“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.” – Daniel 1:8-16
My life is easy.
So easy in fact that I initially thought the idea of fasting from meat (I’m practically a carnivore), alcohol, dairy, caffeine (yes, no coffee), and sugar was something I didn’t need to partake in.
I had the option of either joining in with my church, James River Church, and seeking God in my life by fasting from culinary luxuries afforded to the majority of Americans, or pretending it wasn’t something I needed to do.
Looking back on my thought process on whether I should join in on my first Daniel’s Fast actually embarrasses me somewhat.
I wasn’t willing to give up things that many in other countries would only dream of having available every hour of everyday, and for only a measly 3 weeks.
Daniel was giving up food fit for kings! We have this food all around us, and for a very low cost.
If I don’t have it “good,” I don’t know who does.
And this brings up a good point…
Why are we trying to squeak by?
God didn’t make us to be 9-5er’s, shuttling to our cubicles and avoiding anything that would put us out of our element.
GOD MADE US TO BE WARRIORS.
Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. – Psalm 144:1-2
So, rather than trying to be as comfortable in our lives as possible, let’s pray to face adversity.
Let’s pray that God would make our lives tough, not toughness for it’s own sake, but so that through us, others would see a shining example of a warrior for Christ.
To me, that’s what the Daniel’s Fast is about.
Putting a stop to the excess of this world, and turning the green light on to experiencing what life in Christ is like, outside of the king’s lifestyle many of us live.
So, how did I do on the fast?
Much better than I would have thought.
I remember joking with my wife that I didn’t ever remember eating a meal that didn’t involve some sort of meat. Seriously. I couldn’t think of one.
It’s just the way my life has been, and I never stopped to think that never experiencing discomfort regarding food was a bad thing.
I’m well aware of the idea that discomfort today, could mean experiencing something great in the future. But, this idea applied to food never popped in my head outside of simply eating healthy.
One thing I noticed was the amount of thought that is taken by deciding what and where to eat throughout the day. Rather than thinking at the various eating intervals what I was going to slam down my gullet, I instead thought of the reason I was fasting.
Thus, leading me to pray.
This was the single greatest takeaway from my experience on the Daniel’s Fast. I don’t pray near enough.
In fact, I don’t think many of us do.
Speaking on myself for a moment, I get so wrapped up in the things of this world that I forget to speak with God. I am admittedly hard headed and will try to do things on my own.
I find that the more I try to do on my own, the less progress I make. It’s as if I’m in quicksand and no matter how hard I try to push forward, I’m still stuck or worse off than I was.
However, when I accept that I can’t do things on my own, and ask for God’s intervention, life becomes easier. Often times due to the lack of worry that is associated with everything being on my shoulders.
So, the lesson learned from the Daniel’s Fast was pray fervently!
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18
In summary, the Daniels Fast was a great experience and one that makes you realize just how good you have it.
In addition, you will learn to pray, because every time you think about food, you should be reminded the reason you are abstaining from it.
Also, the food you will eat after you have completed your Daniel’s Fast is unlike any other.
To see rewards, we must sacrifice. Without the feeling of pain, how are we to know the sweet taste of victory?
Our victory after the fast included custard from Andy’s. Yum!
– Cooper Mitchell