A wise man says: “when the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable”. A proclaimed fast is a chosen fast to address specific issues. The Bible says:
“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.
Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
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? Isaiah 58:1-6
A proclaimed fast is not a religious ritual. The people mentioned in our text above sought God daily, they fasted but they were surprised and began to question God because they did not get positive results for their engagements. The reason was made very clear from the text; they continued with business as usual even in their fast. They were content with the outward demonstration of piety which characterized their fast rather than the core reason for fasting. The period of proclaimed fast is meant to be engaged to draw closer to God more than ever before to gain spiritual edge so as to achieve the desired purpose.
One fundamental purpose or benefit of fasting is supernatural empowerment. For instance, it takes power to:
- Loose the bands of wickedness;
- Undo the heavy burden;
- Let the oppressed go free (the oppressor is the wicked who will never succumb to plea or appeal, his agenda is to steal, to kill and to destroy John 10:10);
- Break every yoke.
In the proclaimed fast, as we have it today, we can secure empowerment on this spiritual platform to witness Christ at all times and in everywhere. Many believers find soul winning so challenging because the empowerment to do so is not there. On the other hand, some believers find souls winning so exciting, that it has become a lifestyle to them simply because they are empowered. The Bible says:
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
Power to witness makes soul winning adventure both highly productive and easy. Therefore, it is important to crave for empowerment to witness as we engage in the proclaimed fast. The seventy elders got tremendous and outstanding result from their ‘outreach engagement’ because they were empowered. Luke 10:1, 17, 19.
The subject of empowerment is broad but we can be specific so as to ensure the delivery of our desires. Bartimaeus was very clear on what he wanted when he secured the attention of the Master. Mark 10:51. Let us ask for empowerment to witness more than ever before.
This season is not for business as usual; it is a period of spiritual positioning for supernatural empowerment.
Scriptures for meditation: Isaiah 58:6; Acts 1:8; Luke 10:1-19
Jesus is Lord!