New Hope Diamond Head 21 Day Fasting Challenge for 2011

Starting on the Sunset of Sunday April 3 until the sunrise of April 24 (Easter Sunday), New Hope Diamond Head will be fasting and praying. Join us as we open doors to a deeper, more intimate, and more powerful relationship with God! Please check our blog archive on the right column and read other blog entries from last year's fast challenge.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Last Sunday I shared with our congregation the importance to have the right expectations and motives when we do fast. The following is a summary of what I shared:

• We are not fasting to gain some special favor with God. So no need to be legalistic about this. Don’t get stuck in the details. Just join us in whatever way you can.

• We are not fasting to manipulate God to give us something we want. But you can bring to God issues that matter to you. Think through them.

• Fasting is not about changing God’s will, but about us changing according to the will of God.

You see, fasting really deals with our selfish nature—the desires to our own personal fulfillment. Fasting helps us to displace ourselves from the center of our world and places God and His people in the center instead. As we fast we purify our hearts from default human selfishness.

As we read in Isaiah 58, there was a season when the Israelites lost the correct purpose of fasting. We read in Isaiah that Israel became frustrated with God because God wasn’t answering their prayers made when fasting. They tried to impress God with self-infliction, with putting sackcloth and ashes on their heads, and with regular and rigorous fasts. But God had to remind them that all the theatrics were meaningless unless they deal with their selfishness while fasting. God was really strong about it!

3 “You are living for yourselves even while you are fasting… 4 What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. 5 You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like a blade of grass in the wind. You dress in sackcloth and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD? 6 No, the kind of fasting I want calls you to free those who are wrongly imprisoned… 7 I want you to share your food with the hungry and to welcome poor wanderers into your homes. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
Isaiah 58:3-8

God is saying here that our light shines brightly not when we fast for selfish reasons, but when we take care of the poorest of the poor, when we focus on other people's needs, and when we work in our character flaws. If we fast correctly, then we are going to fight against our selfish tendencies and be willing to be more compassionate towards those in need. The more we do that, the more intense the light will be. And just like we measure physical light by watts, we can measure our spiritual light with compassion. We must be willing to go with compassion into the most darkened places and glow the light of Jesus.

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