The Chosen Fast and Prayer by Robert P. Holland on the Independent Author Index
The Chosen Fast and Prayer by Robert P. Holland
August 1, 2012 |
Posted by Robert P. Holland
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Comparing the Chosen Fast with the Traditional Fast and the Daniel Fast and relating them to prayer, Robert Holland’s second book is a masterwork that explores the many false assumptions that Christians have about fasting. The Chosen Fast, specifically, can be spiritually understood as wisdom in its highest form, causing us to not only know what Jesus wants of us but also causes us to lovingly obey him, follow him in our daily lives, and live in the kingdom of heaven until He comes. Holland’s thorough and enlightening examination of fasting covers these illuminating topics: Old and New Testament Fasts including Public Fasts, Individual Fasts, and Forty Day Fasts; the Traditional Fast (weekly); the Daniel Fast (both 24/7/365 and twenty-one days); the Chosen Fast (Love Thy Neighbor, Promises, and Love the Lord and 24/7/365); the Chosen Fast and Prayer (Prayer bloopers, asking, and listening); and the Chosen Fast and Matthew 25. Transforming prayer to a 24/7/365 paradigm, the Chosen Fast is an entirely different—and spiritually rewarding—way of living. Filled with love and reverence for the Lord and the Bible, Holland delivers a joyous celebration of faith filled with hope, commitment, excitement, and faith. His fundamental understanding of the fast and the ease with which he imparts its principles open up an old topic in an entirely new way. An easy to use guide to fasting and prayer, The Chosen Fast and Prayer will inspire you to make fasting a regular part of your spiritual discipline and devotion.
The author has rated this book G (all ages).
Instructions for fasting in the Old Testament are called the fast chosen by the Lord—the Chosen Fast (Isaiah 58:6–14). The instructions are practical ways of delighting in the Two Great Commandments—Love the LORD and Love the Neighbor (Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18; Matt. 22:37–40).
While there is no mention of the Chosen Fast in the New Testament, much of the teaching in the Gospels and Epistles are instructions for practicing the Chosen Fast. For example, the Sermon on the Mount contains virtues and commandments for practicing the Chosen Fast: being poor in spirit, meekness, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, being merciful, being pure in heart, being peacemakers, loving your enemy, seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, doing to others whatever you want them to do to you . “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:21 NKJV).
The Chosen Fast goes beyond the Traditional Fast—from a set period of time to 24/7/365, from sacrificing food to money, time, pleasure, and leisure, and from our needs to the needs of others. It is an entirely different way of living. It is the kingdom of God (Rom. 14:17), “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” It is putting on Christ (Luke 4:18, 19), crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires (Gal. 5:24), living by faith (Rom. 1:17), building our house upon the rock (Matt. 7:24–27). It is the Lord Jesus Christ building his church and the gates of hell not prevailing against it (Matt. 16:16–19).
The Chosen Fast is comprised of three functions: (1) Love the Neighbor: Isaiah 58:6–7, 9b–10a, (2) Promises: 8–9a, 10b–12, and (3) Love the LORD: 13–14. The Chosen Fast—Love the Neighbor, Promises, and Love the LORD—is a microcosm of the Old Testament Covenant the Lord made with Israel at Mount Sinai. A covenant is an agreement between the Lord and his people in which he promises to do certain things and asks them to do certain things. It is an unequal covenant. What the people are asked to do is negligible in comparison to what the Lord promises to do. Rather than 2 + 2 = 4, which would be an equal covenant, it is 1 + 6 = 7. I chose “7″ because it is an expression of completeness in both the Old and the New Testaments.
Faithfulness to the covenant is to obey his commandments (Psalm 103:17, 18), and faithfulness to his commandments is Wisdom. The Lord’s faithfulness to the covenant is to provide the Promise. In the Chosen Fast, Love the neighbor, and Love the Lord are faithfulness to the Lord’s commandments—Wisdom. The Lord’s faithfulness to his word is Promise. Wisdom + Promise = Covenant, 1 + 6 = 7. Faith in the Lord’s faithfulness to give us the Promise without our being faithful to his commandments isn’t Covenant. It is Promise ≠ Covenant, 6 ≠ 7.3
Wisdom is obeying the commandments, and the Promises are the life that emanates from Wisdom: living in the kingdom of God—righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17); living in the marvelous light—a priest (1 Peter 2:9); a branch in the vine—a disciple bearing much fruit (John 15:5), the new creation in Christ—a minister of reconciliation and an ambassador for Christ (2 Cor. 5:17–19).
The commandments are God’s instructions for living in his kingdom. When we live in his kingdom, he lives in us (John 14:21, 23). Our fellowship is with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3).
Promises aren’t received by asking the Lord for them, trusting him to give them, or confessing them. They are the life that comes from obeying his commandments—the covenant relationship. We don’t go the Bible and look up a certain promise, see what the commandment is to receive it, and then obey the commandment in order to receive the promise. Rather Wisdom and Promises are a daily lifestyle. As we obey the commandments, the promises we need are given to us (Isaiah 58:6–14; Matt. 6:33; Phil. 4:19). The combination is fellowship with God, giving and receiving grace.
Foolishness is disobeying the commandments, and the curse is death that comes from foolishness: the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), no inheritance in the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19–21), and living in the darkness (1 Peter 2:9).
Copyright© Robert P. Holland. All rights reserved.
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