Day 7 – Defining Success

You made it! Congratulations on being successful in your first week of the Daniel Fast.

Some of you are celebrating the victories you’ve experienced and are excited to see what else God is going to do over the next 14 days. Others, however, are thinking, “But, I wasn’t successful,” mentally recalling at least a dozen ways in which you think you blew it. You might even feel like giving up at this point.

One of my goals on this fast is to juice at least one time per day as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. Last night before going to bed, I realized I hadn’t juiced all day. However, I didn’t berate myself for failing to reach my goal, which would normally be my response. Instead, I gave myself grace, determined to get back on track the next day.

If you are losing momentum and motivation because so far your fast hasn’t been a stellar mountaintop event, don’t lose heart. Be encouraged by the following devotional, and put your hope in the Lord. You can’t go wrong if you keep your eyes on Him and what His Word says. Let Him renew your strength.

This fast is not about doing everything perfectly, so don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t followed the guidelines 100%. God isn’t a hovering referee, watching your every move and waiting to penalize you if you eat something with a preservative in it! Success on the Daniel Fast isn’t going to be realized by following a bunch of man-made guidelines and rules. Instead, you will find true success as you pursue the Lord with passion through prayer and fasting.

“NEWSFLASH! This just in…the widely accepted definition for success in our society has just been thrown out! We now have a new measure of success! This is exciting, folks! Stay tuned for more information…”

If a group of people were asked to define personal success, they would undoubtedly provide answers ranging from making a ton of money to raising children who love the Lord. No matter how they might describe success, though, most people assume that success and failure are mutually exclusive.

NEWSFLASH #1: Success doesn’t require perfection.

Our society has bought into the lie that in order to be successful, we must have it all together – live a perfect life with a perfect family in a perfectly clean house, having a perfect body and perfect clothes…blah, blah, blah. We put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to achieve a standard that is not only unreasonable but also unbiblical.

When Jesus said in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” he was encouraging believers toward “full development, growth into maturity of godliness, not sinless perfection (Scofield Commentary).” He was teaching us that our lives should be centered on loving God and having his heart toward others (Matthew 22:37-39), not on being consumed with ourselves and trying to do everything just right.

NEWSFLASH #2: Success is in the process.

Success is found not so much in reaching a goal but in the journey we experience along the way. As we strive to become more like Christ, we’re continually being transformed. When we make mistakes, we confess those sins to the Lord. He draws near, restoring us to wholeness again. It’s often during times of brokenness and “failure” that we experience deep intimacy with the Lord, resulting in greater spiritual growth and maturity.

The Bible tells us what we must do in order to pursue God’s definition of success: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful (Joshua 1:8)” We cannot know success apart from the Word of God. His truth must be our obsession. We must read it, speak it, think about it, and do it.

My prayer for you today is what King David spoke to his son, Solomon, in 1 Chronicles 22:11: “The LORD be with you, and may you have success.”