Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord? (Isaiah 58:5)
We have spoken of the benefits of an engaged spiritual life, and we are entering into new levels of intentional devotion, prayer, worship, stillness, and fasting. It is crucial that we understand this, that the Lord is never looking for new religious fervor apart from faith, hope, and love, but we aren’t interested in providing Him that, either. We are interested in getting the job done, not through showing off our spiritual progress, but by employing those methods that bring us into greater depths of love, obedience, and success.
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke? (verse 6)
So, what does constitute, what does trigger spiritual success?
I know we don’t use that terminology, but it works. To the pure in heart, all things are pure, and if we, from personal purity of heart, want to see success through our devotion, that means we want to see ourselves
- more fervently in love with our God and Father, in and through His Son, ever more obedient to His faithful Spirit, and
- more profitably employed in the liberation of souls from darkness and despair.
So, may it be that we will be careful, as so often we must in this life, to be moving in two directions at once, which will ever be straight forward, living to love our God with our whole heart and soul and mind and strength, and loving others as we would want to be loved if we were ensnared, unbelieving, wounded, blinded, without strength.
Today we determine that we are stepping out, stepping forward, toward a deeper love for God, demonstrated in our obedience, not for show but for others, for we will encounter them along the way, making advances, fasting the Lord’s fast. Today.
Lord God, we fast, we pray, in worship and stillness we seek You that we may know and love You better, and that we may see others at liberty to do the same
Cilantro Lime Rice
Brian Child, by permission, Wikipedia