BIBLE READING: ISAIAH 58:1-14
“Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning. “Joel 2:12 (NKJV).
Yesterday, we talked about some elements of an acceptable fast. Today, we will look at other elements that disqualify your fast before God.
- THE PRESENCE OF REBELLION AND SIN IN YOUR LIFE: You cannot be involved in a fast while harbouring sin or rebellion in your life. The point of a fast is to seek God’s face and get closer to Him. If you harbour sin in your life, you push God away from you which defeats the purpose. To enjoy the benefits of the fast, repent of every known sin and ask God for the grace to live above sin. “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins”. Isaiah 58:1(KJV).
- LIVING A LIFE OF STRIFE: quarrelling while fasting: You cannot be involved in a fast and also be involved in strife. “Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness…. Isaiah 58:4a (KJV). God is a God of love and He expects us to dwell together in love and unity. As you seek His face, you must strive to walk in love towards others and avoid offence. Turn the other cheek, do good to those who despitefully use you and show them God’s love. (Matt. 5:44; 1 Peter 3:9).
- MAKING A SHOW OF YOUR FAST: Your fast is a private affair between you and God. You don’t have to wear a pious face to show people that you are fasting. If you do that, the recognition they give you is the only reward you will get for the fast and the spiritual benefits that should come to you will be lost. “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matt. 6:16-18 (NKJV). “… ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.” Isaiah 58:4b (KJV). Be private about your fast. Do not have a sad countenance to make a show of your fast. Once you have impressed people you cannot impress God.
Heavenly Father, as I seek Your face in this season, please help me to do it in a way that is acceptable to You.
Help me to come closer to You, to know You more and fulfill Your plans for my life this year, in Jesus name. Amen.