So many have the wrong impression concerning fasting. And I’ve heard a dozen times over all of the excuses why a person can’t fast, just as I keep hearing the excuses and rationalizations why they can’t tithe either, and it’s usually the same people; go figure ….
Fasting isn’t done to impress God or prove how holy or righteous that you are. It isn’t even about you. My interpretation is that it is for another, especially if in intercession for someone else’s needs. I fast for deeper revelation of God’s Word. I fast for the Lord’s divine intervention and intercession for anothers soul or need. I fast from many things besides just food; from denying myself TV, to even a fast from FB …..
Fasting isn’t about food at all. It’s about denying yourself and sacrificing for another. We should be fasting to touch God in a closer connection. Nothing in life is worth anything if it doesn’t cost you something. And when you give up anything that brings you pleasure: you’re telling yourself, your flesh that God’s will is more important, and that costs you something. Let’s look at how Isaiah states it:
“Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid. Tell my people Israel of their sins! Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me. ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’ “I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers. What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord ? “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. 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. “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.”
Did you see any mention of fasting from food in that? The only thing I saw was we are to share our food with the hungry. Are you feeding the homeless? Are you helping to provide for their needs? Are you sharing any clothing to help them stay warm?
Or are you warm and snugly ensconced in front of your TV watching Christmas movies, filling up on pie while your unsaved families and friends go about their merry way; while a homeless person huddles behind a dumpster trying to stay warm, wishing for just a piece of pie?
I am not about guilt-tripping you here. I simply want people to read their bibles to rightly divide the Word. To understand that now is a perfect time, the perfect season to instigate a fast that will consider the needs of others. Pray fervently for your unsaved loved ones, for all of the lost souls. We all need to improve in this area, myself included. Ready yourselves, for the Lord is returning for us soon; and He is looking for a faithful people. May we all be mindful this week of those less fortunate, for there but for the grace of God, go I …..