Are You Ready to Allow God to Cut and Carve You?
*Fasting is a day God chose for man to afflict himself- Deny yourself things you think you cannot live without. What is it that gives you pleasure apart from God? What is that idol that you are pursuing, for your joy? Starve it and see for yourself whether God is enough for you or not. Is there anything that is battling for your affections between good and the best? Giving it up will take you the next level. If starving from it brings you grief, good. Grieve yourself, afflict yourself, cry out to God to replace a hunger for Him in you. Giving up that pleasure, denying yourself and trusting God was a true fast that pleased God.
*Loosen the bonds of wickedness- Free someone whom you have wrongly imprisoned in your mind. Have something against someone? They don’t deserve your forgiveness? Free them. Does that make you feel weak? Feeling uncomfortable and powerless? Good. Bring it to God. Cry out to God for more love to cover every hurt. That was a sacrifice for you and that is a true fast that pleases God.
*Undo the bands of yoke- Lighten the burden of people around you. Have you been putting too much expectation on the people around you? May be your spouse? Are they breaking under your expectations? Break all your expectations of people. Let them go free. Ouch! That puts too much work and burden on you? Cry out to God for strength and for joy to endure. Your angry methods are not going to produce righteousness anyway! That was humbling for you and that is a true fast that pleases God.
*Share your food with the hungry and don’t hide from people who need your help- Who is hungry around you? Your kids hungry for some quality time with you? Your spouse had been working so hard, are they hungry for some alone time, where you completely let them go free without them putting in their chores? Are your surroundings hungry for some order? Is your home hungry for an altar, a devotion time with God? Is your teenager hungry for your forgiveness and a renewed trust from you? Is there a friend who is struggling, who is hungry for encouragement? Maybe your plate is already full and you are constantly pouring your life out for others. How about a joy check? Have you been pouring out with joy? Feeling stretched when you give yourself away? Good. Cry out to God to fill you out of His abundance. That was a sacrifice for you and that is a fasting and humbling that pleases God.
When we allow God to carve us this way and bring depth in us, that is what God calls a true fasting. You are carved right and it puts a smile on His face. Just starving alone from food and praying is not going to bring God down. Listen also to the promises He gives to the one who truly fasts.
*Your light will break forth like the dawn- you will have a break thru.
*You will get the healing that you wanted.
* Your righteousness shall go before you and the glory of the Lord will be your reward.
*You will call and the Lord will answer- Your prayers are answered.
*Your light will rise in the darkness- The favor of God will be upon you.
*The Lord will continually guide you.
*Satisfy your desire in scorched places.
*You will be like a well watered garden like a spring whose water never runs dry- you will be fruitful.
*You will rebuild the deserted ruins- you will re-build the impossibly ruined situations.
*You will be called the repairer of broken walls and a restorer of homes.
Seems to me more than a bargain since I am only giving up things that I thought were sustaining me which were actually hindering God’s best for me. When I meditate on what I am getting in return, this is what I would truly want for myself. In the light and magnitude of God’s goodness, even my sacrifice is truly insignificant and completely grace enabled for His glory.
A true fast is grace enabled hungering after God where we let go of that which hinders us from experiencing God’s fullness for us.