Desire Of My Soul

Running Deep: The Fast

Fasting is for the spiritual adventurist, the lead-me-beyond-myself faith-walker.

 

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READING TIME: 4 MINUTES.

 

Fasting is a matter of turning down the world’s noise and tuning into God. It’s not about a bunch of man-made religious rules and regulations.

 
 

It’s about love. Love for Adonai and a soul desire to go deeper, press further, forsaking other “stuff” for the privilege of encountering him in a hidden, holy place.

 

A place not tethered to this physical world with its distractions, clamoring demands and earthbound desires where your soul’s senses—hearing, sight, feeling, smell, taste, spiritual discernment—are sharpened and fine-tuned to God.

 

That’s where prophetic intercession begins. A God-directed, God-appointed prayer-fasting dimension fused with faith to war against principalities, break strongholds, unhinge spiritual prison doors, and cast out demonic interference.

 

All by God’s lead, command, and authority filtered through you (his servant) for his glory.

 

Welcome to shift territory. Shifts in you, in others, in situations. It’s what the whole Jacob’s ladder and Messianic heaven-and-earth connection—and Isaiah 58 (God’s chosen fast directives)—are made of.

 

In other words, fasting isn’t focused merely on what you’re not doing (not eating, not watching TV, not shopping or whatever else you’re forfeiting for a period), but on action, what you are doing. In both the spiritual and natural realms.

 

For sure, the initial action is quieting your soul, climbing into the crevices of God’s Word to excavate new treasures, worshiping him and journeying into deeper intercession.

 

But it’s more than bunkering up in your prayer closet for the duration. In fact, it’s the rest of the story that apparently attracts God’s attention and ignites change.

 

When I wept in my soul with fasting . . . (Psalm 69:10a NASB).

 

WHAT GOD SAID

 

God lays down the parameters of what he considers a holy fast—and what falls short. Just look at Isaiah 58:4 (NLT excerpts).

 


 

What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling?

This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me.

You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance

bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind . . .

covering yourselves with ashes.

Is this what you call fasting?

 


 

The answer is a flat no.

 

The fast God wants—the kind of fast that reflects his heart—is as much bold and courageous in the battle but also humble, honest, and serving him and others. Like when Jesus washed the disciples feet.

 

Translation: Get your mind on heaven. There’s work to be done in this late hour. Clean the slate and confess your sins before him. As much as possible, get things reconciled with others.

 

Doggedly seek his heart on situations, and do battle on behalf of others, not just yourself. Remember, the enemy’s battle isn’t going to stop. It’s raging—and escalating.

 

This is the fast God wants . . .

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.

Share 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.

Isaiah 58:6-7 (NLT)

 

THE ISAIAH 58 GAME PLAN

 

Preparing for and during your fast . . .

 

1. justice—release those wrongly bound . . . even those who are bound-up in situations because of your prior actions, words, offenses . . . or those who are bound by the enemy and need the Word and intercessory prayer to free them.

 

2. freedom—lift those from servitude, usury oppression and break every heavy yoke . . . even the yoke of false accusations and slander from your lips.

 

3. generosity—meet the needs of people in trouble and fulfill your duty to your community, even by feeding your neighbors or the poor, by clothing those who need it or by volunteering in an outreach to help others. Bless someone during the fast using the money you would have spent on meals.

 

When you take passionate action during a part of your fast time to actualize the things that are tender to his heart, people are freed, saved, released, blessed, healed, fed, clothed, transformed.

 

Here’s his promise, per Isaiah 58, if you walk in his chosen fast . . .

 

1. spiritual growth—God’s light within you will burst forth, your previous gloom/worries will be replaced with his joy, truth, understanding.

 

2. healing—newness will replace those old wounds (emotional, spiritual, physical) and his strength within you will be renewed.

 

3. well-guarded—God’s glory will follow you, guide you and satisfy your needs even in the desert, your personal wilderness. When you call out, our King will answer, “Here I am.”

 

4. spiritually nourished—your soul will be like a watered garden, a spring that never fails because his living water is flowing over you. Better able to hear our Lord’s voice, his heart on a matter, how to spiritually battle in intercession on behalf of the oppressed.

 

5. warrior-strong—your soul will be readied with God’s strength, his leading, his desire to rebuild (restore) those ruins in your life and those he put before you in prayer and in person, repairing spiritually broken walls, restoring every nook and cranny so every soul can stand on his foundations, freed from the enemy’s grip to serve and worship the Lord and fulfill his determined purpose for their life in him.

 

KEEP IN MIND

 

So you’re called to step into a holy fast? Excellent.

 

1. Be prepared to battle in prayer . . . and elsewhere. People and situations could become hurdles that distract or reroute you from your fasting call. Keep vigilant so you don’t get sucked in.

 

And fully expect that your fasting day will be the one a co-worker brings in one of your food weaknesses to share with everyone. Stand firm in the call, but politely. Obedience to the Lord reigns.

 

And no need to let the world know you’re fasting. It’s personal . . . you and God. So a bit of social grace works: Maybe say you can’t eat (sweets or meat, etc.) that day but you’d love to take some home to enjoy afterward.

 

2. Consider seeking the Lord for a trusted prayer-fasting warrior to partner with you in the fight. Moses had Joshua. Jeremiah had Baruch. Paul had Barnabas.

 

3. Follow your Shepherd’s lead. Fast from the foods and/or things he says. But that doesn’t mean chowing down all day long on everything else (just eat enough to take the edge off). And it doesn’t mean running to and fro. The point is to step away from the daily routine, the mundane earthly focus and frenzy. Your body is tethered to this world and what’s in it—but your soul is from the breath of God. Run to him. Note: If you have a medical condition, be wise on food-fasting matters.

 

4. Expect to evidence change, be changed, and encounter our King’s Holiness. God, in his amazing kindness, lifts you up from the mundane, the tangible, and reveals words of wisdom or knowledge, helping you see (discern) within and without.

 
 

PHOTO CREDIT

Backpacked girl facing mountainous region by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash.com

 

[Expanded from a 2009 post of same title]

Desire of my Soul Author
AnnCastro. Bondservant of the Living God. Book developmental editor, book line editor, writer, exploring the subterranean deep of Adonai's words, stories, character, faithfulness, love. Stirring the soul toward Him, bridging understanding along the Judaic-Messianic/Christian continuum for His Glory.
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