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Why Fast?

by Pastor Kathleen Smallwood





ISAIAH 58:1-14

“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? 7 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? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness[a] will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. 9 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, 10 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. 11 The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14 then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Our Sovereign God makes clear what kind of fast He has chosen in challenging times in Isaiah 58, it is the kind of fast that is 1. Loosing the bands of wickedness. 2. Undoing the heavy burdens. 3. Letting the oppressed go free. 4. Breaking every yoke. This is why we fast because the Lord says so!

Why do we fast?

Fasting is one of several spiritual disciplines (meditation, prayer, study, worship, service, etc.) that engages believers for the purpose of spiritual development. In other words, as seen in scripture, we are challenged to grow in Christ. As we develop physically, aging from an infant into a full-grown adult, we also develop spiritually, grow and are strengthen in our Christian walk.

We have no greater example of the importance of fasting than in the life of Christ Himself (Matthew 4:2). Jesus fasted before He began His public ministry (Luke 4:1-2). How can we do less when we are called to be the light of the world and salt of the earth? Surely, we too need the benefits of fasting to carry out our God-given purpose.

Expect a greater anointing for your life, ministry, healing in your body, movement in things that have been tied up or held back; and clarity in decisions you have to make. These are but a few examples of fasting outcomes in scripture. Why do we fast?

As a Disciple of Christ we seek to follow in his footsteps as we follow his call upon our lives. He said we would do greater things. The seeds of greatness are hidden in the discipline of our faith life as we fast and prayer!




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Jul 31, 2023


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