by Pastor Mark Jordan

“We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5, MSG)

What impulses, loose thoughts, rampant emotions, and mental deceptions seem to leave you feeling scattered? I know there are times when I feel disciplined and able to make good, sound decisions. There are other times I am guilty of being driven simply by my impulses and emotions, and it is hard — if not practically impossible — to behave the way God wants me to. When those times come, I know need to H.A.L.T. 

H.A.L.T. is an acronym that points to four common causes of impulse behavior: hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness. The genius of H.A.L.T. is it reminds us of several things at the same time: to halt before we act out, and reconnect with the divine; to tend to our physical and emotional well-being — not just go running around on fumes without eating and sleeping; and that these feelings lose their power over us once we see them for what they are and let go of our attachment to them. 

God gave you some powerful tools to help you beyond a plethora of healthy food options and the ability to sleep. God gave his holy word to point you to his truth (Jesus!). God gave you prayer, so you can connect with him. God gave you the ability to worship, to magnify his presence in your life, making everything else pale in comparison. God gives you the church, or a community to connect with so you don’t feel alone. God also gives you his grace for the times you don’t halt, and end up being controlled by your impulses, loose thoughts, rampant emotions, and mental deceptions. 

Next time you feel yourself losing control, halt. Check yourself to see if you’re hungry, angry, lonely, and/or tired. Take care of your physical needs. Connect with God and someone you trust. God gave you some powerful tools to do this hard work. Use them.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the powerful tools you give me to deal with the struggles I face in life. Forgive me for the times I allow myself to be driven by things that aren’t of you. Help me to halt when necessary so I can connect with you and those who want what’s best for me. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.