Religion versus Reality

March 31, 2021

Isaiah 58:2-4

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 forsaken the commands of its God.

They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them.

3‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it?

Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.

4Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists.

You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.

Religion versus Reality

                Through this passage in Isaiah God teaches us something about the difference between being religious and really walking in the nature of God.  The Israelites can’t understand why God does not honor their fasting, their sackcloth and ashes and their outward showing of humility and sacrifice.  God basically tells them that what you do outwardly is ineffectual if it doesn’t change and truly affect the condition of your heart. 

                God is after the condition of our hearts and no amount of religious ceremony or outward works means anything to God if your heart isn’t changed.  The true fast of God is in walking out in obedience the nature and character of God in every day life.  It is not in all of the super spiritual things that we do, but in the every day application of the love of God toward the people in your sphere of influence. 

                God declares to them the fast that He has chosen: “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?

7Is 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?

8Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.

9Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

10And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:

11And 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.

12And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

13If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”

                It is practical daily living in the nature of Christ that is the true fast and that is what captures the ear and the heart of God.  If we want a real fast, not just a religious one, then let’s walk in the love, power and demonstration of the nature of Christ, then God will hear us out of heaven and will answer our prayer.  He will honor us as we honor Him.  Out of that place we have a spiritual legacy of children that we have built up and restored to the glory of God the Father.



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