Is the Daniel Fast being hijacked?
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.
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!