Today I found, with my schedule, I had to eat out. Sharon and I went to Mr. Bill's and for my one meal of the day I had a vegetable plate: turnip greens, green beans, purple hull peas, and creamed potatoes. It was the best tasting food I have ever put in my mouth!
Daniel 1 Fast
The corporate fasts held in many churches at the start of a new year are daniel fasts. They are basically a 21-day vegan diet, based on what Daniel ate in Daniel chapter one: vegetables and water. At the end of ten days, the appearance of Daniel and the three Hebrew children was better than the ones who ate the "king's dainties" (Amplified Bible). This is what Daniel had counted on.
The two menus, in Daniel one (D1) and Daniel ten (D10) are different in several ways:
- D1 is for ten days, D10 is for twenty-one days
- D1 is about what to eat, D10 is about what not to eat.
- D1 is all about the appearance (the health?) of the fast-er, D10 is about mourning and prayer.
- Both anticipate the supernatural intervention of God.
- Neither is called a "fast!"
Does it sound like I am against a daniel fast? I am not. I had never heard of a daniel fast until recently, and am now on day 4 of my first one. I am eating simple foods, no meat and just water and some 100% juices. I am limiting myself to one meal/day. You may fast however you want to! That is between you and God.
Jesus' Command to Fast
Oh, wait a minute! Jesus did not command us to fast, nor is there such a command anywhere in the New Testament. What Jesus did do is give us instructions for when we fast. In the sermon on the mount in Matthew's gospel, Jesus gave us instructions for when we pray, give alms, and fast. I believe our Savior is assuming that we will perform those three disciplines; He expects us to perform them.
A Christian, who is being conformed to the image of Christ, will pray, for Christ prayed; will fast, for Christ fasted; will give, for that is at the very heart of God: "For God loved the world in this way: He GAVE His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
I want to be like Jesus. You?