KEY SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 58:3 KJV “Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours”.
Many Christians have spent days fasting, yet nothing has come out of it. Many of such wonder why their fasting brought no change to their state. Isaiah 58 states clearly the kind of fast God would accept. In the third verse, the Lord said these people fast and find pleasure and exact all their labours. Fasting is a devotion unto God. He expects that we do it on his terms.
God’s first comment is that fasting is not a moment to seek pleasure. Pleasure is defined as a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment. This involves spending the moments of your fast to watch all kinds of worldly films, and in these days of smart mobile phones, you spend those moments browsing all kinds of ungodly posts. There are some who break their fast in the evening with meals that leave the bellies blotted. These actions turn the attention from God to yourself. The Lord added, in the day of your fast you exact all your labours. Fasting is supposed to be a time unto the Lord. A fast does not mean you must not attend to your duties, but your focus in that period must be on God and seeking His intervention in whatever you are praying about. An acceptable fast unto the Lord means God must be first.
In verse 4, the Lord said ye fast for strife and debate and to smite the fist of wickedness. This verse is talking about competition and strive with others. Some fast to prove a point to others. They seek to prove that they have the capacity and ability to go that far in fasting. There are people who go into all kinds of contention with others on their day of fasting. God’s acceptable fast demands that we maintain the best of good relationship with all persons.
We learn from these two verses that fasting is a presentation of ourselves unto the Lord. We must give Him every needed attention as well as to keep the best of our relationship with others.
I fast as a devotion unto the Lord. I do not seek pleasure nor exact my labours. I offer my whole being unto Him to seek His face and to do everything to please Him.
Matthew 6:16 KJV” Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward”.
Matthew 6:17 & 18 KJV. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.