A Fast Pleasing to God
By Norma Miller
March 1, 2015
Isaiah 58:11 caught my eye this morning. It says: 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.
We all desire to have God guide, bless, and prosper us continually. But what does it take for this to happen? Many times we feel more like the people in verses 1-5. God's children were fasting and seeking Him, but they were not happy with the outcome. They asked; Why have we fasted and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls and You take no notice (verse 3)?
God told them they were taking pleasure in their fasts and afflictions and were fasting for wrong reasons: to be noticed, for strife and debate. God said He was not pleased with this kind of fasting and did not find pleasure in seeing His children afflict themselves. This kind of fasting was not acceptable to Him.
He then described what He wanted His people to do: to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke, to feed the hungry, to bring the outcasts in, to provide clothing for those who do not have clothing, and to care for their families (see Isaiah 58:6-7).
God told them that if these things happened, THEN they would see their light and their health, and they would be known for their righteousness. THEN the glory of God would follow them wherever they went. He told them He would answer when they called if they quit judging and blaming each other. If they humbled themselves and reached out to those who were less fortunate, a bright light would scatter the darkness for them. THEN God would guide them, and satisfy them. This brings us back to verse 11, to what we want for our lives!
It gets better.
In verse 12, God told them they would rebuild broken things and would be called The Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Paths to Dwell In. Wow! Wouldn't we love to be called those things? God concludes by telling them that if they turned away from seeking their own pleasure and speaking their own words, and turned to Him and honored and delighted in Him, He would cause them to ride the high places of the earth and eat of the heritage of Jacob.
The gist is this: there is a time when God will lift us up, but first we must truly surrender to Him. If we humble ourselves and lay down our desires, if we surrender our dreams and goals to Him, and if we honor Him, delight in Him, and put others and their needs first, God will not forget. He will raise us in due time.
This is a process. Because we are so blinded to our own pride and our own will, God often shows us things in stages. I am in this process myself. Sometimes I am stunned at my own pride, but He is never surprised. He just takes us to the places we need to go to learn the lessons we need to learn, just like He did with His children long ago.
God is patient and will not give up.
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