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Okay, I’m Ready to Start my fast…

by on January 9, 2012

One of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked at the onset of our fast is what to fast.   If you recall my previous teaching on fasting (The Skinny on Fasting), you will recall that there are three basic types of fast.  The Absolute Fast – the restriction of any food or liquid for a period of time, the Normal Fast – the restriction of solid food but allowance of certain liquids, primarily water and the Partial Fast – the restriction of certain types of food (such as the Daniel Fast) or restrictions on eating for certain periods of time (like sun up to sun down).  Many of us have chosen to practice the Daniel Fast for this 21 days so, it is from that stand point that I will address the question of “what”.

In the book of Daniel we are told that when he was brought to the king’s palace that he was appointed “a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the king’s wine”.  We know from chapter 1 that Daniel challenged the health benefits of the kings menu and asked only for vegetables and water for a period of 10 days to show that eating all the palace “delicacies” was unhealthy.  Later in chapter 10 we read, “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”.  It is here that we contrive the “21 Day Fast”.  Essentially, the Daniel fast is a restriction of the kinds of food you will eat.  Basically it is eating only those things which come from the ground, but generally speaking does not include foods products that contain “ground borne ingredients”  as part of it’s contents.  For instance breads and pastries, although they include grain (from the ground) most also include eggs and dairy which are excluded from the fast.   But here’s another facet we sometime overlook.  Daniel reports “I ate no pleasant food” (italics added).  It’s here that we can find the real answer to “what”.

The heart of fasting is denying myself in order to focus on the person and presence of Christ.  Daniel ate no pleasant food.  Even in compliance with the Daniel diet there are lots of dishes that are quite pleasant but in this 21 day period we read about in chapter 10 he refrained from pleasant foods.  See, the heart of a fast is one of sacrifice and humility.  King David expressed this thought best when he said “I will not offer to the Lord that which costs me nothing” (my paraphrase 1 Chron. 21:24).  Fasting is going to cost me something – it will require a sacrifice.  This 21 days will come at a price.  It will cost you in convenience, it will cost you comfort and it will require serious commitment.

What’s your sacrifice for this season of fasting?  I encourage you to not only make a decision but also to let someone else know what that sacrifice will be.  There’s power in that kind of accountability!  Most importantly, seek the Lord on what He would have you offer during this fast as a sacrifice.

Today’s suggested scripture reading:  1 Chronicles 21:18-27

Pushing away and pressing in!

Pastor Terry

One Comment
  1. Tracy Taylor permalink

    “… I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing”

    This struck me profoundly. I feel to sacrifice more. This fast has been awesome and I believe God is moving but it has become easier this time (having done the Daniel Fast before) because I have learned to make good things. I had labeled that as being prepared and creative, yet it actually lessened “my cost” if it isn’t that difficult.

    I will pray about that.


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