And so, the SUMite Community has gotten off to a great start in 2020. First we had the fast, then Lynn’s book, Marching Around Jericho, was launched. Many have reported receiving revelations during the fast, as well as Lynn’s book, which I wrote about on Monday.
Today, I want to share with you a personal story about a fast I experienced years ago that I called at the time, My Isaiah 58 Fast.
My story goes like this:
My husband’s sister was receiving treatment for cancer. Being a divorcee, she was living alone in a mobile home. We knew of her illness and stayed in touch with her, but living hundreds of miles away, we did not know the severity of her plight until my husband received a telephone call from her ex-husband.
“You and your siblings need to do something to help your sister,” he stated up front. “Not only is she severely sick, her mobile home is falling apart, and she cannot afford to have it fixed, nor can she pay her monthly bills. My wife and I are buying groceries for her, but we cannot afford to give her all she needs.”
Without hesitating, the next day my husband boarded a plane from our home in Orange, Texas for Atlanta, Georgia, to see his sister. However, something that had just happened in our immediate family left me apprenhensive about his going.
The company he worked for had just gone bankrupt a few days before he received the phone call. Here we were: no job with no job opportunities in sight, his sister is sick and needs financial help. Being the money conscious person I am, just the thought of him buying an airplane ticket was shaking me up, not to mention all the expenses he obviously would incur once he got there.
After I dropped him off at the airport, I went home and had a little talk with the Lord just as I used to do with my daddy when I was trying to present my case of something I reallllllly wanted Him to understand. (pitiful eyes, whiney voice, sniffling nose)
Our conversation when something like this:
Me: “Lord, I know my sister-in-law needs help, but Glen is out of a job, and we are now living on our meager savings. Besides that, it’s about time for our girls to start to college, and we have no idea when he will get another job.”
God: “Young lady,” He said, (just like my daddy always started off when he was about to put me in my place) “If you know what is best for you, you had better keep your mouth shut, no matter how much he spends. You have an unsaved husband who is not thinking about money right now; he is thinking about how he can help his sick sister.”
Me: Always the insistent one when it comes to quenching MY money, I kept pleading my case. “But, Lord, why was he the one his ex-brother-in-law called? His sister has other brothers and sisters; we can’t afford it right now.”
God: “You heard what I said, young lady. Zip it! Now, go read my Word in Isaiah 58. Perhaps that will give you the bigger picture.” (Just like my daddy—I won’t tell you again. Go do what I told you to do.)
Isaiah 58:6-9 (Messenger)
“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.”
Say what? Did Isaiah say “Be available to your own families?”
I fell to my knees and asked the Lord to forgive me. My non-Christian husband was living out a Godly principle, when in my own heart, I wasn’t.
When my husband returned home after three weeks with his sister, he wrote a letter to each of his brothers and sisters, along with the receipts of his expenses. And yes, each of them gave what they could afford to give toward the bill, and we paid the remainder.
But, shortly thereafter, my husband received a call from a large company with a job offer that became his career, which enabled him to replace many times over the expenses incurred in that period of time. BTW, his salary also put our girls through college.
I have to believe that God blessed and gave my non-Christian husband favor for his giving heart to his sister in her time of need.
Me? I learned a lesson from The Isaiah Fast 58 and that is: This type of fast should last all year.
I later learned that this fast is commonly called God’s Chosen Fast. Google presents extended research on it from many commentaries.
In the comments, what revelations have you gotten through a time of fasting?