A Trip Wire is an opportunity to be shaken out of “Autopilot” long enough to stop and think about what is happening in your life. Then ask yourself these two questions: What is God’s intention for this trip wire? What am I going to do about it?
External Trip Wires:
- Communion – Examine yourself and know what you believe.
“For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:26-33)
- The Sabbath – Have a heart and attitude of worship.
“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God.” (Exodus 20:8-10)
“And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me.” (Jeremiah 32:40)
- Failure to reach a desired goal – What is God’s intention and my response?
“Look here, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.’ Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.” (Jas 4:13-16)
“If the Lord had not been on our side when our enemies attacked us, then they would have swallowed us alive in their furious anger against us; then the flood would have carried us away, the water would have covered us, the raging torrent would have drowned us.” (Psalm 124:1)
- Beginnings & Endings – Calendar Dates; weddings, divorce, births and death. What happened during this time frame, at this event?
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
“He told them: ‘If the sky is red in the evening, you say the weather will be good. But if the sky is red and gloomy in the morning, you say it is going to rain. You can tell what the weather will be like by looking at the sky. But you don’t understand what is happening now.’” (Matthew 16:2-3)
Internal Trip Wires:
- Anger – Why am I angry, what is God’s intention?
“Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.” (Ps 4:4)
“And ‘don’t sin by letting anger control you.’ Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)
- Discontentment – When you’re just not content about what is going on
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” (1 Timothy 6:6-8)
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
- Fear – Where is the source of this fear coming from?
“This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (1 Timothy 1:6-7)
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-38)
“Such love has no fear, because 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)
- Pain & Sickness – It’s a reminder we are only here for a time, so make the most of the time you have.
“The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone—as though we had never been here. But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him.” (Psalm 103:13-17)
“Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:14-16)
- Self-Justification – When you’re confronted, you justify your actions; you defend your position without knowing God’s intention. (1 John 1:8-9) (speck and log)
“Why, then, do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the log in your own eye? How dare you say to your brother, ‘Please, let me take that speck out of your eye,’ when you have a log in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5)
“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (I John 1:8-9)
- Hurt – When you’ve been offended or hurt, one thing to do is to seek out the one who has hurt you, and be reconciled.
“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” (Mark 11:25)
“So if you are about to place your gift on the altar and remember that someone is angry with you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. Make peace with that person, then come back and offer your gift to God.” (Matthew 5:23-24)
“Peter came up to the Lord and asked, ‘How many times should I forgive someone who does something wrong to me? Is seven times enough?’ Jesus answered: ‘Not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!’” (Matthew 18:21-22)