Friday, January 2, 2009

Fasting in the New Year...

So, do you people ever do a fast to start out the new year? I never really had until last year, and at that time when I started it, I found out that many churches do a "corporate" fast to begin a new year. We were going on a vacation last year so we waited until after our trip, but this year we are going to be doing it along with everyone else. It was really a great way to get your mind focused on God and drawing closer.

I know that many people don't discuss their fasting, and sometimes it is something to just "do" without talking about it, but I just felt like opening a discussion in case anyone has a comment. I really am feeling the "health" need to fast right now...really and truly, especially after the holidays!!! It can also be a great time to remind yourself throughout the day to pray, about life in general or for a specific request or need from God. There are many examples and reasons for fasting shown in the Bible. Here is a verse that really speaks to me, from Isaiah 58, when the people are asking why God has not answered them after their "fasting." God gives them true reasons.

1 'Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 'Why have we fasted,' they say,
'and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?'
'Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.

Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?
'Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness [a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

I am still praying about what God wants me to do this year......I don't want to just do what everyone else is doing. I did that last year (A Daniel Fast) , and while it was still a great time and God honored my attempt, I feel like there is something different in store for me this year.....we'll see.


ktwalden said...

A wonderful post and scripture reference! Although church wide fasting for a specific time and of a specific manner can definitely bring breakthroughs and blessings from the Lord, I am with the group that believes fasting is indeed a very personal thing between you and God. Matthew 6 talks about giving, praying, and fasting privately and that your Father will reward you openly. But that is just my opinion and each person's relationship with God is different. The main thing, I think, is to do what you feel God wants you to do and not judge someone who does it differently....

andysbethy said...

I LOVE that verse. Specifically, pointing out that the whole point is to "share your food with the hungry, provide the poor wonderer with shelter" etc. I think we lose sight of that so often. Of course, there are different reasons to fast, but so often, it is to remind us of how blessed we are, and to make us thankful again for what we have, and willing to share it with joy.
Wonderful post!

Carrie Thompson said...

THis was such a good post. If I have read that scripture than it has been a really long time. I love that God just gives us the low down, you know what I mean. He doesnt say fast = getting what you want. He says fast and do all the other stuff you are already supposed to be doing and then I will show you what I can do! People think that the Bible is too flip floppy- but I so dont believe that. I believe that it is living, and that God tells us exactly what HE wants us to do! We just have to pay attention and maybe when we fast specifically we pay attention just a little bit better?

I think what you are embarking on is awesome and I have been personally contemplating fasting. I just love this verse!

I will be praying for you in this time!