The Purpose Of Fasting

Categories: IReport

Isaiah 58 gives us great insight into the meaning of fasting. In this passage, God explains that the Israelites are asking Him: “‘Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?’” (v. 3) God answers: “Behold on the day of your fast you find your desire, and drive hard all your workers. Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do

The psalmist describes: “When I wept in my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them. Those who sit in the gate talk about me, and I am the song of the drunkards. But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, at an acceptable time; O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness, answer me with Your saving truth. Deliver me from the mire, and do not let me sink; may I be delivered from my foes, and from the deep waters. May the flood of water not overflow me nor the deep swallow me up nor the pit shut its mouth on me” (Psalm 69:10-15). When the psalmist came before God, he was dealing with the crisis of trouble from his enemies, and he cried out with fasting. Others made fun of him, but he trusted in God.

The prophet Joel describes God’s command to the rebellious Israelites to fast and seek Him: “’Yet even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning: and REND YOUR HEART AND NOT YOUR GARMENTS.’ Now return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness

yet we often miss that light because we are so focused on our own flesh. When we fast, the flesh gets weak, and Paul says when we are weak, God is our strength: “[God’s] grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Verse 8 continues: “And your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.” We need healing from our sins and from the pain of our circumstances. God will heal us and He will protect us. The bottom line of fasting is found in verse 9: “Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry, and He will say ‘Here I am.’” When we call, He will answer, bringing us to spiritual heights we couldn’t have dreamed of. As you examine the power and purpose of fasting, consider how it could be put into practice in your own life. When you are facing tough times, approach God in humility and trust Him to fulfill your every need. If you fast and deny your physical cravings, your mind and heart will be open so that God can do a great work in your spirit, equipping you to deal with any crisis by the power of His grace.as we all wait upon the Lord may the covenant of waiting speak for us in Jesus name.

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