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Posts tagged ‘Christian Fasting’

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!

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!

Entangled or Established?

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2, NLT).

What does that scripture mean? How is it possible to not “copy the behavior and customs” of the world when it surrounds us and everything we see and do is affected by the world in which we live?

A key to not being so attached to the world that we conform to it in every way is the next phrase: “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”

How can we let God accomplish this? How can our minds be renewed? Paul gives a hint: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5, KJV).

When we receive Jesus in our hearts, He doesn’t want to just be a doorway to heaven at the end of our lives. He wants to renew our minds and recreate us in His image. As we allow him to do so, our minds will be renewed and transformed, and our lives will be completely changed. As such, we will avoid copying the behavior of the world and becoming entangled with the things of the world.

This is what the Lord desires of us: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1, KJV). He wants us to experience the freedom that comes through knowing Him and patterning our lives after the example He gave us. When we become more like Him, our lives will be purposed to further the kingdom of God.

This means something different for each person. When Jesus was on earth, not every individual who believed in Him became a full-time disciple. Joseph of Arimathea believed in Him, but the part he played (providing the tomb for Jesus’ body) was very different from the part Mary Magdalene played, whose calling to follow Him was very different from that of the 12 disciples.

You have a unique calling from God, a purpose that only you can fill. How can you learn to know and understand that purpose, to know “God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect?” You know it by allowing your mind to be transformed through the power of Jesus. As you do so, you will come to know His will in your life, and you will have the strength to follow it.

This is how you keep free from being entangled with the things of the world, even though you are in the world. This is how you become established in the Kingdom and help others to do the same. This is how you fulfill your God-given purpose.

Question . . . how are you doing? Do you find yourself caught up in the trappings of the world? Do you feel like you have to fight off the easy outs that the world-system offers? Believe me, you are not alone. We are called to be very intentional as we open our hearts to the comfort, understanding and direction our Lord generously provides. And then we can be intentional about living our lives according to God’s ways . . . and discover and live in the peace and rest only He can provide.

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!

Corrected Not Condemned

During the Daniel Fast we spend time examining our hearts and work to align our ways with the way of the Lord.

The other morning during my daily quiet time, I found I was doing a good job of “beating myself up.” Have you been there? My guess is that you have. So often we are our biggest critics! So I was feeling pretty frustrated with myself and kind of low.

Then I heard the Lord say in my spirit, “I only correct – I don’t condemn.”

Oh, that was a huge message with loads of truth in it. I meditated on that message for a while and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. And I’ve come to realize that the differences between correction and condemnation really show up the way our Lord works with us and the way the enemy tries to steal, kill and destroy us!

Think about the meaning and purpose of correction. When pilots correct their course while in flight, it’s because they are not aligned with the direction necessary to reach the desired destination. So they make a few changes and get back on the proper flight path.

When parents or teachers correct children it’s to instruct them of the right way to behave so the child can have success.

Proverbs 3:12 says, “For whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.”

Correction is all part of reaching success. It’s necessary and part of growth. Correction is life-giving and filled with hope and care.

First Peter 5:10 teaches us, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” Sometimes our “suffering” is the correcting and learning process – but all along we are on our way to good results!

Hebrews 12:9-10 reads, “Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.”

We want correction from our Lord and we want to keep our hearts open to His chastening. Correction is moving forward to better results. It’s full of love, life and care.

But condemnation is totally different. Condemnation is what the enemy does to make us feel worthless, low and defeated. And we want to guard our minds and heart from his death-giving ways! Condemnation partners with shame, sorrow, self-loathing. It can paralyze us and keep us stuck. Satan’s condemnation is what Christ abolished for us!

Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Romans 5:18-19

So the next time you are feeling bad about yourself . . . or when you’re picking yourself up from a fall . . . checkout what’s going on in your thoughts. Are you feeling condemned or are you being corrected. Then choose life and grow rather than be defeated and stuck!

I hope this helps! Our God is so good!

 

Daniel Fast on Paula Today

God is so good to have opened another door so others can learn about the Daniel Fast! I appear on Paula White’s television ministry program on January 6th and 7th where we talk about the Daniel Fast and its many benefits.

Susan Gregory and Paula White - The Daniel Fast

Susan Gregory and Paula White - The Daniel Fast

 You can check your Christian television schedule to learn of when the show will broadcast in your area . . .

The Daniel Fast and Fasting for Food

I am delighted to announce a new partnership with Compassion International, one of the most respected child-advocacy ministries in the world, and Richard Bloomer who is an associate professor at the University of Memphis. Richard and his team of researchers have conducted clinical studies that show the health benefits of the 21-Day Daniel Fast.

Together, we are all working to recruit men and women who are using the Daniel Fast to begin the New Year – to help raise funds so children who don’t have enough to eat can receive the food they need.

Go to http://Daniel-Fast.com/FFF.html to see a short video about this great opportunity to make a huge difference in the lives of hurting children. This is an exciting new program and truly puts the power of Christ’s love into action as we help those in poverty by “fasting for food.”

You can also visit the Fasting for Food site: http://FastingForFood.com

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The Daniel Fast for the 2011 New Year

It’s hard to know how many men, women and teens around the world start the New Year with an extended period of prayer and fasting. Estimates range from hundreds of thousands to millions. One thing we know for sure is that the trend is gaining. Very likely, more people than ever will begin 2011 with a New Year fast.  It seems that the preferred method of fasting is the Daniel Fast, which is a partial fast where some foods are consumed and others are restricted.

There is no “official” date to start the 21-day New Year fast, but from what I’ve been able to gather from my research and from the hundreds of email messages I receive each week, most people will begin the 2011 New Year Fast on Sunday, January 9th and complete the fast on Sunday, January 30th.

In years gone by, the common start date for the New Year fast is the first Sunday in January. However, since that’s on January 3rd in 2011, and so close to the New Year when many families will be traveling, many leaders have decided to start the New Year fast on the following Sunday, January 9th.

Jentezen Franklin, the pastor at Free Chapel churches in Gainesville, GA and Irvine, CA has been a prominent promoter of the New Year fast. He teaches about prayer and fasting in the churches he pastors and on his television broadcasts. Many of those joining Jentezen Franklin in this corporate fast will use the Daniel Fast as their method of fasting.

A corporate fast is when as few as three and as many as thousands of Christians join together for a period of prayer and fasting. Many church leaders call their congregations to a period of corporate prayer and fasting. Likewise, many leaders of Christian causes will ask those called to provoking change in the world through intercession to join in a corporate fast. During this time, those fasting will pray for God’s will to be accomplished in the matter for which they are praying.

But you don’t need to fast with other people. Many individuals choose to start the New Year with a period of prayer and fasting for personal needs or to pray for the needs of those who God has placed in their care. Many husbands and wives choose to start the New Year with prayer and fasting and if they have children who are old enough to be introduced to the spiritual discipline of prayer and fasting, it might be a family practice.

Personally, I think it’s wise to start the New Year with prayer and fasting. The purpose of fasting is to draw closer to God, to pray that His will be done, and to study the Word and the ways of the Lord. In these shaky times you and I can either be controlled by circumstances and the tough times – or we can partner with the Lord and through our prayer release His will into our lives and our situations.

If you want learn more about the Daniel Fast, receive a copy of the Daniel Fast Guidelines or find helpful resources that will assist you toward a successful fast, visit www.Daniel-Fast.com and join with hundreds of thousands of men, women and teens around the world as they focus their lives on God for a powerful period of prayer and fasting.

Daniel Fast – does it change God or change you?

I am now entering into my fourth year of teaching people about the Daniel Fast, a method of spiritual fasting practiced by millions of people throughout the world. Over the years, I’ve answered literally thousands of questions about the Daniel Fast and God has blessed me to make friends with men and women from more countries than I can count.

One thing I’ve noticed is that many people have a serious misunderstanding as to why they fast. And the greatest misunderstanding is that God will think of them as “better Christians” or accept them more readily if they complete a successful Daniel Fast.

But here’s the truth . . . you will not change God’s mind about you through prayer and fasting. The only thing that changes God’s mind about you – or I should say the only thing that will change your position with God – is Jesus Christ.  Because you believe in Christ and abide in Him and His word . . . that’s what makes you acceptable to God. Jesus makes you righteous and able to enter into the presence of the Holiest of Holy. The sacrificial blood of the Jesus did all the work that you will ever need to be acceptable to God.

Another misunderstanding about fasting is that we can change God’s mind by praying harder or more diligently when we fast – as if we need to counsel God so He can make the right decision about a matter.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, God greatly desires His will be to “on earth as it is in heaven.” He wants the very best for you and everyone in your family. He wants you healed. He wants you free of worry and stress over money matters. He wants you to have loving and healthy relationships. His Word is full of what He wants – His will for you and for me and for all of humankind.

We don’t need to convince God or inform Him or guide Him. Instead, it’s the other way around. God is eager to shower you with love, healing, peace and goodness. He is good! He is love.

So what are the spiritual laws that God designed so that His will can be done on earth as it is in heaven?

It’s prayer. Prayers from God’s people serve as a conduit to release His will from the spiritual realm into the earth realm. Prayer is the essential element.

One of my favorite Bible teachers likens this spiritual law to a power plant. The power plant is there and eager to release its power to whatever needs it. So let’s say you have a light bulb that you want to use to manifest light. The power plant is where it is ready to release electrical power. The light bulb is with you ready to receive the electricity. But there is a missing part . . . the conduit – the wires. Once the right wires are in place the power plant can release the power – and the light bulb can receive it.

The same is with our amazing Father. He is in heaven full of power, love, mercy and grace. His will is to have His power released in the earth to relieve burdens, bring order to chaos, heal the brokenhearted, remove disease and so much more. But before His power can be released there needs to be the conduit – men and women declaring His will through their prayers. Intercessors are required to stand in the gap for those who can’t pray for themselves. Prayer warriors must voice the will of God for the needs in our world.

Prayer taps into the power plant – the almighty God in heaven – and allows Him to release His power and His ways into the earth realm – His will on earth as it is in heaven.

So prayer and fasting is a period of time where God’s children can separate themselves from their typical activities and focus on God and pray that His will be released in the earth. Jesus says in Mark 11:24, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Notice all the elements? Prayers to heaven – the need on earth – the release of God’s power.

Enter a time of prayer and fasting using the Daniel Fast as your method of fasting . . . study God’s Word to learn His will for a situation . . . and then use your consecrated period of time to pray His will into the circumstances! He already knows everything you need. He’s the almighty God. He doesn’t need us to inform Him or convince Him or move Him.

Instead, God needs you! He needs you to pray . . . and sometimes prayer needs to be intense and focused . . . and that’s when it’s time for a fast! Fasting was designed by God to help us change what we’re doing in our typical days so we can pray that His will be done – on earth as it is in heaven.

Be blessed on your fast.

Christian Fasting

More and more followers of Christ are discovering the power and benefits of Christian fasting. In fact, Christian fasting is growing at such a fast rate that this site alone has had more 1.5 millioin hits since I started it in December 2007. I hope you take some time to look around this blog and the http://www.Daniel-Fast.com site. It’s packed with lots of information about Christian Fasting and also about The Daniel Fast.

There are several types of Christian fasting. Many people think of totally abstaining from food, which is indeed a type of fast. However, the type of fast that is growing in popularity is a partial fast based on the fasting experiences of the Prophet Daniel. It’s called the Daniel Fast and serves as a type of fast that one can employ during any time of the year and for whatever length of time one feels led.

With that in mind, the benefits of the Daniel Fast are best gained over at least 10 days. Most often the fast is practiced for 21 days, yet this is not a requirement.

The Daniel Fast is a partial fast in that some foods are restricted, but not all. I often explain it to people as a vegan diet with more restrictions. All foods are plant-based and the only beverage is water (see Daniel 1). Additionally, there are no sweeteners, deep fried foods, stimulants (including caffeine), processed foods or man-made chemical on the fast.

When you begin Christian fasting, think of it similar to going on a vacation. You plan your vacation and it has a purpose, you prepare for your vacation before you start it, when you are on your vacation, you behave differently, and when you return from your vacation you reflect on the experience.

Christian fasting is similar in that you will plan, prepare, act differently , and then reflect on your fast when it is complete. The purpose of fasting is to bring you into a closer relationship with God. You are setting into motion a heightened focus on prayer, meditation, study and devotion for a specific purpose.

Please take your time to investigate this blog as you consider your fast. And may you continue to grow in the love and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ as you experience this special discipline of prayer and fasting!

A New Daniel Fast Website

Okay, after the last few weeks of designing and putting together a new Daniel Fast website, autoresponders and a new shopping cart . . . I think rocket science really is easier!

Please take a look a the ‘new Daniel Fast site that I am currently building. It will be one of the support sites where I can offer all kinds of tools and helps to support you in your Daniel Fast.

You can find the site here: www.Daniel-Fast.com

Please visit it periodically as it will be changing almost every day. The same is true of this Daniel Fast Blog. Now that we have entered 2009 you will find new content, thoughts and information every day.

God bless you and I hope the very best for you as you enter the 2009 Daniel Fast.

The Daniel Fast Blogger says, “Thank you!”

Thank you so much to all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who have added their comments to this blog, written words of encouragement and supported me by purchasing the Daniel Fast Cookbook and The Daniel Fast for the Body, Soul and Spirit.

You have blessed me! And I give God thanks for you every day!

Many of you know that 2007 was a huge struggle for me . . . but praise be to the Most High God! He is faithful and has sustained me and ministered to me in mighty and tangible ways! One of the most significant ways is through you and your support.

We serve an awesome and holy God. My heart if full of praise for Him today!

My hope for you is that you too are drawing closer to Jesus every day, receiving the everlasting love He has for you, and accepting His blessings in your life.

Be blessed and praise the Lord!

The Daniel Fast growing in popularity

As you may know, the Daniel Fast was very popular in January as tens of thousands of Christians started the New Year with prayer and fasting. But the good news is that now thousands of followers of Christ are turning to prayer and fasting as they seek a closer relationship with Him.

I truly believe the Lord is calling His people to draw close to Him in a deeper and more profound way. He longs for us to be in intimate relationship with Him. And I sense the Holy Spirit is moving on the hearts of Christians to “come closer.”

Setting aside a specific time for prayer and fasting is certainly one of the best ways to increase your faith and strengthen your friendship with Jesus. Most people use the Daniel Fast for a 21-day period, however there is nothing that says this is the only way to enter a partial fast. I have used the Daniel Fast for seven days, 10 days, and 50 days, along with the more traditional 21-day fast.

I also commonly fast with water only for three-day periods when I have a special need and I am seeking the wisdom of God. When we set our minds and heart toward the Lord, and come to Him in a pure and longing manner, He will answer us. Our Lord is faithful. He is good. And even though I have been a follower of Jesus Christ for more than 35 years, I am still amazed that the Creator of All allows me to sit in His presence and receive His everlasting love and grace!

Be blessed as you fast. Seek the Lord and His direction. And visit this blog often to let us know how you are doing.

2008 Daniel Fast for Body, Soul and Spirit — $4.95

The 2008 Daniel Fast for Body, Soul and Spirit – $4.95Daniel Fast for Body Soul & Spirit

Available now for immediate download

This 54-page Daniel Fast eBook was written especially for Christian men and women who want meaning and depth to their Fast by prayerful preparation and daily journaling. The eBook includes:

  • Daniel Fast Guidelines
  • Daniel Fast Food Lists
  • Meal Planning Forms
  • Daniel Fast Recipes and Menus (updated with the weekly Daniel Fast Newsletter).
  • How to Prepare your Spirit
  • How to Prepare Your Soul
  • How to Prepare You Body
  • Journal pages to capture your reflections and insights
  • Food log to track your food and water intake
  • Fasting tips
  • Prayers and Meditations
  • Meditations and valuable insights to assure your success for the Daniel Fast.
  • Plus, a free subscription to the Daniel Fast Newsletter so you can learn of miracles, answered prayer, fasting tips, recipes, and other interesting information about the Daniel Fast

And more valuable information that will assure your success for the Daniel Fast. Included with the purchase of The 2008 Daniel Fast for Body, Soul and Spirit is ongoing email follow-ups with recipes, fasting tips, prayers, news about miracles and answered prayer and other Daniel Fast Resources.

Perhaps one of the best benefits of this eBook is that you will learn ways to walk in the spirit and separate from the flesh, just like the Scriptures call us to do. This eBook will help you focus and bring meaning and depth to your fasting experience.

The 2008 Daniel Fast for Body, Soul and Spirit is now available in the eBook form for the low cost of just $4.95

Types of Fasting

The Daniel Fast is just one type of fasting that’s modeled after accounts in the Bible. Biblical fasting is the restriction of food for spiritual reasons. And we find followers fasting throughout the Old and New Testaments.

The Scripture speaks of three types of fasting:

  1. Partial Fasting – Daniel engaged in a partial fast as recorded in Daniel 10:2, 3, “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” We don’t know for sure why Daniel didn’t totally abstain from food, because it appears that he did so in the fast recorded in Chapter 9. However, for some reason, Daniel engaged in a partial fast to seek the Lord’s wisdom.
  2. Normal Fast – This is the fast that Jesus did when he went into the wilderness. He ate no food and appears to have had only water. The reason scholars conclude that he drank water while on this fast was because the Scripture says he was hungry, but did not say he was thirsty. The devil tempted Jesus with bread, but not with water. So we assume this was a water only fast.
  3. Absolute Fast – This is when no food and no liquids are consumed. It’s the rare fast and only mentioned a few times in the Bible. Paul, during his Damascus Road experience “was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.” We can’t tell for sure if this was because he was so shocked by what was happening with him or if it was for spiritual purposes.

In Ezra 10 we find the prophet so distraught over the actions of the people that he went into great mourning and praying before the Lord. At this time he neither ate nor drank for at least one night and perhaps longer.

There are a few examples of 40-day absolute fasts where the men must have been sustained supernaturally. Moses,  on two separate occasions when he was before God, neither ate nor drank. Elijah seems to have traveled across the desert for 40 days while eating no food nor drinking any water. He was ministered to by an angel who gave him water and cakes.

These are just some accounts of the fasting recorded in the Bible. There are many more, and not necessarily a standard. Daniel fasted for 21 days, Jesus for 40, Ezra for one night, Cornelius for 4 days, Paul for 3. It seems that all these people were seeking God through their fasting and perhaps the Lord led them in the “design” of their fast.

In January, thousands of men and women will come together in unity for a 21-day fast. Most will use the Daniel Fast as their form of fasting. I have heard several pastors say they will engage in a normal fast for 21 days and some for 30 days. I’ve read of men and women of God who have fasted from all food for 40 days — usually just a few times in their lives.

I think the important point of fasting not have a specific pattern or legalistic form is that it be Spirit-led. Before you decide the form of fasting you will use, seek the Lord. Ask Him to direct you, then trust that He will show you how to fast as you enter into this spiritual discipline to draw closer to Him. 

Whose Voice Is That, Anyway?

 In a short time, you will begin the Daniel Fast, a time when you will increase your time with God in prayer. It’s a time when you hope to hear from the Lord about specific things you are bringing before Him.

But do you ever wonder if the “impressions” your hear are from God, you , other influencing voices in your life, or the enemy? It’s a common problem that I hear people talk about all the time. I used to wonder about it myself, until I learned how to distinguish between those voices.

Think about it. You pick up the phone and hear another voice on the line saying, “Hi! How ya doin.” The caller doesn’t have to identify himself because he knows you will recognize his voice. And you don’t have to ask who’s calling because you do in fact recognize the voice.

Now, why is this voice so identifiable? Because you have spent enough time with the person so that his voice is familiar. You’ve talked with him and he’s talked with you. You know each other!

The same goes with God. When you spend time with Him you will recognize His voice out of the crowd of others who are trying to get your attention.

Keep in mind that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His voice NEVER changes. One of the best ways to become familiar with the sound of His is to hear what He says in His Word (interesting that it’s called that — coincidental?).

The voice you hear in Scripture is the same you will hear when the Lord speaks to you in that “still small voice” that comes up in your spirit. And as you spend more time with Him in His Word and in prayer, you will soon become very familiar with His voice.

The Daniel Fast is a perfect time to seek the Lord and to learn the sound of His voice if you are not already familiar with it. The great news is that once you know it, you will just want to hear it more and more. That’s part of the blessed life! Amen!

Lessons from Daniel for the Daniel Fast

As I study more about the Daniel Fast, I obviously learn more about Daniel the prophet. And I find that the more I look into this man’s character, the more my excitement about starting the Daniel Fast grows. Let me explain:

Daniel had a foundation — GOD! Everything he did was a response to his devotion and commitment to God. God wasn’t an occasional thought for Daniel, but rather everything Daniel did was for the God he worshiped and lived for – even when he found himself and his people (the Jews) under the rule of Babylonian kings.

Daniel’s commitment reminds me of Smith Wigglesworth, perhaps the best-known “faith healer” of this century. He had a saying, “I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved by what I believe.” Wigglesworth believed Jesus was the Healer! And the result was thousands of healings when Wigglesworth ministered to people, including 13 documented cases of people being raised from the dead.

Wigglesworth and Daniel had the same foundation – God. Everything else came after.

In Matthew 6:33, we read as Jesus instructs us to, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then these things shall be added unto you.” Jesus is telling us to keep God first! Keep His right ways of doing things at the forefront of everything we do. THEN we will have all we need.

God instructed Joshua in the same way. When Joshua had the grave task of taking over where Moses left off, he was worried about his ability to lead the Israelites into the promised land. But God comforted Joshua and assured him that He would always be with him. The Lord gives Joshua clear instructions, including, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”  Joshua 1:8

First things first! It was the way of Daniel and Joshua. It was the way of Jesus and His disciples. It was the way of Smith Wigglesworth and others in our times. It can also be my way and your way . . . and entering the Daniel Fast is a great time to commit our lives to the only God and to turn our hearts to Him.

Vegetable Stock

 A good vegetable stock is useful in the Daniel Fast. Vegetable stock is an excellent substitute for chicken or beef stock. ** See notes for variations on this recipe.

Makes 4 cups of vegetable stock

Simmering the stock for a full hour will release the flavors of the vegetables in your stock. Because of the long simmering time, it is in the stock’s best interest that the vegetables be chopped into large chunks rather than a small dice.

2 large onions, cut into large chunks

2 medium carrots, scrubbed but not peeled, cut into large chunks

3 stalks of celery, remove and discard all leaves, cut into large chunks

1 whole bulb of garlic, peel each clove, but do not chop

10 peppercorns

1 bay leaf

Cut all the vegetables into large pieces. Place all ingredients into a large pot. Cover with cold water.

Turn the stove to a high temperature, and bring the stock to a quick simmer. Once the water comes to boil, turn heat to low. Allow the vegetables to simmer for an hour. Any longer than an hour and the vegetables will begin to turn mushy and begin to lose all their flavorful vibrancy, leaving a wilted taste to the stock.

Strain the stock. It should be light in color, sweet in flavor and translucent. Now you can use the stock in place of chicken or beef stock. You may need to increase seasoning when replacing one of these more flavorful stocks.

**  Season the stock with other herbs such as parsley, thyme or rosemary. You can also use ginger if you plan to use the stock for an Asian recipe. You an also caramelize the onions and carrots before adding them to the stock for a richer and more flavorful stock. Roasting the vegetables before adding them to the stock also makes for a different flavor in the stock.

Get Ready for the Daniel Fast

Preparing for the Daniel Fast is important. Of course, you will want to get all the menus planned, the recipes gathered, and the food purchased. There is more about those matters in other posts you can find in this weblog (see the category list).

But on this post I want to focus on preparing spiritually for the Daniel Fast. God’s Word actually has some very important teachings about fasting and how to make it one that is pleasing to the Lord.

Fasting is FOR the Lord! Isaiah 58 is one of the chapters in the Bible you will want to read as you plan your fast. Here the Lord addresses the very important issue of priorities in fasting. He responds to the religious people who fast and then ask of the Lord, “Why have we fasted and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and you take no notice?”

The Lord admonishes the people because He could see the motive of their fast. They were not fasting for Him . . . but instead for themselves or to impress others who might see them. The people may have been fasting by not eating food – but they were leaving God and His desires for their lives out of it.  He said, “Behold, on the day you fast, you seek your own pleasures.” In other words, they were centering the fast on themselves! Theirs was a self-centered fast, rather than a God-centered fast.

So He asks the people, “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 to not 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 hour own flesh?” Isaiah 58:6, 7

Now was God saying that we are not to fast, but rather address our attention to the poor and oppressed? No. Instead He was admonishing these people because while they were focusing all their attention on the religious act of fasting, they were missing the heart of God. Their lives were not pleasing to Him and so there was no way He could “notice” their fast.

The Lord goes on to tell the people what He will do for them if they align their hearts to His heart, “Then your light will break forth like the dawn,  and your healing will quickly appear;  then your righteousness will go before you,  and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,  with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

As you prayerfully consider your fast, think about what will be pleasing to the Lord. Keep at the forefront of your thoughts that fasting is “unto the Lord.” He sees your heart (your motives) and He wants you to enter into this fast to seek Him, to honor Him, and to draw closer to Him.

Jesus also spoke of self-centered fasting in Matthew 6:16-18: “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Soon you will begin your fast. Take some time and meet with the Lord. Ask Him about the fast. Firstly, does He want you to fast now? Listen with your heart and you will hear what He would have you do.

If you are to fast at this time, then ask the Lord to show you His purpose for you during the fast. Are there issues that trouble you? Does the Lord want you to trust Him more? Is their a cause for which He is calling you to pray?

Get ready for the fast by seeking the Lord. Make this fast unto the Lord. Then He will reward you and you will discover the power and purpose of spiritual fasting!

Daniel Fast Food Benefits for Health

Increasing your vegetable and fruit intake will have many physical advantages including a certain level of detoxification. As you plan your menus, consider the health benefits of the foods you include.

Here are just some of the benefits from specific foods:

Artichokes
Artichokes contain plant compounds known as caffeoylquinic acids, which increase the flow of bile and help to digest fats.

Beets
Beets contain betaine, which promotes the regeneration of liver cells and the flow of bile. It also has a beneficial effect on fat metabolism.

Broccoli
Broccoli and other members of the brassica family (cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi) support the liver’s detoxification enzymes.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Food sources of vitamin C and glutathione, which are essential for detox.

Protein
Protein is required by the liver for detox. Beans, nuts, seeds, and quinoa. are just a few that you can add to your menus.

Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic are rich in sulfur-containing compounds. Involved in sulfation, the main detox pathway for environmental chemicals and certain drugs and food additives. Helps with the elimination of harmful heavy metals from the body.