Understand what actions should be practiced during this fast
The fast that pleases God is not limited to a certain period, but to a lifetime. The fast that He desires is a daily conduct, a lifestyle, in which we do good naturally as is our usual portion – our daily food and bread.
Hypocrites think that by depriving themselves of food and changing their daily routines and physical appearance for one, two or three days, it is enough to please God. However, after that period, they go back to what they have always been: selfish and fake. In Isaiah 58, God lists more than 10 actions that are pleasing to Him, and only one of them refers directly to Himself.
“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honourable, and shall honour Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words…” Isaiah 58:13
All the other actions that should be practiced when fasting are directed towards our neighbours; towards giving what we possess and worrying not only about providing something physical and material to meet other people’s needs, but also for the needs of their spirit and soul.
Many people decide to become vegans for the love of animals, and this motivation entirely changes what they eat and even wear. In other words, they do everything every day for the sake of the preservation of animal life. They don’t practice veganism once a week or a month. They definitively change their entire conduct.
This was the understanding that God gave me when I was meditating on Isaiah 58: The fast that pleases the Most High must be my lifestyle, my daily conduct, my religion!
“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27