From 3-3-07 journal entry
The Lord gave me an amazing insight this week regarding self denial from Matthew 6: 16-18
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
The KVJ says “That thou appear not unto men to fast”. That is the very thing professing women are doing. Anyone who sees one of them with her hair up, long skirts, no make-up, might draw the conclusion that there is a religious woman who looks the way she does because of her religion.
Professing women show the entire world what they are fasting from. Their appearance screams self denial; the very thing Jesus said to keep hidden and obvious only to the Lord. According to these verses, the plainness professing women strive for means they are going at it in the wrong way. It was just another “scales falling from my eyes moment.”
It’s so much easier in one sense to fast outwardly than inwardly. Fasting from ungodly thoughts, opinions, motives, actions, words; those are much harder. Fasting from what I want to do in order to do what the Holy Spirit is moving me to do; that is much harder. Fasting from seeking comfort from things or even people rather than the presence of the Lord; that is much harder. Fasting from just reacting to situations but choosing to wait upon the Lord; that is much harder. Fasting from putting myself first but rather others; that is much harder.
The Pharisees wanted everyone to know they were fasting. The long faces, the pained looks; the marks of self denial. Was I not, as one of the friends and then as a worker, guilty of the same? You bet I was.