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.
William Thrasher said, “The abstinence is not to be an end in itself but rather for the purpose of being separated to the Lord and to concentrate on godliness. This kind of fasting reduces the influence of our self-will and invites the Holy Spirit to do a more intense work in us.”
When Daniel and his companions were selected to be a part of the special training that would make them of service to the Babylonian king, they were inducted into a three year course of study. The Bible says they were to be taught “the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans” and that they had been “appointed a daily provision of the king’s meat and of the wine which he drank for three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.” Daniel refused this diet, instead choosing to fast from rich foods and eat only plants and vegetables and drink only water. Some of us find it difficult to even consider doing the Daniel Fast for forty days, but Daniel did it for three whole years.
We know from his godly example that he not only honored God with his eating habits, but he honored God by doing the following: (1) Studying the Scripture, (2) Confessing his sins, (3) Repenting of sin, (4) Spending time in prayer, and (5) Withdrawing from worldly pleasures. The results that followed three years of this lifestyle are impressive. The Bible says, “At the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.”
Now this outcome is not just the result of the eating habits of Daniel and his friends. Rather, it is the result of entire lifestyle marked by obedience, dedication, and sacrifice to God. The fasting that Daniel and his friends did was an outgrowth of their commitment to God and his law. That is why, even on the Daniel Fast — and even in this series on the Acceptable Christian Sin of Gluttony — our focus is less on food or abstaining from food and is more on our spiritual outlook and relationship with God. Just as Daniel and his friends refused to eat the king’s meat because it would be sinful for them to do so, we must refuse to eat in a gluttonous manner because we want to live in obedience to God.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION REGARDING THE DANIEL FAST
This information comes from “The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life,” by Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman. The book guides readers to adapt the Daniel Fast and continue it as a lifestyle. The authors write:
Often, attempts to improve your health or life fall flat or end too soon because your willpower is hard to build. You know that your willpower must rest on the power of God, but it also grows stronger with a clear mind and self-control. To overcome a lack of willpower, you must learn the two most important words in the English language when it comes to your health: “then what.” Ask yourself, “Then what will happen if I eat this? Then what will happen if I don’t exercise?”
Keeping these two words at the top of your mind and engaging in the right habits, such as getting enough sleep and eating right, will make a dramatic difference in your mental and physical health, which in turn will help your friendships and your connection with God.
Clear focus and a healthy mind don’t preclude failure on this journey. Failure is a part of everyone’s journey. But it is your attitude toward failure that will determine your ultimate success. Focus and a healthy mind can help you have the right attitude toward failure. Failure does not have to defeat or derail you. It can actually increase your chances of ultimate success. The Daniel Plan encourages you to turn bad days into good information and to study your failures. Learning from your mistakes helps to prevent them in the future.
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.