“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
The Daniel Fast is a powerful method of fasting! I believe it’s bringing hundreds of thousands of men and women into the spiritual discipline of prayer and fasting since it’s a partial fast and some foods can be eaten. Many people would not be able to fulfill the demands of their daily obligations if they were to go without food for 21 days. But the Daniel Fast allowed us to have some foods while others are restricted.
I am concerned about a trend that seems to be happening in the Daniel Fast genre. And it has to do with so much attention being put on recipes and cookbooks and what we can eat and what we can’t! The Daniel Fast is so much more than food! And when we keep our focus on the food, it seems it’s just another way to feed the flesh rather than denying it!
Don’t get me wrong, I know we need to have good recipes for the Daniel Fast. After all, this is a partial fast where some foods are restricted and other foods are allowed. But the Daniel Fast is not a plan to merely replace all the foods we enjoy eating all the time with a vegan variety!
With that said, I do believe God is using the Daniel Fast to bring more of His people into a healthy way of feeding the Temple of the Holy Spirit – a temple He has entrusted to our care. And with the health crisis in the United States and other countries in the world, it’s critical that we start eating good foods designed by the Creator for the bodies He created! But I encourage all those who use the Daniel Fast as their method of fasting to examine your heart as you try to figure out ways to satisfy the flesh by going to great lengths to serve up some alternative.
Again, please don’t misunderstand me. I know we need good recipes. I know it’s okay for us to enjoy the food the Lord created for us. But I also know that we need to keep things in balance and not get our eyes so much on the food that we miss the purpose of fasting. It’s a spiritual experience where we put our whole beings under the submission of the Lord. And I do believe there is a danger in going too far in satisfying the flesh by focusing too much on food and missing out on the vital
The Daniel Fast is amazing as it affect the whole person – spirit, soul and body. And part of fasting is putting our flesh in submission as we come under the Spirit of God and allow Him to reign in our lives. Again, I call all of us to balance. Yes, it’s okay to prepare meals that are pleasant, filling and nutritious. That’s what God wants for us all the time. But we need to institute balance by not catering to the flesh.
We gain life-changing lessons while we’re fasting. Developing the fruit of the spirit of self-control is one of the most precious lessons we can receive. Fasting gives us the opportunity to examine our hearts and to make sure our motives are aligned with the men and women of God we want to be submitted to Him and walking in His ways.