“2In those days I, Daniel, as mourning for three weeks. 3I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.” Daniel 10:2-3
Some of us won’t remember what it was like to rewind and fast forward a cassette tape. It was not precise and added wear to the “tape” eventually causing it to snap. The ability to jump ahead to a different part of a song, or an entirely new song was “rad!”
As we start a New Year we having been given 365 new days to write a better chapter or storyline to our life. This is why I plan to start the New Year with a Daniel-fast. I don’t know the challenges 2018 will bring but I do know that I need to be prepared and equipped to face those challenges.
A fast for spiritual purposes is a willful sacrifice to lay hold of a spiritual breakthrough. Daniel, in Daniel 10, is in dire need to hear from God. Without wasting time, he begins to fast. By sacrificing meat, wine, and delicacies, He commits himself to prayer.
This exchange of physical sustenance for spiritual purposes is God’s method for a breakthrough! In Daniel 10:12:13 we learn that the moment Daniel set himself to pray, God sent an answer, in the form of a messenger angel, but it was obstructed by the “Prince of Persia” which represented a demonic spirit.
Does God Answer Prayer?
God always answers prayer! In simplistic terms, it’s either a “yes or no.” There are moments when God hasn’t said “no,” but we haven’t received an answer. The reason may be demonic obstruction preventing you from receiving God’s answer. If this is the case, then it’s time to fast!
Why We Fast?
The Bible is filled with promises from God for us that remain unclaimed because of our adversary Satan, works against God to interfere with God’s will. At the church I Pastor and in my own walk with God I am praying for and believing God for greater blessings (Matthew 7:11), a greater number of salvation’s and rededication (2 Peter 3:9), and greater service (Mark 10:45) in 2018.
It’s important to be clear about your purpose at the start of a fast. Set in your heart the reason for your fast. Healing for a friend. The salvation of a family member. A new job. Reconciliation. A deeper relationship with God.
Our goals and dreams will be met with a counter-attack to discourage us in an attempt to keep God’s best from us. Fasting is the only way we can overthrow satan’s attack.
How Do I fast?
The nature of fasting is sacrifice. A Daniel fast is defined by abstaining from meat (and yes that includes fish), wine and delicacies. Meat and wine are pretty straightforward. Personally, I define delicacies as sweets, treats, and processed food. The idea of a fast is to sacrifice, so in your interpretation outside of the basic three items choose something(s) to sacrifice to God. Let the measurement of your sacrifice be comparative to the size of your prayer during a fast.
David said in 2 Samuel 24:24 “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” The principle in this passage is that our sacrifice should cost us something. As you select foods to sacrifice during a fast, make sure it’s meaningful. If you already despise brussels sprouts, then giving it up during a fast is not a sacrifice.
During a fast, prayer is the prominent activity. Fasting without prayer is a really bad diet. When prayer becomes the prominent activity during our fast, fasting is a continual prayer before God. Make time to pray.
What If I Medically Cannot Fast Food?
I understand that for health reasons (and discomfort is not a health-reason) some cannot adjust their diet to this extent. If your health is going to be jeopardized by fasting food, then remember the key to a fast is sacrifice. Find something to sacrifice which demonstrates the seriousness of your commitment.
Private Sacrifice Rewarded
During your fast don’t focus on the sacrifice itself focus on the end-game, breakthrough. Remember, fasting is a God-ordained process for experiencing God’s will in our lives and our church. What you do in secret God will reward, Matthew 6:4. Keep private the elements of your sacrifice and don’t judge or compare with others. Focus on the purpose of your fast and by faith lay hold of God’s biggest blessings and His perfect will in 2018!