As I mounted the treadmill for another adventure with God, I wondered what the day’s lesson would be. It seems each time I go to the gym in preparation to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro God has a unique lesson for me. He is teaching me and preparing me in my life for more than a climb up a mountain. There have been a couple recurring themes now…
“I know the plans I have for these kids declares the Lord. Plans for a hope and a future” and then he whispered, well ok yelled, in my ear “and those plans and that hope and future rests in the hands of you and my people.”
The other theme and what has been heavy on my mind today comes out of
“5Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD?
It is more than going to church. It is more than saying I am a Christian. It is more than putting on an appearance of being spiritual, holy, Christ-like, or righteous. It is more than saying “What can I do? How can I help”. It is actually helping. It is actually doing something.
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 THEN your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 THEN you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, THEN your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
He is calling me to a new kind of “fast”.
As I picked up the pace on the treadmill it was as if he was saying run for these kids. Go fast on their behalf. Do this to loose the chains of injustice and set the oppressed free. Do this to share food with the hungry, shelter for the poor wanderer and clothes for the naked. Darrell do this and SPEND YOURSELF IN BEHALF OF THE HUNGRY AND SATISFY THE NEEDS OF THE OPPRESSED.
You may be asking yourself how does working out or climbing a mountain fit in the “Doing” of this text? God has challenged me to acquire 100 children sponsorships through World Vision. I will be joining 9 others with Team World Vision and we all have a goal. I am starting by personally sponsoring children and “spending my $70 a month on behalf of the hungry” and then I am looking to multiply that through others who will sponsor children and help find others who will sponsor children.
Do you think sponsoring 1000 children would impact their world? Would it be the kind of fasting God desires… Spending yourself on behalf of the hungry, naked, homeless, oppressed and those vulnerable to and chained by the injustice of our world?
Maybe it will require you to “fast” in other ways. Maybe the sacrificing of a meal once a week so that someone else can eat would be your way of “doing” Isaiah 58.
Maybe the “fast” from or sacrifice of something unneeded (starbucks, dessert, a movie, etc) would enable you to provide something needed for a child in our world and in that be living Isaiah 58 and the fast that God desires.
As I have been preparing to speak in Illinois on human trafficking this week God has been reminding me of how poverty creates a vulnerability to be exploited.
You can be vulnerable and not be in poverty. But you can’t be in poverty and not be vulnerable!
We have an opportunity to live out Isaiah 58 in very real and practical ways. God is teaching me to pray and fast and he used a treadmill as a teaching aid to help me understand the kind of fasting he longs for his children to do.
Will you join me in an Isaiah 58 fast and “spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed”?
click here to sponsor a child and provide them with food, clothing, clean water, education, health care, connectedness and lessen their vulnerability to disease, human trafficking, abuse and exploitation. Please put my name, Darrell MacLearn, in the space for Athlete and this will go toward my goal of 100 children. Thank you for making a difference and fasting with me.
Lord thank you for treadmill lessons. You are changing my life.