Matthew 6:16-18

Thy Word:

Fasting Is To Be Seen Only By God

“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Matthew 6:16-18 NKJV

*****

My Thoughts:

My hands are shaking and I’ve walked away from this blog three times this morning. I started to leave the house and Jesus encouraged me to sit down again. But tears keep clouding my vision…

I wanted to skim through these verses about fasting because they are very clear, right?

  1. Don’t be a hypocrite when we fast.
  2. Consider whose approval we are seeking when we fast; God or man?
  3. If it is man’s approval, this will be our only reward.
  4. If we fast in private to the glory of God, He will reward us openly (God’s reward will always be better than any reward we get from man!).

But I’m in trouble, friends. Jesus is asking me to look at these verses from a different angle, and worse, He has asked me to share it with everyone. I’ve been bargaining with Him all morning but He keeps asking me to be brave.

You see, fasting is not difficult for me. In fact, I’ve fasted multiple times but God reminded me that I have not always done it correctly. This is not a revelation for me and because of that I have been creative with my fasting so it would have more impact. I’ve fasted from coffee (that does hurt!), I’ve fasted from sugar (when did I start loving sweets so much?), I’ve fasted from technology (big ouch!), and I once fasted by only eating one meal a day for a week (this is hard people!) and in each of these specific instances my heart was in the right place and the Lord rewarded me.

But that is not what God asked me to share.  {Deep breath…}

Why is fasting easy for me? Oh my word, I confess to you that my shame wants me to keep this to myself. Shame? Wait…, did I really just type that word?

Ding Ding Ding!!!!

Oh. My. Word. Now I understand what Jesus is revealing to me! He wants to heal me of another broken thing in my past.

You see…, I did not want you or anyone to know that as a child my Mother would ask me and my older sister to “fast” from meals when she could not afford to feed all five of her children.

This is not my shame! But I suddenly realize I took this on as shame as a child because I did not want anyone to know that we were that poor! I wanted to be like everyone else, so I kept quiet out of shame and pride.

Even as I type this truth to you, it seems surreal to me that any mother would ever be in a position where she would have to ask her child(ren) to miss a meal because she didn’t have the resources to feed them. However, whether we want to face it or not it happens every day all over the world and in the USA, a country that is known for being a land of plenty. 💔

Take a deep look into the face of your children and imagine that this is you…, I can’t even… But don’t close your eyes to this truth ladies and gentlemen. Look around you today and ask yourself this question: how many single parents or struggling families are “fasting” today so their children can eat? How many children are “fasting” from several meals a day so they can have one meal before going to bed? We have to put a stop to this.

We are about to enter into the holiday season and we should be receiving “giving” opportunities to provide food or money to local food banks or homeless shelters. If you haven’t received anything yet, reach out on your own and find one in your community—they are there—and give responsibly not just today, but all year long!

If we find ourselves struggling with this, this would be a perfect time for us to truly fast and pray according to Jesus’s outline from above and for all the right reasons.

If you are reading this today, and you are fasting or asking your child to fast because you don’t have enough, it is time to lay down your pride and go to a local agency to help you put food on your table.

*****

Closing Prayer:

Father God, thank you for revealing this hard lesson to me today so I am freed from another burden in my past. Satan can no longer use this as a weapon against me because I choose to use this revelation to Your glory. Father I pray today that we all take a good hard look at our finances and commit to give responsibly so that no family, no child ever has to “fast” because there is not enough food to go around. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

7 thoughts on “Matthew 6:16-18

  1. I think back on the very difficult things my children went through with an abusive father, then a single mom but God blessed us with food on the table. I do soup kitchens at times with my Sunday school class and the children there really break your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A memory: Fasting for me growing up meant taking a quarter (if our mom had one to give us) and saving enough lunch money quarters to buy Christmas gifts for a family of six. This meant going to school with no lunch and we already had no breakfast. The gifts were just dime store trinkets, but each family member including our mother had a little something under the tree. ( We had to get creative with wrapping paper as well). Thank you Cecilia for letting go of your hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

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