For those who are Bullied, Intimidated and Suppressed at Work or at School, etc.
During this fast a few days ago, I felt led to go back and read the famous scriptures in Isaiah 58 about fasting. Many times we get disenchanted and discouraged and disappointed with the Lord that we fast and we prayed and nothing happens. I’m reminded that sometimes we can be like the Israelites in Is 58:3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’
We can really misunderstand God but if we look at the scriptures, we see God’s way of doing things is a bit different than we thought. God calls us to look within first and foremost. He’s saying there are things in our lives we need to deal with first. Our flesh, our wrong thinking, our own agenda, self, pride, motives, internal battles, all need to be looked at again. We mustn’t think that just because we give up a meal or two and do away with a few days of social media that we are entitled to whatever we are asking God for! God says in vs 4, “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarrelling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.” God is calling us to look within and deal with internal issues first. God wants us to fast and make prayers that will attack our sins and issues.
Then He tells us in v 6 and 7 the kind of fast He’s chosen for us, the fast that He wants us to follow. “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? 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?”
God is saying if we were to follow this kind of fasting then there are promises awaiting for us. Before we can get to these promises, there are things we must do and pray. One scripture that really stuck with me when I read this chapter was verse 6, “to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke.” There are many people who are suppressed and oppressed, intimidated and bullied, manipulated and falsely accused, at work or in school or in their circle of friends. They’ve been called names, told lies, and they are bound up and tied up and suppressed. They can’t be who God has created them to be. They dread going to work or school because they are in fear. They are crippled by words spoken to them. They don’t feel they amount to anything. They begin to doubt themselves. THIS IS NOT HOW GOD WANTS US TO BE AT WORK OR SCHOOLS OR ANYWHERE ELSE. So can we today stand and pray for those who are going through these chains of injustice and unfair treatments. I believe as we stand in the gap for them, we will see the promises of verses 8-12 fulfilled in our lives.
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. 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 on 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. 11 The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
So let’s partner with God today and pray for our brothers and sisters and our children who are bullied, suppressed, intimidated.