“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 loose 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: “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,” Isaiah 58:9.
When and why do you fast? Generally, those in the medical field tells us fasting has major health benefits so we see people make decisions to engage in intermittent fasting for health improvement. Asides those, many religions participate in fasting at different times of the year and we know so because at this period, there is a change in the atmosphere. People spend a lot of time praying and become more generous. As Christians, we see Catholics , Methodist, Anglican, and the orthodox denominations engage in a Friday fasting which excerpts them from the consumption of certain types of food. Many Christians’ join in corporate fasting or lent according to the Christian calendar but with all these variations of fasting, what’s your personal reason for fasting?
The bible teaches various things, and I should say everything about life including what’s acceptable to God most times we allow our emotions override the truth in the word of God after listening to the enticing words of men. The bible tells us about a time when the father of a mute boy came to Jesus because his disciples could not heal his son, when Jesus was done healing the boy, His disciples asked him why it was impossible for them to have carried out the healing, then Jesus responded, “So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:29.
Now when I first saw that and until the holy spirit gave me understanding, I assumed the abstinence from food and spending time praying is what Jesus was talking about but when I meditated on the verses from Isaiah today, I realised that fasting isn’t business as usual.
Fasting for a Christian is not the absence of food and or drink with the opportunity to make demands from God but a complete overhaul of the spiritual man. We fast but that it as normal , yes, we pray but our attitude towards life remains the same, we leave the poor to die in hunger and take advantage of those around us. We fast and continue to exploit people around us and hold grudges even engage in fights. All these during the fasting period! Sometimes you even see Christians who are actively involved in malice while fasting and yet we wonder why nothing shifts?
When Jesus talks about fasting that’s powerful enough to deal with special kinds, He means a life focused on God and ready to do His will and go His way, all the time. The fasting that means God is at the centre of it all is the kind that causes a release from the throne of Heavens.
When we fast intentionally to glorify God, then we will be alert to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and When God is glorified , we are blessed like Nehemiah in Nehemiah 1:4.
Whiles Jesus may have fasted frequently, the bible made one reference to His fasting on those 40 days before his temptation but what we know is that Jesus spent His time on earth caring, teaching, loving, feeding, helping , empowering, defending and walking with God.
- Father, I thank you for the grace to be connected to you
- I thank you for your love and the power of your resurrection
- I thank you for the HolySpirit and for the grace to wait on you
- The ability to genuinely fast, pray, look unto you and trust totally, I receive IJMN
- Help me to believe strongly in word, consecrated to you, obey you verbatim and live for you
- Help me Lord to rise above adversity and be victorious on all sides
- Thank you for going ahead, Father, I am grateful for all!
- Forgive me of my sins Lord and let me live a life worthy of your use, AMEN!