Wanted From God by Man:
- Fast Healing
- Answered prayer
- Needs Satisfied
- Strong Body
- Flourish in Life
Wanted by God From Man:
- Loose chains of injustice
- Free the oppressed
- Share your food with the hungry
- Provide shelter for the homeless
- Clothe the naked
- Care for your own flesh and blood
- Cease malicious talk
- Delight in the Sabbath
- Don't do as you please on my Holy Day
- Stop exploiting workers
- Stop quarrelling, fist fighting and strife
Yahweh has a checklist, a set of conditions to fulfil, if you want fast healing and other blessings.
You see, contrary to popular modern thought, His love is conditional - conditional on our obedience. Good parents are the same. They expect their children to be obedient to what they ask, before they hand over the treat.
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That's not comfortable.
He calls disobedience to His commands rebellion and sin.
That's not comfortable either, is it?
No one likes a hypocrite. But seeming to do the right thing is not actually doing the right thing.We've all seen the person at work who tries to look busy whilst actually not doing anything actually called 'work'.
"For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forgotten the commands of it's God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them."
To this accusation man commonly replies
"Why have we fasted, they say, and you have not seen it?"
"Why have we humbled ourselves and you have not noticed?"
The pharisees fasted regularly and were proud of it.
They prayed regularly too.
They made sure everybody knew about it.
But they didn't actually do what they preached.
Jesus tore them to shreds for it.
I like that.
Prayer and fasting is great! If it actually leads us to repentance and a changing of our ways and not just a pretty show for everyone else. The Bible links prayer and fasting to worship, repentance, lamenting over sin, driving out demonic strongholds, weeping and wailing over oppression. But most of all, it links it to us changing our bad habits to godly ones.
You see there's good and bad 'prayer and fasting'.
Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarrelling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You can not fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fasting I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
to set the oppressed free
to break every yoke
to share your food with the hungry
to provide the poor wanderer with shelter
when you see the naked to clothe them
to not turn away from your own flesh and blood
Answered prayer is conditional on 'good' fasting.
Then your healing will appear quickly
Then your righteousness will go before you
Then you will call and the Lord will answer
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and the malicious talk, 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. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strength your frame. ... If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honourable, and if you honour it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord. "
Good fasting is other's focused.
Bad fasting is selfish.
Good fasting is 'giving' focused.
Bad fasting is 'getting' focused.
Good fasting is generous.
Bad fasting is stingy.
References: Isaiah 58; Luke 2:37; Acts 14:23; Acts 13:3; Matt 17:21; Luke 4:2; Neh 9:1-3
Est 4:3,16; Ps 35:13,14; Ps 69:10-11; Jer 36:4-10; Dan 9:3; Joel 2:12,13;