Do You Think I’m Impressed?

The Lenten season is now in full swing. I know because today was a day of fasting for us. The church we belong to here held a corporate fast followed by Bible study and prayer. The passage of scripture used is Isaiah 58:1-9. Look at this passage in the Passion Translation and note the question, “Do you think I’m impressed with that kind of fast?”

Let’s take a look together:

“Shout it loud and clear! Don’t hold back! Let your voice be like a trumpet blast! Declare to my people their rebellion and to Jacob’s tribes their sin!

Yes, daily they seem to seek me, pretending that they delight to know my ways, as though they were a nation that does what is right and had not rejected the law of their God.

They ask me to show them the right way, acting as though they are eager to be close to me. They say, ‘Why is it that when we fasted, you did not see it? We starved ourselves, and you didn’t seem to notice.’

“Because on the day you fasted you were seeking only your own desires, and you continue to exploit your workers. During your fasts, you quarrel and fight with others and strike them with an angry fist. When you fast like that, your voice will not be heard on high. Do you think I’m impressed with that kind of fast? Is it just a day to starve your bodies, make others think you’re humble, and lie down in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast? Do you think I, Yahweh, will be pleased with that?”

“This is the kind of fast that I desire: Remove the heavy chains of oppression! Stop exploiting your workers! Set free the crushed and mistreated! Break off every yoke of bondage! Share your food with the hungry! Provide for the homeless and bring them into your home! Clothe the naked! Don’t turn your back on your own flesh and blood!

Then my favor will bathe you in sunlight until you are like the dawn bursting through a dark night. And then suddenly your healing will manifest. You will see your righteousness march out before you, and the glory of Yahweh will protect you from all harm! Then Yahweh will answer you when you pray. When you cry out for help, he will say, ‘I am here.’” Isaiah‬ ‭58‬:‭1‬-‭9‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Do You Think I’m Impressed?

If I’m honest, I’ve tried to impress God with my fasting and prayer. But today felt different. Today I wasn’t fasting alone to reset my body or cut a few pounds. Fasting with our church family felt like more of a sacrifice and at the same time, like a group school project. Since we were all in it together, I felt compelled to hold up my end.  We fasted from 6 am -6 pm and Bible study began at 7 pm.

Fasting isn’t a meaningless ritual. It’s a sacred appointment that brings our hearts, thoughts, and behavior into alignment with Him.

If you’re participating in this fasting season, like me, you might consider checking your motives. Open your heart to fast in a manner that is worthy of our calling. My soul was put in check because of God’s question, “Do you think I’m impressed?” How about you? What is your gut whispering to you as you take in God’s words? He wants us to fast for the right reasons. And they should all begin and end with Him.

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