We've all attempted to fast. To abstain from "evil" foods, go on a diet, not watch these shows, or "really" Christian, give up technology altogether. I get it, we see fasting as giving up something in the modern Church era, and isn't that the whole point? To give up something not of necessity so we can be at a right standing with God?
Christians, I was stunned to realize that I had it all wrong. Fasting is so much more than just starving yourself or attempting to look like a good Christian. I pray that as we look into Isaiah 58, God would do a work on your hearts as He did with my own so very recently...
Entering GOD's Fast
In Isaiah 58:1, God calls His people to "Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins."
Wait, I thought we were honed in centrally to fasting, not bemoaning our sins? I love what a close brother in Christ brought out in one of our recent conversations, he said, "Can we truly have access without being made poor in Spirit?" He had it right.
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart--
These, O God, You will not despise."- Psalm 51:17
When you recognize who God is and how powerful and just He is in light of who you are, there is a great depth of magnitude that separates you from Him. But there's something about the realization of this, your lack, inadequacy to meet these standards, and brokenness over all of the evils you've committed. It's humbling and it's beautifully necessary, because these are the instances when the peace of God's presence through the Holy Spirit intertwine with His promise to comfort those who are mourning. Most of the time, it's because those, like many of us, finally see our need.
I think this really ties into the commandment in James 4:7-10:
"7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up."
Notice my beloved family, we have not yet even entered into the fast itself as much as we have entered into a sobriety at the realization of God's holiness and beauty.
"15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”'- 1Pet. 1:15-16
Don't forget that through Jesus, your identity in Him has made you Holy and beautiful as well. This manifests itself through living set apart lives for Him because He gave it all for us. Now, as slaves of righteousness, we are called, and desire to do the same.
I don't want you to forget the reality of the moment by moment war that is ever present in our hearts either. Passivity on this and not addressing these issues are critical mistakes Christians make because they let their hearts deter from the calling of God to Himself. DON'T MISS THIS!
Application: "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”- Matthew 26:41
We are commanded to ask God to fill us with His Spirit (Eph. 5:18), not to just abstain from evil acts. God has been showing me that to purge out the old leaven it's absolutely vital to constantly be asking His Spirit to fill you, and as He promised in Luke (11:13), God is willing to give you that Good Gift, which is to Know Him, walk with Him, and bask in His glory. That's the only reason we are set apart, Jesus, through the seal of Promise, the power of God in us, The Holy Spirit.
Remember, Christ Gives you strength to do all things (Phil. 4:13), repent and pursue Righteousness my Family.
SAVED BY GRACE, IN SEARCH OF THINGS WHICH LAST FOR ETERNITY, I DESIRE TO DELVE INTO DAILY LIFE AS WE LIVE TO EMULATE THE LOVE CHRIST PARDONED TO US AS HUMANITY AND GOD'S CHURCH.