Day 3 : December 20
Title: A Reformatory Influence From God Needed
Scripture: Isaiah 58:6
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the [c]heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, p. 1150
The people here described realize that they have not the favor of God; but instead of seeking His favor in His own way, they enter into a controversy with God. They ask why, since they observe so many ceremonies, the Lord does not give them special recognition. God answers their complaints: “Behold, in the day of your fast, ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.” These fasts are only outward show, mere pretense, a mockery of humility. These worshipers, while mourning and lamenting, retain all their objectionable traits of character. Their hearts are not humbled, nor cleansed from spiritual defilement. They have not received the softening showers of the grace of God. They are destitute of the Holy Spirit, destitute of the sweetness of the heavenly influence. They manifest no repentance, nor faith that works by love and purifies the soul. They are unjust and selfish in their dealings, mercilessly oppressing those whom they regard as their inferiors. Yet they charge God with a neglect to manifest His power to them, and exalt them above others because of their righteousness. The Lord sends them a message of positive reproof, showing why they are not visited by His grace. (Manuscript 48, 1900).
Heart Challenge and Discussion Questions:
The transformation of our lives into individuals who reveal the love of Jesus is the work of a lifetime. This work takes place as the Holy Spirit brings spiritual life to us. God’s resurrection power revives us and our hunger for Jesus increases. But it doesn’t end there. The beauty of revival is that it is ongoing and leads to a reformation of every aspect of our lives, every thought, and every behavior.
- Do you feel like you sometimes long more for revival than reformation? Are you maybe scared that giving up a belief, thought pattern, indulgence, or behavior would decrease the pleasure in your life? That it would make your life less exciting?
- The same God who you know as the forgiving, loving, kind, and gracious God, that same God desires also to bless us through the reformation of our life. Will you trust in His perfect will today? Will you invite Jesus not just to the door of your heart, but to come in, stay, and spend quality time with you, helping you rearrange your life, declutter your heart, fix what is broken, and clean out the dirt, dust, and grime that sin has created?
- What kind of worship and fasting is most acceptable to God?
- What does “Loose the bonds of wickedness…undo the heavy burdens…let the oppressed go free…break every yoke” mean?
- How do we be right with others in order to be right with God? Do you feel you have someone to be reconciled with? Pray for them right now and ask God to help you reach out to them.
- Are there any areas of your heart or life that need a breakthrough? Write them down and pray for them specifically today. God wants to give you freedom and victory so you can tell others your testimony and teach them how to overcome in the same way.
- Pray for God to give you a heart that is willing to live in obedience to His will.
- Pray for victory over those specific sins that you have not surrendered to Jesus yet.
- Pray that the special prayer times in the meetings will be deeply meaningful and helpful for all in attendance.
- Pray that each attendee will be drawn to a closer walk with Christ and have a renewed focus upon the study of God’s Holy Word, and not leave the GYC Conference the same way that they arrived.
- Pray that the speakers will be prepared and anointed by the Holy Spirit, and attendees’ hearts will be prepared to hear the messages.