It has been over a week since we started the Daniel Fast and while we may have all gotten accustomed to the fast, we should be asking ourselves what type of fast are we doing. Are we doing a Godly fast?
Isaiah 58 is a wonderful chapter to ground us in the reason for our fast and the meaning of being truly God-abiding Christians. It starts off by demanding that we look inward and examine the type of person we are. Are we really seeking God or are we halfway in and halfway out of the kingdom?
“Cry loudly, do not hold back;
Raise your voice like a trumpet,
And declare to My people their wrongdoing,
And to the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways,
As a nation that has done righteousness
And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God.
They ask Me for just decisions,
They delight in the nearness of God.
‘Why have we fasted and You do not see?
Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?’
Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire,
And oppress all your workers.
Behold, you fast for contention and strife, and to strike with a wicked fist.
You do not fast like you have done today to make your voice heard on high!
We cannot fast and not repent. We cannot continue to oppress people while fasting. We can’t fast and treat others disrespectfully or misuse those who work with or for us. Many of us present ourselves as loving and kind individuals but behind closed doors, we are mean to our families and harsh to our co-workers. God’s blessing comes to those who follow his commandments and loves his people the way he loves us. As we do the work to repent and grow closer to God, we must let go of these two versions of ourselves to become the person God wants us to be all of the time and not just some of the time.
Is it a fast like this that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed
And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed?
Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the Lord?
Is this not the fast that I choose:
To release the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the ropes of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free,
And break every yoke?
Is it not to break your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light will break out like the dawn,
And your recovery will spring up quickly;
And your righteousness will go before you;
The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
You will cry for help, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you remove the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness
God will never abandon us. If we truly seek him, he will walk with us during the good and the bad. The fear that we have of repenting will wash away as we become a new person.
And if you offer yourself to the hungry
And satisfy the need of the afflicted,
Then your light will rise in darkness,
And your gloom will become like midday.
And the Lord will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.
As you are fasting think about the new you and how you have changed since you started your walk with God. How has your life changed? Share in the comments below.