In my previous blog, I wrote about “Why Does Fasting Work.” Fasting is not an archaic religious exercise but a dynamic discipline that has supernatural results.
In Isaiah 58 God speaks through the prophet Isaiah to get the attention of the Israelites. They question whether or not God is paying attention and has seen their fasting, observed their humility, or heard their prayers. The people are certain they have “dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s” spiritually, yet God has not responded to them.
When it appears that you are doing everything you should be doing but God is not responding as you think He should, that would be a good time to examine yourself. God does not change and will honor every promise He has made. Remember, motive matters. God is as interested in our heart condition as He is in resolving our situation.
I have learned that if you have to tell someone how humble you are, you’re not humble. God is not disturbed by our questions or challenges, but He will take the time to spell out the details we forgot to mention.
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. 4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. Isaiah 58:3b-4
The people had form without function. They were going through all the motions but lacked a heart after God. Going through the motions of Christianity without transformation is hypocrisy. Our piety is in question when our treatment of others is questionable. As the Israelites fasted and observed the Sabbath they would put their workers to work to make up for the time they could not work because of their religious responsibilities.
If our fast is not transforming how we treat others then we are doing nothing more than starving ourselves. In Isaiah 58:5 God informs them of the type of fast He will respond to. It begins with humility. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but to think of yourself less,” C.S. Lewis.
Jesus was the most humble person around but by no means was He a “push-over.” He was quick to stand up to those who would use titles and positions to manipulate others. Yet, Jesus would not hesitate to humble himself to serve another person.
We are imperfect people. If you think otherwise, ask your siblings who have amassed a list to validate your imperfection. We have a tendency to get bent out of shape and fall back into routines and habits that are counterproductive to godly living. Fasting will calibrate us with the heart of God and center us back to right living.
Fasting is a discipline that produces results. God’s intention when we fast and pray is, “to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?”
Fasting is for you and me today and is a necessary discipline in our life for spiritual renewal and breakthrough. Fasting adds life to our routines that become form without function. Let’s commit to life-transforming fasting and see God do the impossible!