Temptation is scary business. It's that alluring thread that pulls us someplace we know we shouldn't
be heading, then knots us from in front and behind until we're stuck there. I don't like feeling stuck.
Ever. But somehow when we see those captivating cords -- no matter how many times we've ventured down that rabbit hole -- we seem not to draw the inevitable conclusion at the end of the thread...the
knot. Where our progress stops cold.Photo by Sebastian Bischof from Pexels My personal scripture study today reminded me of an experience about ten years ago when we picked up our son from the wilderness.
We drove three hours to the Middle of Nowhere (otherwise known as Loa, Utah) to retrieve our son from a behavior modification program. We underwent a half-day of therapy before we were reunited with our boy. And then participated in a day and a half of communication exercises and family therapy once we were reunited. Most of the kids there were trying to beat an addiction of some sort. One of the concepts that stuck with me was the acronym H A L T T.
They taught us that we are at our very weakest when we're in one of these states, the least able to resist temptation. And the best response is to stop. or HALT. (with a double T). Don't latch onto that flaxen cord when our defenses are down!
Today in my reading I noticed that when Christ was tempted, the scriptures also describe these weak
states, when the body wants to rule the mind.
King Benjamin prophesied of those suffering and temptations over 100 years before Christ was born:
And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; ... It would appear that managing our energy is a key to managing temptation.Examine your physical state and then HALTTAnd thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit ... asuffereth , and yieldeth not to the ,Strengthening our spirit to the point that it's in charge of our body—rather than the other way around—is one tactic the Savior used in order to stand his ground and "yield not" to temptation. we know how to strengthen our bodies (eat right, exercise), but how do we strengthen our spirits? (eat right --feasting on the word of God--and exercise faith through obedience, service and prayer.) The stronger our personal connection to our Father in Heaven the stronger our spirit will become.Matthew 4:1-11to strengthen himself and ward off temptation. Then was Jesus led ...[alone]...into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, hewas afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. (presents doubt of divine parentage, appeals to his bodily hunger) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Jesus quotes scriptureThen the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him [alone] on a pinnacle of the temple,(presents doubt of divine parentage, wants him to commit suicide, basically) And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (Jesus quotes scripture to strengthen himself and ward off temptation.) (Jesus quotes scripture to strengthen himself and ward off temptation.) Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, [remote place] and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. (Promises worldly power and glory in exchange for false worship.) Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.The clear takeaway from these passages is how important it is to manage our energy, be aware of how our bodily state can affect our spiritual state, and become adept at not just knowing but using and
living what we learn from the scriptures.
Question: What is tempting to you? How to you keep temptation at bay? What reminds you to HALT?