21 DAY FAST || DAY FOUR : JAN. 7, 2016
As I was searching for a way to explain fasting to a group of people, I found this explanation.
Food for your physical body sustains it and nourishes it. When we eat food, we literally take the earth and make it part of us. During a fast, you deliberately let go of that which binds you to this physical world--food--in order to receive all your sustenance from the spiritual world. You determine that for a period of time you will deny your physical cravings to focus on your spiritual cravings. You allow your spiritual hunger to become stronger and more focused. Spiritual hunger takes priority over physical hunger.
Turn your hunger into prayer: "Father, as my body craves food, I crave Your presence. My food is to do Your will" (see John 4:34). Let your hunger be a positive feeling because it will turn your heart to God. "I have treasured the words of [Your] mouth more than my daily bread" (Job 23:12).
During a fast God will speak to you. As you fast and take the time to pray and listen for God, you will hear Him. You are saying to God “I treasure your words.” “I want to hear from You!” We are giving up physical food for spiritual food.
God’s written word gives us a lot of insight about fasting in Isaiah 58. Please take some time to read this portion of Scripture and ask God to let it come alive to you. I want to share one verse with you today from Isaiah 58 that follows along the line of hearing from God.
Isaiah 58:9: "Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; You will cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.' If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness..."
Isaiah 58 is about a God ordained fast. God says in verse 9 that when we call on Him during a fast He will answer! I like that promise! I can give up physical food for this spiritual food! This verse adds an ‘if’ to the equation though. “If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and the speaking wickedness.’
I believe this refers to being offended or bitter at someone. If we are going to go through the spiritual discipline of fasting but allow bitterness to remain in our hearts towards another, we won’t hear God! Our fasting will be in vain. God wants to speak to us, He wants to share with us intimate secrets, mysteries! Our hearts will determine our reception. If your heart is tender and open, clear of all offense, you will hear from heaven. But, if your heart is hard and offended, it won’t hear no matter how much food you give up.
Maybe someone has hurt you deeply. During this fast ask God to help you release and forgive them. Ask God to heal your heart. He promises in this verse that He will answer you when you cry out. Holding onto offense is like taking poison and expecting the person you are offended at to die. YOU DIE. LET IT GO, so you can hear God.
Next week I will share 32 THINGS GOD WANTS YOU TO KNOW ABOUT FASTING by Dave Williams.
Have a God Week,
Pastor Ed Langeliers, Jr.