The Fast I Have Chosen (Chuck Swindoll)
“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
I remember the first time I ever fasted. I spent most of the time looking at the clock and thinking about my stomach. But I have kept the practice of fasting regularly, despite the discomforts in my body. Throughout the years, I have committed to several different types of fasts and for different, yet specific, reasons. I have experienced mountain-top highs and dark-valley lows during times of fasting. I have learned that fasting in its essence is a time of cleansing and purifying, which means I spend a lot of the time confessing and repenting of my sins. When all is said and done; however, fasting has been one of the most powerful tools in my walk with Christ.
The main thing I had to understand very early in my experiences with fasting was that if I tried to do it on my own, then failure seemed to be the result. I have proclaimed fasts for reasons that were not from God. I have determined the type and the length of a fast, then seen it completely fall apart in my weakness. Now when I fast, I try to make certain that it is the fast God has chosen, otherwise, I end up feeling worse.
Today’s verse gives us an example of the type of fast God chooses for us. Fasting is an excellent weapon against the enemy’s strongholds and bondage in our lives. God appoints certain times of fasting for us to find freedom from wicked bonds and heavy yokes that burden us down. The question for us: are we willing to make the sacrifice for spiritual freedom? It is not easy, but it is so worth it. Are you struggling with an area of bondage? Do you feel burdened and cannot seem to overcome? Pray for clear direction as you ask the Lord to lead you in to a specific fast for your situation. He may impress upon you to fast from certain foods or television shows or daily activities. I believe God honors any attempt we make at fasting, whether it is a food fast or something else. I also believe that He needs to be involved from the very beginning; otherwise, we may ditch it earlier than planned. Pray about fasting and see what God shows you. This may be just the break you have been waiting for.
Read: Numbers 23; Mark 7:14-37
(Daily Disciples Devotional – Mar. 2, 2009; lightsource.com)