Along with the fasting
Peace and love of our God Jesus Christ be upon us.
On this day, we have done a fasting and we gather in this evening through the prayer in fasting. Through the prayer in fasting, we are able to see the face of Jesus, which is shining like a sun. (It has been preached since the Passover Service in Surabaya, April 20, 2014
).Revelation 1:161:16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance waslike the sun shining in its strength.
Through the fasting, we are able to see Jesus face which is shining like a sun. We have to know that there is fasting, which is acceptable to God, and is the one which is not
Some aspects that make our fasting is not acceptable to God are as follows.
The true fasting
- Isaiah 58:3-9
58:3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,‘and You have not seen?
Whyhave we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’
“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,
And exploit all your laborers.
58:4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate,
And to strike with the fist of wickedness.
You will not fast as you dothis day,
To make your voice heard on high.
58:5 Is it a fast that I have chosen,
A day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is itto bow down his head like a bulrush,
And to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Would you call this a fast,
And an acceptable day to the Lord?
58:6 “Isthis 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?
58:7 Is itnot to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
58:8 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.
58:9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
“If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
The first unacceptable fasting is to fast but our flesh reigns over us: we commit evil things, we keep our sins, and so on.
On a righteous fasting, we tear up our flesh so that we are set free from our sins.
- Jeremiah 14:10-12
14:10 Thus says the Lord to this people: “Thus they have loved to wander;
They have not restrained their feet.
Therefore the Lord does not accept them;
He will remember their iniquity now,
And punish their sins.”
14:11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for this people, for theirgood.
14:12 When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.”
The second unacceptable fasting is to fast yet being wild. It means that we are not in the righteous shepherding but wandering around. To wander around is not acceptable.
On a righteous fasting, we bring our lives in the righteous shepherding.
There is a connection between a fasting and a shepherding. Do not be wild!
- Zechariah 7:5-10, 12-13
7:5 “Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh monthsduring those seventy years, did you really fast for Me—for Me?
7:6 When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink for yourselves?
7:7 Should younot have obeyedthe words which the Lord proclaimed through the former prophets when Jerusalem and the cities around it were inhabited and prosperous, and the South and the Lowland were inhabited?’”
7:8 Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying,
7:9 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Execute true justice,
Show mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother.
7:10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless,
The alien or the poor.
Let none of you plan evil in his heart
Against his brother.’
7:12 Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts.
7:13 Therefore it happened, thatjust as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,” says the Lord of hosts.
The third unacceptable fasting is to fast and holding on our ego. We hold on our self-need and our self-desire so that we are not obedient to God.
On the other hand, the true fastingwill make us obedient and remember our neighbors who are in need both physically (we are willing to give, we are not stingy, greedy, or self-centered) and spiritually (we testify the Word and invite people). If we are even unwilling to invite people, we are very self-centered, indeed.
Remember!The people that we invite may take us as their enemy. It is a great chance for us to invite, because there is a chance that the people may be changed as they listen to the Word.
We have to remember our relatives and friends and bring them to the fellowship.
6:17 But you, when you fast, anoint your headand wash your face,
The characteristics of the true fasting are as follows.
- “Wash your face”: we have to wash our face with the water of the Word.
The face refers to our heart. If our heart is afraid, our face turns pale. Washing our face with the Word refers to the sanctification of the heartby the righteous Word of God.
- “Anoint your head”.
The head refers to the mind, and the anointment refers to the anointment of Holy Spirit. Anointing our headrefers to anointing our mindwith the Holy Spirit.
The Word sanctifies our heart and the Holy Spirit anoints our mind. In a fasting, we let the Word and the anointment of the Holy Spirit, that is the Word that is sharper than any two edged sword, freely sanctify our heartand mind
When we fast, we have to use our time to read the Word and pray so that the Word and the Holy Spirit have the chance to sanctify our heart and mind.Mark 7:21-23
7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries(1), fornications(2), murders(3),
7:22 thefts(4), covetousness(5), wickedness(6), deceit(7), lewdness(8), an evil eye(9), blasphemy(10), pride(11), foolishness(12).
7:23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
means cannot be advised. The evil and unclean heart and mind are sanctified from 12 evil and unclean thoughts
, which make our face sad. If our heart and mind are sanctified, we will have a happy face and we are able to see God and worship Him
.Matthew 5:85:8 Blessed arethe pure in heart, For they shall see God.
Fasting is not about not eating and not drinking, because a lot of people also do the same thing. What makes our fasting different is the greatest chance the Word and the Holy Spirit to sanctify our heart and mind from the 12 evil and unclean thoughts when our flesh is weak, and we are able to see God
or Jesus’ countenance, which is shining like a bright sun.Revelation 1:161:16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance waslike the sun shining in its strength.
The sins are the ones that prevent us from worshipping God and make us far from God.
If we let the Word and the Holy Spirit sanctify our heart and mind from the 12 evil and unclean thoughts, and we are able to look at God, or Jesus’ countenance, which is shining like a bright sun (the light of glory).
If our heart and mind are not sanctified, there are 12 hidden things and our lives will be blind. But if we are sanctified, we are able to look at God, whose face is shining like a bright sun (the light of glory).
The results are as follows.
- Numbers 6:26
6:26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’
The glory of Jesus’ countenance will let us have the peace. We will not feel anything that the flesh feels. Even though we come to the service in fright, anxiety, bitterness, failure, and revenge, depression or in disappointment, when we look into God’s countenance, we will not feel anything that the flesh feels, but we will only feel God’s mercy. Even when we are in grief, we will be in peace when we look into God’s countenance.
This experience cannot be told, but it should be our individual experience. In such condition, all things become easy and light.
- Numbers 6:25
6:25 The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be graciousto you;
The glory from God’s countenance gives us mercy and graceto help us from impossible things right in His time. In holiness, when we look at God, He is battling on our stead.
The moment when the king Jehoshaphat had to face the multitude of armies, he was scared, but he proclaimed a fast and confessed that he had no power to overcome the enemies and he did not know any way out.
That is the moment when God’s glorious face gives us the grace to help us right on His time. We are weak, but we win against the powerful ones, because God is battling for us.
Do not be disappointed, in despair, or proud of everything. We have to rely on God’s mercy. If we are distressed, put everything to God, worship Him, and look at His countenance until we get the peace, and everything will be easy and light.
2 Chronicles 20:1-3, 12, 24
20:1 It happened after this thatthe people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and otherswith them besides the Ammonites,came to battle against Jehoshaphat.
20:2 Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitudeis coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which isEn Gedi).
20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fastthroughout all Judah.
20:12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no poweragainst this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes areupon You.”
20:24 So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there weretheir dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped.
Whenever we have problems that we do not know the way out, that is the right moment to take a fast. Do not be idle! It is important to fast.
Fasting is important! If we focus on fasting, it really is a chance to be sanctified until our eyes focus on God. At that moment, God will give His light upon us, He will fight for us and we will win without a fight.
When our eyes are fixed on Him, we will have His mercy and triumph over our impossible problems because He fights on our stead.
Do not be afraid! The grace will also helpus right on His time. As Jehoshaphat had to face the numerous armies, he won because of God’s mercy. David experienced the same thing. When he committed adultery with Bathsheba, he was devastated. However, by God’s mercy, he was lifted up because he was able to accept the Word, he was sanctified and his eyes were fixed on Him.
David did great sins: he committed adultery and he killed Bathsheba’s husband. Fortunately, he was willing to listen to God’s word. This is God’s mercy.
Psalms 51:1 = sins confession
To theChief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Batsheba.
1 Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions
Nathan rebuked David with a strong Word, which is sharper than any two edged sword. When we have a fast, we are like David when he faced Nathan. David was willing to be sanctified, he was not angry. On the contrary, King Herod was angry when John, the Baptist, rebuked him and eventually he beheaded John.
David was willing to accept the Word and his eyes fixed on God, he worshipped Him so that he was lifted up.
God’s grace is able to helpus from our sins even the peak of sins. We are restored and we will live in righteousness and holiness. God’s grace will help us from problems and sins.
- The glorious light of God’s face will changeour life from the carnal human to spiritual one like Jesus.
If the light of the sun illuminates us, there is light. Our life change starts from being honest and to believe in God. If the sun illuminates us, any darkness disappears.
Do not hide anything! When the sun shines, there is nothing else to hide. Anything that we are facing right now, if we look into Jesus’ face, we will be able to be honest and believe on God, we have no doubt even though we are facing a corpse. The light of glory is able to revive the dead.
If we are being honest and believing, the light will revive the dead. Let us fix our eyes on His face through the fasting and we will be happy because by doing this we are giving a very wide chance for the Word to sanctify us, even to the heart and mind. We will be in peace and silence, we feel nothing else, and everything is easy and light. Maybe we have not been helped yet, but everything becomes easy and light.
The second thing, the grace will help us and fight for us against anything. It will lift us high and restore us so that we are able to live in righteousness and holiness.
It will also change us to be honest and believe.
11:39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been deadfour days.”
11:40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
11:41 Then they took away the stone from the placewhere the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up Hiseyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
“Take away the stone” = being honest.
Martha confessed that Lazarus was rotten. For us now, it is to confess our own rots. At the moments when we face the dead things physically(failure, impossibilities and devastation) or spiritually(being rotten), we have to be honestand must not hide the rots. If we are forgiven, we should stop sinning and believe.
Being honest and believing means there are God’s glorious hands that will create miracles upon us, and the dead will be raised.
God will create a spiritual miraclethat is to change us. God will also create physical miracles; nothing is impossible.
When He comes again for the second time, we are changed until we are as glorious as Him. We will enter the eternal Kingdom of Heaven and we will be with Him forever and ever.
13: 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sunin the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
We shine like the sun, like Jesus, we are perfect and as glorious as Himself, we are lifted up high to welcome His second coming in the clouds and we will enter the Kingdom of Heaven forever and ever.
We have to give it all to Him, we look at His shining face, and the glorious light will bring us peace, grace, and the glory of God, which is the change of our life. There are miracles that we will have tonight.
God blesses us.