TEXT: Daniel 10:1-3:
1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.
3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
John Piper said, “Christian fasting, at its root, is the hunger of a homesickness for God.”
In this series, we have looked at the following ways in which we ought to follow Daniel’s example during our Daniel Fast: (1) Studying the Scripture, (2) Confessing our sins, (3) Repenting of sin, (4) Spending more time in prayer, and (5) Withdrawing from worldly pleasures.
Yesterday, we looked at some of the physical benefits of eating plant-based foods and drinking only water for a time. While Daniel and his friends initially committed to a ten day period of this type of fasting, it quickly became the norm for them. Daniel 1:16 reads, “Thus Melzar [the eunuch in charge of the Hebrew exiles] took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.”
The benefits of this diet were so great, and the difference between Daniel and his friends when compared to the other exiles who ate the king’s food was so stark, that the Babylonian leader no longer provided meat for Daniel and his friends. He was convinced that these young men knew what they were doing. From that point on, they ate vegetables and fruit only. Now, it is likely that when Daniel and his friends graduated from the Babylonian Royal School and became respected advisors in the king’s court, they partook of meat, wine, and other choice foods that they had the freedom to prepare according to the Hebrew dietary regulations. But the default for them was plant-based meals and water.
But God did not only honor their disciplined lifestyle and commitment to Him with physical blessings; they were granted mental blessings and favor in the sight of their heathen overlords as well. Daniel 1:17 reads, “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” Much of this was God’s special favor on their lives. But some of it was also due to their fasting-type lifestyle.
Ron Lagerquist, author of “Fasting To Freedom” and other books on health issues, writes: “It is well known that thinking is sharper when hungry. As you begin your fast, you may feel as though your mind is foggy. That is because toxins in the blood are interfering with fasting’s ability to enhance brain processes. But, as the fast progresses and the body detoxifies, fog patches diminish, leaving days of bright awareness. Most of the fog is at the start of the fasting journey, and it takes some perseverance to experience the joyous clarity that can come during the fasting state… When University of Chicago students fasted for seven days, mental alertness increased and their progress in schoolwork was cited as ‘remarkable’. The universal testimony of fasters is that thinking and focus is enhanced.” He goes on to state that fasting periods are a great time for deep thought, the study of God’s Word, and mentally creative work.
While keeping the spiritual component of your fast paramount, I hope you are taking advantage of the clarity of mind that comes from fasting and experiencing some of the same mental benefits of Daniel and his friends.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION REGARDING THE DANIEL FAST
This information comes from “The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life,” by Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman. The book guides readers to take the Daniel Fast diet and continue it as a lifestyle. The authors write:
Cooking is a revolutionary act. We have unfortunately abdicated the essential act of cooking — the unique act that makes us human — to the food industry. We have become food consumers, not food producers or makers. We have outsourced our cooking to corporations. We need to bring the cooking back home. Cooking can be fun, freeing, and simple.
The Daniel Plan is designed to cut cravings, satisfy your appetite, and teach you to listen to your body. You may not believe it yet, but your body will naturally start rejecting the junk — the sugary, processed, and refined foods — and you will begin to crave real food. As you slowly introduce real whole fresh food, your body will respond automatically and heal, and chronic symptoms will fade into memory. The Daniel Plan introduces you to a whole new world of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, eggs, chicken, fish, lean or naturally raised animal products, and spices.
We are deeply concerned about our fat and sick nation, about our children’s and your children’s future. The best medicine for this ailment is something so simple, so easy, so healing, so affordable, and so accessible to almost everyone: cooking real, whole food in the home with your family and friends.
Now, in this series, as we focus on overcoming the sin of gluttony, and managing our bodies as God intended, we must not lose sight of the most important part of our existence — our spiritual life. Even those of you who are fit, who eat right, and who exercise regularly must still address the condition of your soul. You may keep your body in perfect condition till the day you die, but you will still die — we all will, and the only thing that will matter is the condition of your soul. Is your soul in shape? Is your soul in right standing with God?
The only way to make sure of that is to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin and the consequences of sin. He alone can save your soul, put you in right standing with God, and ensure that you do not perish in Hell. Now, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, here is how you can trust Him today.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.