Just a few thoughts as we all prepare for August's fast....

In Isaiah chapter 58 the Lord counsels us on the true law of the fast. He condemns those who only fast to make themselves seem more righteous and others more uncomfortable. Though it may not be popular in the church to do that anymore, the Lord's other piece of counsel is certainly applicable to everyone.

Isaiah teaches that the fast chosen by Heavenly Father is one that makes our "voice to be heard on high". This makes me wonder how many times my fast consists of simply doing without food.

The other commandment dealing with the fast is that we use it as an opportunity to "deal [our] bread to the hungry", clothe the naked, and help the poor. This we do by donating fast offerings. Let us remember the story of the widow's mite, in which she was blessed because she gave of her living, not just of her abundance.

Fast Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to offer ourselves up to the Lord and communion with Him, and to give ourselves in service. We lose sight of our own needs and take care of others. The ultimate miracle of obeying the true law of the fast is the amount of blessings we (and those we serve) receive, many of which are outlined in this chapter:

-"thy light shall break forth like the morning"
-great health
-righteousness (which of course leads to a whole extra set of blessings)
-glory of the Lord upon us
-our prayers will be answered
-Heavenly guidance
-our souls satisfied in drought
-our "bones made fat"
-we will be like a "watered garden whose waters fail not"

And to those we bless with our fast offerings and prayers:

-they "shall build the old waste places"
-"raise up the foundations"

I take that to mean that together we will raise ourselves and societies up as we all take each others' example and constantly give to on another. (Let me know if your interpretation is different - look at Isaiah 58:12).

I remember how miraculous my fasting was while I served my mission, and looking back I can learn a few lessons from how I fasted. 1) I never fasted for myself - only for those we were teaching or others who needed special blessings, and 2) I knew that my fast would be answered with miracles. That is not to say we should never fast for our own needs, but the more we focus on the needs of others, the more our needs are provided for.

Let's all make this Fast Sunday the first of many in which we seek to really bless the lives of others - miracles happen!


Post a Comment