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? Isaiah 58:5
If you don’t pray, you don’t stay.
You won’t last if you don’t fast.
Fasting humbles the soul, and subject the flesh. Have you ever fasted until you lost weight? Have you ever fasted thinking you would get something from God? Or that you would earn His presence, grace or favor by doing so?
God doesn’t call us to sacrifice, He calls us to obedience. Even though we fast, and say that we are doing it for God we have to know that our carnal nature, is a deceiver as is our heart. Sometimes the flesh wants you to stand out, and give yourself props for carrying out a hard or challenging tasks- so some people’s ego gets fed through fasting. There are other people who fast because they are always in some kind of spiritual battle, and this is okay, if you are really being edified or gaining spiritual strength from it- not if it’s making you a fanatic. The bible says God gives grace to the humble, not to the fasting. Some of the benefits of fasting are deliverance from pride, soul ties, spiritual ties and carnal ties.
- Pride: arrogance rebellion independence stubbornness depend on your own strength and intelligence. Legalism, thinking you can earn heaven or God’s love by keeping the law.
- Soul ties: Emotional and Mental attachment to things and people
- Carnal ties: Addictions like sexual vices, substance use, works of the flesh (Galatians 5:18-19), sins like anger, lust, cheating, stealing etc., in our hearts
- Spiritual ties: Generational curses, idolatry, spiritual works done against you, demonic oppression and possession, astrology, omens, witchcraft, spoken vows
God has standards for us to offer a sacrifice of fasting.
In secret: Jesus said when you fast, do not look to get credit for fasting and do not walk around gloomy as if you are fasting. (Matthew 6:16-18)
With Humility: if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
With a repented heart: Coming to God with an indifferent attitude, we must show God a sense of desire in our grief and urgency! “Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Joel 2:12-13
If you read Isaiah 58:7-14 with me we can pinpoint exactly why God wants us to fast and how:
- to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
- Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter; when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
- Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
- Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
- “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
- and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
- The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
- Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
- “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
- then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
Father God, may your grace and mercy keep us as we reflect on your word. Forgive us if knowingly or even unknowingly, we have done a whatever type fast or a manipulative, self efficient fast. May your spirit helps us each day, and during each fast to abide to your word. Forgive us for pointing fingers and thinking you are pleased with our fasting, or if we walk past the heartbroken, the oppressed, the hungry or the bound and do nothing for your glory. Forgive us Lord, and help us by your strength and power. In the name that is above all names, Jesus, Amen.
There are no crown-wearers in heaven who were not cross-bearers here below.