July 19, 2011
Isaiah 58: 1-11
Cry aloud! Don’t hold back!
Raise your voice like a ram’s horn.
Tell my people about their rebellion
and the descendants of Jacob about their sins.
2They look for me every day and want to know my ways.
They act as if they were a nation that has done what is right
and as if they haven’t disregarded God’s judgment on them.
They ask me for just decrees.
They want God to be near them.
3Why have we fasted if you are not aware of it?
Why have we inflicted pain on ourselves if you don’t pay attention?
Don’t you see that on the days you fast,
you do what you want to do?
You mistreat all your workers.
4Don’t you see that when you fast,
you quarrel and fight and beat your workers?
The way you fast today keeps you from being heard in heaven.
5Is this the kind of fasting I have chosen?
Should people humble themselves for only a day?
Is fasting just bowing your head like a cattail
and making your bed from sackcloth and ashes?
Is this what you call fasting?
Is this an acceptable day to the Lord?
6This is the kind of fasting I have chosen:
Loosen the chains of wickedness,
untie the straps of the yoke,
let the oppressed go free,
and break every yoke.
7Share your food with the hungry,
take the poor and homeless into your house,
and cover them with clothes when you see them naked.
Don’t refuse to help your relatives.
8Then your light will break through like the dawn,
and you will heal quickly.
Your righteousness will go ahead of you,
and the glory of the Lord will guard you from behind.
9Then you will call, and the Lord will answer.
You will cry for help, and he will say, “Here I am!”
Get rid of that yoke.
Don’t point your finger and say wicked things.
10If you give some of your own food to feed those who are hungry
and to satisfy the needs of those who are humble,
then your light will rise in the dark,
and your darkness will become as bright as the noonday sun.
11The Lord will continually guide you
and satisfy you even in sun-baked places.
He will strengthen your bones.
You will become like a watered garden
and like a spring whose water does not stop flowing.
I have felt for some time now that God was going to call me to a 2nd 40 day fast and on my run yesterday I sensed the Spirit saying that January 2012 is the time. As of now I am putting it on my calendar to start my fast on January 1st 2012.
By the way, I am going to ask my church family, other clergy, and anyone else who feels the leading of the Spirit to join me on this journey. Don’t panic, there are many ways that you can join me. I personally plan to receive nothing but water during the 40 days.
You may or may not recall that God called me to do a 40 day fast in February of 2010. Let me just say that a lot of miracles happened during that time and many are still happening. Fasting is not magical but the miracles that happen with fasting seem magical. In about the first week of my 2010 fast God gave me a vision of me standing in New River, Baptizing my dad. Most of you know that just a couple of weeks into the fast my mom and dad started coming to church (after 40 years of prayer) and I baptized my dad on May 29th of this year 2011.
God is an awesome God, there are so many miracles that have happened. We have begun the ministries of Out of the Box Worship Center and God is blessing in miraculous ways. But above all, Fasting is a time for us to humble ourselves before the Lord and to get close to Him. During times of fasting I can hear God’s voice better than ever, I can sense His presence in so many ways, the focus is on Him and his sustaining power during the fast.
I will blog more as time passes and I will share ways that you may want to participate. I will also let you know what I hear God revealing to me about His church and what He wants to do through His body in 2012.