What If…Posted: March 12, 2009
I was reading Isaiah 58 the other day and got nailed right between the eyes:
“Is such a 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?
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?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and to not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry and he will say, ‘Here I am.'” Isaiah 58:5-9 (ESV)
Like many of you, the Awaken Church community is fasting as part of our celebration of Lent and preparation for Easter. These few verses give us a glimpse of a fast that pleases God…
…we will humble ourselves…bow down our heads…worship the Lord in humility…help those in bondage to be free…share food with the hungry…invite the homeless into our homes…give to those who have need…
Fasting is not just giving stuff up…it’s about giving away. Giving away food. Giving away time. Giving away things. And doing so out of humility and in worship to the Lord.
So, instead of saying “I’m giving up TV for Lent” and then playing video games every night for 40 nights, take all that extra time you have (average American watches 4 hours of TV per day) and invest it by meeting a need in your neighborhood. Get together with some friends and then you have more hands and feet to do serve, give, and bless in humble worship unto the Lord.
Instead of saying, “I’m giving up lunch 1 day a week” and then sitting in your office counting down the seconds until dinner, take lunch to a poor person/family. Maybe you eat it with them or maybe you say you’ve already had lunch, but you’d love to chat with them while they eat. And, you do it as humble worship unto the Lord.
Or, instead of taking a meal to a poor person/family, what if you invited a poor person/family into your home and prepared a meal for them?
What if we all really did stuff like this? Can you imagine the multiplied impact? Wow!
God says that when we fast and live like this, His light shines brightly in us, healing comes to us and those we serve, people see Jesus in us (“your righteousness shall go before you”), His glory remains where we have been, and that we can cry out to Him and hear His voice.
Do you see why God nailed me with it? I hope He nailed you with it today! Now the question is…what are we going to do with what He has shown us? I’ll share another thought on this and what I’m doing with it in the next couple of posts.