Know HIS Ways……………

————–the Lord stood on a wall made with a plumb line

The Spirit of Fasting (Part III)

Written By: Karline Fischer - Mar• 18•19

“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: 6-9

In the above passage, the Lord clearly articulates the kind of fast that pleases Him. First, the Lord declares that He wants people to live free from oppression. Those of us who have experienced oppression of any form understand how painful and unjust it is to be in those environments. Sometimes the oppression is a physical oppression and at other times it is an emotional or mental abuse. Nevertheless, no one likes to live under intimidation and oppression of somebody else.

The Lord expects us not to be oppressive or to lord it over people. Sometimes that comes in the form of expecting people to behave a certain way because of our status, power, or position. Sometimes, we use our privileges to show favor to those who treat us well and ignore/neglect others who are not favorable towards us. Other times, we have high expectations of others that they cannot meet, and we hold it against them. Those kinds of behaviors are oppressive and unjust, and they do not please the Lord. Just as we enjoy our freedom in Christ, we should be in the business of freeing people from our expectations and demands, so they can be free from fear of man and, hopefully, turn to God and do the right thing.

In addition, in Mark 9:29 Jesus explained that some spirits do not come out except through prayer and fasting. This shows that the Lord expects us to loose the bonds of those who are under the oppression of various demonic spirits. God has given us the power, the commission, and the anointing to set people free. Therefore, the purpose of fasting can be to bless others by seeing them freed up from various bondages and oppressing spirits.

Second, the Lord cares about helping those who are poor and have need for food, clothing, and shelter. The Lord expects us to be givers of ourselves and help those who cannot help themselves. The Good Samaritan story emphasized this passage as Jesus explained how we should define neighbors. God cares about every person on the face of the earth. That means that any person who crosses our path, they are our neighbor, and we can try to help them with our resources and abilities. When we have the opportunity to help those in need, they will look to heaven and recognize that they have a heavenly Father who sees their situation and cares about them.

The above scripture explains the kind of fast that pleases God. When we take care of those that God cares about and do it with the right heart, God promises that His light will shine on us. He will also hear people’s prayers and pay attention to their needs. In addition, those who hoped for their own healing and deliverance will receive His touch, and the Lord will heal them. 

As the last three devotionals illustrate, there is more to fasting than just abstaining from food. We should prepare our hearts and be open to what God is doing in our lives as well as those around us. This allows us to be ready to move into action and be God’s hands and feet wherever we are and whatever we are doing. 



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