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.
Elisabeth Elliot said, “One way to begin to see how vastly indulgent we usually are is to fast. It is a long day that is not broken by the usual three meals. One finds out what an astonishing amount of time is spent in the planning, purchasing, preparing, eating, and cleaning up of meals.”
In this series, we have looked at the following ways in which we can follow Daniel’s example during our Daniel Fast: (1) Studying the Scripture, (2) Confessing our sins, (3) Repenting of sin, (4) Spending more time in prayer, and (5) Withdrawing from worldly pleasures.
Continuing with the theme of withdrawing from the pleasure and companionship of the world during our time of fasting and prayer, Daniel’s decision not to anoint himself for the 21 days of his fast indicated that he did not intend to have much interaction with other people. He truly intended to spend most of his time alone with God. By extension, in our day and time, when we abstain from worldly pleasures, some people should consider choosing to put away such things as movies, TV shows, entertaining books, social media, music, or whatever it is that you like and find extremely enjoyable.
However, abstaining from the pleasures of life is something that should be done as unto the Lord. We are not fasting to make ourselves appear holy before others or to make others feel guilty. In Matthew 6, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees who went out in public, “disfiguring their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast.” Jesus said, “But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face.” In other words, if you have to interact with others while fasting, as many of us do on a daily basis, don’t try to make it apparent that you are fasting. Jesus continues, “Appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”
The Daniel Fast is not a time to go about complaining about what you can’t eat. Nor is it a time to try to make others feel bad because they are eating things that you are abstaining from. If you are giving up some other activity or pleasure as well, that does not give you license to boast about it. You ought to be doing it for the Lord and for the betterment of your relationship with Him. Every moment you gain by giving up something that you enjoy and cutting back on food buying and food preparation you ought to invest in your walk with God. He will richly reward you for sacrificing to spend more time with Him and engage in spiritual pursuits that bring benefits for eternity.
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. Basically, the book advocates what I have suggested: taking the Daniel Fast diet and continuing it as a lifestyle. The authors write:
“The National Institutes of Health spends $800 million a year trying to discover the cause of obesity. Could it be the 29 pounds of French fries, 23 pounds of pizza, 24 pounds of ice cream, 53 gallons of soda, 24 pounds of artificial sweeteners, and 2.7 pounds of salt consumed every year by the average American?
“The Daniel Plan is rooted in a very simple principle: Take the junk out and let the abundance in. Don’t focus on what you can’t eat (although you should be educated and cautious about certain food substances). Focus on what you can include — delicious whole foods full of extraordinary flavor, delightful textures, and hidden surprises. Our philosophy is that if it was grown on a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, leave it on the shelf.”
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.