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To What Purpose Do We Fast?

Do you know the reason Christians fast? People fast for various reasons.

They fast for healing, deliverance and to gain a closer relationship with God.

During the month of January, many Christians begin the year with a period of fasting. It has become a ritual in many churches.

For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark (Matthew 24:38)

For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark (Matthew 24:38)

During the Christmas season, we eat and drink to fill our belly,

And in January we fast to appease our guilt (Zechariah 7:1-7).

What is the purpose of our fast?

We fasted routinely, but is God seeing us?

We deprived our body of food,

We deny our appetite to please God.

But, does God notice us?

When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting, That became my reproach. (Psalms 69:10)

When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting, that became my reproach. (Psalms 69:10)

After the fast, we are still riddled with diseases;

Our persecutors return to taunt us,

And Satan is still deceiving, stealing and killing.

To what purpose are we fasting?

We seek God daily, and we want to know His ways.

So, we fast, we pray, we sing, we shout, and we jump.

But we remain undelivered.

Return, O Lord, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake! (Psalms 6:4)

Return, O Lord, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake! (Psalms 6:4)

What is the purpose of our fast?

While we fast, we take pleasure to exploit our employees.

We fast but continue to backbite and argue.

We fast, but our hearts are hardened

As stubborn stones, that refused to budge.

We fast, but our hearts are like flints that cut our brothers to pieces.

We fast, but we strike with the fist of wickedness.

When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. (Isaiah 1:15)

When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. (Isaiah 1:15)

To what purpose do we fast?

Is it to make our voice heard on high?

Is it to proclaim to the world our holiness?

Is this the fast that God has chosen?

A day for a man to afflict his soul?

To walk with our head bowed low with solemn countenance?

So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. (Joel 2:13)

So rend your heart and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm. (Joel 2:13)

Is it to put on sackcloth of meekness?

Do you call this a fast?

Are our days of fast acceptable to the Lord?

What is the purpose of God’s fast?

What is the fast that He has chosen?

Isn’t it the fast to lose the bonds of wickedness;

To undo the heavy burden;

To free the oppress and to break every yolk?

What is God’s chosen fast?

 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’  (Matthew 25:45)

Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:45)

Is it to feed a hungry Christ in the street

And clothe Him with compassion?

Is it not to bring Christ into our home to commune and fellowship with Him?

When the enemy exposed our brother’s nakedness,

Is it the fast that cover him?

When the enemy seized, and ravaged our brethren,

Isn’t the fast to make a way of escape for them?

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)

Why do we hide from our own flesh?

Let us deny the flesh of lust and pride.

Take away the yolk from among us;

Cease the accusations, deception, and gossiping.

Let us extend our souls to the hungry;

Let us satisfy the afflicted souls.

Then the windows of heaven will be opened.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Then our light will break forth like the morning

And our darkness will be as the noonday.

The Lord will continually be our guide.

He will satisfy our souls in the days of drought

And strengthen our bones.

We will be like a spring flowing with the living

And everlasting water of the Holy Spirit.

Their souls shall be like a well-watered garden, And they shall sorrow no more at all. (Jeremiah 31:12)

Their souls shall be like a well-watered garden, And they shall sorrow no more at all. (Jeremiah 31:12)

We will be like a lush garden whose leaves will not wither.

We will bear fruits in seasons.

The years that the enemy stole and the waste places will be restored.

We will be the foundation of many generations

And they will call us the repairer of the breach

And the restorer of streets to dwell in.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him (Psalms 37:7)

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him (Psalms 37:7)

When we rest in God,

And take pleasure and honor in His company,

He will cause us to ride on high hills of the earth

And feed us with the heritage of Christ.

Then our healing will spring forth speedily.

Our righteousness will go before us

And the glory of the Lord shall be our rear guard.

He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him (psalms 91:15)

He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him (Psalms 91:15)

Then we shall call, and the Lord will answer;

When we cry unto Him, He will say, “Here I am.” (Isaiah 58:8-9)

This is the purpose of our fast!

References: Isaiah 58; Zechariah 7:1-7; Matthew 6:16; 25:31-46; Joel 2:25-27; Joel 2:25-27; Obediah 1

Prepared by Beverley Wright (January 6, 2017)

 

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