Anytime anyone says “fasting” what do you usually think of? Abstinence from food right? The truth is, the definition of fasting is actually much broader than that, and giving up food is only an aspect of fasting. Fasting can involve a number of actions not limited to food. Isiah mentions another type of fasting more preferred by God than just giving up food.
Is this not, rather, the fast that I choose:releasing those bound unjustly,untying the thongs of the yoke;Setting free the oppressed,breaking off every yoke?Is it not sharing your bread with the hungry,bringing the afflicted and the homeless into your house;Clothing the naked when you see them,and not turning your back on your own flesh?Isaiah 58:6-7
A very similar words to Jesus’ teaching on righteousness and the requirement for God’s kingdom. Doing the work of God by attending to the needs of others is the surest way to show we love God.
The king will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” (Matthew 25:34-36)
Denying ourselves some minor pleasures and comforts from time to time and offering them to God. We can also offer our day-to-day displeasures to God. What this means is when we offer these to God, they no longer belong to us. We cannot complain about them anymore or at least for that day even though this does not prevent us from working hard to be in better condition. It means we give those displeasures to God and carry the cross for the day. This is a powerful way to unite our sufferings with that of Christ and an effective way to fast.
Another type of fasting and you don’t give up food