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April 2, 2017

The Fast That God Has Chosen…..

Sunday Morning Podcast April 2, 2017. Bro. Dave Goble.

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TEXT: ISAIAH 58:3-10  

3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.
4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:

Prayer and a true fast is more pleasing to God, and not one for our personal gain.  We need to empty ourselves so that God might fill us.  Then God can fill the reservoirs of our soul with His grace, to be called, chosen and faithful, …helping the hungry and afflicted souls to be free to find God.  But if nothing of God goes out, or comes in, our reservoir will become muddied and slushy with our own opinions and ways.

In Matthew 17: 14-21 A father let Jesus know that the disciples were unsuccessful to heal his son possessed by a devil that caused great harm to him.  When the disciples inquire why they could not heal him, Jesus replies to the disciples that this type of healing can only happen “but by fasting and praying, Matthew 17:21.”  Some elements of a true fast are denial of self, separating our self from the “affairs of life,” being dedicated to “connecting” with God in prayer, ..and etc.  Above all, our hearts need to be of an attitude of fasting.  This is the only way, when the fierce storms of life come against us, that we can overcome.   Nothing else can substitute.  Not counsel, study, the preached word, etc., but only by prayer and fasting.   Otherwise (leading to our spiritual demise), we would think that we could substitute, and mold the gospel to our wisdom.  Instead our earnest desire should be that our reservoir would be full of grace, and flow to the souls in need around us.  It is then that many problems can be solved in our life.   There are many, even harder problems to face,  beyond our faith, that needs intervention from heaven.  That intervention can only come from prayer and fasting.

Often our mind can be overactive, like a tape playing, …ongoing.  We need to “Stop the Tape,” so we can hear and listen to whatever God might speak to our heart.   Worrying repeatedly over, over, and over will become too loud mentally for God to get our attention.  God wants to help with His solutions, but when “the volume” is too loud, we can’t hear Him.  Fasting will help us to better hear God.  True fasting is the essence of humility, denying your own choices, perceptions, and wisdom.  Fasting helps us to connect with God. Otherwise your desires will deceive you to your own chosen “answers” …instead of God’s.  The “voices of self” must be denied, …then God can minister His wisdom, and direction for our soul.

Fasting…more than just from food, but from our self, opinions, and ways.  This is the fast that God has chosen.