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Fasting According to God

Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness,

To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free,

And that you break every yoke?

Isaiah 58:6 (NKJV)


Through this verse we see God directly responding to Israel's negative attitude regarding fasting. He explains to them in detail the fast that pleases Him. In the previous verse (V.5), He reproaches them for the kind of fasting they practice. They perform religious rituals to prove that they are spiritual. In reality, it is not according to God's will that they fast; They reject others and place themselves above everyone else. In other words, they are unjust in the eyes of God.


This is a situation we see in our churches today. People gather, pray, sing and even dance with spiritual emotion, believing that it is fasting that will please God, but deep in their hearts they do not understand the true meaning of fasting as God sees it. You can make any type of prayer and supplication, but as long as those prayers are for your own personal satisfaction, without considering the situation of others who are suffering around you, those prayers will always be in vain. They are not pleasing to God.


The Bible does not say that you should not pray for your needs or that God will not respond if you do not pray for others, but it does warn you that your fasting should not be selfish. Although God requires total submission and humility in fasting, He also expects it to be followed by actions, such as caring for others, providing for the poor, and feeding the hungry. This is true fasting that pleases God.


May the grace and peace of God be with you all.

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