Many Christians skip meals or even three days of meals to get more “spiritual” or “closer to God!” –presumably. But is food fasting really the way to get closer to God? God’s Word via His prophet Isaiah (ch.58) puts forth a different picture of fasting than many preachers do. There is a faster and more effective way to fast, and it could turn your life around, if you do it God’s way!
[NB: This fasting is not the same as for example fasting in order to get healing for a loved one or for yourself. In a life-and-death situation this is what many children of God do, to show the Lord they mean business.] But open your eyes to HIS kind of fasting for more spirituality! It may surprise you. Bolds and comments in the original text are ours. Enjoy!
1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.
3 “Wherefore have we fasted” [Food!], say they, “and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge?” [Answer:] Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. [Free time to make your employees work harder?]
4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate [arguments], and to smite with the fist of wickedness [get really worked up and angry! Even at God?]: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? [set the poor free from repression, addiction, and slavery! Nott just in your country, but around the world!]
7 Is it not to deal [share] thy bread to the hungry, [witnessing, spreading God’s word, the Gospel, to the spiritually hungry] and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? [help the homeless! Lost youth!] when thou seest the naked [the unsaved, spiritually naked], that thou cover him [with the robe of salvation]; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? [too “righteous” or “holy” for your own family! Of course sometimes our own non-regenerated family feels too good for us as well!]
8 Then shall thy light [real spirituality] break forth as the morning, and thine [spiritual] health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness [loving kindness] shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. [The Holy Spirit shine and power will come on you as you go out witnessing and sharing the Gospel with the hungry! Acts 1:8]
9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. [Then God will answer your cry as you answer the cry of the hungry sheep outside!] If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke [all those repressive churchy rules and bondages and “thou shalt”s and “you must”-s], the putting forth of the [accusing] finger, and speaking vanity;
10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:
11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
12 And they that shall be of thee [your physical or spiritual followers] shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. [a regeneration of the original Christianity!]
13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
14 THEN shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.