First, a quick reminder of the Daniel Fast
The Daniel fast is a great model to follow and one that is extremely effective for spiritual focus, and discipline. It is probably one of the most commonly referred to fasts, however, within the Daniel fast there is room for broad interpretation. In the book of Daniel we find two different times where the prophet Daniel fasted. Daniel 1 states that he only ate vegetables and water, and in Daniel 10, while the passage does not give a specific list of foods that Daniel ate, it does state that he ate no rich (or choice) foods, as well as no meat or wine. So based on these two verses, we can see that either of these, or combinations of the two, constitute a Daniel fast.
The foundation of the Daniel fast is fruits and vegetables. Your goal should be to seek God in prayer about this and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. Just remember: find your personal safe fast zone. Your Daniel fast should present a level of challenge to it, but it’s very important to know your own body, know your options and, most importantly, seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. Remember, the goal of fasting is not just to do without food. The goal is to draw nearer to God.
Find Your Why
“Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.” (Psalm 37:5 NLT)
Like New Year’s resolutions I always start out a fast well and with the best of intentions. But by 10:00 a.m. I usually have seen several foods that I have given up and suddenly my resolve starts wavering. That is when I remember the “why” and my motivation for fasting and prayer.
For everyone this is different. We all have different issues and desires in our life. That doesn’t make one person better or another worse, simply different. But everyone needs an answer for the why question. Keep your motivation, the answer to the why question handy as you progress through the 21 day fast.
You need the motivation because you’re going to have to put some effort into becoming all God has for you to be. God will always do the impossible, but He also asks us to do the possible. The “possible” is the work we must do. You have to equip yourself each day with God’s Word, with prayer and with your motivation. It’s important at the beginning stage of the Daniel Fast that we have a firm resolve. No turning back. No giving up. Remember, the rewards far exceed the temporary discomfort.
So stay committed to our time of fasting by staying focused on our motivation and on God’s Word. Each day we’re going to wake up and decide afresh to be firm and resolved putting God before all other things. Also, don’t under estimate the power of God’s Word during this time. Allow His presence to pour over you and speak directly to you through His Word. The biggest reason we fast is to respond to God’s love toward us. It is as if we are saying to God: “Because You are righteous and holy, and loved me enough to send Jesus to die for my sins, I want to get to know You more intimately.” Jeremiah 29:13 says. “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” We want to take extra time to seek and praise God by abstaining from certain foods during the Daniel Fast. When we deliberately set aside time for fasting, we are showing we want to seek God.
There are other benefits, however. One of the benefits is that we eat healthy. Without a clear sense of motivation, it is harder to stay the course. But once you know why you care and must be healthy, your motivation fuels you to stay focused. Ask why you want to be healthy. Is it to live in God’s will? To have more stamina? Or to be a great role model for someone you love? Fitness is another important piece that will help you make progress, record your health numbers. Find out and record your basics: height, weight, blood pressure, and activity level (sedentary, light, regular, active, vigorous). Over the fast you can see the progress you make and that becomes motivation as well.
1. What is your “why” for participating in the Daniel Fast? What do you do to keep it in the forefront during the 21 days. What are your goals?
2. What aspect of your attitude toward God do you want to see improve during the fast?
3. Is eating healthy motivation? What about fitness?
4. Pray and ask God to give you the right motivation, the right mindset and the right goals during the 21 day fast.