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 fast, we follow in the footsteps of the Prophet Daniel who had a great burden on his heart during this time. The events of Daniel 10 occurred one year after the return of fifty thousand Jews to Israel under the leadership of Ezra. They had returned to re-establish themselves in their homeland and to rebuild the Temple. But the work had been delayed because of opposition. At the same time, Daniel was nearing the end of his life. His concern for his people, his duties as a man of God, and his trusted position in the heathen government put him in a strategic place of power and influence.
Warren Wiersbe said, “Before Daniel went to his grave, he wanted to leave behind a prophetic message that would encourage and strengthen his people. For three weeks, he fasted and prayed and used no ointments as he sought the face of the Lord.” For Daniel, the diet, or the fast, was simply a byproduct of his deep need to focus on spiritual things during this time; thus, the physical benefits of the Daniel Fast are also incidental. This aged prophet was not trying to lose weight or adopt healthier eating habits. He just knew the time he needed to spend in intercession, in communion with God, and in studying the Scripture.
For many of us, however, the Daniel Fast serves both a spiritual and physical purpose. First, we are using it the Daniel Fast to break the stronghold that food and gluttony has on us. Most of us are not gluttons for plain and simple foods. A bowl of beans and brown rice with no seasoning does not appeal to us the same way the meal we get at a restaurant or in a prepackaged store-bought container does. At the same time, because gluttony is a sin, overcoming it is a spiritual issue. So, while we abstain from all but plain foods during this time, ask God to give you a change of heart about the gluttony issue as well. Make sure that there is not a place in your heart where you are putting undue value on food and eating.
PRACTICAL STEPS REGARDING THE DANIEL FAST
Kristen Feola, author of the Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast, answers some frequently asked questions regarding the Daniel Fast:
1. Why isn’t yeast allowed on the Daniel Fast?
In the Bible, yeast is often a symbol for sin, and God often required the Israelites to give up leavened bread (containing yeast) during certain times as a way of setting them apart from neighboring peoples. By not having yeast, we’re making a statement against sin and that’s in keeping with Jewish tradition by refusing to eat leavened bread as we seek the Lord.
2. What about nutritional yeast since it’s deactivated and not a leavening agent?
Whether or not to use nutritional yeast, which is an inactive form of yeast, is really a matter of personal conviction. Some people may choose to have it, while others do not. Personally, I don’t use any type of yeast in my recipes.
3. What about whole grains?
Yes, whole grains are allowed. The modern-day Daniel Fast is based on Daniel’s fasting experiences, which involved denying himself certain foods while he sought the Lord in prayer.
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.