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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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52 Comments Post a comment
  1. I have been following Susan’s Daniel Fast guide now for four years. It has been an amasing journey in faith, wellness, and spiritual growth. Thank you Lord for an instructor who maintains the integrety of the calling of which she has been called by You. I look forward to many more years of fasting for the correct purpose of growing closer to the Lord.

    December 30, 2014
  2. Nadine #

    Amen and thank you Susan for your dedication.
    It will be my first Fast….. and I can’t wait.
    I too have been to all these sites BUT God knew my heart and put you in my path.
    God is faithful.

    December 29, 2014
  3. Sabrina aaron #

    I want to be a part of the fast . . .

    December 29, 2014
  4. Great blog we shared this with our congregation as we do our Daniel Fast this year. thank you

    December 29, 2014
  5. Most people will begin the fast on Sunday, January 4th.

    December 29, 2014
  6. Jacqueline #

    When will the New Year Fast start. I want to know.

    December 29, 2014
  7. Reblogged this on Brain Storm.

    April 22, 2014
  8. Daniel Fast Team #

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us and your kind words. God is so very good and meets us right where we are, every time!

    April 14, 2014
  9. TigerBead #

    Several years ago I found Susan Gregory. From her amazing information, I was able to do my first Daniel Plan. I did a very strict fast for 21 days. It was amazing. I have done several fasts since then. Each was unique and no less amazing! God has been so faithful to meet me in the fast. While I grew closer to God, He did some miraculous healing, answered prayers and wow-ed me! I have seen these counterfeit sites and have been dismayed at the amount of disrespect they portray. I advise all my friends who ask me to help them to learn to fast to come to Susan Gregory for advice. A Fast can be whatever we decide it to be but the more we deny our flesh, the more we receive. After all, the entire purpose of a fast is to deny ourselves to receive from God first-hand. Don’t give up, Susan! Those who seek the authentic will find you.

    April 13, 2014
  10. barbara white #

    Do not stop teaching, you are making a difference

    April 11, 2014
  11. Amen.

    April 10, 2014
  12. Lori #

    Susan,
    Thank you for the Daniel Fast and sharing this information with the world. I just ended my 21 day fast on April 5th and I will have to say, I have grown spiritually from the fast. Yes, it was a challenge to give up foods and drinks I like but just to really seek God through this fast was amazing. What it did for me was to make me more thirsty for His Word!!! I want to have a closer relationship and learn more of His Word and what He wants from me in this life. Yes, I was able to drop some pounds but how many, I do not even know. Most important was to draw nearer to Him.
    May God continue to bless this ministry you have. I have shared it and will share it with many more.
    Sincerely,
    Lori Boyd

    April 10, 2014
  13. Gayle Feib el #

    I believe that when my focus is on my relationship with God, my food will taste good to me even when it is not the rich, gooey stuff most people eat now. Thank you for your persistence in following God no matter what others are doing.

    Those who choose to feed the flesh rather than the spirit remind me of missionaries going to a foreign land, yet they pack shipping crates full of sugary cereal, etc. to take with them for their year of “sacrifice”. Makes me sad to see this happen.

    Thank you for your work. Keep on keeping on. God has and will continue to bless you as you respond to His will.

    April 9, 2014
  14. Lauraine Dube #

    Thankyou, Susan, for your ministry. I am so thankful that the Lord has been with me and helped me through my latest DF. I started off this year with three days of water only, then went into TDF. With Gods help, it was easy for me to give up the foods that caused me pleasure and discomfort. I was surprised how easy it was, with God’s help. I was not hungry, and didnt crave my usual go to foods. After 21 days, I went into the Daniel Cure, and have only added some additional protein foods.

    I would like to teach the ladies in my church how to draw closer to God and not count on food to satisfy their cravings. I appreciate your input towards that end.

    April 9, 2014
  15. Clifton Simmons #

    Thank you for a very enlightening post. I completed my very first 21-day Daniel Fast with my church a month ago. The thought of embarking on this journey scared me. Your book and words provided me with the help I needed and I thank you. During my research, I became aware of many of the materials you refer to and they felt wrong. I’m new to studying the Bible and I was recently baptized in October. Starting the fast, I’ll admit the first 2-3 days of detox were unpleasant, but I prayed through it and woke up on day four with genuine clarity and the ability to focus on my studies. With my mind on God, I really didn’t focus on food at all during the fast. I never knew such self-control existed within me. The fast has been over for a month and I still have not consumed a glass of soda. More important, I read my Bible constantly. If a day goes by where I haven’t had the opportunity to read, I feel “off,” which is a “good” feeling knowing I need to receive God’s word every day.

    April 9, 2014
  16. Elaine #

    I think the difference between these books and yours is the motivation. If a person is doing The Daniel Fast (TDF) mainly to lose weight, their heart isn’t where it should be to even attempt TDF as Daniel did it, and as you present it. That person may actually lose weight and feel physically better for a time. If a person does TDF to get closer to God, NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES, food will simply be something to nourish their body. The “sacrifice” of rich foods will be helpful, but as I said, that would be secondary to seeking the Lord. I always find it amusing when people (including myself!) start trying to justify different foods. Until I desired HIM above all else, it was almost impossible for me, personally. Truly, “God looks at the heart.” Thank you for sharing with us the message God gave to you. Blessings!

    April 9, 2014
  17. Praise God that He unleashed His power to work in us in so many ways, including healing! Glory to Him!

    Thanks for your message . . . and yes, there is an electronic version of the Daniel Fast. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1414334133/?tag=lacatt-20

    Be blessed!

    April 9, 2014
  18. JACKIE #

    Dear Susan
    When I joined in with the Daniel Fast at the beginning of this year, I knew I was in for a wonderful experience with God. However, I got more than just a wonderful experience as I developed a lifelong love for God and the need to experience Him daily in my life. My testimonies are so many, but the one I want to share with you is the fact that when I started the fast I had just had a mastectomy and was waiting to get the oncologist’s decision about follow up treatment. God answered my prayers when that morning of my appointment I was told I did not need chemotherapy because my lymph nodes had come clean. God truly is awesome. I thank you so much for your guidance and for sharing the word with us. May God continue to bless you.
    I haven’t read your book about the Daniel fast yet. But I have been following all the news letters and other workshops etc. I would prefer to get an electronic copy of the book if there is one.
    God bless you

    Jackie

    April 9, 2014
  19. I needed this reminder! Thank you, Susan, for saying what could be interpreted as self-serving. You are an awesome godly woman.

    April 9, 2014
  20. Cindy #

    Susan, this sounds so much like what is happening in many churches today. People are taught it’s okay to do whatever makes you happy or feels good (to your flesh) because God’s love and grace covers it. Our pastor recently read an article quoting a preacher who is teaching- among other anti-Biblical things -that sex outside of marriage is okay. The gospel is being compromised to fit what makes people “feel good” rather than emphasizing that God is Holy and has called us to be also. Unfortunately, many Christians are falling for the lies. They tire of fighting their fleshly desires and may just find it difficult to fight the good fight of faith in the face of adversity. I’m watching it happen within family members as well as people I’ve grown up in church with, and it’s sad to see how many find things acceptable that the Bible clearly says are wrong.
    I purchased your book around Christmas. My daughter instantly picked it up and made a list of the recipes that sounded good and easy to make for her fiancé and herself. They were part of a church plant that was emphasizing the Daniel fast. What I found out that disturbed me was that the pastor himself wasn’t taking it seriously. In fact, the leaders got together and had a party with smoothies and things that were NOT true Daniel Fast items. My daughter quickly lost interest in it although she finished it, but she started cheating, too, because she said she saw no purpose in doing it. Having done total fasts many times through the years with great breakthroughs (before I knew what the Daniel Fast really was,) I tried to explained to her how powerful a fast was in our walk with God. I explained how prayer was to be the focus, not the food or lack there of. What she said shocked me. Why? Because she said there was absolutely no emphasis on prayer! She hadn’t heard that there was anything they were praying for; they were just supposed to do a Daniel Fast. That information has troubled me even more because I already had some questions about the couple leading this new church. I hope and pray that my daughter and her fiancé will not be blinded to the truth. I have been invited to attend this Sunday evening, so I will be able to hear what is taught and see if it is truth or compromise to get people into their new church.
    I encourage you to continue to stand strong in the face of adversity. God will honor His truth.

    April 9, 2014
  21. Margaret #

    Thank you Susan for sharing your feelings. I was almost fooled into buying a different book than yours because it was cheap. I will just use the information on your website instead. Stay blessed.

    April 8, 2014
  22. Angelique #

    Blessings Susan,

    I wanted to encourage you concerning the books out there.
    I bought two of them and quickly realized that they were out of order.
    I continue to be led by the Spirit and I am happy with the recipes provided in your book.
    My family and I are learning how to read the labels more effectively.
    God is good and I believe that as we stay connected to His Word we will be gently reminded to do the right thing.
    Thank you for continuing to advance His kingdom through your work.

    April 8, 2014
  23. Cindy #

    I’ve done two day fasts (no food) In the past and wanted to experience more of Gods presence in my life and was introduced to susan’s book and did my first 21 Day fast earlier this year and was blessed with truths and convictions of changes I needed to make in my life. My husband joined with me on another fast of 21 days at the begiining of lent and again, God’s truth in so manys was revealed to both of us. I’ll write in more detail about thst another time. For now, I just want to say that whenever I speak of the Daniel Fast, I make it clear it is the DF written Susan Gregory and it’s not so much about the food as it is about prayer and time with our Lord ad he guides us through each day. Thank you Susan for sharing all that God has blessed you with. I am so grateful and look forward to my next fast.

    April 8, 2014
  24. Rhonda Hardy #

    I’m saddened to hear of this happening. I did the Daniel Fast a few years ago, purchasing the book and spending much time with God before and after starting into the book because I wanted it to be about my spiritual life–my relationship with God. God used the book and the fast to minister to me and strengthen me. It was an awesome experience for me.

    April 8, 2014
  25. Connie #

    Thanks for your article. I was wondering that myself with some of the books, articles etc related to the Daniel fast. You are right keep close to God and he will guide you. It is truly a spiritual battle!!! I love fasting and enjoy the closeness I feel towards God during that time.

    April 8, 2014
  26. I too have had the same concerns over what you have been seeing and what you wrote about Susan. I thank God that you continue to STAY TRUE to what the Lord calls you to write… and because you do, MANY others are LEARNING, GROWING and being BLESSED!! I have been someone who has practiced the discipline of fasting for many years now and have followed your work almost from the beginning and I KNOW that you help “us” stay on the right track with EVERYTHING you write! So KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK Susan… and TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!

    April 8, 2014
  27. Ann F. Brown #

    Rick Warren’s book is the Daniel Plan. He makes it quite clear it is different from a Daniel Fast. I have read his book too and found it to be a great overall diet plan. When researching the Daniel Fast, I did find a lot of sites out there with conflicting information – including sweetners, etc. I did find some great recipes both from Susan and from other sites. I just ignored the ones that didn’t follow the proper rules. Susan – thanks for your site and your information. It’s been a great help not just to me, but to many others. I did a Daniel Fast in January and plan to do it again later this year.

    April 8, 2014
  28. This is right to the point, Patricia. It is okay to enjoy the meals. But things seem to be tipping to feeding the flesh rather than entering into the spiritual experience. It’s a balance and clearly you and your family are in balance. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    April 8, 2014
  29. Patricia Whitcomb #

    I noticed this as I searched for information to learn about the Daniel Fast. I didn’t know there was one “real” author or really much about it. I only knew one person who had done it a few years ago and wanted to learn more. Once I found the “real” one, I spent time looking at the others, and realized what they were. There is even one book, being sold in Christian bookstores, by a known author (Rick Warren), and could CLEARLY confuse the person seeking information. I hope people will discern between all that isout there and read Daniel first, if they need to find out where it came from!

    As far a delicious taste, even my kids, who are not fasting, and only eat whatever we fix for dinner, ask me to make some of the recipes again, like the Classic Navy Bean Soup the Daniel Fast Way, and other recipes. My husband loves the chili and the red sauce for pasta. So, if it’s wrong to enjoy the foods, we have a problem. We love to take whole wheat matzoh and top them with tomato paste, herbs and seasonings like basil & oregano, chopped veggies, and toast them lightly. We don’t eat anything that is not allowed, but we enjoy what we are eating.

    April 8, 2014
  30. Danyale Wilson #

    I started the Daniel fast January 5, 2014. It was a blessing to me. Many prayers were answered. I agree with you, it is not about food but denying our flesh to get a spiritual awakening and getting closer to God to hear Him. Being a Christian for years, I rededicated my life to God and now I am seeking out His Will for my life giving God total control over every area of my life. Thanks you Susan for allowing God to use you in helping others to get an intimate and closer relationship with God. Stay Encourage!! May God continue to Bless You Abundantly!!

    April 8, 2014
  31. Tamra Hillis #

    Dear Susan:

    I appreciate your knowledge and the fact that you take your direction from Holy Spirit. I have done the Daniel Fast twice now, and both times the experience was different. The first time was for the health of my spirit, and the second time I heard God telling me to focus on the health of my body. Funny thing is, my spirit benefited from both fasts. God spoke directly to my spirit on both occasions. Keep the faith, Susan. Your ministry is blessing many.

    April 8, 2014
  32. You would be wrong NOT to rant and bring awareness on the despicable things some of these so called ‘authors’ are doing. They’re taking what is a godly experience and turning it into a money-making diet / cookbook… #Shameful
    Keep inspiring the rest of us and continue on your soul winning mission Susan! I finished the Daniel fast with the help of your daily emails and I have already seen the GREAT rewardS. Our God, the one and only God of all impossible things is able therefore let us NOT be deterred by those of the world. We will pray for them too for we are ALL sinners. Be blessed:)

    April 8, 2014
  33. Dear Susan, the 21 day Daniel-fast has turned my life around & led me to understand the spiritual aspects of eating right & dedicating my entire being to the Holy one. Many times I have eaten things I know I have no right eating & felt the guilt for doing so, because I prayed for change & God presented the Daniel-fast to me.
    It is definitely not surprising that the devil would find a way to sabotage God’s goodness, but what the devil has meant for evil the Lord will turn it around for our good. Continue to be obedient & do the work that the Lord has appointed you to do & all will be well. It’s amazing how much power a small number has. Be encouraged!

    April 8, 2014
  34. Peggy #

    Susan,
    I am on week two of the Daniel Fast and before I started I read about it. You are right about the various foods lists. But, I read and that’s it. Thank God for your ministry. I am reading your book now.
    When the thought of something I shouldn’t eat crosses my mind, my spirit is convicted. I feel better and this week has been better. My blood sugar levels are under 100. Praise the Lord. After the fast I have committed to eating clean.
    I could go on and on but I want you to be encouraged.
    God bless you,
    Peggy

    April 8, 2014
  35. Diane Unni #

    I am so sorry this is happening – but not surprised!!! Good things are always open to the evil one!!!
    I will continue to pray that the truth shall overcome!!! Thank you for staying the course and staying faithful!!!

    April 8, 2014
  36. Melissa #

    Amen and Amen!!

    April 8, 2014
  37. Lola #

    I am not surprise this is happening rarher I will be surprise if it did not happen. This is end time and the gospel will surely come to pass. It is now the responsibilities of believers to look at all things with the help of the Holy Spirit. Engaging our spiritual anthena.
    It has to be at alert! Soldiers of The Lord ! Perilous time is here! Watch out !

    April 8, 2014
  38. Joycelyn #

    Susan,
    I will prayerfully stand with you to help preserve the TRUE purpose of the Daniel Fast. I have seen the “counterfeits” of this fast. As a matter of fact, when I first purchased the Daniel Fast book, I was sold another book in place of the one that I requested, which was your book. I didn’t realize I had the wrong book until I got home. Immediately I returned it because I could see the fallacies in the first few pages. I don’t know if this was an honest mistake or the devil’s tactic to throw me off course. But I am so happy that God led me to the truth, The Daniel Fast by Susan Gregory. I pray for GOD’s continual pouring of His favor upon you.

    April 8, 2014
  39. Julie McCain #

    We started our first Daniel Fast March 22, 2014. The experience has been a spiritual awakening! I get up thinking of God and go to bed thinking of God. We are reading his Word daily, and have grown as Christians. Thank you, Susan for your emails and book. They helped us very much!

    April 8, 2014
  40. Audra #

    Thank you for your recent posts. They have been encouraging and timely. I started my first Daniel Fast on Ash Wednesday and have found it to be a life changing experience. God has worked in so many ways and I am forever changed. While not every day has been easy, the hard days are when I have really grown in the strength of my Spirit. I want to finish this race strong! Thank you Susan for your guidance and support. Be encouraged, your ministry is making a difference!

    April 8, 2014

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