Key verse: Isaiah 58:6-7
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?
Read: Luke 10:29-37
The king of Nineveh heard the warning of the Lord from Jonah and proclaimed a fast. His people repented of their evil ways and discarded it. As a result, God spared Nineveh. David abstained from food and put on ashes to save the life of the child he had from adultery and murder. He whipped himself up with fasting that even his lieutenants pitied him yet the boy child died. But what did the king of Nineveh do that David did not?
Fasting is a great spiritual exercise that is highly essential for closing the gap between man and God so as to achieve much results. But it is not every time a man or a people abstain from food that tantamount to fasting in the real spiritual sense. As required by God, to fast is to first repent from your evil ways and stay clear of it. When fasting, you are expected to dissipate love in all ramification to show intention to live like God, in love. Having a yoke of wickedness on the neck of someone without taking it off; putting people under heavy burden as an employer without loosening it; failing to give to the needy or help the sick are things that debar the efficacy of a fast. God is not mocked. He sees and judges all things. David claimed to God he was sorry, yet he kept the proceeds of his misdeeds under his roof with the intent of keeping them permanently and pretended he was sober. You cannot have it at both ends. Repentance must be total with restoration.
The story of the good Samaritan shows the bane of the fast of many. The traveler was in bondage having been attacked. The preachers and people knowledgeable about the Law and the Lord would not offer a hand to assist him. They may have “good reasons”. They were busy people rushing to go and herald a service unto God; having very important meeting with the high and mighty; weary of being asked questions by the Police if the unexpected happens, etc. But there was one who was considered to know less who cared for the weak and helped him out of his bonds. Not because he was less busy. But because he cared and showed love. This is what God requires of you that your fast may be effective.
Act: Show love and God will receive you.