Kingdom Corner: The Daniel Fast
This week we’re going to talk about fasting. I’m sure you’ve heard of fasting, but what exactly is it and what is required to do it the way that the Bible teaches? It may in fact be different from what you have been told all your life. The Daniel Fast is a particular fast that brings many blessings, and we will also discuss that. Fasting is an excellent way to bolster your spiritual life.
Setting Your Spiritual Goal
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself what you’re fasting for. Better job? Renewed health? A stronger connection to God? In repentance? These are all good reasons to fast. Take a couple of days to think about this important goal. It will set you up for success right from the beginning. Write them on your vision board, use sticky notes and place it in your car or your computer. Remember this goal daily. It will sink it in your memory for the days you might want to quit your fast.
Do the Math
When you have your goal ready, make a list of how you could fast. Here’s where the interesting part comes in. You don’t have to fast just food. You can give up smoking for a week, getting coffee at Starbucks, or give up a week of binge watching Netflix. Then devote this time for prayer. The math comes in when you determine your length of fasting. Whether it’s four days or 40 days you must decide and stick to it. Even Jesus had a set amount of fasting days in the wilderness.
He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread. Jesus answered, It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone. Luke 4:2-4. NIV.
We are to imitate Jesus so always begin and end your fasts appropriately.
Pick a Plan
You can fast and eat only fruits and vegetables and water, or skip meals altogether. The real purpose of fasting is to remove barriers between you and God. It’s meant to be a challenge. Don’t just give up eating a candy bar a week, unless that’s a real issue for you. It is meant to build character and virtue. You are to suffer for a while to be rewarded greatly. Test it. The Bible gives many examples of fasting. Some fast to ask forgiveness for sins, others to ask favor of God. Either way, a strong fast and prayer life will reward you.
Don’t Fret It
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. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 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. Matthew 6:16-18. NIV.
When you start a fast don’t tell everyone you know and try to garner sympathy. If you do, you’ve wasted the entire fast. It will be self-centered, not God-centered. When you’ve gotten all your spiritual ducks in a row then go for it! Use your time wisely by delving into the Word and through prayer. Amazing miracles can happen when you fast!
The Daniel Fast
The Daniel Fast comes from two points of reference in the Bible book of Daniel.
Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables [pulses] to eat and water to drink. Daniel 1:12 NIV.In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. Daniel 10: 1-2. NIV.
Basically, this diet is an all vegan diet and water. Yes, it is very strict, but I have heard about miracles from this, if you accompany it with prayer and devotion. You will eat all-natural fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes and whole grains the entire fast of 10 or 21 days. You can pick either length of time. This shift from the regular American diet to a natural one will not only cleanse the spirit but also the body (the Temple of the Holy Spirit).Fasting is a Biblical method of creating a deeper spiritual life. The Daniel Fast can help you reach new potential as a Christian. The other methods of fasting still count! Make fasting a habit and watch your relationship with the Lord grow in leaps and bounds.