Fasting: Is It Still a Duty?

Is it a duty in these last days, or is it not? Joel i,14; ii,15. If not, why then did God command it? Does the great God who is infinite, who sees the end from the beginning, command anything that cannot be performed? If it is a duty to sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, etc., then why so loth to do our Father’s bidding? Why not go readily about our duty, as faithful Abraham did when called to offer up his only son for a burnt offering? It was enough for him, that God had told him to do it. He did not stop to consult his own feelings, or whether he would have strength to perform his duty, but went right along, willing and obedient to perform his heavenly Father’s will. He had faith to believe God would give him strength to perform what he in wisdom told him to do.

Dear brethren and sisters, are we just what the Lord would have us to be? Have we overcome ourselves? Have we been enabled through grace to overcome the world, the flesh and Satan? If we have not, then let us humble ourselves and afflict our souls in this day of atonement. We must have faith, for without it, it is impossible to please God. We must be faithful too, or we cannot enjoy the reward of the saints.

O if we were as sick of sin as we ought to be, we should think very little of our mortal bodies, or our ease. The glory of God should be our aim. Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? should be uppermost in our minds. We should strive to see ourselves in the light of judgment scenes; to see our fearful condition without holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Let us compare our lives with the spotless life of Jesus; our love and self-denial with His who left the realms of glory for us poor sinners, and say no more that it is hard to fast and weep and pray over our pride and poverty.

O brethren and sisters, awake, awake! Arise and trim your lamps! See if you have oil in plenty; if not, delay not a moment to leave all earthly treasures, go to Jesus and buy. Give all, and buy the gold tried in the fire. Let us afflict our souls in this day of atonement.

— S.C. Courter, Review and Herald, October 7, 1858

Keep reading: Fasting and Prayer

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