TEXT: Daniel 10:1-3:
1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.
3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
As we begin our annual Daniel Fast we are going to look at the man whom this fast is named after, his reasons for fasting, and his heart for God throughout the process. The Daniel Fast is based on this passage in Daniel chapter 10 where the exiled prophet is given a series of visions related to the future of Israel. As he seeks God’s wisdom and insight throughout this time, he abstains from some human comforts such as pleasant food, meat, and wine for three weeks, twenty-one days.
The circumstances that prompted Daniel to fast during this time reminds us that this fast is primarily spiritual. Daniel ate only plain, simple foods because he wanted to keep his strength up and give all of that strength to the understanding of the visions that he was receiving. He did not have time to dress a steak and monitor it in the oven when he could just boil some beans and rice in a pot. He did not have time to go out and procure a bottle of wine when he could fill a glass of water from the well in the courtyard. It wasn’t a fancy diet, but it was enough to keep him physically strong, and it gave him more time to dedicate to the things of God.
The Daniel Fast will not be beneficial for us if we only focus on what we can eat and what we cannot eat and obsess over staying within certain dietary guidelines. We must have a spiritual purpose to the fast. Perhaps, instead of spending thirty minutes to an hour every day to fix dinner, you and your family can grab some fruit and spend the time you saved studying the Bible and praying together every evening. Perhaps you are facing a difficult, life-changing decision — such as who to marry, whether to accept a job position, where to move to a different state or country. Spend the next 40 days seeking direction about that situation from the Lord.
Make this Daniel Fast count. If you only focus on the dietary aspects of the fast, you will forget about this time almost as soon as it is over. But if you grow spiritually, connect with God in a new way, or forge a stronger bond with your family, these forty days can have a great impact over the rest of this year and the rest of your life.
PRACTICAL STEPS REGARDING THE DANIEL FAST
On this, the 2nd full day of our 40-day Daniel Fast, in light of the food guidelines we outlined on yesterday, allow me to share the following from Kristen Feola, author of the Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast:
Scripture gives us some insight into what Daniel ate and didn’t eat; however, we don’t know his complete menu. What we do know is this: In Daniel 1, Daniel chose not to eat the royal food that he was being served and ate only vegetables and drank water. Another time, he deprived himself of choice food, meat, and wine as he sought the Lord in prayer.
This is why, I believe, you will find some variation in the specific guidelines for the modern-day Daniel Fast, as far as what foods are included and which ones are restricted. The food guidelines we covered yesterday are the ones most commonly observed in a Daniel Fast.
Try not to get too hung up on what you should and shouldn’t eat. The most important part of the Daniel Fast is that you deny yourself physically so that you may seek the Lord in prayer and grow closer to Him. Your fast may look a little different than someone else’s, and that’s fine. Some people may need to be stricter than others in their food choices so that their fast is a sacrifice for them. These food guidelines are meant to be just that – a guide. They are given to help you create boundaries for your fast.
Now, in this series, as we focus on overcoming the sin of gluttony, and managing our bodies as God intended, we must not lose sight of the most important part of our existence — our spiritual life. Even those of you who are fit, who eat right, and who exercise regularly must still address the condition of your soul. You may keep your body in perfect condition till the day you die, but you will still die — we all will, and the only thing that will matter is the condition of your soul. Is your soul in shape? Is your soul in right standing with God?
The only way to make sure of that is to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin and the consequences of sin. He alone can save your soul, put you in right standing with God, and ensure that you do not perish in Hell. Now, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, here is how you can trust Him today.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.