WHAT WE NEED IS A FASTING SOLUTION
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of
Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with
Dwellings. Isaiah 58:11-12
As we look towards the day, we must once again take a second and reflect on yesterday. Yesterday we spoke of the word Freedom and the power of that word as it pertains to our daily lives. Well today I would like to take that one step further. I want to begin by saying that in our pursuit to truly find freedom, we must be willing to take the time to pause and let God intervene. In the midst of our battles, there are different times in my life that I have truly found peace in the moments where I am able to take the time needed to invite God into the conversation. It is so easy to get caught up in the daily, mundane craziness that we forget to allow God to be a part of the conversation. So I am letting you know that for the next 12 days, we are going to do just that. For the next 12 days we are going to spend some time really stepping into a new understanding of fasting in our daily lives. It does not mean that I am asking you to do anything more than invite God into the different areas of your life so don't panic when you hear fasting... it is just a way to invite God to the table as we discern the direction we are heading.
Some of the commentary that I use to walk through the scriptures gives me a clearer interpretation of what was going on during the time of the scriptures' writing. Here is what the commentary said about today's passages. "We cannot be saved by deeds of service without faith in Christ, but our faith lacks sincerity if it doesn't reach out to others. Fasting can be beneficial spiritually and physically, but at its best fasting helps only the person doing it. God says, he wants our service to go beyond our personal growth to acts of kindness, charity,
justice and generosity. True fasting is more than what we don't eat; it is pleasing God by applying the Word to our society." WOW. I think that this definitely tells us what we should be doing in regards to incorporating fasting into our daily lives. It is not about trying to give something up as we do for lent, but it is meant to be a daily humbling of ourselves to allow the power of God to be a part of our decision making process. Thinking about how to use fasting in our daily lives should really be just as common as having our daily cup of coffee.
See the whole point of having a desire to grow closer with God, is the fact that we are willing to truly release our lives into God's hands. We are willing to create a pattern of prayer and fasting that becomes something like a reflex that we don't really even think about. I mean when you woke up this morning, how many of us had to tell our lungs to fill with air or tell our hearts to beat. We didn't. It is a natural occurrence that allows us to live. The same is true about how we invite prayer and fasting into our lives. Fasting is a way to level our minds and focus our attention to see things in a way that we would not normally see the world. Fasting allows us to see the things that we have pushed to the boundaries and hones our spiritual radar to recognize the way God is trying to step into our daily lives. Fasting is the ability to draw clarity amidst the chaos and allows us to really see things from a big picture perspective, even though God refines our site to the see the least of these. One of the greatest ways that we can do the most benefit for the advancement of God's kingdom on earth is through taking a journey on our knees in fasting.
Isaiah 58 is truly one of the hallmark chapters when we talk about fasting. Isaiah provides us with in depth understanding of one's journey to seek God. Fasting is a method that takes away the distractions that misdirect our lives and causes us to put our focus on the things that we really don't need to be focusing on. Have you ever realized that when we need to make a tough decision or finish a project, it seems as though we become distracted and are willing to do ANYTHING else besides what we are supposed to do. YES, I know that some of you will call that procrastination, but I would like to argue that it really is satan distracting us from completing the task. Anything that will deter us from finishing the project and delaying
us from spending that time with God, is a victory in satan's book. Isaiah is walking us through the different emotions, struggles, victories and failures. As Isaiah is dealing with those who are searching for authentic faith, he is also speaking to us today. We are the same way. We are looking for the fastest and easiest ways to check the box for our weekly church ritual instead of truly seeking a way to have a daily encounter with God. The struggle is still the same for today as it was over 2,000 years ago. Evil still tries to mask us from a true relationship with God and tells us that as long as we are going through the motions we should be ok, but that is nothing more than a lie we accept because the truth opens up a completely new way of life for us to follow.
So I invite you to walk with me over the next 12 days. Twelve days of finding a way to challenge our daily routines and schedules to once again infuse God back into the picture. Start today by setting a daily time where you will spend time in prayer and fasting. The fasting solution starts by truly inviting God into every part of your life. Read through the entire chapter of Isaiah 58 and begin making a list of the parts of your life that God is really not a part of or has no authority over. Once you see it, it may overwhelm you, but realize that this is the first step of fasting. WE must first recognize what we are asking God to step into and be a part of if we are ever going to really change from this being about us... to this being about God working through us.