“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?” Isaiah 58:6

What fast have you chosen? Most of us would probably answer that question with a list of what we’re eating, what we’re not eating, and for how long. It’s all too easy to become so focused on what we’re giving up that we lose sight of what’s to gain.

God answered that question in Isaiah 58. He has chosen a fast that loosens bonds of wickedness, lifts heavy burdens, frees those who are oppressed and breaks every yoke. When you grab hold of this truth—the fast God has chosen—your focus can shift from the sacrifices you’re making to the promises you’re awaiting.

Is there something in your life that has you bound, weighed down and held back from your destiny? Are you “yoked” to a bad habit, an iniquity, a habitual sin? Do you live with the weight of regret, depression, or discouragement … with the burden of providing for your family in a shaky economy … with the pressure of children, a spouse, or parents who are not saved?

As you fast, cry out to the Lord to break those bonds, lift those burdens that make you feel hopeless and helpless. Let Him put the pieces back together in your own life then He can empower you to rescue others … to feed the hungry, to house the poor and the outcasts, and to clothe the naked. And what does God say will come next:

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.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’

Isaiah 58:8-9

So again I ask, “What fast have you chosen?” What is the Holy Spirit whispering to your heart? Is there something you need to let go? Or maybe something it’s time to go get? This is the fast you have chosen. Remember it. Put it in front of you. And remember—when you are weak, He is strong.

The Fasting Edge