Phil and I have just finished a 40 day Daniel fast ending on Christmas eve after our final church service.
…..40 days before Christmas, probably not the easiest time to fast, with banquets, meals and parties especially with the wonderful Mennonites. This will explain to people why we sat with a mountain of veggies at social gatherings, also explaining why you found Phil and I gazing at the meat dishes and inhaling Starbucks christmas specials. Our senses received new life.
We realize it’s not meant to be easy…
The next few posts will be dedicated to the Daniel fast.
Why? What is it? What did we eat? And of course my musings…
The Hebrew word for fast means ‘to cover the mouth’
We fast from particular foods during a specified timeframe, so that we might experience clarity, deliverance, guidance in decision-making, breakthrough. Fasting connects us to God in a unique way, beckoning us from the distractions of our lives, inviting us to re-focus on what is most important: our relationship with and obedience to God. When we fast, supernatural happens. In fact, the Bible reminds us that some things only change when we fast and pray (Matthew 17:21) and of course words in Matthew 6 ‘When you fast’ presume it is normal practice for believers.
The Daniel fast is modelled on Daniel of lions den fame, from these verses in particular.
Daniel 1:12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.”
Daniel 10:3 “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.”
*you’ll be relieved to know anointing continued as normal…:)
1. Only fruits and vegetables 2. Only water for a beverage 3. No sweet foods and no breads.
Another guideline is drawn from Jewish fasting principles, where no leaven is used during the fast. So that’s why yeast, baking powder and the like are not ‘allowed’.
Finally, it’s pretty obvious to say no artificial or processed foods nor any chemicals are allowed on the fast.
Daniel 10:12 says: Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer”
Daniel had been fasting for 21 days and 3 days later an angel appears to him.
I reckon the mathematical equation after a 40 day fast brings us to New Year for our visitation, I’ll let you know!
There is a ton of info available on the Internet on the Daniel fast. Too much. Don’t get too distracted by it, lots of opinion and rules. We are under the awesome grace of God thankfully, so I believe we should follow guidelines rather than rules and laws, remembering the Daniel fast is not a command.
So, In a Daniel fast friendly nutshell – Daniel sought God for clarity, breakthrough and understanding, he fasted to show others God was his source of strength – he did this by eating only fruit and vegetables, abstaining from choice (processed, prepared, sweet, yummy) foods, drank only water and kept it simple.
This was intentional.
This was a fast with purpose.
Bill Johnson says ‘I don’t fast to pay a price. The price has been paid. I fast to refine my focus so that I might more fully apprehend all that has been purchased’
Mahesh Chavda writes in Shifting shadows of Supernatural Power
‘Fasting reveals to Heaven the love-hunger that resides in our hearts for the Lord. And it is this love-hunger that moves Heaven to respond’
During this feasting time of celebrating the birth of Christ, are you are moved with the same love hunger to seek God?
Did I hear someone say ‘In the New Year’?