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March 18, 2024

THE RIGHT THING FOR THE WRONG REASON



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid. Tell my people Israel of their sins! Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me. ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’ “I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers. What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord?

 Isaiah 58:1-5 NLT

 

TODAY’S THOUGHT

Is it possible to do the right thing for the wrong reason and get the wrong results? YES

 

In our text today we read that for the Israelites, fasting became about securing their own lives despite others’ suffering. They practiced religious rituals but were abusing each other, oppressing the poor, and ignoring the needy. Fasting fueled by selfish ambitions won’t produce God’s favor in our lives. 

 

Our society has other challenges, such as digital distractions and materialistic living. While there’s no condemnation for those who’ve fasted things like social media or Netflix, the Biblical teaching is the sacrifice of physical necessities. Fasting implies the crying out to God with your entirety. It’s the uniting of mind, body, and spirit, which means that the actions of our flesh need to align to God’s heart.

 

If we are fasting or praying to get our selfish desires answered, we will soon discover there will be no answer or miracle. Prayer and fasting are to be actions to get ourselves into alignment with God—never to get God to act on behalf of our selfish desires. 

 

The discipline of prayer and fasting is to put ourselves in a position to bring greater glory to God. It is crucial that we use our times of prayer and fasting to get ourselves into alignment with God. Prayer and fasting can become a religious ritual with no significant benefit because we are attempting to satisfy our selfishness.

 

Let’s be sure we are praying and fasting to see God’s kingdom come and God’s will done on earth. Let’s make this Easter season a time where we will see miracles in the lives of others because we are committing ourselves to times of prayer and fasting.

 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Holy Spirit please help me to keep my heart pure. Help my motives to always be for Your kingdom. Help me to sense Your will and Your ways. Forgive me for my selfishness and reveal any selfishness that is blocking Your will in my life.

“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”

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1 Comment


Thank you Lord for my life . I just started my fasting journey yesterday and I believe today’s fresh bread was purposely from you to me. I will Fast from the proper purposes.

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