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Posts from the ‘Spiritual Fasting’ Category

Is the Daniel Fast being hijacked?

Spiritual Fasting

I started teaching Christians about the Daniel Fast in 2007. If you’ve read my book, The Daniel Fast: feed your soul, strengthen your spirit and renew your body, then you know that this all came about when I received a word from the Lord to “write about the Daniel Fast.” And my greatest desire is to support and guide men, women and teens so they can have a successful fasting experience.

Since that time I have taught hundreds of thousands of people about the fast in one degree or another. And my team and I have responded to tens of thousands of men and women when they have questions about the Daniel Fast.

One thing I know for sure: the Daniel Fast is a powerful spiritual experience that truly can bring amazing revelations, blessings, intimacy with the Lord and much more to those who engage in the fast. Prayers are answered. Lives are touched. Addictions are broken. Bodies are healed. Relationships are strengthened. And God is glorified!

But lately, and this has all accelerated over the last six months are so, it seems like the true Daniel Fast is being hijacked and unknowing people suffer the consequences. Let me explain what I mean:

One of the most powerful lessons we can learn during the Daniel Fast is strengthening our faith muscles by putting our flesh in its proper place! What is that proper place? Submitted to the Spirit of God! The Bible teaches us this, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16. Also, we are called to this truth, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13.

During the Daniel Fast you will wrestle with the flesh. Your flesh will want certain foods that aren’t allowed on the fast. It will whine because it can’t have coffee, tea, soda or juice to drink. And every time you tell your flesh to “take the backseat, I am living according to the Spirit” we grow in our faith. Self-control is practiced. Walking according to the Spirit is experienced. Submission happens.

In our culture today almost everything around us encourages us to pander to the desires of the flesh. It’s an “if I want it, I buy it” mindset. Or an “if I want it, I eat it” way of living. Feed me. Make it delectable. Don’t make me wait. I want it now!

So what does this have to do with the Daniel Fast? And why do I wonder if it’s being hijacked?

In today’s Internet world and the easy and quick access to information, it only takes a computer and a few keystrokes to “publish information.” And with the introduction of self-published digital books including Kindle and Nook, it’s easy for anyone to present their offerings to the world for their consumption.

What am I seeing? A multitude of books and publications being presented about the Daniel Fast that overflow with errors, nurture the flesh, and guide people away from the amazing experiences they can have. It’s like thousands of men and women are walking on a path wanting a powerful spiritual experience using the Daniel Fast. They come to a table piled with books with enticing words and pictures of food! The covers and descriptions include messages like these:

  • Daniel Fast Smoothies: Scrumptious and Nutritious Blend of Flavors That Make Up a Mouth Watering Array of Smoothie Beverages
  • The Daniel Fast Made Delicious
  • Daniel Fast Desserts: a Tempting Assortment of Dessert Meals that Will Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
  • Daniel Fast Desserts: Over 20 Sweet Treat Recipes for Your Daniel Fast

And here’s one that lifted part of the title of my book to promote their offering: Daniel Fast Cookbook: Feed Your Soul and Strengthen Your Spirit with Over 30 Delicious Recipes.

The photo on this book includes eggs, cheese, ham, jam, raised breads, milk and other food not allowed on the Daniel Fast! Just one example!

The photo on this book cover includes eggs, cheese, ham, jam, raised breads, milk, juice, coffee and other foods not allowed on the Daniel Fast! Just one example if the Daniel Fast being hijacked!

So you choose one of the “Daniel Fast books” that feeds your flesh in a “tantalizing” and “scrumptious way” and you keep moving down the path. But here’s the problem, you unknowingly have taken a detour. This detour takes you on a path to satisfy your flesh. “Wow! I don’t have to give up sweet foods. I can make these yummy cookies.” “Oh, look here. I can have all these delectable dishes! I don’t have to deny myself at all. This is great!” And you keep moving along.

Meanwhile, you miss out on the treasure that you could have had if you would have had a true guidebook and entered this spiritual experience as it was originally intended: a powerful, consecrated time of extended prayer and fasting so you can draw closer to God, develop your faith, and learn how to walk according to the spirit rather than by the desires of the flesh.

I understand that the Daniel Fast, being a partial fast, presents some challenges about food. Is it okay to enjoy the foods you eat while on the fast? What about preparing meals for others?

And here is where you, as a follower of Jesus Christ and as a temple of the Holy Spirit, can exercise your discernment. Are you feeding your body? Or are you indulging your flesh? Are you staying within the boundaries of a spiritual experience? Or are you figuring out ways you can stay within the food guidelines but still meet the needs of the flesh by concocting “tantalizing” recipes?

There are times when there’s a fine line when it comes to eating some foods or making up some recipes while on the fast. But I also know that we have a Guide inside of us who will show us the direction that will best meet our desire for spiritual growth.

We have a choice when we enter into an extended period of prayer and fasting using the Daniel Fast. We can “seek first the kingdom of God” and consecrate ourselves for the time and gain in maturity and understanding. Or, we can continue to pander to the flesh and have a mediocre experience with some benefits . . . but still missing out on the supernatural blessings the Lord wants to deliver.

Paul says this, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal.” 1 Corinthians 3:1-3

And here is even a stronger message from Paul: “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” Romans 8:5-7

Like I mentioned, I have been teaching about the Daniel Fast for many years. The Lord has blessed me with the assignment. And I am humbled when I hear from men, women and teens that have been powerfully touched by the experiences they’ve had while in the Daniel Fast. I know the potential of this fast! I have heard and read the testimonies of thousands! And that’s why I am saddened to see what is happening.

My hope is that people on the path toward their fasting experience will allow the Lord, and not their flesh, to direct their steps. And that they will indeed be able to receive the amazing and powerful gifts, blessings, revelations, and answers to prayer that are available to them.

Okay . . . end of rant! But I do ask you that, as someone who has taken the time read this article, help me and others keep the Daniel Fast the powerful spiritual experience it can be. Let’s work together to keep the main thing the main thing . . . and that is submitting ourselves to God as we enter into a time of extended prayer and fasting and open our hearts to Him so we can be transformed into the people He calls us to be! The Daniel Fast is not about the food! It’s about entering into a spiritual experience that brings us closer to God and allows Him to shower us with the blessings and gifts He so wants us to have.  Please, help me to preserve the true purpose of this method of fasting!

Click here to receive Daniel Fast helps and tips.

Daniel Fast for Lent – Finish Strong

DF Finish Strong Challenge

You are moving toward the end of the race! In less than two weeks you will cross over the finish line and enter into a celebration for Easter Sunday!

So today, I want to challenge and encourage you to finish strong! To really “go for it” for this last stretch in the Lenten Journey and cross that finish line with excitement and success!

Perhaps you’ve fallen off the path. Maybe you got frustrated or unmotivated. Maybe you encountered stumbling blocks and haven’t been able to stick with the Daniel Fast for Lent as you had intended. You may even feel like a failure.

But remember this, you only fail if you stay down. You only fail when you keep limping along when you have the ability to pick up the pace and start running again!

So right now I am urging you to brush yourself off and begin tomorrow morning with a refreshed desire to finish the race you started and to finish it strong. Here is what I am going to do to finish strong:

  • Eat according to the Daniel Fast Guideline every day between now and the end of the Lenten Fast (complete on Easter Eve) except for Sundays.
  • Walk at least 30 minutes each day (I walk and pray at the same time – and it’s so wonderful to be with God in this way)
  • Meet daily with my God and open my heart to Him and His Word.

Will you join me? Will you shake off any apathy, mistakes, discouragement . . . and get back in the race?

If you’re ready to finish this Lenten Fast with enthusiasm, strength and success, just leave your reply below! And then get up tomorrow morning with a new bounce in your step and let’s get running!

Love and peace to you! I know you can do it!

Click this link to download a form to keep track of your progress! I Will Finish Strong

LEAVE YOUR REPLY BELOW!

Seek the Lord with All Your Heart . . . really?

Whole HeartHow many times have you read or heard those words and immediately thought, “How can I ever do that? I have so much to do just to live. How can I seek Him with my whole heart?”

I’ve been there, also. But today I received some revelation about this command that I hope helps you. It surely is helping me.

First, our heart is the seat of our thoughts, emotions, intellect and personality. The Scriptures have a lot to say about your heart. You are to guard it. You are to search it. God searches your heart. The Bible says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” I could go on and on. Your heart is central to your being.

Second, the word “seek” means there is action. Not complacency or waiting for something to happen to you. Instead seeking is diligent and hungry action. The Bible says that the Lord rewards those who diligently seek Him.

Third, we are to seek the LORD. Not fame. Not money. Not position. No the approval of others. We are to seek the LORD . . . and we’re to seek Him with our whole heart.

When we look at the three elements of this command we can gain a very clear and understandable instruction. The Lord is saying, in every area of your life, check to see how I instruct you to do it first. Then act on those instructions. Simple. Clear. Doable.

If you want to know how to have a good marriage – seek the Lord and see what He has to say about it. ~ If you want know about how to raise children – seek the Lord and see what He as to say about it. ~ If you want to know how to be in good health – seek the Lord and see what He has to say about it. ~ If you want to have your financial needs met – seek the Lord and see what He has to say about it. ~ If you want to know how to deal with betrayal or hurt feelings – seek the Lord and see what He has to say about it.

Then, once we know for sure what He wants us to do . . . we are to follow His instructions. Faith without works is dead. God will give us all we need, but we need to do our part . . . and that is obey what He tells us to do.

No matter what is happening in your life – go to God and His Word and find out what He has to show you and teach you and instruct you to do. Not just on a few things, but in ALL areas of you life. That’s what your “whole heart” is all about it. It’s all of you and all that’s going on in your life.

The sure promises of God are yours. He has them waiting for you . . . and He’s giving you the formula for having the success that you want . . . and that He wants for you. He wants us to seek Him because He always know what’s best. And He wants us to put our trust in Him and in His instructions. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Go after God’s instructions for every area of your life . . . then do what He says! Simple formula with HUGE payoffs!

Be blessed!

Is it You or is it me, Lord?

Sower sows the WordWhen faced with challenging circumstances, many Christians cry out to God, “God, why are you doing this to me?” Or, “God, why don’t you answer my prayer?” But let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say to shed some light on matters such as these.

In Mark 4:13-20 Jesus teaches us about the Sower and the seed. I hope you’ll go read that passage because it is rich with revelation and truth. When you study the teaching, you’ll note that the Sower sows the word and as He casts it, the seeds fall on four types of ground.

The ground represents the heart of the hearer and its receptivity to the seed. First mentioned is the hard wayside . . . or a hard heart . . . and the seed doesn’t even make an impression.

The second is the stony ground. When the seed falls there, the soil is so shallow that the seed may sit for a short time, but it can’t get rooted into the soil. So it has no effect.

The third soil is covered with thorns. The seed lands on the soil, but the new shoots from the seed are in competition with the thorns (the cares of the world) that soon take over . . . so the word gets choked out.

And then there is the fourth type of soil – the good ground. It is the heart that is open to receive the seed. It has been plowed and is soft so the seed can take root and grow well. The roots of the seed can go deep into the prepared soil and the harvest will come . . . and even then there are grades of good ground with some producing thirtyfold, some sixty and some a hundred.

So here is the question we need to ask ourselves when we consider our situations and challenges. Did the Sower change the type of seed He tossed? Or was it the same seed, but on different soil? Are some people more blessed because God treats them differently? Or is it because their hearts are better prepared, more receptive and more open to what God’s Word says?

Jesus teaches that this is the most important parable of all. He says, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?”

For me, this teaching from the Master of the church is central to my faith development and my life. What kind of soil is most like my heart today? Do I need to do some hoeing to break up hard ground? Do I need to toss out some stones that keep the seed from penetrating the soil? Are there weeds that need to be uprooted and tossed away so the seedlings can take root and prosper with a good harvest.

Lord, is it You? No . . . You sow the same incorruptible seed. So that means, it’s me. It’s me that needs to change and grow and till the ground of my heart so I am more receptive to Your Word. Then I can grow and Your Word in my heart will result in an abundant harvest!

 

Feeling Attacked During Your Daniel Fast?

Prowling LionLet me share some scriptural truths with you that I hope will help you understand what is happening when you make strides toward God . . . but then experience major attacks by the enemy.

First, remember that Satan has one purpose for your life and that is to steal, kill and destroy any good thing that happens to you! He literally hates you! And he doesn’t want you strong, full of faith and able to experience victory in your life. He is the enemy of our soul! The Bible says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Second, when you start making advances in your faith he is quick to fight! You are taking over territory that he held. The light is overtaking the darkness and so he will come to the defense and fight against you. The Bible teaches us to prepare ourselves and then to stand, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

Third, when you are searching for God’s truth in His Word, again the enemy is quick to come against your efforts. He does not want you to get God’s Word deeply rooted in you, because then you will be strong, able and trusting God. Here is what Jesus says about this situation, “The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.” Mark 4:14-15

Understand this, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

When you feel attacked . . . when fiery darts seem to be coming at you from every direction . . . when things seem to be crumbling before your eyes . . . step back. Take a look at what is really going on. Then get more of God’s truth deeply rooted in to your heart and stand on the sure promises that are yours. “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Jesus has authority over Satan. The scoundrel is a defeated foe. He may try to rear his ugly head and come against you. But he has no power over you when you arm yourself with faith and keep Jesus the Conqueror at your side. Do not fear. Have faith in God. And put your trust in the One who loves you!

Are You in Danger of Smothering God’s Word?

I’ve felt it. You’ve felt it. Those times when we feel overwhelmed by the problems of the world. We just can’t seem to connect with God. Our lives seem bombarded with troubles and while we aren’t “hopeless,” we feel very close. We pray. No results. We start begging. Still no results. It seems there are no answers coming our way.

Maybe you’ll see yourself (like I’ve seen myself) in this description from Jesus: “Now these are the [seeds] sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,  and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” Mark 4:18-89

Ouch! Is the Word “unfruitful” because I am so caught up in the cares and troubles that God can’t work in my life? Are the thorns so many that the seeds of the Word can’t grow and can’t be fruitful?

If you are experiencing this dark time in your life, see it as a powerful opportunity to step back and take some corrective action . . . even if you don’t feel like you can!

Sometimes, we feel so overwhelmed, worn out and weak that our senses are dulled. Or we are so confused, we don’t know what to do or how to respond. This is where discipline and obedience come in and demonstrate their power. Open your heart to the Lord and pray anyway. Open the Bible, and study God’s ways anyway. Speak the truth from the Word over your situation anyway. And keep doing it, not because you “feel like it,” but because God has told us that this is what works.

Obey God. Meditate on His Word. Put your trust in Him. Look at God’s promises rather than the enemy’s lies. And bit by bit, you will notice the change. Maybe not all at once, but as you keep moving forward there will be a time when you look back and see the progress you’ve made and how the Lord has directed your steps.

Take time and “see yourself in the Scriptures.” Then take action through obedience and discipline. That’s the way of the Lord . . . and the way to peace and rest.

Just the Tip of the Iceberg!

Tip of the IcebergWhen you’ve been on the Daniel Fast for a while you stop being so focused on food (hopefully). You start noticing things “coming up” about your life, attitudes, beliefs, etc. You might notice frustration about some issues in your life. Or anger. Or loneliness and disappointment. What ever it is for you, take notice . . . and then realize this: what you see is just the tip of the iceberg.

Our inner life is deep, even if we are not used to exploring it! So when things “come up” it’s important that we explore what is underneath the surface of our daily actions, beliefs, feelings and thoughts.

Don’t try to ignore or plow through the tip that is being shown to you. We know from the story of the Titanic how that strategy works out! But instead, be of good courage and dive into the water of your soul and search out that which seems hidden. Not until you can clearly see what is there can you start the work of getting rid of it.

But, don’t dive alone! Your Lord is really good at helping you search out the things of the heart. He wants to help you discover, learn and grow. And He wants to help you destroy the icebergs so you can move on into calm waters.

Over the next couple days, be on the lookout for the tips of the icebergs that show up in your life. Take notice. Be aware. And then do the necessary work with Jesus as your guide to do the essential work to free yourself from it by blowing it out of the water!

The Daniel Fast Daily Devotional for Lent

DFLentCover280x448MY GIFT TO YOU!

Announcing the release of The Daniel Fast Daily Devotional for Lent which is a Kindle book and available through Amazon for FREE through February 17th.

ASH WEDNESDAY – Today is Ash Wednesday. Lent will start at sunset tonight (February 13th) and continue until the celebration of Resurrection Sunday (March 31).

Lent is a powerful time of prayer and fasting when millions of believers focus on Jesus and His life and ministry. It’s a time of personal reflection and examination. It’s a time of growth and drawing closer to the Lord.

Lent is a season for denominations that follow the Church Calendar (Liturgical Calendar), including Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians and some Reformed Churches. Lent is also observed by a growing number of individuals who want to enter into an extended period of prayer and fasting.

During the Lenten Season, there are 40 days of fasting. These fasting days commemorate the 40 days following Jesus’s baptism that He spent fasting in the desert before starting His public ministry. The fast is “paused” on Sundays as believers celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and acknowledge that He is alive today!

The Daniel Fast – will you see what the Lord wants to show you?

As I met with the Lord this morning, He showed me something that I want to share with you. It has to do with the condition of our hearts.

Psalm 44:21 tells us that God knows the secrets of our hearts. He knows us better than we know ourselves.

Too often we come to the Lord and ask Him to use us for His purposes. We ask Him to make in us a clean heart. It’s like walking up to the Lord, but meanwhile behind us we are dragging lots of baggage. Some of the contents we know, but it’s very likely that most of the “stuff” is invisible to us.

So then the Lord says, “Yes, I want to use you! So let’s get you ready for service. How about getting rid of that stuff that’s dragging behind you and keeping you from running the race with top speed?”

This message often comes to us when we knowingly disobey Him or when our emotions are filled with fear, anxiety or unforgiveness. It might be when we collide with our own unhealthy attitudes or behaviors.

These are all times when we can humbly come to the Lord and allow Him so show us the secrets in our heart. He is our loving Father. He wants only good for us. And we can trust Him.

I hope this thought is helpful to you . . . our Father wants us well so we can be all He created us to be!

Be blessed as you continue to grow in the love and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In Him and for Him,

God’s Chosen Fast

I am writing to ask you for money! And I admit, for this cause I will ask boldly and without any embarrassment or shame. Let me explain:

January 9th was the first day of my Daniel Fast. My purpose for fasting this year is for one primary reason . . . to help children who don’t have enough food to eat.

If you’ve read much of my writing or heard me speak, you know that I am a strong advocate for fasting. I know prayer and fasting changes people and for many their lives are forever blessed as they draw closer to God. As one who teaches about the Daniel Fast, I also know the amazing health benefits of this partial fast as we eat a plant-based diet of only foods created by our Creator. I believe with all my heart that God is pleased as we fast with a sincere and submitted heart.

God also teaches about another kind of fast. He declared it to His people in Isaiah 58:6-9 –

Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?

Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.

Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, “Here I am.”

Life in Jesus calls us to care for those who are hurting. And right now as you read these words children around the world are dying because they don’t have food to eat or clean water to drink! With all the resources in the hands of God’s people, this shouldn’t be. And that’s why I can without any reservation ask you to help feed these children by donating from your financial resources to buy them food.

I’ve traveled to the poorest countries in world. I’ve seen children dying because of starvation and I can tell you it is tragic! My heart has been broken for the poor — which I am sure is nothing compared to how much God’s heart must break every hour of every day.

I am partnering with Compassion International, one of the most highly respected Christian child-advocacy ministries in the world. And so today I am asking you to join me by giving a financial gift of whatever amount the Lord leads you to give. I have decided to give the amount I spend on myself for food during the Daniel Fast. You might be able to give more . . . or perhaps you can give only a small gift at this time.

I am just asking you to give something . . . to share your bread with the hungry . . . to enter into God’s chosen fast.

You can give your gift very simply by clicking on this link: http://www.firstgiving.com/susangregory-danielfast

If you want to learn even more about the effort, go to http://Daniel-Fast.com/fff.html

Every day my team and I answer the questions of hundred of men and women who are on the Daniel Fast. They want to follow the eating plan and so their questions are valid. They want to know what they can eat . . .

I am asking you to answer the cry of children who don’t have food . . . children who also ask, “What can we eat.” But their question is more dire and the answer is more critical and mere words won’t help them.

Please, I hope you will join me in God’ chosen fast.

Be blessed, 

 

´¨)
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(¸.·´
Susan

 

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