Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fast Change

Autumn 70, and some


In Isaiah 58, we read the Israelites demand to God as they fast.

'We have fasted before you?' they say. 'Why aren't you impressed? We have done much penance, and you don't even notice it' (verse 3)

God's reaction:
"I will tell you why! It's because you are living for yourselves even while you are fasting. You keep right on oppressing your workers.(v.3) you humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like a blade of grass in the wind. you dress in sackcloth and cover yourselves with ashes. It this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord? (v.5)

What do you call fasting?

We read lots of Bible verses that speak about the duty and benefits for every believer to fast. Today, I would like to focus primarily on what the Lord speaks to us in Isaiah 58.

In this passage, we read of people fasting, expecting to receive from God, and yet receiving nothing. Why? Because fasting is not just about refraining from eating for a period of time. Fasting must include action.

Action to what?
To change.
Fasting should include the abstinance of eating food, prayer, and actions of change.

God rebuked the Israelites for remaining the same while they fasted. He answers why He doesn't take notice of their fasts,

What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. (v.4)

It is impossible to reap the benefits (and there are many wonderful ones) from fasting if we refuse to change.

Let us consider fasting purposefully.

For example, let's say that you struggle with gossiping. You purpose in your heart to fast and pray to seek the Lord's help. So you go off to work or stay at home and think, "I am fasting so I will just keep my mouth shut and limit my conversations." Here there is no action. Instead, why not think, "I am fasting so I will open my mouth and proclaim words of life about others instead of gossiping about them." Do you see the difference?

Next time you fast, I suggest to declare a purpose for your fast. Then take Biblical action during the fast.

God clearly told the Israelites what kind of fast He wanted in verses 6 and 7. Once the Israelites were willing to do these things look at the blessings they would receive

"If you do these things, your salvation will come like the dawn. yes, your healing will come quickly. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the LORD will answer. 'Yes, I am here,' he will quickly reply. (v.8,9)

Are you tired of routines and going through the motions? Well, then fast purposefully with a will to action. You will see the results, the changes.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this revelation from the Spirit! This opens up a new way to look at fasting. Fasting with a purpose will put a determination in us to see a change and a specific area in our lives.

    Praise God!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The fast that the Lord chooses is with the intent to break the chains of wickedness, to untie the ropes of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and to tear off every yoke.

    Chains of captivity will be broken with prayer an fasting in the name of Jesus!

    ReplyDelete

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14