Fasting for growth: Beginning The Daniel Fast

When we started dating over 6 years ago every year my husband and I have participated in what’s called the Daniel Fast. If you’re unfamiliar with the “Daniel Fast” it is a spiritual journey that Daniel of the Old Testament took where for 3 weeks he did not eat any animal or drink wine. During these 3 weeks he spent time in fervent prayer for wisdom and understanding and he also had many ‘visions’ or dreams. At the end of the 3 weeks an angel came to him and l described to him a battle that he was in to get to Daniel for 21 days so that he could explain to Daniel the dreams and visions he was having. Daniel got exactly what he sought…wisdom and understanding of things to come and most importantly a divine purpose.

While our level of divinity is in no way a comparision to Daniels we initially started this fast because the church we were considering joining conducted a corporate Daniel Fast beginning January 1st of every year. We figured we would try it, not knowing much about Daniel or the purpose of fasting. We didn’t have a clear set of expectations for ourselves personally or spiritually, we just had a receptive heart and we wanted to make it to the end without giving in. We were seeking God in a new way, even if we weren’t educated in the details.

Our first few years of fasting in retrospect were completely different than how we fast now. We focused on how much weight we would lose and spent a considerable amount of time telling others about our fast and our struggles with the food (or lack thereof.) As we grew spiritually and began to read and study the Bible and fasting we began to learn what fasting is and what it isn’t.

Fasting is

*A learning process

*More of a mindset than actual actions. Yes you may be depriving yourself of something but the purpose must be greater than the sacrifice. The sacrifice is a means to an end.

*A way to grow spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.

*A chance to be honest with God and yourself and hit the reset button if necessary

*Something that honors and glorifies God.

*A way to formulate a stronger bond/relationship with God, to hear His voice.

*A way to discover your purpose.

*A chance to put into practice giving Him complete control with the hope of continuing this act afterward.

Fasting is NOT

*A way to MAKE God give you something you want.

*A way to show people how ‘spiritual’ or ‘divine’ you are

*A time when you should make yourself look like your are fasting (wash your face and comb your hair! God never told you took a mess…)

*Something you brag about on social media (ie #fasting) unless you are teaching someone or doing a corporate fast, fasting is between you and God.

My experience with fasting is just mine, yours will be different. I am completing the daniel fast and you may chose to fast from something different such as social media, television, complaining or gossip. Fasting allows breakthrough! Choose what, when and how you fast prayerfully. Allow God to lead and you won’t be disappointed!

Go forth and be blessed!

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