Probably by now, the fast is much more manageable. After ten days, the cravings are mostly gone and you might even feel pretty good. The easiest thing for us to do is to forget why we started to fast in the first place. What motivated us to do without? More importantly, who motivated us to do without?
My wife always tells me that my motivation is important. It is not enough for me to wash the dishes; I have to want to wash the dishes. Fasting is no different as the prophet Isaiah tells Israel in the text. People are asking a pretty basic question to God. “Why have we fasted, and you see it not?”
The answer comes swiftly to all those who are questioning. The Israelites had made it all about them. Fasting was just a ceremony that they were taking part in. It was even worse than that! They fasted to show holiness on the outside, but there was no change on the inside. They used the name of God but oppressed others around them. They gave up food but allowed others to starve around them. Those without clothes or homes were left to suffer while those fasting felt good about their sacrifice.
Amazingly, no matter how off we might be in our own motivation, God never leaves us without promise. If we continue reading the chapter, we will find that promise. If we experience change on the inside, then God will come through for us in big ways. Chief amongst those promises is this one. “The Lord will guide you continually.” When you think about it, that really is motivation enough.
*Take a moment to check your motivation. Who are you seeking during this time? Who are you relying on to get you through?
*How has this time changed you on the inside? Is there something left throwing your life off balance?