An Unpopular Topic
Imagine God saying to you, “Here I am.” How about fasting from your agenda to ask God to fulfill His agenda for your life?
The Biblical idea of fasting is not only to fast from food, but to fast from anything that takes our eyes off of Jesus. This can be different for each of us. Fasting could be putting down the phone, the food, or the remote to focus on God, life, and the Bible. Isaiah 58:6 calls us to fast; that is, stop whatever is consuming our time and attention to help or mentor others:
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 58:8 calls us to fast to be refreshingly radiant with righteousness. This is how to feel the Lord’s presence behind us as we move forward to advance the Kingdom in some way.
Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Isaiah 58:9 is a call to fast and call on him for our heart’s cry. The Lord is so anxious to bless, that given any chance, He will do so. Is your heart’s cry for a wayward family member? Or to make a difference in someone’s life? Or to make your life count for all eternity?
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, “Here I am.”
Make eye contact with the Lord to ask, “How can I be used by You with all the life training and expertise You have given me?” See one option of what that might look like by registering at missionnext.org
Nelson Malwitz, Founder
Nelson was raised in the C&MA and attended Urbana in college. A Chemical Engineer worked in R&D positions 33 years. with formal training in methods of creative problem-solving. He was a founding elder at Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, CT (1982) in what is now one of the largest Evangelical churches in New England. In 1998 Nelson founded the Finishers Project, now MissionNext, and serves on the Board. He has been in 45 countries to work with leaders of leaders and see multiple cultures first hand.
Your article prompted me to think of how Isaiah’s ministry started with the words, “Here am I; send me”, and he probably didn’t know the “unpopular topic” he would be assigned to proclaim. His mission was open-ended and the outcome of his ministry didn’t look good. So Isaiah must have been thrilled to be able to offer to such refreshing words coming from God as “Here I am” to the people that would recognized their sin and cry out to God. When we focus our eyes on the Lord and commit to follow Him, we don’t necessarily know where He will send us, but we can know that He will be there with us and for us all along the way. 🙂
I love this! “to fast to be refreshingly radiant with righteousness”… so beautifully described! I want to be like that! What version of the Bible are you using? A good reminder to refocus on my reason for living…
Thank you for your delightful response. In this case the NKJV was used. It is one of about half-dozen of my go-to translations.
This reminds me of Psalm 81 where in verse 10 the Lord reminds us of His deliverance “I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt.” He recused then and recuses us now. Then he makes the remarkable offer “Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” Here in Isaiah the Lord makes a similar offer to grant our requests if we acknowledge Him as the provider and give thanks. Thank you Lord and thank you Nelson.