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Posts tagged ‘Christian’

Your Faith? Is it strong? Atrophying? Weak?

Getting SrongOver and over again in the Bible, God’s handbook for us as followers of Jesus, we are called to live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). We’re also taught that it’s impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6).

Anyone who knows much about God and His Word knows that we need to have a strong and vibrant faith to live the life Jesus came to give us  . . . the kingdom of God lifestyle. He promises us peace, health, abundance, security, joy and blessings. But all of this is granted because of faith.

Faith is like a muscle. And every day it’s either getting stronger or it’s getting weaker. Our faith muscles can’t be left unattended to and then expected to be strong when we need them.

Building Weak faith muscles: I remember when my son was in high school. By the way, he is my adopted son from Ethiopia if you are wondering why our “family resemblance” is different.

Physical Muscles and Faith MusclesHe really wanted to have strong upper-body muscles. His natural build is very lean (even now as a 30 year-old man he only has 8% body fat). I have to admit that, while I supported his dream, I wasn’t too convinced he would achieve it. But day after day he spent time lifting weights. And a couple months later he was built in a very obvious and impressive way. He took his weak muscles and bit-by-bit and using consistency as his friend, he built his muscles up so they were strong.

Our faith muscles are the same way. They can be weak now, but if we engage in a consistent process of building them up, they will get stronger and stronger. And when some heavy lifting is needed – like prayers for financial needs, healing for a loved one, a change in a relationship – your faith will be strong and ready to act!

Atrophying faith muscles: Back to my son and his story. As long as he kept lifting weights on a consistent basis, his muscles stayed strong and his body chiseled with definition.  But then muscle building lost its priority in his life. He started attending college and also had a job. His social life took time, as well. So slowly his muscles got weaker and weaker. While he still looked healthy, his body no longer had that “built look.” His muscles had atrophied, which the dictionary defines as “degeneration due to lack of use.”

I know you can see how our faith can become weak if we don’t feed it or give our spirits the nourishment it needs on a consistent basis. I don’t know of a single Christian who hasn’t experienced a “weakening of faith.” It might come because we get distracted from daily faith-muscle building activities. Or we get so busy with the cares of this world that we don’t attend to our faith.  And in the same way our physical muscles don’t get weak all at once . . . the same goes with our faith muscles. Bit-by-bit they are strengthened . . . and bit-by-bit they grow weak. And sadly, we often times don’t realize how weak our faith muscles have become until we need them!

But praise be to God, we don’t have to stay that weak. We can start anew diligently seeking God and going after the prize of a strong, vibrant and effective faith that gets results in our lives.

Strong faith muscles: We can have strong faith! It’s available to us. But strong and effective faith isn’t just handed to us. Yes, God gives each person a measure of faith (Romans 12:2), just like our bodies all have physical muscles. The question is, what will we do with our muscles? Will we let them stay weak and undeveloped? Or, will we do the necessary “building of our faith” to get those muscles strong and ready to perform when needed?

The choice is ours. And in today’s age of information technology and the abundance of tools and resources that are available to us . . . if you can read this message . . . I can’t think of one reason why you, like me, can’t work on building our faith muscles every single day.

How to develop your faith: The number one key to getting our faith muscles strong is by being in God’s Word. He shows us! “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17.

Each day, get into His Word. And then use the helpful tools that are available to you. God has helped me create many tools to aid in the development of your faith. Use them . . . or use other tools you know will help you. My son needed to use weights to get strong. Those where his “helpful tools.” You too can use tools to help you!

But know this – couch potatoes don’t get strong muscles. Neither do inactive Christians get strong faith muscles. So make the choice. Commit to building your faith . . . and remember, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

Your reward awaits you . . . if you choose to go after it. I so hope you do!

Be blessed!

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!

Who are you listening to?

Ears to hear . . . Jesus said, “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me.” John 5:3

Jesus did only what He heard His Father tell Him what to do. He first was submitted to God. Then He took the time to hear from His Father. Jesus would get up early and go to be with the Father. He would separate Himself from the crowds and from His disciples so He could be alone and listen to God. He studied the Scriptures and was committed to the truth of God.

And then Jesus obeyed. He only did what His Father told Him to do. Nothing more. Nothing less. “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:19

How about you and me? What and who are we listening to? Are we listening to what the people around us are saying? Are we listening to the lies of the enemy about our circumstances? Are we listening to our own words and ideas? Or, are we maturing into faithful children of the Most High God . . . and like Jesus, listening only to what the Father says and then doing only what He tells us to do.

What we “hear” enters into our consciousness. The words become thoughts that can then fuel actions . . . and those actions have consequences. Words are critical to the way we live our lives. That’s why we need to be careful about who and what we listen to and hear. The Bible says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,  and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”

Arguments, strongholds, knowledge, thoughts . . . all fueled by words that we hear. So what are you hearing? Who are you listening to?

Here is the truth: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 ~ Like Jesus, we want to listen only to what the Father says to us. And He speaks to us through His Word – the Holy Scriptures. When we declare God’s Word over our lives and in our circumstances, we hear God speaking to us. The truth enters our thinking and changes us, directs us, feeds us.

What does God say about your life today? What does the enemy have to say? And what are you going to say?

To those who have ears to hear (that’s you): be like Jesus . . . and do nothing except that which you hear from the Father. Declare His truth over your lives be speaking His Word so you can hear it . . . and then walk in victory, peace and joy knowing that your Father in heaven is committed to fulfilling His Word for it is truth.

Be blessed as you continue to grow in the ways of the Kingdom.

Feeling Attacked During Your Daniel Fast?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

 

God’s Chosen Fast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be blessed, 

 

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(¸.·´
Susan

 

Daniel Fast and Study the Word of God

If you’ve been wondering where this gal has been for the last while . . . well the mystery is over! I’ve been glued to my keyboard writing another book that I hope will be a great help and gift to you! The eBook is called Study the Word of God to Change Your Life and it’s available for immediate download. I wrote it because I truly believe God is calling to His chosen people (that’s you and me . . . anyone who is born-again) to step up to a new level in faith!

Study the Bible to Change Your Life

Study the Bible to Change Your Life

I also know that faith and knowledge in God’s Word go hand in hand. More knowledge . . . more faith. Do you want more faith? Then increase your knowledge in God’s Word! Studying the Word of God to Change Your Life is also a great tool to use during your Daniel Fast! Remember, the Daniel Fast is about a lot more than restricting food. It’s about entering a period of time with intense focus on God and His Ways. Where do you learn about Him and the way He wants us to live a powerful and fruitful life? In His Word.

Since teaching about the Daniel Fast, I’ve heard from thousands of men and women who are seeking a deeper and more powerful relationship with God. I know what that hunger is about. I’ve been there, too. But I also know the amazing benefits of getting into God’s Word and having it feed my spirit to such a degree that I literally have to shout!

That’s the kind of faith our Father wants us to have. He also wants us to know Him and who we are as His children. So He gave us His Word. He wants us to live a powerful and amazing life so that people will see us and want what we have. That’s being a powerful example of Christ in our lives . . .

I hope you will look into this new eBook. It’s getting great reports from all who have seen it. I am delighted that God led me to create this book. Writing it was a powerful experience as I too focused more on the amazing power we have accessible to us . . . and it’s all in His Word! A treasure chest of love, grace, mercy, hope, faith and power!

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!

Join with millions for the 2009 Daniel Fast

Over the last several years millions of Christians have joined in the Daniel Fast. Perhaps one of the strongest promoters of the fast is Pastor Jentezen Franklin, an on fire preacher from Gainsville, Georgia. By the way, note that his name is spelled differently. Many people search for “Jentzen Franklin” and miss him. His first name has an extra “e.”

Jentezen Franklin first challenged members of his church to enter the Fasting Movement several years ago. Their results were so powerful, both corporately and for the individuals, that they were all convinced of the power of prayer and fasting!

What is the Daniel Fast? It’s a time that an individual or group sets aside to fast and pray for specific purposes. While there is no absolute length of time, the most popular is a 21-day Daniel Fast, in which one limits their diet to those described in the first chapter of Daniel. To learn more about Daniel and why he chose to eat specific foods, please see my other post titled “What is the Daniel Fast.”

This site is specifically designed to be a place where believers can learn about the Daniel Fast and communicate with each other.

I hope to draw at least 1000 Christians who will commit to the fast and log their name on this blog. If you want to commit to the 2009 Danial Fast, please go to this link and leave your information:

Sign me up for the 2009 New Years Fast

Let’s see how many we can enlist . . . and then support one another through prayer, information, and wisdom.

Sign up for the Fast

As wild as this may be, we are going to try and keep a list of all Christian men and women who are joining in the January 2008 Fasting Movement. Leave your name and city in the comment field below and I will add you to the list. Let me know how you want to be listed and your city and state!

Example listings:

  • Jan and Dennis, Gainesville, GA
  • Jan and Dennis Smith, Gainesville, GA
  • J & D, Gainesville, GA
  • GeorgiaPeach, Gainesville, GA (User Name instead of Real Name)

 Look who’s Fasting!

Susan Gregory, Ellensburg, WA

Get Ready for Christmas and the Daniel Fast!

One of the ways you can prepare for the Januay 2008 Daniel Fast is to Vinegarstart getting the food you will consume ready. One food item you can prepare is flavored vinegars! But why not “kill two birds with one stone” and make extra vinegar to give as Christmas gifts. Here is a great recipe for Rosemary Vinegar that’s easy and reasonably inexpensive to make!

For best results, use organic apple cider vinegar, aged in wood barrels, unpasteurized and naturally filtered.

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Full bottle of organic, apple cider vinegar

PREPARATION:

Place rosemary sprig inside vinegar bottle until submerged. Shake.

Place bottle in cool, dark place (refrigerate is okay but not required) for about 2 to 3 weeks.

Filter vinegar and rebottle in decorative bottle if you have one or plain glass bottle or jar. This would be a great gift to add to a basket or pair with a condement set.

You’ll end up with a lovely, rosemary-flavored apple cider vinegar that smells absolutely divine and lasts for many weeks.

Skin Brushing During the Daniel Fast

 You will likely notice an increase of dry skin during the 21-Day Daniel Fast as your body inproves in health and sloughs off dead cells. Body brushing, or skin brushing, is not necessarily part of showering. In fact, dry body brushing is becoming more popular as man and women learn of the benefits of stimulating the skin (our largest organ) and increasing blood flow. Many people brush their bodies daily and/or before showing.

According to Howard Murad, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and author of “The Cellulite Solution” skin brushing helps control cellulite by bringing nutrients and oxygen to the outer layer of skin (the epidermis). “Although there are no blood vessels in the epidermis, the dermis is rich with blood vessels, and the epidermis receives nutrients and oxygen supply from the dermis,” says Murad.

Skin brushing requires nothing more than a small body brush with natural bristles. Good brushes are available at most variety stores for under $10.

To brush your skin, start at you feet and sweep up the legs in long, light brisk movements. All skin brushing movements should be towards the heart, to encourage the return of blood and encourage lymphatic flow.

Pay particular attention to the cellulite-prone areas like your thighs. Brush your abdomen with a circular motion. It should take about three to five minutes, depending on how many strokes you give each spot.

Don’t be too rough. Over-brushing causes the skin to turn red and become irritated

Brush your skin first thing in the morning, when the increased blood flow will help wake you up, or before you take a shower.

Your Body Might Resist the Daniel Fast

While the Daniel Fast will certainly benefit you physically, your body may do some kickin’ and screamin’ during the first few days! So don’t be alarmed if you experience light headaches, hunger pangs, or slight weakness.  Your body might release an “unpleasant aroma,” both through the pores and your breath.

However, if you experience anything more severe, you will want to contact your health professional as it may be from another cause.

Remember, unless you already eat a healthy diet with little or no caffeine or other addicting substances, your body will experience a certain level of withdrawal and detoxification. There are a few things you can do to minimize the side effects.

Vitamin C – an antioxidant that supports detox. It may also help to decrease some of the side effects of the Fast, such as mild headaches.

Lemon – Lemon supports liver cleansing and is also refreshing to your mouth. Add lemon juice to salad dressings and include lemon slices in some of your water.

Dry Skin – Using a body brush in the shower will help eliminate the dry flakes and actually promote blood flow.

Water – Keeping well-hydrated has many benefits including flushing your body and reducing the physical feelings of hunger.

Meanwhile, the withdrawal and detoxification symptoms should pass in a few days. Even your level of hunger will subside after your body becomes more accustomed to few calories and less food consumption.

The Daniel Fast for Your Spirit, Soul and Body

The Daniel Fast brings health to every part of you! You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body. And the Daniel Fast is an excellent tool to bring increase and goodness to all of who you are!

There is a lot of confusion about the makeup of our beings. Yet once understood, one is amazed at the clarity in the Scriptures and the ease it brings to living!

Your spirit is the inner-most part of you. It is the God-centered essence where Christ abides. Jesus addressed the two parts of us in John3:5-7, Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.'” Your mother didn’t give birth to your spirit and your father didn’t provide the sperm (seed) for your spirit. Only God can give birth to your spirit.

The soul (also called the flesh) is the non-material part of you that was born from your mother and of the seed from your father. Your soul is the seat of our conscience, emotions, intellect and will. Your soul cannot perceive truths from the Spirit of God. Your soul can be transformed to the degree that you renew your mind, change your attitudes, and conform to the Word of God. This should happen, and it’s in the process of happening, but it didn’t happen automatically when you accepted the truth of Christ into your life.

The body is easy to understand. You can see it! It is the physical place where our spirit and soul live.

The Daniel Fast is experienced by all three parts of us and brings health to those parts. As a spiritual exercise, we turn our attention to spiritual truths. In doing so, our spirits become stronger. In Matthew 4:3-4 we read about Jesus being tempted by Satan, “The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

Our spirits are fed from the Word of God. So during the Daniel Fast, many will give extra food to their spirits by increasing the time and attention they give to God’s Word.

Meanwhile, it is the soul that will bring up the fight during the Fast. You will experience this fight when you have to make a choice to push through the hunger pangs and the cravings. Or when you want to have “just one little bite of that bread,” even though it’s against the fasting guidelines  . . . after-all, no one is looking!

The choice to push through and “quiet the soul” is your spirit taking precedence over your soul — or another way of saying it is “living a spirit-led life.” One of the primary benefits of the Fast is that your soul gets “put in its place,” which is under the control of your spirit. What controls your spirit? God and His Word!

Finally, the body. It will do some kicking and screaming, at first. The body will want the usual amount of food . . . and when it doesn’t get it, it will send out hunger pangs to the brain (the soul receives those messages). When your body doesn’t get the caffeine it has come so used  to, it might send out an alert by way of a headache!

But soon, the body too will come into line and benefit from the goodness of the foods in the Daniel Fast. In fact, you might even get some rebellion from our body after the fast when you introduce foods that it’s kind of liked doing without!

During the Fast your body will begin working more efficiently as it receives foods more easily digested, lots of refreshing water, and no artificial chemicals!

So the Daniel Fast is a whole-body-experience! It brings health and strength to the spirit, it brings health and control to the soul, and it brings health and good foods to the body!

Healing Benefits of the Daniel Fast

While most people enter into the Daniel Fast for spiritual purposes, others turn to the dietary guidelines of the Daniel Fast to improve their health. Many can attest to the healing benefits of the Daniel Fast. Our bodies seem to flourish when they are well watered and well fed! Go figure!

Health care providers fine that by initially concentrating on improving a person’s physical, spiritual and emotional health, beneficial side-effects occur automatically. Side-effects such as weight loss and the disappearance of negative symptoms of ill health.

The well-documented benefits of the Daniel Fast include:

  • Body – detoxified
  • Bloating (intestinal) – gone
  • Blood Pressure – improved
  • Concentration – enhanced
  • Cholesterol – lowered
  • Cravings (sugar, refined carbohydrates & savory) – overcome
  • Depression – lessened
  • Diabetes – improved
  • Energy level – better
  • Excessive night-time urination – disappeared
  • Fertility – increased
  • Fluid retention – gone
  • Food allergies and addictions – recognised and overcome
  • Good health – renewed and maintained
  • Hair and nail strength – improved
  • Headaches – disappeared
  • Hot flushes – disappeared
  • Hypoglycemia – improved
  • Immunity to recurring illness – strengthened
  • Insomnia – disappeared
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome and stomach complaints -disappeared
  • Menstrual problems and PMS – disappeared
  • Mind – clearer and sharper
  • Negative health symptoms – reversed
  • Organs and tissues – stimulated into proper function
  • Overeating – overcome
  • Recovery from illness and drug treatments – assisted
  • Reflux and indigestion – disappeared
  • Skin problems (eczema, acne and dermatitis) – improved
  • Spirituality – enhanced
  • Stamina – increased
  • Sugar cravings – overcome
  • Tiredness – disappeared
  • Weight loss – accomplished

The Daniel Fast also serves as a means for getting the body “back in order” and not so controlled by the whims of emotional eating, cravings and plain old ordinary bad eating choices! The digestive system works more efficiently, the liver is not so over-taxed, and the rest of the body receives the nutrients that cause it to thrive.

So while the Daniel Fast is primarily a spiritual exercise for the spirit and soul, the body gains great benefits. Remembers, we are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. So the Daniel Fast is a great tool to address every part of who we are!

Lentil Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 medium onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 pound lentils (approximately 1 1/4 cups)

2/3 cup pearl barley

11 cups vegetable broth (can substitute water)

4 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs  

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and sauté until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils and pearl barley, mix to coat. Add the broth and stir. Add the thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils and barley are tender, about 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Six Servings

 

Greek Vegetable Stew

Recipes from: A Taste of Tradition, the Friends of St. Mary’s Russian Orthodox Church, Coaldale, PA

2 tablespoons oil
2 onions, chopped
1 pound green string beans, broken in half
1 package frozen or fresh spinach
4 cups water
6 zucchini, chunked
4 yellow squash, chunked
2 cups celery leaves
4 tomatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon salt
8 slices lemon
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons fresh basil
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice 
 

Lightly brown onions in a hot dry skillet in 2 Tablespoons oil. Add oregano & garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add 4 cups water and tomatoes. Cook 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Cook covered for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with a lemon slice in each bowl. 

Eight servings.

How Long is the Daniel Fast?

There is no prescribed time in the Daniel Fast. Rather, the Daniel Fast is about limiting the types of food intake to vegetables and water. The word vegetable in the Scripture actually means fruits and vegetables as these were all allowed under the Jewish dietary laws.

Daniel asked the Chief of the eunuchs to allow his three friends and him to eat just vegetables and water for 10 days and then check in to see their condition. But that didn’t end the dietary restrictions to this 10-day period. It appears that instead, this was a lifestyle for Daniel and the others. If the only meat available to them was that which had been offered as sacrifices to idols, they did not eat it.

There was another time in Daniel 10 where he was seeking wisdom from the Lord and he consecrated himself in a fast of vegetables and water for 21 days. This is perhaps why so many link the Daniel Fast with a 21-day fasting period. “In those days, I Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I at no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.”  Daniel 10:2, 3

There are a couple things we see from this portion of Scripture. One is that it seems that Daniel had resumed eating meat. The meat that he rejected in Chapter 1 was that which had been offered to idols and false gods. For him to consume that meat would defile his body, which he had consecrated (set apart) to the Lord.

Secondly, we see that in this fast, Daniel ate no delicacies. With what is known of diets during that time, this probably referred to breads (especially yeast breads), sweets, and other rich foods.

So when you plan a Daniel Fast, you need to also decide how long you want your fast to be. Most Christians who will enter the 2008 Fast in January chose a 21-day fast. That’s because this is more of a corporate fast with Christians throughout North America  joining together in a common effort to fast and pray.

Not everyone is starting on the same day, however most start on the first few days of January. If you are joining in a corporate fast with your church or a group of believers, then your start date might be determined. Otherwise, this is a prayerful decision you can make.

The same it true with the length of your fast. Remember that this is a spiritual fast, with the Daniel Diet serving as the definition for the foods that you will eat. So planning your fast should be serious and with a purpose.  Spiritual fasting is for spiritual results. So consider your goals.

The common lengths of time for fasting are 1-, 3-, 7-, 10-, 21-, and 40-day fasts. Obviously, there is no set rule for any number of days. If you are new to fasting, you might want to start with 3 or 7 days. If you are more experienced, a 21 day fast is probably the one to match a fast for entering the New Year. The 40-day fasts are generally undertaken only a few times (if ever) in ones lifetime.

Keep in mind that there are many kinds of fasts — and there are numerous types of spiritual fasting. They vary in length and in the types and amounts of food intake. This site focuses on the Daniel Fast as it grows in popularity among the Christian community.

Daniel Fast Food List

“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.” Daniel 10:2, 3

One of the great things about the Daniel Fast is that you are not limited to any specific amount of food, but rather to the kinds of food you can eat. The Daniel Fast is limited to vegetables (includes fruits) and water.

Special Note: if you have health issues, please be sure to contact your health professional for advice before committing to any fast including the Daniel Fast. If you would like a list of the foods included and excluded in the Daniel Fast to show your doctor, just copy the contents of this page. Also, if you are interested in a collection of recipes that will take you through an entire 21-day Daniel fast, click here.

After answering hundreds of questions about the Daniel Fast, I am updating the food guidelines. My hope is that it will serve as a more complete list. The original list used by many people was issued in a book about fasting. I know the author tried to do the best he could, but that isn’t the same as getting hundreds of questions seeking clarification. So here is the new list that I hope helps.

Please make sure to READ THE LABEL when purchasing packaged, canned or bottled foods. They should be sugar-free and chemical-free. Keep this in mind as you review this list of acceptable foods.

Foods to include in your diet during the Daniel Fast

All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines,  oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon

All vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.

All whole grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.

All nuts and seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.

All legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.

All quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.

Beverages: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.

Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.

Foods to avoid on the Daniel Fast

All meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.

All dairy products including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.

All sweeteners including but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.

All leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.

All refined and processed foods products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.

All deep fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.

All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.

Beverages including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.

Remember, READ THE LABELS!

What is the Daniel Fast?

The Daniel Fast is named after the prophet whose name also titles the Old Testament’s Book of Daniel. His name means “God Is My Judge,” which he upheld with his unshakable consecration to Yahweh and his loyalty to God’s chosen people.

He was deported from Jerusalem as a teenager in 605 B.C. to Babylon where he lived for more than sixty years. This deportation was prophesied by Isaiah, “And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

So Daniel was among those sons . . . initially serving as a trainee in Nebuchadnezzar’s court and later was an adviser to foreign kings. The expansion of the Babylonian Empire required many skilled and educated workmen. Much of this manpower was found through the slaves. Because of their wisdom, knowledge, and handsome appearance, four young Hebrews were selected for the training program. The outstanding character of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah locked in their positions in the king’s palace. It was Daniel that rose to the top and excelled all the wise men of the vast empire.

In Daniel 1:1-21, we find the model for the Daniel Fast. The four young men were to become servants of the king. Nebuchadnezzar instructed the master of the eunuchs to feed them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank. Most people would want to eat “like a king,” but Daniel had a higher calling. He did not want to defile himself with these foods that were not consistent with the Jewish dietary laws.

Daniel requested a plain diet from the chief of the eunuchs. The chief  was very concerned that granting Daniel the plain foods would leave him weak and emaciated. And then the king would behead the chief for not obeying his command.

Daniel negotiated with the chief, asking for a trial period, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.”

At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three other companions looked better and fatter in flesh than all the other young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies.

So Daniel and his friends were allowed to remain on their diet. God rewarded the young men with knowledge and skill . . . and the king found them to be ten times better in wisdom and understanding than all his magicians and astrologers.

So the Daniel fast is limiting ones diet to vegetables and water, and at the same time increasing time in the Word of God and prayer. This is not a fast to lose weight, although that certainly will happen. And it’s not a diet to improve your health, yet you will likely feel better than you have felt for some time. Instead, the Daniel Fast is a time to consecrate yourself unto the Lord in a desire to draw closer to Him.