Isaiah 58: 5-11 NIV
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.”
True fasting that pleases God, is a whole lifestyle choice. A state of mind and heart. It is a life that is wholly set apart for God and to God. It is a daily denying of self, and a giving up to God continually. It includes everything. No part of my day is for myself.
The Christian is switched on to the will and purposes of God. It is all about the will of God and the ministry to other people. The Word of God is clear, that if we see a need, we meet that need. We will look for people, notice people who are in need.
We are especially to meet the needs of our own family. To serve others and not serve the family, is not true fasting, or the sacrifice of praise to God. God is not pleased if we put others before our own people. It applies to parents to children and children to parents.
You will know you are on the right lines, because people will see your witness to God. You will see your need to draw near to God. You will want to draw nearer and nearer to Him. You will get insight, healing and righteousness and the glory of God will keep you. This is true spiritual life and the progress towards heaven and home.
You will have a direct line to God in prayer. You will thrive on that. The certainty of the oppression of other people’s gossip and destructive talk to bring you down, will come to nothing. Do not pay any attention to this talk.
We also must put away all gossiping, in all its excusable forms! Malicious words about other people must be reined in and put to death. Our attitude must be that of Christ, who humbled Himself, even to death on a cruel cross for our sake.
If you put sin and blame to death in your life, you will never walk in the darkness, but in the light of wisdom. You will know what to do. When life is barren, you will be satisfied. Indeed, you will get stronger and stronger in all the blessedness of God. The things you think you are giving up will be rendered useless, and all will be for eternity.
This is fasting..