Isaiah 58:6-9 (MSG)
“This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, God will answer.
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
Isaiah 58:6-8 (NKJ)
6 “ Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
What I see
Vs 6 God is getting very specific about what He wants, the fruit or results he wants to see. He wants our fast, our outward acts of sacrifice to have lasting results and not just lasting but big results. Mountain moving, earth shaking, soul saving results. He wants oppressed people to be free, not for a day, for a month but for eternity. He wants them free from from evil, unfair treatment, every burden, every act of injustice. Who are some of those people He wants free…………..the unborn, orphans, widows, the abused, molested, the poor, the old, the lonely, the dying, the lost. There are so many that God loves and wants free! He wants us to be His voice, His hands, His feet, His Arms, His legs, His fingers, His heart, He wants our lives to be a light, His light in a dark place!
Vs 7 He wants us to do! To pray and then do, actially meet physical needs! Share your food, your home, clothe the naked, visit the sick, feed the poor and always be open to help your own family. The idea is to get out there in this vast world our Lord has created and share HIM, His love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, power, joy, peace with all of His Creation. His children and those that are not His (yet………spoken by Faith). Use your own resources no matter how little or how great, that God has blessed you with to meet the needs of those around you. Use your own hands and feet to meet the needs, to set the captives free. I am not speaking to those who are truly not physically capable but to those of us that are capable to DO!!
Vs 8 When we live in this way, the way that points to our Awesome Creator, Lord and Savior, the way that He wants us to live than that’s when we can be confident that His hand will be on us! His blessings will flow in our life! He will take notice of our voice, our prayers, our cries! Our righteousness, our right living, our heart choices will go before us and God’s protection will be all around us! My flesh says BUT….NO! No buts! This is what God wants, this is what God expects and why shouldn’t God expect to get what he wants!!
James 2: 14-17 (MSG)
Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
James 2: 14-17 (NKJ)
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Thoughts I can’t shake
Our relationship that we have by Faith in God will stir us to ‘do’ and then when we actually go and do, that’s when we can bank on all the promises of God! If we aren’t being stirred to ‘do’ than let’s ask ourselves do we really know the Creator, the Lord, the Savior we call God! You know the one that spoke and BAM everything came into existence, the one who gave His only son. How do you answer this question “What if we are being stirred to “do” but we don’t ?” My answer is the same, do we REALLY know this amazing God!