When Fasting is Seen, but Not Heard

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Jentezen Franklin

Is it possible to fast and the Lord not hear your plea?

God said of Israel, “You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high,” (Isa. 58:4, NIV). What were they doing wrong?

Israel was unrepentant and had forsaken the ordinances of God. Though they appeared to be seeking God and delighting in His ways, their sin was all God could see. Instead of truly humbling themselves before God, fasting had become just another faithless mechanical performance full of strife, anger and lashing out.

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Though you do not fast to be cleansed of sin (the blood of Jesus is the only solution for sin), you should enter a fast seriously, having repented of any known sins. Fasting will even bring hidden things to the surface so you can repent. As David said, “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully,” (Ps. 24:3–4, NIV).

When you fast, your appearance should be normal, and you should not draw attention to your “affliction” of fasting through your actions, your treatment of others or your temperament. Though your focus should be on your own needs, the needs of others should be on your heart as well.

God said in Isaiah 58:6-7:

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? Is it not 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?

The Israelites questioned why they fasted with no answer from God. The Lord called Isaiah to “cry aloud, spare not,” (Isa. 58:1), telling the people to repent of their transgressions, to fast the way God ordained, and to tell them what would happen when they do:

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,” (Isa. 58:8-9).


The Lord says that when you fast, “your righteousness shall go before you,” (Isa. 58:8).

Your faith, your right standing with God, will cause you to move into areas where you would not have moved if you had not fasted. Doors will open to you that were not opened before, and your influence will go out like ripples in a pond.

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When my brother and I started our first revival meetings, we took turns fasting. I would fast on the days he preached, and he would fast the days I preached.

We knew we had the right intentions in mind, but we were a little surprised when that two or three-day revival lasted several weeks. We looked like half-starved refugees when the revival ended, but we had tapped into something powerful.

I believe the doors that have been opened to me have been a direct result of His promises being fulfilled because of fasting. There are people whose lives can be forever made better because of your righteousness going forth with influence.{eoa}

To learn more about the spiritual impact fasting has on your life, click here!

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