This is autism awareness month and honestly, I avoid all the media. I am.. aware. But there is one 'event' that I had forgotten about until mid-April. It is the Children of Destiny prayer push. They actually have prayer every day of the year but there is a special push in April. And today, April 23, there is a day of prayer and fasting.
This has lead me, via their extended prayer sheets on Children of Destiny, to Isaiah 58 which talks about true fasting. It is never just about the food. It is about the heart.. The fasting is a symbol of what is suppose to go on inside the heart. And also how that effects our outer appearance and actions. Fasting allows us to further our relationship in the Lord by relying on Him. Then we gain a better understanding about who we are and WHOSE we are. It is only then that our actions are changed for the right reasons.
I feel as if I am talking and writing in circles here. What does fasting do? I am just now trying to grasp this for myself. This is what I have so far.
- Fasting requires that we come close to God. We can not do it on our own effort and if we do we will either fail or miss the biggest blessing of a fast..getting to know Him
- Effect the outcome, change the tide, push a prayer we have been wanting for a long time over the edge. Why? I am not sure I firmly have this in my mind and heart yet. It is because He is faithful first. Our fasting is a sign of repentance and a sign of humbling ourselves to God. A sacrifice to our God. A fragrant offering up to God (Philippians 4:18). It shows God we are serious. Even though He knows our heart better than we do ourselves, there is still something we do on our part ... maybe it is to show ourselves that we are willing to sacrifice for Him.
- Fasting can change the hearts of others. God can and DOES directly heal our children. He also works in the hearts of others to move to help our families.
All of this can happen without fasting. I am sure of that. But as the Lord leads, people should consider fasting, not as a duty (as Isaiah 58 discusses) but as a love offering to our Lord.