40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 14 – Fasting


6 “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?  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 them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?  Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.  Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. (Isaiah 58:6 – 10)


Today we commence our reflections on the Discipline of Fasting.  As mentioned earlier this week, tomorrow we will fast together.  Most of us will do a food fast but some may elect another kind of fast (e.g., social media).  As always, you should take your health into account if you are considering a food fast.

As we focus on fasting, it is important to remember that our motivation matters.  Fasting is not a magic wand that gets us what we want regardless of what we believe or do.  Interestingly, our passage today makes a strong link between our attitude towards the world and God’s view of our fast.

Please prayerfully read the passage above and consider the question below.



The passage above lists several actions that God points to as being consistent with the fast He has “chosen”.  What is God’s prescription for our attitude towards the world?



8 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 14 – Fasting

  1. Becoming/being more compassionate is the thought that this passage brought to mind. If we attempt to do these things without an attitude of love and compassion they become burdensome tasks. God wants us to have a heart like his. He want us to have the attitude Jesus exemplified – an attitude that stirs us to be on the look out for and be ready to meet the needs of the less fortunate. “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” Matthew 25:34-36

  2. Fight injustice, share food and shelter, provide clothes, care for humanity. In summary Jesus new command – love your neighbor as Christ has and is loving me.

  3. God’s prescription for us is to follow his examples demonstrated in HIS words and actions. It’s all about Love and sacrifice. Then, will God respond to our call for help.

  4. After giving much thought to that message, there is a deeper realization what it means that God is love. Not only our thoughts but also our actions must show love at all times. We should not be self centered, focusing only on our needs. We need to be not only a reservoir of God’s mercy, love & goodness, but also a channel, sharing especially with those in need, what He has provided.

  5. God wants us to help one another.
    Too many of us turn a blind eye to the needs of others.
    Honestly people are selfish bottom line so he is telling us there is enough to go around so just have some compassion for your fellow being.
    Well I could tell you now there is a lot of work for mankind to get there.
    I had two women while waiting to be fingerprinted yesterday for a job that showed me how mean this human contact has become.
    Too long a story.
    I know I have compassion .
    My problem is discipline so I will fast tmrw.
    Tell me Norman what does the food fast rules?.
    Is it water only?
    Early breakfast etc.
    The Muslims fast differently from Christians.
    Does it matter?
    Let me know .

  6. When we see someone in need, our natural inclination should be to help them in whatever way we can, keeping in mind that Christ would.

  7. There is always someone worse off than you.
    When you have a loaf share it, you’d be surprised how far it goes as a blessing to others. And as in prayer and fasting we have to remember that it is to the Glory of God and not for self gratification. A tsunami of love.
    I have food fasted in search of guidance 20 yrs ago. There was no.plan. Just ‘a message ‘ to fast which I had never done before.
    I did not feel physically hungry for 3 days, but drank water. By the 4th day I was given spiritual help from the most unlikely quarter. That person was around for 6mths then disappeared. An angel? The Word tells us that we are all Angels and disciples when we truly believe and have faith.

  8. Comment from Pastor Anthony Oliver:

    To engage in activities that reverse oppression of the weak and vulnerable in society : clothe the naked, feed the poor, practice justice in all spheres, refrain from malicious conversations, et cetera.

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