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God’s Purpose for Fasting (Part 2)

17 Jun

Welcome to the Special Fasting Edition of the Prayer Motivator Devotional Broadcast #31

This is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. It is good to be with you today.

We praise the Lord for all of you who fasted for 24 hours on this past Wednesday, June 13, 2012. And we praise the Lord also for those who are currently fasting for 40 days and nights with pastors and Christian leaders across America. Please be reminded as you fast to continue to pray for the following among other things:

1. For God to heal Christian families
2. For God to revive the church
3. For God to heal the nation
4. For 3 million or more people to come to Christ
5. And if the Lord is going to tarry His coming, for God to give us the godly leadership that this nation needs going forward.

Our Scripture reading for today is Isaiah 58:1-14 from the King James Version which reads:

1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.

9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Allow me to share with you some important points regarding this passage from Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

Observe, How good people are safe on all sides. Let them look which way they will, behind them or before them; let them look backward or forward; they see themselves safe, and find themselves easy and quiet from the fear of evil. And observe what it is that is their defence; it is their righteousness, and the glory of the Lord, that is, as some suppose, Christ; for it is by him that we are justified, and God is glorified. He it is that goes before us, and is the captain of our salvation, as he is the Lord our righteousness; he it is that is our rearward, on whom alone we can depend for safety when our sins pursue us and are ready to take hold on us. Or, “God himself in his providence and grace shall both go before thee as thy guide to conduct thee, and attend thee as thy rearward to protect thee, and this shall be the reward of thy righteousness and so shall be for the glory of the Lord as the rewarder of it.’’

We will continue discussing this passage in our next broadcast.

Our fasting quote of encouragement today is from an Unknown Author. He said: “Fasting is not intended to punish your flesh, but to focus on God.”

Our fasting devotional today is part 2 of our series titled “GOD’S PURPOSE FOR FASTING” from Elmer L. Towns in his book “Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough”.

I find in Isaiah 58, a model for the fruits God expects to see from genuine faith and devotion. Rightly used, fasting can help us present Him with those fruits. Thus, the passage prompted me to find in other places in Scripture nine kinds of fasting I think Christians should rediscover today — not just for their own benefit, but for the benefit of others as well.

In Isaiah 58, God says He has chosen fasts that (1) loosen the bonds of wickedness; (2) undo heavy burdens; (3) let the oppressed go free; (4) break every yoke; (5) give bread to the hungry and provide the poor with housing; (6) allow the people’s light to break forth like the morning; (7) cause their health to spring forth speedily; (8) cause their righteousness to go before them; and (9) cause the glory of the Lord to be their reward (or “rear guard”).

Rightly practiced, we see in Isaiah’s day a privileged son of Judah bowing before God and pleading with his people to turn from their sin, abandon their idolatry and worship the Lord through fasting and service to the poor and afflicted.

Now, let’s take this moment to break up the fallow ground in our lives. Hosea 10:12 states, “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”

The great evangelist Charles G. Finney preached a message titled “Break Up Your Fallow Ground – It Is Time to Seek the Lord”.

We had two lists of sins from Charles Finney’s sermon. One had 26 sins and the other one had 27 sins. As my assistants were preparing the broadcast, they got a little bit confused on the number of sins that Finney had in his original sermon. At first they thought it was 26 sins and then they thought it was 28 before they realized it was only 27. So, instead of causing more confusion on yesterday’s broadcast, I came up with another sin that unfortunately is common in the church on my feet at the spur of the moment, and that was the twenty-eighth sin of lust, perversion, and pornography. The Bible is very clear on lust. Lust is wanting someone or something that you cannot have. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 5:28, “That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

Everyone has a besetting sin or a strong, recurring temptation in their lives. I only have one temptation in life and that is and has been, my strong attraction to the opposite sex. I have never been tempted with money, fame, material things, drugs or alcohol, or anything else. Even though I am happily married and have been for 25 years, my temptation throughout my life has been beautiful women.

The Bible says in Exodus 20:17, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

This leads to the sin that we will deal with today, and that is the twenty-ninth sin of fornication and adultery. Fornication is having sex with someone before marriage. Adultery is simply having sex with someone that you are not married to while you are married. Unfortunately, both fornication and adultery are a problem in the church today and, of course, are very prevalent sins in our society. Are you a single Christian who tries to find sexual satisfaction with people you are not married to? Are you married but have a boyfriend or girlfriend on the side that you think your spouse does not know about? These sins are often overlooked and even approved of by the world. God does not want us to commit these sins because they hurt ourselves and other people.

Let’s go to the Lord in prayer right now and confess our sins before God.

GENERAL PRAYER

Dear friend, if you are listening to this broadcast and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, please understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. But here is the good news. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today and forever. Amen.

Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! We’re here to help you, feel free to contact us at GospelLightSociety.com

Until next time, continue to fast and pray. God Bless You!

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Posted by on June 17, 2012 in Fasting Edition

 

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