"Is this not the fast that I have chosen?" Isaiah 58:6
In the following three verses, Isaiah outlines what God looks for when we fast. Not necessarily "how" to fast, but rather what is supposed to happen IN US when we fast. Verse 6 tells us that the bonds of wickedness should be loosed, and every yoke of bondage should be broken. Verse 7 talks about overcoming selfishness and being alert to the needs of others.
Today we'll look at verse 8:
"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."
The striking difference with this verse from the other two is the use of the word , "your": "Your light", "Your healing", "Your righteousness", and "Your rear guard". There are definite benefits to fasting!
1. "Your light"-We all know that Jesus is the Light Of The World. However, Matt 5:14 says that we are the light of the world also. How does that work? Jesus is the light source, and we are to reflect that light that comes from Him. Have you every heard the term, "the 'light' of the moon"? The moon actually has no light. The light you see is reflected from the sun. In the same way, we are to reflect the Light of jesus Christ in our lives, and fasting makes that Light brighter and clearer!
2. "Your healing"- Although fasting is not a diet, let's face it: fasting has more health benefits than I could possibly mention here. After an extended fast like the 21 day fast we're on now, your body has detoxed from caffeine and sugar , and many of the nutrients your body has been lacking are now being replaced. I've had people actually tell me that they are thinking more clearly and feeling physically better now than they have in years!
3. "Your righteousness", and" Your rear guard"- This verse says that "Your righteousness shall go before you, and the Glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard". When I read this, I am reminded of Psalm 5:12: "For You Oh Lord will bless the righteous; with favor you will surround him as with a shield." Fasting doesn't increase God's favor over our lives, we already have that. What fasting does do is sharpen our ability to see God's Favor surrounding us, and doors of opportunity opening all around, that otherwise we might have missed!
Thank you for fasting with Connie and me. What a powerful opportunity to see God at work in our Church and individual lives. Four more days!