The word "then" is a great indicator regarding pointing to something that's going to happen next. It is also a term that refers to something being added, for example, "I love my job, but then it pays well also."
In today's teaching on fasting, we will explore this word in regards to fasting to reveal that when we participate correctly in fasting, it will be "THEN" that things will begin to happen or change for us.
Scripture admonishes us that during our times of fasting, the things that we took pleasure and comfort in before fastings, such as our food, home, and other comforts, we must now distribute or share it among those that are in need of it. In fact, this particular protocol of fasting is a must if we desire to inherit the benefits that come as a result of it. Let us read below what the prophet Isaiah had to say about this to the children of Israel:
"Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house—when you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood?" Isaiah 58:7. As you would have read, a part of the process of fasting is to share what we would have normally been comforted with before fasting, he insists that we do not hide from the need of others during this very critical period during our fasting.
In verse 9 of this same chapter, it begins with our word, "THEN," "Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am. If you take away from your midst yokes of oppression [wherever you find them], the finger pointed in scorn [toward the oppressed or the godly], and every form of false, harsh, unjust, and wicked speaking,
10 And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday" Isaiah 58:9-10.
Again, I have to point out the fact that the prophet is not speaking to sinners or people that serve other gods. In fact, he is talking to people that have identified and was at that time serving the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob the God of heaven and earth. He was revealing to them that to realign themselves with the purposes of God and bring them back spiritually as to where they should have been at that point they had to follow the complete protocol of the fast. What I found to be rather interesting was the fact, that the scripture started by saying:
"Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say. Here I am" which is a clear indicator that God was not doing this before and whatever it was that they were doing wrong that caused it would have taken the protocol of this fast for him to not only hear them and their cry but to also respond to them.
My friend, please listen to God speaking to you through this article today. Have you been feeling as if God has forgotten you or he's just not listening to you? Do you feel as if everyone else prayers are being answered except yours? Have you been tossing to and fro in your mind the thought that you have been a Christian for so long and there has been no signs, wonders, miracles or the power of the Holy Spirit demonstrated in your life? Are there particular problems in your life that no matter how much you pray they refuse to move? Is your health failing, are you just right out confused about everything?
Well, this, as you know, is the last month of the year and if you have answered yes to any of the above questions. Then I must say to you, that you are in desperate need of a fast with a view of following the exact instructions provided above that I meticulously laid out for you according to scripture. I speak from much-accumulated experience, and I strongly advise you to complete a fast before 2015 if you do not want to repeat 2014.
Written By: Kevin L A Ewing