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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!

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Troubles Can Be Magnets

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings . . . Hebrews 10:22

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings . . . Hebrews 10:22

We are silly souls, sometimes. Here we have the Creator of everything so willing to help us, strengthen us, bless us and give us everything we need for success . . . yet we don’t turn to Him! What’s that all about?

But here is one thing I have discovered in my own life – when I have a problem that is really causing challenges in my life – it can be a magnet to draw me closer to God!

God is never the one holding back love, care, wisdom, blessings or whatever we need. Instead, we aren’t aligned to hear or receive from Him.

As you work through Discovery, Faith and Transformation . . . it’s very like that “issues” will arise. You will take notice of characteristics about yourself that you know need shoring up. Or you will find the enemy nipping at your heels. Or the challenges of life will present themselves to you.

These are all times to draw nearer to God. Develop a habit that going to Him is your first response. Open your heart to Him. Tell Him what’s going on. Ask for His help. Get into His Word and learn about what He has to say about the matter. And thank Him, in faith, for already being at work in you and for you to bring what is out of order into order.

Get so good at coming to God first, that this practice becomes your natural reflex. That requires consistency and time . . . and doing the same thing over and over again.

So allow challenges to be magnets that bring you closer to God . . . develop the wise habit of making Him your first response . . . and realize the peace that passes all understanding that is available to you as His precious and highly valued child!

Hidden Power in Mistakes and Disappointments

Learn from MistakesSometimes things don’t go as we had planned. We mess up. We don’t receive the outcome we had hoped for. Or situations “happen to us” that we didn’t want! No one likes to make mistakes or to be disappointed. But when stuff happens, we can use it for positive change in our lives.

When you make a mistake, turn it into a learning experience. Prayerfully “unpack” what happened. As the Holy Spirit to help you look at the cause, the trigger, the point of weakness, the lack of knowledge or whatever is there that fed into the mistake happening. For example, on the Daniel Fast, did you eat a food that you later learned was not allowed? Why? Because you didn’t know. And why didn’t you know? Because you hadn’t studied it out before you started the fast. When you know better you do better. So make the adjustment and move forward. The same is true for a point of weakness. You caved and ate the hamburger or drank the cup of coffee! You did exactly what you didn’t want to do! Ouch! But use the same strategy to turn this into a learning and growth opportunity with your Teacher. Let Him show you how to do better next time you are faced with temptation.

How about when you are counting on an outcome that ends in disappointment? Again, you can turn this into a learning experience with your Rabbi Jesus. This happened to a friend of mine. She wanted a promotion that she thought sure she would get. But she was passed up for others who were more qualified. The people who received the promotion had invested a lot of time learning new skills and gaining experiences that prepared them for the promotion. My friend was really disappointed. But instead of grumbling (okay, she did grumble for a while), she took a look at what she was missing and found ways to learn, grow and get stronger. When the promotion was available the next time she was ready . . . and was chosen.

Do you have disappointments in your life that can point to a learning experiences you can discover? Have you made some mistakes that you can turn into growth opportunities? We always have a choice about how we will respond to life’s circumstances. The Bible says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 ~ He will work for our good, but we also are called to open our minds and hearts for the growth lessons He has for us. And that’s just one of the ways that negatives turn into blessings. Praise God!

Balance for Your Daniel Fast

balanceThe Daniel Fast is a powerful method of fasting! I believe it’s bringing hundreds of thousands of men and women into the spiritual discipline of prayer and fasting since it’s a partial fast and some foods can be eaten. Many people would not be able to fulfill the demands of their daily obligations if they were to go without food for 21 days. But the Daniel Fast allowed us to have some foods while others are restricted.

The key is to keep all things in balance. We are fasting. The definition of a spiritual fast is to restrict food for a spiritual purpose. So we want to keep that in mind. Just because we can eat food doesn’t mean we want to abandon the restrictive part of the discipline.

On the Daniel Fast we can have hearty and nourishing foods. We don’t necessarily have to “go hungry.” However, we also don’t want to go to the extreme and figure out how we can create foods that continue to feed our cravings.

The Daniel Fast is amazing as it affect the whole person – spirit, soul and body. And part of fasting is putting our flesh in submission as we come under the Spirit of God and allow Him to reign in our lives.

Again, I call all of us to balance. Yes, it’s okay to prepare meals that are pleasant, filling and nutritious. That’s what God wants for us all the time. But we need to institute balance by not catering to the flesh.

We gain life-changing lessons while we’re fasting. Developing the fruit of the spirit of self-control is one of the most precious lessons we can receive. Fasting gives us the opportunity to examine our hearts and to make sure our motives are aligned with the men and women of God we want to be – submitted to Him and walking in His ways.

Prepare for the New Year Fast

I receive thousands of emails from men and women at this time of year as they share with me their experiences of the Daniel Fast. Most of them are a joy to read as the writers tell me of their amazing blessings, answered prayer and closeness with God.

But there are also some that are sad. They are those from people who started the Daniel Fast with great intentions, but then stopped the fast because the withdrawals from caffeine or sugar were too extreme or because they gave way to temptations for Big Macs or Diet Pepsi’s.

They feel defeated, down and wonder how to get back into God’s graces after their “failure.”

First, I tell them that Jesus has already provided the means to forgive them for giving into temptations. I encourage them to begin the fast again . . . but this time to prepare their spirits, souls and bodies for the fast.

In the same way that you would prepare yourself for a long backpack trip, you want to be sure to prepare yourself for your spiritual journey of extended prayer and fasting. Taper off caffeine, sugar and processed foods so that your body is clean when you start the fast and therefore you avoid the painful withdrawals.

Learn about the Daniel Fast and about the discipline of spiritual fasting. The Daniel Fast book was written and published for the sole reason to help men and women be successful on their Daniel Fast.

You also want to pray about the fast and invite the Holy Spirit to prepare your heart so you’ll look forward to the experience and so you can enter the fast with joy and anticipation.

Many performance experts say that preparation accounts for 80 percent of one’s success. So be sure to prepare for your fast and allow the Lord to fulfill all the good He wants to shower over you during this amazing experience.

Why No Herbal Tea or 100% Juice!

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive about the Daniel Fast concerns herbal tea. People have a hard time understanding why they can’t have it on the fast, especially if it’s caffeine-free and organic. The same question is asked about fruit and vegetable juice.

The answer is really quite simple and it’s found in Daniel 1:12 where the Prophet’s words are recorded:

“Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.”

This is the anchor text that says we drink only water on the Daniel Fast. Tea and juice aren’t off the list because they are bad for you. They are off the list because there is no room for juice or tea in “drink only water.”

I hope this helps solve some of the confusion as to why  no other beverages are allowed on the Daniel Fast. When you think “beverage” during the Daniel Fast, you think “water.”

Now, let’s move to a little bit of a complicated matter, and that has to do with “juiced fruit and vegetables” that are allowed on the Daniel Fast. The reason they are listed is because many people have meals of juiced produce. It’s not a beverage . . . it’s a meal. One woman wrote to me today and told me she uses juiced meals when she’s traveling and at work.  But she also accompanies the juiced meal with a beverage . . . which is filtered water. So if you are making meal replacements by juicing fruits and vegetables, then they would be acceptable. It’s a fine line. Juice as a beverage is not allowed . . . liquid meals like smoothies and other plant-based protein drinks are okay.

Water has many benefits . . . including thwarting hunger, helping with detox headaches and cleansing the body. The average adult should drink at least 1/2 gallon of filtered water every day. If this is a new practice for you, you will be very surprised by the benefits you experience.

Daniel Fast – it’s so much more than the food!

I am concerned about a trend that seems to be happening in the Daniel Fast genre. And it has to do with so much attention being put on recipes and cookbooks and what we can eat and what we can’t! The Daniel Fast is so much more than food! And when we keep our focus on the food, it seems it’s just another way to feed the flesh rather than denying it!

Don’t get me wrong, I know we need to have good recipes for the Daniel Fast. After all, this is a partial fast where some foods are restricted and other foods are allowed. But the Daniel Fast is not a plan to merely replace all the foods we enjoy eating all the time with a vegan variety!

With that said, I do believe God is using the Daniel Fast to bring more of His people into a healthy way of feeding the Temple of the Holy Spirit – a temple He has entrusted to our care. And with the health crisis in the United States and other countries in the world, it’s critical that we start eating good foods designed by the Creator for the bodies He created!

But I encourage all those who use the Daniel Fast as their method of fasting to examine your heart as you try to figure out ways to satisfy the flesh by going to great lengths to serve up some alternative.

Again, please don’t misunderstand me. I know we need good recipes. I know it’s okay for us to enjoy the food the Lord created for us. But I also know that we need to keep things in balance and not get our eyes so much on the food that we miss the purpose of fasting. It’s a spiritual experience where we put our whole beings under the submission of the Lord. And I do believe there is a danger in going too far in satisfying the flesh by focusing too much on food and missing out on the vital element of submission that a period of prayer and fasting employs.

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,

What About the Daniel Diet?

Daniel Diet or Daniel Fast?

I’ve been teaching and writing about the Daniel Fast since 2007. And you can see by this blog and my website at http://daniel-fast.com that literally millions of men and women from all over the world are learning about this method of spiritual fasting. Many have asked about the Daniel Diet as they see health gurus turn to the prophets way of eating as a good alternative for healthy weight loss.

So here is my take on the Daniel Diet.

First, let me say that biblical fasting is always about restricting food for a spiritual purpose. That’s how the word is defined in both the Hebrew and the Greek. There is always a spiritual component – in fact, it’s the most important element of a fast. However, many people find that the eating plan on the Daniel Fast is very healthy and helpful to their bodies.

If you want to follow an eating plan (without the spiritual life) that is the same as the Daniel Fast program, then that would be a Daniel Diet. There is nothing wrong with that, but be clear that you would not be on a spiritual fast.

I often counsel people who are preparing for the Daniel Fast to be sure to not let their spiritual life be overshadowed by the food restrictions. Fasting is a spiritual discipline. We are entering into a time of prayer and fasting – both linked together in definition.

So if you want to use the Daniel Fast eating plan for health benefits, then technically you would be on The Daniel Diet. You would be following the practices of the prophet by eating in the way that he and his companions did and if you follow the plan as I’ve outlined in on this blog and in my books, you will experience the great benefits of a healthy way of eating.

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, 

 

´¨)
¸.· ´¸.·*´¨)¸.·*¨)
(¸.·´
Susan

 

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