True Fasting

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. —Isaiah 58:8

As creations of God have sought to live in the ways of the Creator, to be in His presence, to follow in His righteous way of life, the concept of fasting—usually closely connected with prayer—has been proscribed to lead to these ends, especially in a way where fasting allows us to re-harmonize with the living Lord. For it is through fasting, that our souls are exposed more closely to the reality of God and less to the reality of this world.

Even though a fast is a great means to connect and re-connect with the Lord, when we take on a fast without the right heart, we can fast still be far from Him. It if for this reason, that He cautions us to not take on a fast with self pride or with ill will to our fellow man.

The great prophet Isaiah, like all prophets before and after him, was a mouthpiece for God. In Chapter 58 of his work, within a portion that resembles Moses’ Deuteronomy teachings, God speaks through Isaiah to shed a light on how some people take on a fast, how they severely task their servants and let the hungry go hungry.

The Lord speaks in verse 3-4:

'Why have we fasted,' they say,

'and you have not seen it?

Why have we humbled ourselves,

and you have not noticed?'

"Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please

and exploit all your workers.

Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,

and in striking each other with wicked fists.

You cannot fast as you do today

and expect your voice to be heard on high.

And then, in verse 6, He makes very clear the kind of fast He is looking for:

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

to loose the chains of injustice

and untie the cords of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free

and break every yoke?

After this instruction, He reveals to us blessed results of a fast done in the will of Him: that we will be as light breaking forth in the morning.

Morning breaks forth in a way that night, becomes day. It is not longer the end but the beginning of something, a day to be made. Such that light, as it pertains to morning, becomes an awakening…when you do good deeds, it spreads a special light in the same way, a light only possibly as the Lord Spirit leads.

The Lord makes clear that there is only one true way to bring that light: to help those in need, to give of ourselves, to not look to be filled but to fill others with His great mercy.

We must ask ourselves are we fulfilling the fast that He has called us to? Are we willing to step up in order to let His light intervene into the brokenness?

Praise: That He gives us the path to light.

Prayer: That we follow His special calling to be light by being in the lives of others.

Prayer for Today: Lord, we thank You for today as every day. We pray that our hearts are touched in a way that we seek to help others and be the light that breaks the day. Give us that calling in our hearts and give us the obedience to see it through. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.