Fasting the Righteous Way (It Isn’t What You Think)

by John and Ruth Greene

decision-worldUntold numbers of Christians claim to ‘seek God’ [Elohim, YHWH] — yet, by their own admission, have little to show for their claim.These may seem to be eager to know His Way and to somehow experience His Presence. They ask Him for justice in prayer and clamor for justice, wondering why He hasn’t noticed how they have been humbled, how they have humbled themselves to get His attention. These may feel ignored and neglected. So many people are terribly mistaken in their expectations, even unaware of the truths behind their plight. (Isaiah 58:2-3; “Justice & Righteousness“; “Your Master & Your Obedience“; “Filling Your Life with Truth Instead of Deception“)

humilityIn the days of old Israel, fasting was a common expression of faith. But this fasting had become strong evidence of their personal hypocrisy. They expected to make a quick physical show of humility. They dressed in sackcloth and covered themselves in ashes, but had ignored the real importance of what they were doing or why they were doing it. They were caught up in religious ritual, but neglecting greater issues. They had forgotten the ‘right-ruling of their Elohim,’ expecting to seduce or shame Him with their ritual. (Isaiah 58:5; “Road of Truth“; “The Antichrist & the War on Reality“; “YHWH: The Choice to Stay Loyal“; “He Must Have Deserved It“; “The Reality of Judgment & Your Preparation“)

Sanhedrin ambitionThe multitude in old Israel believed that they were doing what was right, even as a nation. They claimed to want justice and to seek it. Many were going through a process of fasting and humiliation, but were not being honest with it. YHWH was alarmed at what His people were calling a fast. They were brief and inappropriate in their actions. They continued to do as they pleased, even exploiting others, quarreling and having physical fights. They were full of strife. Elohim explained that this kind of fasting would not be heard by Him. (“The Abomination That Causes Desolation“; “Why Are Nations So Messed Up?“; “Government & the Law of Nations“; “The Meaning of Humility“; “The Struggle for Purity of Heart“)

The truth was that these people were not fasting at all in the eyes of their Father. They were going through some motions of ritual, but neglecting the real justice that they claimed to desire. They had adopted another kind of justice of their own making, calling what they expressed as ‘Elohim’s justice.’ (“Redefining Good“; “Leaven of the Pharisees; Leaven of the World“)

church politics ObamaIn this day, many religious people are repeating the same kind of beliefs. How many Christians have unwittingly adopted the moral code, the justice of the world as ‘Christian justice’ or as ‘God’s righteousness.’ Multitudes of professed Christians are spotted or radically soiled by the world, while claiming to be clean and set apart to YHWH, following the Way of Messiah, even claiming to be full of the Holy Spirit [Dedicated, Set Apart Spirit]. (Romans 12:1-2; “How to Receive the Holy Spirit“; “Being Set Apart Makes You Aware of Sin“)

Elohim did not want His people in old Israel to fast as they were. The kind of fast He desired was an inward change in His people and how they treated others around them. Elohim wanted another kind of ‘fasting’ that was not fasting at all. (“Disciple: Who Is To Help Those In Need?“; “Joy through Prayer and Fasting“; “YHWH: the Help of Those Who Seek Him“; “Refining Your Heart“; “Spiritual Fruit & Renewing Your Mind“)

“This is not the fast to choose to open the bands of iniquity, to shake off a burdensome yoke, to cast away oppression, to exempt and to break every yoke. Break your bread with those hungering. Bring the afflected and cast out to your home. When you see the naked, cover them and do not hide from your kin. Then light will break forth like the dawn, Healing will sprout swiftly, righteousness will walk in your presence. The honor of YHWH will gather at the time you call. YHWH will answer your cry, saying ‘I am here.’ When you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of your finger, and speaking unrighteousness. Draw out your being to the hungry. Satisfy the afflicted being and your light will rise in the darkness, Darkness will become as midday. YHWH will guide you continually, satisfying your being in the desert, strengthening your bones. You will come to be like a watered garden with a spring of water whose waters do not fail.” – Isaiah 58:6-11, direct translation

Pharisee humilityWhat can Christians learn from this? True worship is more than religious ritual. You can become so distracted and dazed by the corruption of the world that you miss the point of living. You forget the importance of vital relationship with Elohim, if such a thing is being taught or learned in the ‘church’ of today. Faith in this day is just as it was for the Pharisees in the first century. They put on a pious face while they had unforgiven sins in their heart, while quietly condoning and performing unrighteous practices behind the scenes. They were as whitewashed graves, lacking genuine compassion. The same lack of compassion ignores the plight of the poor, the helpless and the oppressed, even among the brotherhood of disciples. (Matthew 23:27; Isaiah 58:6-12; “What Is Washing By The Word?“; “The Secret of Dedicated Disciples“; “Discernment 101: Learning to be Discerning“; “Discernment the World Doesn’t Have“; “Truth About the Modern Concept of Pastor“; “The Need to Keep Spiritually Clean“)

helping others good deedsNot a single man, woman or child can be saved by deeds of service without trust in Messiah, just as personal belief lacks sincerity when agape love refuses and fails to reach out to others. A true and dedicated fast can be beneficial, both spiritually, and physically. But at best, fasting helps only the person doing the fasting in the short frame of time. Elohim wants service to go beyond personal growth to acts of loving kindness, expressed as true generosity as your cup overflows. True fasting is more than what you don’t eat or drink. Fasting is also doing what is pleasing to your Heavenly Father. Scripture is food for life. Your life is expected to express the fruit of Messiah. (Isaiah 58:13-14; “Foundation of Salvation“; “Shining Love Toward Others in Righteousness“; “Agape: Discipleship is Renewal“; “Defining Love“)

Elohim wants His Sabbath to be honored as well. This is not the Sunday of modern church, but the day set aside, appointed from the beginning of history. The Sabbath honors YHWH and is best for His people. Respecting this appointed time demonstrates trust. When disciples honor Elohim, He takes care of the needs of His people so that they can help one another, and seek the lost, in line with the commission of Yahshua [Jesus]. The Sabbath is also a day of rest, respecting the Father’s time of rest. (Genesis 2:3; “What is the Sabbath?“; “Serving for YHWH’s Honor“; “How Do You Honor YHWH?“)

resting in appointed times SabbathThis appointed day unifies families through the setting of priorities. Your day of rest refreshes you spiritually and physically, providing time to gather together for worship and fellowship. This is time to reflect on YHWH and His Son without the interference of other activities. At the same time, disciples need to be wary in the gathering of believers as well. Ask for discernment to see who is actively seeking the Way and for observing correct teaching. This is also why you need the discernment and assistance of the Holy Spirit. He is your link to salvation through Yahshua Messiah, rather than the denominational teaching of men. You are set apart to Elohim, not to the fables and traditions of men, nor to the rules and directives of pastors and other ‘men of God.’ (“Consenting to Fables of Men“; “The God of General Goodness“; “Understanding Sin“; “The Unpardonable Sin“; “Knowing Where You Stand on YHWH’s Threshing Floor“; “YHWH’s Threshing Floor“; “The Wheels of Ezekiel“)

“For YAHWEH so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16, HRB
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for sending the Messiah, your only begotten Son to be my Savior. I believe in Him and have made this belief the center of my life. Because of this, by faith I have everlasting life! Thank you! I repent of my sins and of my past, freely admitting that I have fallen short of Your righteousness. I look fully forward to you in my life and commit my life to You. Thank You YHWH, my Heavenly Father for setting me free in the name of your Son Yahshua [Jesus]. May it be as you have promised!
genuine-articleYou will never enjoy true freedom through the Messiah and power of the Holy Spirit unless you read and absorb the Bible in prayer and trust. You will never know this freedom until you experience it for yourself. Get to know your Heavenly Father, His Son and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life. The Holy Spirit is your teacher, your Holy Counselor that lives in you to help you learn about the truth of YHWH and His spiritual gifts.
Satan does not want you to have the excellence of YHWH in your life. People pray for protection and want to be taken care of, but often do little in growing close to Him. The world, your husband, your wife, your family, your government do not build your trust in YHWH or free you from spiritual bondage. Your church or your pastor cannot save you. Education, power and money will not free you, but only the Word of your Heavenly Father. Salvation is a daily walk, an act of love for yourself and for those around you, not a one-time event that centers only on you. Make the Word of YHWH your own, your very life!
YHWH is Yahweh, the covenant name of your Heavenly Father.
The names Yahshua and Yahushua are original language names for Jesus,
He is often referred simply as the Messiah or Master.
No portion of this site is to be copied or used unless kept in its original format in the way it appears along with author and website attribution. Your use of this website constitutes your agreement with these terms.
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