same person you used to be & hopefully don’t live there anymore! But wait…..we can’t blame the enemy for some things, because we refuse to move on, let go, & refuse to live in the present. Do you know someone who has the same hairstyle they’ve had for years because they used to get complimented on it then? For the record…..Bald is beautiful guys! LOLOLOL! There are classic hairstyles ladies, but let’s face it……some have to go! Another person may refuse to become technologically advanced because of intimidation or lack of self-confidence? How about wearing the same perfume / cologne? We set up the perfect battlefield –our mind– & the fight becomes self-inflicted. It’s a comfort zone that can literally be a prison. I can’t imagine the constant state of turmoil many have by living this way. Please understand I’m not attacking / judging to be mean or degrading. This is a different dispensation of time & one slight adjustment could make all the difference in how we view ourselves. One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Corinthians 5:17. If any man be in Christ he is a new creature. Old things are passed away & behold all things have become new!! Learn from the past, but please don’t dwell there! Many, many years ago I had to look in the mirror & quote a mantra that, I must admit, was very painful to quote. I continued & to date, it is the easiest, most uplifting thing I do. YOU are amazing & once you take the time to know the real you, no one will ever be able to convince you otherwise.
The second & most vital piece of advice is to learn who you are in Christ. You are fearfully & wonderfully made, the apple of His eye, made in His image, His handiwork, His friend & the person He surrendered His life for. Each of those descriptions have scriptures attached & committing them to memory will be your greatest shield of defense when a trigger happens. Instead of reacting to the trigger, respond with the living word. Anything spoken to you that is contrary to what the word of God says about you will soon dissipate. Don’t misinterpret that there will never be triggers, instead…..you will be more discerning & equipped to face them.
On another note, sometimes things are said that convict us of something we need to seriously work on. Know the difference & I believe we are strengthened when we put forth the effort to change the things we can.
You are beautiful, yet not defenseless When your “rooster” crows, pull the trigger back with confidence, conviction & clarity!