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Prayer, Fasting, Sabbath, REST

COME:

Isaiah 58

2 They seek me day after day; they want to know my requirements, like a nation that does what is right and does not reject the law of their God. They ask me for just decrees; they want to be near God. 3 They lament, ‘Why don’t you notice when we fast? Why don’t you pay attention when we humble ourselves?’ Look, at the same time you fast, you satisfy your selfish desires, you oppress your workers. 4 Look, your fasting is accompanied by arguments, brawls, and fistfights.Do not fast as you do today, trying to make your voice heard in heaven....


...6“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? 7Is 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? 8Then 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. 9Then 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, 10If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
Matthew 5

21“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
Hebrews 4

1Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.” 6Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” 8For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.11Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
Colossians 2

16So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, 17which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
Romans 14

5One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it.

HEAR:

Is Sabbath "Holy"? What does the Sabbath mean to Believers in 2013 and beyond? It is a settled biblical fact that the law is behind us now. Anyone who claims that we must observe a Sabbath out of Duty or Obligation is not delivering a message from God. However, Jesus showed us that the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) had increased relevance, not decreased relevance under his ministry and in the Kingdom of God. Sabbath is command number four.

What did Jesus show us about the others? He said that the greatest commandment was to Love God, and the second is to love folks. He summarized the ten in one statement. What else did Jesus show us? He showed us that Adultery is a heart matter, that Anger without just cause is equal to Murder. He showed us that these laws revealed more about our hearts and the proper function of a society or a persons life than we gave them credit for. How is it, that we as a Church still feel strongly about not stealing, not murdering, not using the Lord's Name in vain... but we disregard the Sabbath?

Am I saying that we should all throw out our schedules and take Saturday off? You thought I was going to say Sunday but Saturday is technically the Sabbath, and by God's calendar it starts Friday night not Sat morning... No, I'm not saying this at all. Going back into Law or Obligation is not the answer or purpose of this line of thought. But what does it mean to us? Sabbath is to us a heart issue, just as all the rest are. Paul noticed in Colossians 2 and Romans 14 that no one day is any different or better than another do what is right in your heart.

However it goes deeper... MUCH deeper than even talking about days. This was never about days, it was about hearts and relationships. Isaiah 58 talks about fasting as a means to bring your heart closer to God's, to stop thinking about your own needs and start thinking about others. What does this have to do with Sabbath? Sabbath and Fasting are both about getting closer to God and further from yourself. Every moment, every second of every day is to be Sabbath to the believer. We are to enter into HIS REST. Not just once a week, but constantly.
"Faith is Rest. You cannot be in Faith if you are not in Rest." Keith Moore. 
Fasting is meant to be a way to tell your flesh that your spirit is in control and throw off the things that distract us, making us SELF absorbed and become aware of the world around us. Jesus mentioned fasting in a moment that his disciples couldn't cast out a demon. People often MISREAD this portion. They hear that fasting and prayer knocks out devils. Jesus didn't say that. He said they couldn't cast out the devils because of their UN-Belief! THIS (Unbelieving) comes out through a lifestyle of fasting and prayer. It was believing, not devils that he referred to.

Fasting and Sabbath have one thing in common, they are about entering HIS REST. Thinking more about HIM and HIS HEART for others than about yourself. If your prayer time is more about your needs list than interceding for others, you are still missing it. Jesus said in Matthew chapters 6 and 7, TAKE NO THOUGHT for yourselves. No means No means NONE. We don't pray for OUR needs, we pray for others needs.

Our needs are not met through long times of prayer, our needs are met through simple prayer, as we need something. All we do, the moment we have a need, is ASK, believing what you prayed for is yours, and it's yours. Mark 11:18-28 Thank God for it and move on. The prayer need not be long or complicated. The rest of our prayer time should be spent on others. If we struggle with the believing it's already ours part, we should add some fasting in, and double our time praying for OTHERS. The more we see His heart for others, the more we loose sight of our self-need.

All this is to say, that we enter HIS rest when we are spending less thought time on ourselves, than we do praying for, helping, interceding for, others. This isn't done through prayer alone. Isaiah points out service, feed and cloth the poor. HELP them. Make your life about living God's heart for the life of others. You will decrease and HE will increase and you will be better for it... you will be at rest.

DO:

Everything I just said above. Spend more time praying for others, meeting others needs. Concern myself with their well being, less time thinking about ME and what I WANT. Make my life about being GOD's heart to a hurting humanity. Not through works, but through resting in HIM and HIS LOVE for them.


How about you? You see anything to add to this? Want to share what examples you have seen or experience in yourself or others? Comment below. 



I call you empowered 2 prosper with good success!


N2 Good SuccessDarrell G. Wolfe
Blog: http://empoweredtooprosper.blogspot.com/
Facebook: Facebook.Com/EmpoweredTooProsper
Twitter: http://twitter.com/n2goodsuccess

See Also:
Books by Darrell G. Wolfe: Amazon.com/author/darrellgwolfe 
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