No, I’m not 21. I’m a little past it. But this post has nothing to do with age and entirely about my 21 days of fasting without meats, sweets, refined or processed foods, etc. aka The Daniel Fast.
Yup! I did it and I thought i’d share my experience with you…at least bits of it since it was after all 21 days. 🙂
So here’s why i decided to fast
Fasting is an important aspect of our Spiritual walk with God. Fasting is how we humble ourselves before God—it (1) acknowledges His greatness, and (2) it acknowledges our own limitations.
I felt I was at a point where I needed to do this…it had been a while and my spirit was crying out for deeper intimacy with Christ. I know many churches engage in a Daniel Fast of 10, 14 or 21 days at the beginning of each year but this was a personal choice.
At a high level, we can view fasting as the way we discipline our body (our flesh) toward God. Paul explained that he practiced fasting to keep himself in line with God because he didn’t want to chance becoming a castaway (I Corinthians 9:27). “Castaway” in the Greek means “failing to past the test” or “unapproved.” We don’t want to fail to pass the ultimate “test” in our walk with God.
Fasting Brings Spiritual Focus
When we fast, we take our attention, time, and resources away from elements in our life that we normally would spend time on. Our attention, time, and resources can then focus on our spiritual relationship with God.
But why 21 days?
After all there were lesser durations to choose from. Yeah…i dunno…21 days just sounds a whole lot better, right? *hee hee*. Seriously though, I had prayed and read about the different fasting types before starting and my spirit settled with 21 days (plus i had a whole list of things that God and I need to sort through and they couldn’t possibly take 10 days 🙂 …but then God isn’t limited by time and power like me).
Nevertheless, when I read the book of Daniel especially Chapter 10, it mirrored my state of mind. i just wanted to pour out my heart to God…Not just plain old brokenness, but MOURNING. The Oxford Dictionary defines mourning as the expression of sorrow for someone’s death .What death is there in fasting?
Daniel 10 : 2-3 – English Standard Version
In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.
Hold up! There’s death in fasting?
Scary, yeah? When we fast, we kill off (crucify) the flesh. When the flesh dies, our spiritual mind brings everything into focus! We will receive clarity in our lives, revelation in the Word of God, and a desire to draw closer to God in our spiritual walk.
Nothing dies in nature without a struggle. Our flesh will fight us when we fast. Paul noted his flesh warred against his mind when he tried to fast (Romans 7:23). We will face the same opposition, but we can overcome.
It’s safe to say there was a little trepidation on my part….The possibility of weight loss (i’m already a “slimmaz”..how would i look *eek*), the urges to eat meat or any processed food, finding affordable AUTHENTIC vegetarian restaurants (Thank God for veggiecampus jamaica!), the discipline required for prayer and fasting…yeah i wasn’t sure if i’d make it to the end.
But i have some really supportive friends who encouraged me throughout ( Thank you CS, SS & SS, GB & BB!! )…..I discussed it with them and they, even without really asking decided to go on this journey with me. It made it a whole lot better knowing that i was accountable to God as well as my friends, we were in this thing together. They also offered words of wisdom daily…ordered or prepared my lunch daily [:-)]…In fact,we alternated responsibility for conducting devotion, providing inspirational thoughts daily. I’d definitely recommend doing this type of fast as a group.
There are few things that also resonated with me about Daniel’s fast. When at last he received an answer from God, Daniel was given some pretty comforting words (Daniel 10:12) which should encourage us even now…God has heard you.
…Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
- Just do it! – Start off slow and gradually develop. Each day gets easier. Trust me 😉
- Focus on it! – Keep your eyes on the prize (Phillipians 3:14)
- Stick with it! – Just like anything worth having this requires ‘stick-to-it-iveness’
- Get support for it! – Friends, Family , Church group. You don’t have to go it alone
- You’ll love it! – You will
- He’s heard it so Wait on it! – Patience grasshopper. Your answer is already on its way
- Get up and Do it again! – Go for it!
inspiration also provided by: http://theapc.org/the-foundation-of-fasting/