Why do you fast?

18 03 2011

“Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God. ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. 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. Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD? 6“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; 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 58:1-9)


This lent season, to me its not about the fast, it’s about the motives. Too many times my motives have been wrong. “Maybe I’ll lose weight” “Maybe God will give me what I want” “Maybe this will make me look like a better Christian.” Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Fasting is not about who knows because you tell them, its about who can tell even if you don’t know them. Fasting is a way to humble yourself before God, to give sacrificially so that God will be worshiped. It has nothing to do with you and what you are doing. It has everything to do with God and what He is gaining.


So why are you fasting? Maybe it’s not what you aren’t doing, but instead what you are doing that is a fast. In this passage it mentions giving food to the needy and reducing oppression. Maybe its time to give instead of receive. Whatever it is, do it with a humble heart and God will be glorified. Never miss an opportunity to receive God’s love in an unexpected way, through true humility.


In His love,




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