The character of abstaining: the answer to a call without a prayer.

 

jesus-teachings-life-sAccording to Brett & Kate McKay in ” the Arts of Manliness “ the word CHARACTER come to be associated with the sum of qualities that defines a person in the 17th century. These qualities includes a man’s intellect, thoughts, ideas, motives, intentions, temperament, judgement, behavior, imagination, perception, emotions, loves and hates. All these components William Straton Bruce writes in 1908’s ” the Formation of Christian character “ go to the shaping and coloring of a man’s character. They have all some part in producing that final type of self. That ultimate HABIT OF WILL, into which the man’s whole activities at last shape themselves.

However, character can develop in an environment in which ETHICAL DECISIONS are not forced upon the individual. Character is a product of judgement, discretion, and choice – born from a man’s free agency. There are three (3)  qualities for a  genuine character: moral discipline; attachment & autonomy. Proverbs 27: 19 ” As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects man. “

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FASTING (or abstaining) according to ” Wikipedia free encyclopedia ” is a willing abstinence ( refraining from indulgence a desire or appetite ) or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. Daniel 10: 3 ” I ate no choice food, no meat or wine touched my lips, and used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over. ” In the contrast, Prophet Isaiah was convinced that God the Holy One of Israel, would redeem them and extend his salvation to the ends of the earth. But, not in a manner of intermittent fasting as an appeal for God intervention in the face of overwhelming challenges. Therefore, through God’s revelation he brought this wisdom to his people contained in his book, Isaiah 58 : 6 – 12 ( New International Version) “ Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to lose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke ( a burden, something which represses or restrains a person ), 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? Then your light will break forth like the dawn ( to brighten with daylight ), and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear ( to bring up to maturity ) 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 the oppression-with the pointing finger and malicious talk….”

never aloneThe prophet was talking about building a character of fasting, a lifestyle of abstinence ( by putting into practice God’s wordJames 1: 22),  as prerequisite in order to forge a readiness with this habit of will, to overcome extraordinary & countless challenges  and bear everlasting fruit – Philippians 1: 11 ” Have been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. “  beyond prayer.

 

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