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 Fasting that pleases God

Isaiah 58

1“Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins.

2 Yet they seek Me daily,
And delight to know My ways,
As a nation that did righteousness,
And did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
They ask of Me the ordinances of justice;
They take delight in approaching God.

3 ‘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.

4 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.

5 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?

6 “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?

7 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?

8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

9 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,

10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.

11 The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

12 Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.

13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the Lord honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,

14 Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

 2017/7/19 11:54

Joined: 2017/1/10
Posts: 9
Woodburn, OR

 Re: Fasting that pleases God

Thank you. Fasting is more than offering God some cheap scraps and then doing as we please with the rest.
The first several times I "fasted" I was somewhat jaded in that I experienced little to no spiritual benefit or breakthrough. I didn't eat food, but ate the same media, thoughts, time wasters, etc.
It wasn't until fasting became "more" all-encompassing, like the Scripture indicates above, that I began to hear, "hear am I" from the LORD.


 2017/7/20 15:24Profile

Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2736
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: Fasting that pleases God

Here's some notes I took from a study on Isaiah 58;

1)Improper reasons for fasting

•Fasting just to get God's attention (v. 3a)

•Fasting without focusing on the Lord, fasting had become a mere physical exercise with no affliction of soul or seeking after God.(v.3b)

•Fasting without accompanying humility of heart. Fasting is not a way of impressing God, it is a way to humble ourselves before Him.(v.4)

•Fasting for a brief external show of religion. Israel fasted merely for outward show.(v. 5)

2) Proper reasons for fasting

•To bring liberation from the bonds of wickedness and to set the oppressed free. Fasting prepares our hearts to hear what God has to say about issues in our life where we need victory.(v.6)

•To relieve us of heavy burdens, replacing our burdens of every-day life with His burdens.(v.6)(see Matthew 11:28-30)

•To increase our sensitivity towards the needs of others, remember not to stay focused on self, but love one another as Jesus loves you.(v. 7)

•To invest ourselves into our physical and spiritual families, becoming more responsive to the needs of brothers and sisters, husbands and wives.(v.7)

3)God's promises to those who fast

•Insight and understanding(v.8). God will give wisdom to solve problems and behave with discretion. (see Jeremiah 33:3)

•Positive changes in physical well-being (v.8)

•A deep sense of what is right (v.8 "your righteousness will go before you")

•A sense of immediate access to God in your prayer life(v.9). We do not pray to get God's attention we pray because we have His attention. Sometimes the world and sin can disrupt our fellowship with God, Setting aside time to pray and fast can bring us face to face with whatever has crept into our lives.(see Psalm 66:18 and 1John 1:9)

•Release from spiritual oppression (v.10) and a return to being strengthened by the joy of the Lord.

•Moment by moment guidance from the Lord (v.11). Prayer and fasting will heighten our awareness of God's presence and guidance.

•Peace through difficult times (v.11)

Ron Halverson

 2017/7/20 19:55Profile

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