Are you being surprised in your fasting experience? God loves to surprise his children by strangely satisfying them with his presence.
Isaiah 58 (NLT)
1“Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid. Tell my people Israel of their sins!
2Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me.
3‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’ “I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers.
4What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me.
5You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD?
6“No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people.
7Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
8“Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind.
9Then when you call, the LORD will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
12Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.
13“Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the LORD’s holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.
14Then the LORD will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
Psalm 1 (NLT)
1Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
2But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.
3They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
4But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
5They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly.
6For the LORD watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
Isaiah 58 6,11 — “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen.…he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
“The rewards of fasting are not often instantaneous but are experienced over time. They come as surprises, like in the midst of a worship service when my soul is stirred and strangely satisfed. Or when I am reading the Word and my inner being is lifted beyond this world with a fresh perspective. Or when I am in prayer and the groaning of my heart experiences a peace that is unexplainable. I have found the rewards ultimately lead to a more intimate and satisfying experience with the God who made me, saves me and flls me.” Gary Rohrmayer
Father in heaven, today during my fast may I experience the sweet satisfying nature of your presence and experience the refreshing power of your abiding strength. Father, for your honor and glory I want to be like a well-watered garden, like a spring that never runs dry. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Take a few moment to journal what God had taught you today and leave a reply below.