A Fast “Chosen by the Lord” By Sharon & Billy Joe Daugherty

do you understand fasting by myles munroe
Isaiah 58 is a key scripture where the Lord addresses fasting. The first area He deals with is the attitude of the heart. Fasting is a process where the spirit learns to dominate over the flesh in every area.
The first few verses of this passage reveal why the children of Israel were fasting but weren’t getting their prayers answered. God showed them the real “heart” of the matter. They were using fasting as a religious practice to try to show their reverence for the Lord, but He saw right through their attitudes.
“‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’” (Isaiah 58:3).
What happens when you fast and it appears that nothing is taking place as a result of it? Does God have a problem? No! The Lord answers them in the following verses:
“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exploit all your laborers” (v. 3).
In other words, you may be doing something that is religious in appearance, but there are other actions in your life that are not right.
“Indeed you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, to make your voice heard on high” (v. 4).
The people were arguing and fighting with each other during the fast. This is not the way to approach the throne of God and expect a change in circumstances! He was trying to tell the people that fasting is more than denying their flesh. There is a greater purpose behind it:
“Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?” (v. 5).
The people and the Lord had two completely different ideas about fasting. What could the people possibly do during this fast that could make it a “chosen” fast of the Lord?
Fasting and Compassion Go Together
It’s important to ask yourself, “Why am I fasting? What does the Lord want to do through this fast?” Verses 6-7 of Isaiah 58 begin the answers to these questions:
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
“To loose the bonds of wickedness [We fast to see the devil’s work undone and God’s work exploding in the lives of people],
“to undo the heavy burdens,
“to let the oppressed go free,
“and that you break every yoke?
“Is it not to share your bread with the hungry?” In other words, it’s not just going without food, but thinking, Who can I share with and give to when I am not eating? If I am saving these dollars, where could I plant them to bless someone else who is hungry?
“And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?” Are there people who need to be delivered? Are there yokes that need to be broken? Is there wickedness that needs to be removed from an area? Then it may be time to fast and pray for them.
It is possible for a person to go through religious motions, yet completely ignore the needs of people around them. God is saying, “My chosen fast not only makes you sensitive to the needs of people, but it gives you a willingness to meet those needs with a heart of compassion and mercy.” So this is a completely different concept than most of us have been taught. When anyone begins a fast, they need to prepare themselves to move in love and compassion.
If our attitude of heart doesn’t line up with our spiritual discipline, does it really accomplish what the Lord has intended? Or are we just on a crash diet and making everyone around us miserable? As we set out to fast with these ideas in mind, we will find the benefits to fasting that the Lord wants to send our way because of our love for others.
-Fasting and Prayer