The Kind Of Fast God Is After!

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A few days ago, I was asked how many teachings I’ve done.  I said “over 2,000.”  The next day in the early morning. . .I started counting and realized  it’s over 3,000 teachings in various forms.

I’ve taught about or mentioned fasting in less than ten of these messages.  So it was with great interest ‘of what the Lord would do’ when I was directed to discuss the kind of fast He is after.

In Isaiah we are given some specific information on how, when and what.

Isaiah 58:6-9 in the Message Bible says:

This is the kind of fast day I'm after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts.  What I'm interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families.

Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once.  Your righteousness will pave your way.  The God of glory will secure your passage.  Then when you pray, God will answerYou'll call out for help and I'll say, 'Here I am.'”

I was doing a word search when I was led to the above passage in Isaiah.  I’ve read Isaiah 58 numerous times in other translations but never in the Message Bible.

As I started reading the passage, something ignited in my spirit. . .I felt the presence of the Lord in the room. . .in such a sweet and powerful way.

I believe Saturday, June 11, 2016 is to be a day of Fasting For Freedom.

As I was pondering Isaiah 58:6 I read: “This is the kind of fast day I’m after. . .” and He began giving me alphabetical letters. . . “A. . .B. . .C. . .D. . .E. . .F. . .G. . .H”

Absolution- -Ask forgiveness of sins. . .specifically He said “doubt and fear.”

BusinessPray for the business you work for, have, or business opportunity you would like to have.

Confession—On June 11th and every day thereafter. . .He wants you to make becoming debt free and having more than enough to be a part of your daily confession. . .until you experience a financial victory.

DietaryDon’t eat the foods that you normally eat. . .if you’re a coffee drinker give up your coffee for the day.  If you’re a soft drink lover. . .give up soft drinks.  He wants you to completely shake up your daily dietary habits.  For me, that means no meat.

EntertainmentFast your normal television viewing or internet surfing habits.  Give up what you would normally watch whether it’s network or cable television.

Focus—Our fast isn’t just a matter of what we’re giving up. . .rather it’s an opportunity to make sure our focus is on Him. . .His righteousness. . .His promises. . .His divine plan for our life.

GiveYou may give up some preferences and conveniences on June 11th…but the scripture says as long as the earth remains there will be seedtime and harvest.  You have to give or you will never get.  So give!

Help—In the current economic climate you may have been traveling through the valley of the shadow of financial despair. . .but God will be your ever present help during your time of trouble.  He will give you a helping hand but first you have to reach for His.

As I finished writing the above paragraphs. . .I asked the Lord if He wanted me to continue through the alphabet and He said, “That’s enough. . .if My children act on what I’ve just given them. . .it will be change their financial destiny.”

Now let’s go a little further on fasting.

Fasting produces supernatural results.

Fasting is generally not fun, but totally necessary for the Christian.

I believe in periods of protracted fasting and prayer to seek God.

But, I believe an even more effective concept is living the fasted lifestyle.

Isaiah 58:6 in the New King James Version says:

“Is this not the fast that I have chosen. . .”

Here are four purposes of fasting:

1)  To Free People From Wicked Lifestyles.

Isaiah 58:6 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . .To loose the bonds of wickedness. . .”

We all know people living wicked lifestyles.

The fasted lifestyle gives us power over the evil spirits that bind these people.

We cannot abstain from food every day and sustain life.  But, we can abstain from simple pleasures to live in victory.

2)  To Free People FromBurdensome Situations.

Isaiah 58:6 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . .to undo the heavy burdens. . . .”

I am especially mindful of people suffering from financial lack due to unemployment.

It is our role to bear as much of their burden as possible until full recovery is manifest.

We cannot do this by moving in the flesh.  The situation our country faces is spiritual.  A fasted lifestyle is essential.

3)  To Free People From Spirits Of Oppression.

Isaiah 58:6 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . .to let the oppressed go free. . .”

Christians can be oppressed by evil spirits.

Our fasted lifestyle will empower us to deliver our friends and family from torment.

4)  To Free People From Every Type Of Unholy Alliance.

Isaiah 58:6 in the New King James Version concludes by saying:

“. . .And that you break every yoke?”

As a Pastor, I am especially concerned about unholy alliances.

Just today I had news of someone suffering because of an incorrect relationship.

People either increase you or decrease you.  Those who do not increase you will inevitably decrease you.

Sampson only needed to date Delilah for an unholy alliance to spring forth.

There are four types of fasting.


1)  Feeding The Hungry.

Isaiah 58:7 in the New King James Version says:

“Is it not to share your bread with the hungry. . .”

We are commanded to feed the hungry.  For our 20 years. . .we’ve supported feeding and humanitarian programs as a ministry.

I learned years ago that all truth is parallel which is why I believe there is a spiritual dimension to this part of Isaiah 58: 7.

We must to prepared and ready to teach the Word to those who are spiritually hungry.

2)  Sheltering The Homeless.

Isaiah 58:7 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . .And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out. . .”

Never bring someone you do not know into your home.

Over the years, God has use us personally and the Debt Free Army to help people who were about to lose their homes.  This is always at the direction of the Holy Spirit.

3)  Clothing Those In Need.

Isaiah 58:7 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . .When you see the naked, that you cover him. . .”

One of my favorite pictures is of me as a little boy standing with my parents and wearing a pair of overalls that had been slightly torn.  I was such a cute kid.  I wonder what happened.  Smiling.

My school clothes may not have been as nice or fashionable as some of the other kids but I never felt ashamed by what I was wearing.  And, I was never forced to go naked as many kids do around the world.

I will also say that as I got older. . .things begin to change.  Can you imagine me going to school wearing a shirt and tie?  I got that habit from my father.

4)  Refusing To Ignore The Needs Of Those Around You.

Isaiah 58:7 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . .And not hide yourself from your own flesh?”

The scripture is obviously talking about our own flesh and blood (as it says in the Amplified Bible).

I also believe this admonition is for those members of your local church.  For a number of years, I handled benevolence for several churches.

To the best of my ability, I never refused to help those who qualified for our help.  I made sure those needing and receiving our help were shooting straight and not waging a scam.

Now let’s look at the six results of the kind of fast God is after.

1)  Depression Will Leave Your Life.

Isaiah 58:8 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“Then your light shall break forth like the morning. . .”

The kind of fast God’s after will break through self-absorption and set believers free from deception.

2)  Your Health Will Increase Speedily.

Isaiah 58:8 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . .Your healing shall spring forth speedily. . .”

As we focus on the needs of others our health is promised to be restored...speedily.

The late Dr. Lester Sumrall once said, "When I am sick I find someone sick and minister healing to them."

Brother Sumrall lived to be nearly 90 years of age, traveled the world, ran a TV network, pastored a large church, fed tens of thousands of people daily, drilled water wells throughout the world...and lived in what he described as Divine Health.

3)  You Will Be Known As A Person Of Righteousness.

Isaiah 58:8 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . .And your righteousness shall go before you. . .”

Today I communicated with a young man with a checkered past.

He wondered if God could ever use such a person in ministry.  Based upon my life experience the answer is, "Yes!"

Yes, I have weaknesses.  But, I am known as someone focused upon the things of God.

4)  The Glory Of God Will Protect You From Sneak Attacks.

Isaiah 58:6 in the New King James Version concludes by saying:

“. . .The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.”

It is my belief that we can live in the glory of God.

Anything unlike Him that comes near us will be noticed. . .and dealt with.

5)  The Lord Will Answer When You Call.

Isaiah 58:9 in the New King James Version says:

“Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer. . .”

Our relationship with God can be hindered by sin and inattention.

The fasted lifestyle, giving up simple pleasures for the sake of spiritual focus, will keep our lines of communication open.

6)  He Will Reveal Himself To You.

Isaiah 58:9 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . .You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am’. . .”

There is a special place in God for those who live the fasted lifestyle.

God promises special revelation of His plans and purposes to those who pursue Him.

Here are four choices we must make daily:

1)  Choosing Freedom From Bondage.

Isaiah 58:9 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . . If you take away the yoke from your midst. . .”

Years ago a young man asked me an interesting question. "How do you manage to remain on the right path?"

The answer is simple but not always easy:  We must choose to remain free.

Bondage surrounds all of us.  We must choose freedom.  It is not outside the realm of our reality for God makes a way.

I Corinthians 10:13 in the New King James Version says:

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

2)  Choosing Freedom From Accusing Others.

Isaiah 58:9 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . .The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness.”

The fasted lifestyle requires us to refrain from accusing others.

Criticism comes naturally.  But, we are a supernatural family.  We can choose better.

This "better way" is especially difficult during times when we have been falsely accused.

We must be quick to forgive rather than quick to accuse.  Living the fasted lifestyle empowers us to do this.

3)  Choosing To Extend Yourself To Those In Need.

Isaiah 58:10 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“If you extend your soul to the hungry. . .”

As previously shared. . .we must reach out to the spiritually hungry as well as the physically hungry.

Even if we are find ourselves unsuccessful, we must still try to help.

4)  Choosing To Encourage Those Suffering Emotional Torment.

Isaiah 58:10 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . .And satisfy the afflicted soul. . .”

God requires us to make the right choices and sow encouragement into the lives of others.

I honestly believe understanding and applying this principle will set us free from whatever has us bound.

Here are eight powerful things created through correct choices

1)  You Will Overwhelm Powers Of Darkness.

Isaiah 58:10 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . .Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,  And your darkness shall be as the noonday.”

Satan comes to us as an Angel of Light.

But, there is nothing in him that is beneficial.

His dark nature appeals to our flesh and can draw us aside.

The fasted lifestyle will empower us to defeat the evil forces arrayed against us.

2)  You Will Experience The Continual Guidance Of The Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 58:11 in the New King James Version says:

The LORD will guide you continually. . .”

Subduing our flesh will sharpen our spiritual hearing ability.

We will clearly hear His directions for our lives.

3)  You Will Not Know Spiritual Drought.

Isaiah 58:11 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . .And satisfy your soul in drought. . .”

I do not recommend spiritually dry seasons.

God wants us reflect His goodness here in the land of the living.

He does not want us to live a "dried from the roots about to blow away" lifestyle.

Correct choices will keep us in the life-giving flow of the Holy Spirit of our Lord God.

4)  Your Body Will Be Strengthened.

Isaiah 58:11 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . .And strengthen your bones. . .”

Living the fasted lifestyle will keep bitterness away from us.

Since bitterness is described as "rotting the bones", we do not need such a thing operating in our lives.

5)  You Will Experience The Flow Of The River Of God.

Isaiah 58:11 in the New King James Version concludes by saying:

“. . .You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”

Jesus said rivers of living water will flow out of us.  John 7:28 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:

“He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs andrivers of living water.”

Living the fasted lifestyle will keep the conduit clean.

This supernatural flow will then be enabled to move freely through us.

6)  You Will Rebuild Things That Seem To Have Been Permanently Destroyed.

Isaiah 58:12 in the New King James Version says:

Those from among you Shall build the old waste places. . .”

Blessings missed must be reclaimed.

God desires that we enjoy our heritage in Him.

As we call out for the things we have missed, we will reclaim wasteland areas of our lives.

7)  Generational Blessings Will Come To Your Family.

Isaiah 58:10 in the New King James Version continues by saying:

“. . .You shall raise up the foundations of many generations. . .”

Yes, I am conscious of generational curses.

But, I am also quite aware of generational blessings.

The supernatural has been operating in my family for most of my life and is getting stronger. . .year by year.

8)  You Will Close The Gaps In Your Spiritual Life.

Isaiah 58:12 in the New King James Version concludes by saying:

“. . .And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. “

As we close up the gaps in our spiritual lives we will find ourselves empowered to help others close their own gaps.

God is moving by His Holy Spirit.  He is calling us away from the world and into the depths of His Holy Spirit.

Will you join with me in choosing to go higher and deeper in Him?

We’ve come full circle in this teaching and we’re back to Isaiah 58:6-9 in the Message Bible which says:

This is the kind of fast day I'm after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts.  What I'm interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families.

Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once.  Your righteousness will pave your way.  The God of glory will secure your passage.  Then when you pray, God will answerYou'll call out for help and I'll say, 'Here I am.'”

My faith is stirred. . .the Word of the Lord was powerful.  June 11th. . .will be the kind of fast the Lord is after.

When we follow His directions. . .the remainder of the verses in Isaiah 58 will manifest in our lives.

“Do this and the lights will turn on. . .”

Do you feel like you’ve been all alone. . .living in darkness. . .then rejoice because the One who created the sun and the moon. . .is about to illuminate your life with His presence.

“. . .your lives will turn around at once.”

Do you need a turnaround in your life?   It’s coming on June 11th.

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