“Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’ “In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exploit all your laborers. Indeed, you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, to make your voice heard on high. Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the LORD? “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To lose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?”
Memory verse: “Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” Joel 2:12
Growing up at a very young age we were taught the fundamentals of fasting and prayers but in a very different way from what seem to be happening in most places in the world today. As a child, though fasting was not imposed, we started to understand that fasting was more spiritual than physical and not just a time for deprivation but a time where we draw closer to God through His word with the aim to get strengthened spiritually. The icing on the cake was the feast during those period as mum made special arrangements for cooking in larger scales for not just the family but everyone who was in need.
Fasting seem to have changed a lot and we see people remodel it from time to time to a point where the new generation don’t even have a good understanding of why they fast anymore. A Christian today may just fast as a religious activity and carry on with Malice, backbiting, bitterness, greed, evil speaking, unforgiveness, jealousy and the rest alike but they are not eating. Is that really considered spiritual fasting?
In Isaiah 58:3, we see the Pharisees questioning God because they put themselves through hunger strike and assumed they were fasting to the Lord but God couldn’t be mocked so He responded in Isaiah 58:3-7 and educated them on the benefits in Isaiah 58:8-14.
When fasting, it’s good to have an understanding why we are fasting and most importantly, be ready to understand that we are positioned at such times to hear God’s instruction clearly and obey them while consciously working and walking with the Holyspirit to produce the fruits of the spirit as seen in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
True fasting is turning away from everything that pleases the world and turning towards everything that pleases God. Examine yourself today and answer the question, Am I fasting the fast the Lord has chosen or I’m I just seeing it as a way of life and an activity?
- Father I thank you for your goodness and blessing experienced every day
- Thank you for being a good father, one I can deliberate with and fully trust in
- Help me Lord not to try reason you out, but surrender all occurrences in life to you and believe that you have it all under control and are able to change all circumstances for good
- Help me to wait upon you in spirit and in truth, getting instructions and directions from heaven and walking solely with the Holyspirit while I fast and pray
- Forgive me Lord of all my iniquities, bless me abundantly and make me a blessing unto others, in Jesus mighty name I pray, Amen