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.
Now, it is unlikely that you and I are receiving visions from God regarding the end times as Daniel was during his three-week fast. However, there are some things that Daniel did during his fast that we ought to do during ours, and we will look at each of those things during our next few messages.
Here in chapter 10, we find that, during his fast, Daniel humbled himself before the Lord. One of the angels who visited Daniel during this time greeted him with these words: “Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.”
The word translated as “chasten” means “to be put down, to become low, to humble oneself, to bow down.” Perhaps, the number one thing that stands in the way of us growing spiritually and moving forward to where God wants us to be is pride. We have our own ideas about things and how our lives should be lived. We persist in doing things our way and never give God a chance to work. We are stubborn mentally, spiritually, and physically — oftentimes to the point where we will not even hear what God is telling us.
Fasting, depriving ourselves of food and drink, has of way of weakening the flesh, has a way of weakening our human will, and has a way of helping us to hear better what God is trying to do in our lives. It is a form of self-chastening — putting ourselves through something painful or uncomfortable for the good of our souls.
In closing, note these words from John Piper: “Fasting is the means to humbling. How is this so? One way to present ourselves before God humbly is to demonstrate to him by fasting that we acknowledge our overwhelming love for physical pleasure. Fasting says to God, I know that I do not deserve my daily bread. My sin only deserves to be punished with starvation. I am sorry for my sins and I acknowledge with my fast how grievous they are. I long for you, O God, vastly more than I long for food. Fill me, O Christ! Fill me with ‘the bread that comes down from heaven’!”
PRACTICAL INFORMATION REGARDING THE DANIEL FAST
Kristen Feola, author of the Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast, answers some frequently asked questions regarding the Daniel Fast:
3. Can I have whole wheat bread?
Whole wheat products are allowed, including bread. However, the bread must be made without yeast or sugar. In other words, it needs to be unleavened bread, otherwise known as flatbread.
4. Why isn’t vinegar allowed?
The process of creating vinegar involves fermentation, and the oxidation of ethanol produces an alcohol-containing liquid. However, one particular vinegar, apple cider vinegar, has many nutritional benefits, so some people may choose to include it on their fast. The idea of the fast is to deny yourself as an act of worship to the Lord. We don’t want to be so legalistic about every single thing that we put in our mouths that we miss the whole point of the Daniel Fast, so I would encourage you to seek the Lord for direction. Note: Fresh lemon juice is a good substitute for vinegar!
5. Can I eat fish on the fast?
No animal products are allowed, including seafood. However, some people may choose to modify the guidelines for medical reasons. Whether or not to include fish is a matter between you and the Lord.
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.