Daniel Fast: Day 3 – Board Meeting, Meatballs, and Stealthy Salsa

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I had my first board meeting of the year in the evening.  It was a special meeting for two reasons. 1) one of our Elders was leaving the Board due to her term limit being up so we were having a party to celebrate her service to the Board. 2) Be able to discuss how God is leading us in the New Year.

At the beginning of the meeting, we prayed for healing for a number of church members, friends, and family and for the meal we were about to have.  It is important to note, that I had not revealed my fast to anyone.  So as I go into the kitchen, there is a counter filled with food; food I can not eat.

We had cocktail weenies, meatballs, chocolate cake, pimento cheese, BBQ potato chips.  I saw a can of almonds on the counter and went after it like a hawk, checking the label to see if there were no “added elements” to them.  I also looked at a jar of salsa to check for any processed junk, sugar, or any ingredients that I cannot pronounce.  One of our elders, who does mission work in Nicaragua, brought some salsa she bought from the country.  Homemade salsa?  I can eat that.  I asked her what was in it.  She then began to go through the list of ingredients.  With each natural ingredient, I was excited until she named two ingredients: Butter and Ketchup.  My lack of excitement was not because of the ingredients, I would try anything once, But it was ingredients forbidden by my fast.

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I often wonder how many things we buy into that we see as “good” or “spiritual” and when we partake in those things, we end up realizing it was a trap, snare,  or sneaky temptation.  I am someone who naturally is impulsive.  If I see something I like, I must have it.  If it is discounted, take my money.  If it looks like it will be a good investment, I’m all in.  But with each impulsive action, had lead to an even worst outcome.  That is why there is wisdom in waiting, especially when it comes to prayer.

Some of the best stories I have heard on the topic of prayer are the ones, that were answered a number of years later.  I read one story in “The Circle Maker” where a mother prayed for all of her 12 kids to accept Jesus as Lord of their life.  When she passed away, 6 of them were saved.  When the book was published, 10 out of the 12 have given there lives to Christ.  Daniel fasted and prayed for 21 days before he received insight into the revelation.  What things will the Lord reveal when we wait with obedience and anticipation?

 

Daniel Fast – Day 2: Thanks Facebook

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One of my skills has been social media marketing.  I took a free online class through Shaw Academy and learned the basics of building your brand on social media platforms from Facebook, to Instagram.  As a pastor and podcaster, I need to continue to keep my social media present up-to-date, and relevant which means I try to be on these sites quite a bit.

However, it seemed like today was the day where every friend I had on Facebook was posting those food videos.  I’ve seen things from Chocolate Lava Molten cakes to Cream Cheese Taco Dip.  Of course, all these food videos are things that I can not eat.  It’s it interesting that when you want to cut something out of your life (food, dating, etc.) that is when the temptation begins.

I’ve always thought about the difference between temptations and testings.  I remember a friend of mine decided she was going to spend the whole year focused on Jesus after a break-up with her boyfriend.  It lasted 4 months before she begins to start dating another person (which in turn lead to a devastating break-up 2 years later).  The same time, another one of my friends, decided to do the same thing.  The same situation happened to her, a male suitor found interested in her in a few months.  The difference was is she told the pursuer about her commitment to Jesus and did not date him, which he understood and respected her decision.  A year later they started to date, got engaged, got married, and continue to live a happy life.  Sometimes I think that temptations are ways to try to knock us off our path to our goals, dreams, and miracles.  However, I also think sometimes God tests us to see if we will be obedient to Him, to our promises, and our goals.

As much as I have seen those delicious food videos, I have the choice to linger (and drool) and be tempted to break the fast, or I can close out the browser and use those tempting opportunities as fuel to prayer.

Daniel Fast – Day 1: Beginning of my Daniel Fast

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Beginning in January 2018, my Church has decided to focus on prayer.  We are using Mark Batterson’s, “The Circle Maker,” as a guide to start the year off in prayer.  As I was preparing this series, I decided to do a Daniel fast at the start of it.

For those of you who do not know what a Daniel fast is, it comes from the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament.

At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over (Daniel 10:2-3 NIV).

The requirements of the fast are that one cannot eat any meat, or any by-product from an animal (ex. eggs, cheese, milk, etc).  You can not consume any food with sugar, chemicals, yeast and processed items.  The food I can eat is anything that comes from the ground and is not processed.  The duration of the fast is 3 weeks (21 days).

Most people do a Daniel fast for its health benefits.  You can do a google search for the Daniel fast and most websites are dedicated to diet, detox, and healthy living.  But one of the things I rarely see is for prayer.

The purpose of fasting is to amplify one’s prayer life.  Daniel, in the midst of Babylonian captivity, used fasting to gain wisdom and insight into a revelation of a Great War (Daniel 10:1).  The purpose of my Daniel Fast is not for health benefits but for wisdom, insight, and direction as I lead the church in pastor into the new year.

So far, the fast has been good.  I ate a salad without dressing and had a three bean chili for dinner.  I’m scared and excited by what will be revealed by the Holy Spirit during the duration of this fast.

Continue to pray for me as I begin this journey in fasting and prayer.