Beware of Being H.A.L.T.S.
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. — Matthew 26:41
Scripture tells us that Jesus faced the same temptations we experience, yet He did not sin. God’s Word also informs us that with every temptation, God provides a way of escape. These reminders are encouraging and motivating when things are going well, so why am I so weak in the moment? I’m assuming you know what I’m talking about. It’s frustrating to be weak and do the very sin I want to resist. The Apostle Paul wrote about how he relates to this struggle and everyday battle in chapter seven of his letter to the Romans.
So what’s a Christian to do? Are there any practical tips or warning signs to be better prepared to fight and win in the battle against our enemy? Here’s a recommendation: Beware of being in a state of H.A.L.T.S. And what exactly does this stand for? Let me explain.
H.A.L.T.S. is an acronym for five moments when you are probably the weakest and most vulnerable to fall prey to temptation. Let’s take a quick look at each.
HUNGRY — Our bodies truly are fearfully and wonderfully made. They maintain a constant body temperature, they work to keep a balanced level of sugar in your bloodstream, and so much more. But it is possible to be so hungry that your biochemistry gets out of whack. This can prevent your brain from functioning as well as it does on a full stomach. In these moments you are susceptible to falling into sin. I’m sure you know this feeling.
ANGRY — You should never make important decisions when angry. And for what it’s worth, being hungry and angry is a bad combination. You’ve seen the commercials where a Snickers candy bar is the supposed solution for the person who’s “hangry.” When angry, you are prone to do or say something you will regret later. So beware.
LONELY — When you are lonely, it’s easy to skip the accountability you so desperately need. You start thinking that no one will know. Of course, that is a lie straight from the pit of hell. Your sins will most assuredly find you out. If you can’t have someone with you to help keep you on the straight and narrow, then do whatever is within your power to not be in a state of loneliness. That is when you are more likely to be weak and vulnerable, especially when compared to being in the company of family or friends.
TIRED — Most likely, you have a full and busy life. And sometimes you just want to fall into bed and call it a day. Sleeping it off may be the best thing for you. Plus it’s hard to sin when you are in a state of deep sleep! The problem comes when you try to force yourself to have a second wind and push the limits of what your body is meant to do. God called us to remember the Sabbath Day because we can’t do it all. He can, but you can’t. So stop trying. When you are exhausted, you are much less productive in your work anyway. Get some rest and start the new day God provides in a renewed state of refreshment.
STRESSED — It’s one thing to be concerned. It’s quite another to be worried or stressed about how things will turn out. God instructs us to not be anxious for tomorrow. He’s got it. He takes care of the birds, and you are worth so much more to Him. Your job is to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and He’ll take care of everything that you are stressed about. I’m not saying this is easy to do, but relying on God instead of yourself should substantially reduce your stress level and thereby make you alert and ready to submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:7).
Dear Father in Heaven,
I know I live in a fallen world surrounded by sin and temptations. I want to submit my life to You. I want to resist the devil and all the temptations he throws my way. I want to be aware of my fallen nature, but live by the Spirit and enjoy my new life in Christ. Help me to be mindful of times when I am hungry, angry, lonely, tired, or stressed so that I can take the way out that You have provided. And may You receive glory and honor in everything that I do, think, and say.
In Jesus’s name. Amen.
Walking by faith and enjoying the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime!
Davis is the president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation-based science and Bible curriculum. He is the author of five illustrated children’s books designed to help parents instill a biblical worldview in the hearts and minds of their preschoolers. He believes that if there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now! You can hear more of what he has to say at the Let’s Talk Homeschool Podcast.
© 2022 Davis Carman