21 days. That’s all it took for me to discover how weak I am without the power of God.
So what’s this all about? The Daniels Fast. A phrase that makes you hungry just by looking at it. Three little words that have most Christians running for the hills. We are a society based on food. We are constantly surrounded by it. Socially, we go out to eat for something to do on the weekends. We munch at our desks in the office. We snack before bed to get that last little fill up. Let me be the first to say, it is NOT easy to fast in a society like this, but it does get easier with time and dedication.
When my husband first approached me about doing the Daniels Fast I have to admit I was pretty skeptical. I have grown up around fasts all my life, but have never actually partaken in one. Fasting to me was more like giving up candy until Easter. Until now, I had never truly understood the meaning of a fast or its benefits. After the New Year and some prayerful consideration, we decided to embark on this 21 day journey together, not only because we wanted to detox from the holidays, but because we felt we were being called- and that my friends, isn’t something you question.
For the very first week, on numerous occasions, I thought I was dying. I WAS HUNGRY, starving. Giving up the things that your body is so used to is never an easy thing, and this was no halfway fast. We went all in- no meat, no dairy, no sugar, nothing. Except for whole grains, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and water. You would be surprised to know how many foods have preservatives in them. Grocery shopping sure was a challenge at first! But as the days slowly moved on, something awesome began to happen. I experienced a different kind of hunger. Hunger for GOD. For His word. It became less and less about filling up my stomach, and more about filling up my LIFE with HIM. What a cool feeling. My husband and I also got into the regular habit of nightly Bible studies. It’s amazing what you will find and learn when you actually open up the Book of Life and read it.
It’s been 3 days since our fast has ended, and I must admit that food has never tasted so good. But the Daniels Fast has left an impression on our lives, to continue to be mindful of what we are putting into our bodies, and to continue our nightly study with Jesus… Because not only has it brought so much new knowledge into our hearts and minds, but it has brought my husband and I closer together in such an awesome way. It also allows us to invite Jesus into our home every night. He’s a pretty cool guy to hang out with.
Daniel refused the Kings food. By doing this he shared a message with the world. To resist temptation, to remain holy and pure, and to stand firm on the foundation that God has provided us. It’s a great thing once you discover it and use it.
Resisting is hard– Especially when you are out and about and there seems to be nothing that you can eat! My husband and I ended up having to make a trip to Indianapolis during our fast, and boy was that a treat. Try finding a restaurant that serves food with no preservatives or sugar. Surprisingly enough, we found an all-natural restaurant that served nothing but fruit, veggies and no artificial “stuff”! God provided- in a city 4 hours away from where we live.
On a funny side note: I can’t help but to think about our VERY LAST DAY of fasting. Our church passed out CAKE BALLS during the service! Too funny- it may have been Satan’s last attempt in desperation to make food appear so innocent, even in church! Temptation is hard for anyone to resist. And by the way, yes- our church is THAT awesome.
To remain holy and pure- It’s amazing how much your body will thank you when you are putting good, pure, clean stuff into it. I have never slept better in my entire life during this fast and I was completely energized in the morning (and I am NOT a morning person). I was shocked, that even without the presence of caffeine in my life, HIS presence got me through! How awesome!!!
To stand firm on the foundation-Many say that fasting is about replacing the food in your life with prayer and time with the Lord. As with anything, when we’re tempted and the going gets tough, we are called to lean on Him. I most definitely could not have done this without Him.
As Easter approaches, many churches are gearing up to begin the Daniels Fast. If you have never done one, I highly encourage you to try it. Even if you are skeptical like I was, or worried that you “can’t do it”, I promise that you can. It’s all about leaning and trusting on the Lord- He will carry you through it. You will be amazed at how you feel once it’s over. Renewed, refreshed, clean. When you put 100% of your heart in for Him, He will 100% bless you.
8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
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