The Acceptable Fast

Written by: Heleen Abrahamse
Article source: Supplied 

I remember my first fast.  A three-day fluid fast…

I was taught or rather told that you fast for two reasons:

  1. For breakthrough in a certain area of your life and
  2. For getting closer to God.

That first fast was so hard!  I remember how angry I was during those three days.  I couldn’t understand why.  What was happening to me and how, being busy with ‘something of God’ I have all this anger in me?  I knew I couldn’t take it out on anyone, so even during those early stages of TRULY following Christ I prayed during those times of intense anger.

Later, I learned that fasting, and especially a fluid or water fast will quickly show you what you are full of, irrespective of your reasons for fasting.

When I finished that fast, I sat on my bed and I felt the presence of God so tangibly, I just bawled.  I felt a release, and I knew something happened in me.  I knew something shifted, although I did not know what.

Honestly, that moment in God’s presence was so touching that I didn’t really care.  I just wanted more of it.

Fasting gradually became a part of my lifestyle.  On occasion I would fast out of my own free will – for personal reasons – but as I grew in the Lord my fasting was done more on assignment from God.

I would have a prompting in my spirit. A nudge. An ‘uneasy’ feeling toward a person, place, gathering, work meeting, interview, something in the news etc. and I would know it’s time to fast.

From the experience of my first fast, I recognised that when the assignment was complete I would have a similar experience to that at the end of my first fast.

I usually end up a weeping mess on the floor in the presence of God.

There has been times when I was given the days to fast.  There has been times when the Holy Ghost prompted me to start fasting and I didn’t know how long.  I would just fast until I heard the Holy Spirit say ‘It is done’.

Obedience, sacrifice and prayer are the key ingredients to an acceptable fast.

Without prayer and sacrifice fasting is powerless.

In times of fasting we choose to become physically weak, so we can experience more of God’s power and presence.  We become weak so we can receive strength from the Holy Ghost.

In Isaiah 58 the Lord makes the true meaning of fasting clear:

  • To loose the bonds of the wicked
  • To undo heavy burdens
  • To set the opressed free
  • To break every yolk
  • To share your bread with the hungry
  • To provide the poor with shelter
  • To clothe the naked
  • To turn away from your own flesh

When I read the above and I envision what this looks like in the spirit, fasting carries so much more significance.

It is good to see someone feel lighthearted and free but it is so much more exhiliratingly awesome and powerfull to see chains fall off them in the spirit, and see how God sets them free.

Read those bullet points again and think of what that would look like in the spirit.

What happens in the spirit, manifest in the flesh and what happens in the flesh manifest in the spirit.

Empty-hearted fasting; empty-hearted sacrifice is offensive in God’s sight.  Fasting and personal holiness is only acceptable to God when we have our priorities straight.

Fasting breaks forth the light of the Holy Ghost within you and brings healing to your mind, body and soul.

‘And your righteousness shall go before you, for you shall raise up the foundations of many generations and you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets to dwell in and the glory of the Lord will be your rearguard – Is 58:8&12

Sacrificial fasting is serving God wholeheartedly and the reward for serving is beautifully concluded in the closing verses of Isaiah 58.

‘Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.  The mouth of the Lord has spoken. – Is 58:14

Kingdom-minded fasting pleases God!

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