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Vital signs- Sunday, June 25th, 2023

“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22‬:‭37‬-‭39‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Jesus died on the cross to bring us to God and one another. We must live on both the vertical and horizontal planes.

Fasting for Christians, is about changing our priorities to match God’s. The believer’s fast is a hunger strike against hell. We push away our plates in protest against the spiritual bondage imposed by Satan on humanity. Our spiritual hunger strike pleads for heaven’s attention and help in bringing release to the bound.

Isaiah 58 records the Lord’s word through His prophet, correcting the people of Israel regarding their purpose in fasting. God is not rebuking Israel for fasting; rather, He is reproving them for how they are fasting. They were being selfish. Their fasts were without spiritual focus, or worse yet, self-focused. The people used their time not eating for work or pleasure, not to pray or care for others.

Focusing on just ourselves is one of the dangers we must avoid during any season of fasting. Fasting is about self-denial, not self-fulfillment. It is about seeking freedom from spiritual bondage, not just for ourselves but for those around us. We must follow Christ’s example. We must push back our plate because the world is lost and needs the gospel. The brokenness we experience in fasting allows God’s love to flow through us and prepares us to be God’s messengers to a broken generation.

““Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; 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.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭58‬:‭6‬-‭11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Team Wade loves you and is praying for you 👊

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