January 2010 Daniel Fast

Many have responded to my invitation to join in doing the Daniel Fast in January (January 3rd is D-day and January 2010 Daniel Fast). A few of you are still considering it. You have 19 days to decide!

I’m proud of my First Place 4 Health class because most of them have committed to the fast. For many of them, this will be their first Daniel Fast ever. Some will be doing it for the second time, having participated in our church-wide fast last September. All of us are excited to see what the Lord is going to do as we set aside the desires of our flesh in order to pursue the Lord through a time of prayer and fasting.

Just a few words about the Daniel Fast…

1. It’s more than just denying yourself certain foods for 3 weeks. You are choosing to sacrifice foods that you enjoy eating as an act of worship to the Lord. You are putting God first, in obedience to Matthew 6:33, which says, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.” You are also honoring God by taking care of your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

2. It’s an intense battle. Fasting is not a game, a diet plan, or a way to get God to do something you want Him to do. When you fast, you are entering into a heated battle zone. The enemy isn’t going to be happy that you’ve stepped out in faith, and he will do everything he can to discourage you and cause you to doubt God. Make sure you are armed with the Word of God EVERY DAY and that you are spending time in prayer. Remember, the Lord will fight for you, but you must be seeking Him and trusting in Him for that to happen!

3. It must be approached with an attitude of repentance. In Isaiah 58:3, the Israelites were complaining about God’s apparent indifference over their times of fasting: “Why have we fasted,” they say, “and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?” The Israelites did everything according to the book. They denied themselves food. They prayed. And, yet the Lord was not pleased. So, where did they go wrong? One commentary on Isaiah 58 states that God severely reproved the Jews, calling their outward ceremonies hypocritical, because there wasn’t true repentance. Therefore, we can conclude that it’s possible to go through the motions of fasting and completely miss the mark of what it should be all about.

Even though we’re three weeks away from the start date, it’s not too soon to begin getting our minds and hearts ready for the Daniel Fast. Don’t make the mistake of jumping into your fast without giving it much thought. Spend time preparing – mentally, physically, and spiritually:

  • Plan out the foods you will need to buy. Start your shopping list now.
  • Check out the recipes on this blog for ideas. Email me with any questions you have.
  • Pray for the Lord to get your heart ready. Ask Him to show you any areas of your life in which you need to repent.
  • Begin slowing cutting back on the restricted foods (caffeine, sugar). It will be easier on your body if you do.

The Lord has great plans for us during the upcoming Daniel Fast. I can’t wait to see what He is going to do in my life and to hear all that He does in yours.

“The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” – Psalm 126:3

Comments

  1. Help! I’m confused. It’s my understanding that the Daniel Fast consists of eating fruits and vegetables. If that’s the case, then why are people eating grains during this time? Is the Daniel fast just a vegan diet without the sweetners? I don’t want to be “religious” about it and I know ultimately the Lord sees the motives of our heart but I want to do this right.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Great questions. The Daniel Fast is based upon the prophet Daniel’s fasting experiences as recorded in the Bible. In Daniel 1, Daniel chose not to eat the royal food that he was being served and ate only vegetables. Another time (in Daniel 10:2-3) he did not deprived himself of choice food, meat, and wine. Most commentaries believe “choice food” would have been bread and sweets.

    This is why, I believe, you find some variation in the specific guidelines for the modern-day Daniel Fast, as far as what foods are included and which ones are restricted. The food guidelines on my blog are the ones most commonly described in a Daniel Fast. The intention of today’s Daniel Fast is not to duplicate exactly what Daniel did but the spirit in which he did it. Daniel’s passion for the Lord caused him to hunger and thirst more for spiritual food than for physical food, which should be the desire of anyone choosing to participate in this type of fast.

    Try not to get too hung up on what you should and shouldn’t eat. Remember, the most important part of the fast is that you deny yourself physically so that you may seek the Lord in prayer and grow closer to Him. Your particular fast may look a little different than someone else’s, but that’s ok. Some people may need to be stricter than others in their food choices so that their fast is a sacrifice for them. If you regularly eat whole grains and don’t feel as if you’d be fasting by having them, then you could definitely eliminate them during your Daniel Fast.

    I hope this answers your question. Thanks for writing and for visiting my blog.

  4. Thanks for the clarification and suggestions. As always,these things do come down to issues of the heart.