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The Daniel Fast

A dear friend of mine e-mailed me information about The Daniel Fast.   Lou Engle (of The Call) is calling for a 40 day fast for our nation.  I had heard of The Daniel Fast briefly on the T-Tapp forums, and was intrigued. 



I went to Susan Gregory’s site, and was intrigued by all I was reading–because I had felt that God was stirring my heart to fast!  I haven’t fasted much in the past years, usually being pregnant or nursing.  And with my recent adrenal issues, I wanted to be wise in approaching a fast.   When my friend e-mailed me, and I went to the website, I got really excited about this!   I could do this!  



Basically it is abstaining from meats, dairy and sweets (and processed foods) for a length of time.  You can click on The Daniel Fast link above to learn more about it.  I went  ahead and bought the book and it has been soooo encouraging–even if you’re not planning to fast, the spiritual content is worth it!!!



I prayed last week about whether to do a 10 day, 21 day or the 40 day fast.  I wanted to be led of the Lord in this.  I told the Lord, "Please make it REALLY clear!"



Well, He did!



I truly believe God has a sense of humor!   I was "behind" in my Bible reading ,and was reading Mark 1-5 on Saturday, two days after praying for Him to make it clear.  Remember, I am "behind" (you’re never really behind–God always meets you right where you are!). 



And I read this:



"And He was there in the wilderness forty days….."



I guess you can’t get much clearer than that!!!



As I have been reading in The Daniel Fast: Feed Your Soul, Strengthen Your Spirit, and Renew Your Body, I feel God is already working in my life, and I haven’t "officially" started the fast yet! 



He has spoken to me about what He wants me to focus on, helped me "find" a book that I thought was lost (maybe I didn’t have eyes to see it until He was ready for me to? and wants me to include it now?), showed me why some things weren’t working in my homeschooling, and He is helping me as this week I am weaning off dairy and sugar in preparation!!! (If you only knew how much I like my Endangered Species Dark chocolate!!)


Here are some excerpts to whet your "appetite! 



"Even though you can eat during the Daniel Fast, it is no less effective than a complete fast.  The power in fasting has less to do with food than with setting yourself apart for a specific period of time to focus more on the Lord, prayer, and worship.  In other words, the power of fasting is found when you consecrate yourself to the Lord and discipline yourself to focus on Him."



She does point out, however, that fasting is about abstaining from food.  Although curtailing tv watching, computer, and other habits may be good for us, abstain actually means "cover the mouth" in Hebrew and "abstain from food" in the Greek. 



"Starting a Daniel Fast is the first step toward an experience that will bring you closer to the Father who desires a deep, abiding relationship with each of His children."



"So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God."  (Daniel 6:23)

Do you see that last phrase?–"because [Daniel] believed in his God."  That’s the kind of faith we can have!  A faith so strong that nothing can harm us!  But the question is, are we willing to do what Daniel did in order to have what Daniel had?  Are we wiling to love God with our whole hearts?  Are we willing to read the Scriptures and pray three times each day?  Are we willing to truly make God number one in our lives?  So many times we can’t figure out why our prayers are not answered or why there is so much stress and unrest in our lives.  Daniel never wrestled with thse issues because he was always filled up with the truth of God.


"I think it’s important to note that God didn’t keep Daniel from ever entering the lions’ den, just like He didn’t keep Daniel’s companions from being thrown into the fiery furnace (see Daniel 3).   But God met them in the midst of their calamities and delivered them."



"You and I have a lot in common with Daniel and the other Hebrew men.  As believers, we are also in enemy territory, facing the pressures of this world.  And just like Daniel, we can choose to live our lives according to God’s ways–not just when it’s convenient and not in a casual way . If we want what Daniel had, we must be willing to do what Daniel did.  He devoted himself to God. He set his heart on the ways of the Lord and refused to be defiled by the customs and practices of the Babylonians."



"I hope you can grasp the amazing truth of what God has done for us.  He loves each and very one of us so much that He gave what was most valuable to Him–His Son.  And why?  So we could be in seamless fellowship with Him once again, so that His original plan for all of humanity could be restored, and so we could be saved from an eternity of being separated from God–which is hell!"


(my emphasis–you know I’m all about relationship!!!)



"We have a choice about how we are going to live our day-to-day lives. We can walk in the Spirit or in the flesh. We can choose to forgive…or we can hold grudges.  We can gossip about people…or we can choose to speak only good words about others.  We can snap at a store clerk…or we can give grace and mercy.  We can trust in God with our lives and walk in faith…or we can depend on ourselves and the world systems."



This following excerpt really spoke to me about thoughts–why it’s SO important to bring EVERY thought captive to the obedience of Christ.



"…Dr. Caroline Leaf, a learning specialist who has spent more than twenty-five years studying the brain and the way we think, writes:


Thoughts are real things: they have a structure in your brain and occupy space.  Thoughts are the same as memories.  Thoughts and memories look like trees and are called neurons or  nerve cells.  You build a double memory of everything as a mirror image of each other.  This means that the memory on the left side of the brain builds from the detail to the big picture; and the memory on the right side builds from the big picture to the detail. When you put these two perspectives of thought together, you get intelligent understanding taking place.  As information comes in from the five senses, you process it in certain structures of your brain, then you grow branches on the "trees" to hold this information in long term memory.  In fact, as you are reading this, you are growing thoughts, because, thoughts are the result of what we  hear and read and see and feel and experience.  This means that whatever you grow is part of you, actual branches in your brain that create your attitude and influence your decisions.


"In her book Who Switched Off My Brain? Dr. Leaf explains why good health is critical to do what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5: ‘bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.’   When negative thoughts are allowed to stay in our thinking, they literally grow into toxic elements that can bring us harm.  Dr. Leaf also explains that there is actually a thinking mechanism in our physical hearts.  As the rapid-speed thought process works, forces are going into our heart and back to our brain as part of the decision-making process."



You can see that there are rich nuggets throughout the book–that was just a little taste!  (All puns intended!)   I thought that last quote, from Dr. Leaf was eye-opening!  If there were ever a reason to "take captive every thought", that should convince you!



But of course, we need His help!



Which is one of many reasons I am doing this fast.  Of course I’ll pray for my nation–she needs it!  Ultimately, I pray for the many souls who don’t know Him.   I am also going to be praying for some friends who are going through some rough situations, as well as praying for my family and myself to continue growing in the Lord.



I am actually excited to do the Daniel Fast–me, a "recovering emotional eater"!   I am excited to focus on the Lord, and instead of turning to my usual treats for comfort or out of boredom, turn to Him.



And that is what it is ultimately about–turning away from other distractions in life and turning TO Him….after all, as one of the quotes stated, that’s why He came. 



To restore our relationship with our loving Heavenly Father. 



If God has been speaking to your heart about fasting, or if you are facing some difficult situations or decisions, maybe you could check out the Daniel Fast.  You don’t have to do it a certain amount of time.  That is between you and the Lord.



Susan gives lots of help on her website, her blog and in her book.  Her book tells who she is, how she got started in this, the example of Daniel, "Five Steps for a Successful Daniel Fast", the Daniel Fast food lists and menus,  and a 21 day devotional.



One last quote, and I felt Susan really hit the nail on the head with this:


"This may come as a surprise to you, but fasting isn’t for God.  He’s not going to think you are a better Christian or a more spiritual person because you fast.  Your worth to God is totally dependent on Christ, who made you valuable and acceptable to the Most High God on the cross.  So if you are fasting to prove to God how good you are, don’t bother.


"Instead, dear reader, fasting is for you.  It’s a spiritual tool God created to help you strengthen your spirit, learn self-control of the flesh, draw closer to your Father, and focus on prayer.  When you fast, you are stepping into a temporary set of actions for a spiritual purpose–like entering a bubble where everything is different for a set period of time."



It isn’t to earn points with God.  It is to get OUR focus onto God!



I pray you will at least get the book and read it–even if you choose not to do the Daniel Fast, I believe you will come away richer for having read it!



I would appreciate your prayers as I enter this time next Monday.  I am not so naive as to think I won’t have any struggles!  



And if you have prayer needs you would like me to include in my times of prayer, please e-mail me (on the sidebar).



Thank you for letting me share–I know this has been a long post, but you can see that God is really moving in my life right now and I so wanted to share nuggest from The Daniel Fast book so you could get a good feel for it!


The Lord be with each of you as you seek His will daily in your lives, and may you fall more in love with Him—Your Loving Father, Beloved Bridegroom and Heavenly Lover of your soul!



3 Responses to “The Daniel Fast”

  1. Quiet-Mom.com says:

    I'll take a look at this book. I've fasted only a few times but always seem to "miss the point" along the way. Thank you!

  2. Anonymous says:

    "And why? So we could be in seamless fellowship with Him once again,"

    That reminds me of a book that Marilyn Howshall wrote several years ago. Can't remember the title (it's just at the tip of my tongue)…I remember how my heart longed for that and the encouragement to know that I already HAD that!! I could take a step into the Holy of Holies and be in God's presence. I've also read a LOT of Andrew Murray's books over the years and he shares the same thing!

    Send me your copy when your done??? :) he he (Just kidding!)



  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi! Just came across your blog and wanted to let you know about my blog, Those Who Hunger, which provides recipes and devotionals for people doing the Daniel Fast. Perhaps it will encourage you. I pray that the Lord will richly bless you as you seek Him during your fast.


    "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." – Matthew 5:6

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