Day 288: Fasting That Pleases the Lord (Isaiah 56-58; 1 Thessalonians 3)

“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exploit all your laborers.” -Isaiah 58:3(b)

Fasting is a rare practice today, but Jesus and the apostles spoke often of fasting and it’s benefits. Fasting has power because it means you put your fleshly desires on the back burner in order to focus on God. It means saying no to your body and saying yes to spending more time with Jesus and loving on others. Fasting is both a spiritual and a physical practice.

But like the people in the Old Testament, we often disgrace this sacred practice by treating our day(s) of fasting much like any other day. Sure, you may give something up – most commonly food – and maybe you read your Bible and pray three times per day instead of once. But that in itself is not enough.

To God, a fast is putting others above yourself on a magnified level. It means saying no to spending hours scrolling through social media and tuning into worldly entertainment. And saying yes to lightening someone’s burden, to sharing bread with someone who may need food or just a listening ear, to giving the money you would have otherwise spent on food that day to someone in need and, overall, just being hyper aware of ways to serve others and put to death your fleshly pleasures.

Then your light shall break forth like the morning and your healing shall spring forth speedily. The Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your soul. You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. You shall call, and He will say, “Here I am.”

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