Summary: The purpose and reason for a Godly fast.
What is the purpose of fasting? Why do we do it? What can we hope to accomplish?
Have you ever gone through a fast. Did you accomplished anything? Did you break strong holds? What were you really trying to do? I ask, does fasting change God. Can we manipulate Him into doing something for us?
I believe it does several things. Just from a natural stand point it helps us to keep our flesh under subjection to our spirit.
1Cor:9:27: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
The real Paul, Paul’s spirit, was talking about his flesh. He said I keep my body under. This body is not the real me. We have got to realize who the real us is!
Does God require us to fast?
Isaiah 58:5. Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, `Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
First, God asks a question; Is it a fast that I have chosen?
then He answers it vs. 6. Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? In other words Is God requiring hunger? Does self abasement please God? That is not the final goal or purpose of this fast. Just to rip your clothes and throw ashes in the air.
Couple of points.
This fast is a required fast. Why is God requiring this fast? God had a definite purpose in mind at the very start of it all. Not because He wants to see us hungry, but because He wants to see us restored and to restore others. We can’t do that if we are not first restored ourselves. Can we?
How does fasting accomplish this? Good question ?
Look back at Isaiah 58. …. God is asking the question, is this the kind of fast I am requiring of you.
Our works don’t impress God. Faith impresses God. Nothing else!!!
We have to go to Him on His terms, we aren’t going to cajole God into something just because of our actions. We sometimes thing well God if I do this then I want you to that. He won’t be coned into something. Without faith it is impossible to please Him.
If you are trying to please Him with works you will fail. It’s just not Scriptural.
Rom:4:2: For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
We sometimes think there is some formula, and all we have to do is push the right buttons and then God moves. No it doesn’t work that way.
There are Godly principles here. Sowing and reaping, we can’t reap until we sow. This puts us in a place where we can be a receiver. You have to give first in order to be a receiver. We can’t harvest until we have planted. You see that God is requiring this. Why? So He can get us in a place where we can receive from Him. If we are not receiving from Him, then it means we have to put ourselves into a place where we can receive from Him.
James wasn’t specifically talking about fasting, but He was talking about submission. Ja.4:7. That is certainly part of the process. Putting your self in a place of submission to God’s will. You can’t do that if you don’t know God’s will, can you? If you want to break the yoke you have to be submitted to God