Soul Revival: A 40 Days' Journey to the Feet of Christ

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 23 Fasting

Day 23


“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
(Matthew 6:16-18)

Fasting is the 15th pillar

Fasting is the 15th pillar that holds the temple of Truth!

Beloved, fasting is going without food, and often without drink as well, for a period of time and for a stated purpose.  Fasting is an act of worship, a sacrifice we offer to God for our own benefit.  It is a way of saying to God that we are serious about whatever we are asking, whether it is for forgiveness, deliverance, healing, or anything that you desire so much and for which you need God’s divine intervention!

But this privilege of fasting must not be abused and it must be done in a Biblical manner.  Fasting must not be done for selfish ambitions, nor done recklessly, nor for disputing among men about who is fasting more often or who is fasting longer.  Fasting must be done God’s way.  God rebuked the Jews because of their continual offering of sacrifices and prayers to Him without repentance, and He refused to accept their sacrifices and prayers, though they offered many:


“’To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?’   
Says the LORD.
      ‘I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
      And the fat of fed cattle.

      I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
      Or of lambs or goats.
      “When you come to appear before Me,
      Who has required this from your hand,
      To trample My courts?
        Bring no more futile sacrifices;
      Incense is an abomination to Me.
     The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies—
      I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
        Your New Moons and your appointed feasts
      My soul hates;
      They are a trouble to Me,
      I am weary of bearing them.
       When you spread out your hands,
      I will hide My eyes from you;
      Even though you make many prayers,
      I will not hear.
      Your hands are full of blood.’”  (Isaiah 1:11-15)

My dear beloved, sacrifices can in fact become an abomination to God.  The Jews wanted to continue to offer sacrifices and prayers to God, but they wanted to do so while in their sins.  Even so, they expected God to accept their sacrifices and answer their prayers, but God told them:

“When you spread out your hands,
      I will hide My eyes from you;
      Even though you make many prayers,
      I will not hear.
      Your hands are full of blood.”  (Isaiah 1:15)

Even so with us Christians:  we want to offer sacrifices of fasting and prayers to God while yet in our sins, while we commit fornication, while we bribe, while we steal, and while we do all sorts of evil.  Then we come before God and offer sacrifice of fasting and prayer and fully expect God to accept our sacrifices and answer our prayers.  The same answer God gave to the Jews is given to us, for the scriptures are written for our sake, so that we learn from the scriptures and we do not commit the same mistakes the Jews did. For it is written:

“For I am the LORD, I do not change.”  (Malachi 3:6a)

But we thank God for His love, mercies, and kindness; that He is true to His promise “I will never leave nor forsake you.”   For though He does not accept our sacrifices and prayers in our sins, He instructs us what to do, that all may be well with us, that our sacrifices of fasting may be accepted and that our prayers may be heard and answered.  In Jesus’ name.   Amen! Hallelujah!


       “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
      Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
      Cease to do evil,
        Learn to do good; …
              “Come now, and let us reason together,”
      Says the LORD…”   (Isaiah 1:16-18)


      “…Though your sins are like scarlet,
      They shall be as white as snow;
      Though they are red like crimson,
      They shall be as wool.”   (Isaiah 1:18)


     “If you are willing and obedient,
      You shall eat the good of the land;
      But if you refuse and rebel,
      You shall be devoured by the sword”;
      For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”  (Isaiah 1:19-20)

Let us, therefore, come to the LORD, and if we have sinned against Him, let us first offer a peace offering sacrifice, that is, the confession of our sins coming out of our mouths, that we may obtain the promise that says: Your sins shall be as white as snow.”

Let us, therefore, come confessing before the Lord that our sins may be as white as snow, and that we also may obtain the prize of obedience.  For God promises:

“If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land.”
(Isaiah 1:19)

My dear beloved, if we do not follow the instructions of the LORD, though we offer many sacrifices of fasting and make many prayers, these sacrifices will not be accepted and our prayers will not be heard nor answered.  Then we will ask like the Jews:

‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen?
      Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice? (Isaiah 58:3)

Then the LORD will answer us:

      “In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,
      And exploit all your laborers.
        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.
        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?
        “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?
       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?
        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.
       Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
      You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am...’   (Isaiah 58:3-9)

Finally, my dear beloved, let us lay aside every weight, every sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.  Let us come boldly to the throne of grace with fasting and prayer, with weeping and mourning, and abstain from any form of fleshly pleasure, that we may obtain mercy in this time of great need, for the LORD is faithful and just to forgive ALL our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness with the blood of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord and to bless us according to His good pleasure.  In the name of Jesus.  Amen!

“Now, therefore,” says the LORD,
      “Turn to Me with all your heart,
      With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
        So rend your heart, and not your garments;
      Return to the LORD your God,
      For He is gracious and merciful,
      Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
      And He relents from doing harm.
        Who knows if He will turn and relent,
      And leave a blessing behind Him—
      A grain offering and a drink offering
      For the LORD your God?
        Blow the trumpet in Zion,
      Consecrate a fast,
      Call a sacred assembly;
       Gather the people,
      Sanctify the congregation,
      Assemble the elders,
      Gather the children and nursing babes;
      Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber,
      And the bride from her dressing room.
       Let the priests, who minister to the LORD,
      Weep between the porch and the altar;
      Let them say, “Spare Your people, O LORD,
      And do not give Your heritage to reproach,
      That the nations should rule over them.
      Why should they say among the peoples,
      ‘Where is their God?’”

Then the LORD will be zealous for His land,
      And pity His people.
        The LORD will answer and say to His people,
      “Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil,
      And you will be satisfied by them…”  (Joel 2:12-19)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.  Amen!

Meditation:  Fasting is an act of worship, a sacrifice we offer to God for our own benefit!

 Prayer points:  LORD, please teach me to fast according to Your will. Oh my God, I pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen!

Commitment:  I commit myself from today onward to learn and obey the instructions of the LORD my God; to fast according to His will; to find out what is acceptable in the eyes of the LORD, and do it through Christ who strengthens me.  Amen!

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