Sunday, June 21, 2015

No meat, no dairy, no nuts! (my experience on the Daniel Fast)

My Experience on the “Daniel Fast”
“I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips….until the three weeks were over.” Daniel 10:3

21 days ago I embarked on a physical, spiritual, emotional adventure called the Daniel Fast.  It’s a partial fast designed to “feed your soul, strengthen your spirit, and renew your body”.   It’s based off of the story of Daniel in the Bible.  When the Israelites were overtaken by Babylon, the King took some of the wisest Hebrew men to serve him.  Daniel was among them.  The King gave them the finest foods and wines to eat to strengthen them.  However, these foods were sacrificed to false Gods.  Daniel would rather die than deny the One true God by eating sinful sacrifices.  So he pleaded with the King’s messenger to allow them to eat only things that came from the ground and to only drink water (for those items were not sacrificed to false Gods).  The King’s servant allowed it and when he checked in on him in 10 days, Daniel and his fellow Hebrews were stronger and wiser that all the other men who ate the meat and drank the wine. 

The world says that you are crazy to give up eating foods like cheese, milk, meat, fast food, anything containing sugar, coffee, and pop, but the truth is, I am blessed to have a choice to do so.  My first feeling of this process was a deep humility in the fact that there are many people who live on less that what I was eating on the fast, and they do not have a choice.  It taught me to be truly grateful for my food no matter what the type.

It was eye opening to see the emotional and physical attachment I had with food.  Day 1 of the fast I vomited twice!  I used to only drink ½ cup of coffee in the morning and one pop at night.  I didn’t think that was enough caffeine to worry about having severe withdrawls.  But I was wrong.  I was so sick.  And as I sat crouched by the toilet, I couldn’t help but doubt and wonder why in the world I would do this to myself.  But looking back I can see how that uncomfortable withdrawl opened my eyes to the physical stronghold of caffeine on my body.  I was also made aware of the mental stronghold.  Before, I always had to have my cup of coffee in the morning.  It brought me joy, I looked forward to it, and I would say that I needed it.  Now, being 3 weeks free from any coffee or caffeine, I can surely say it is not necessary to function.  It truly isn’t.  On week three, I felt fine, if not better in the mornings with just a glass of water.

The first week I felt so extremely tired and constantly hungry.  All I could focus on was my “flesh”.  My regular morning prayer time was more like morning nap time.  As my body was weeding out the old toxins I was used to, I was feeling the pain.  Looking back, it really painted a physical picture of what sin looks like.  When you eat crappy food so much like I used to, your body gets used to it.  Same thing with things like sin, you get used to gossiping, lusting over things you shouldn’t, envy, anger, jealously and you live in it. It doesn’t feel all that bad because why would it, “everyone else is doing it.” But once you allow God to start detoxifying your life, just like detoxifying the body, it is super hard at first, but then the breakthrough appears.  You don’t realize how good you can feel in freedom from past sinful habits or eating habits until you actual feel what good is!
It was about halfway through that I started feeling better and God gave me complete self control over food.  I got used to the balance of being satisfied and being ok with hunger.  The cravings weren’t that bad.  And I started allowing God to control what I was eating.  He would tell me when to stop and what was ok to eat and when.  I remember in the “Daniel Fast” book, Susan Gregory said that one of the goals of the fast was to make holy spirit led decisions about food.  I doubted.  I thought, does God really care about what we eat ? Didn’t Jesus did make all foods clean and ok to eat?  But it’s more than just the food.   A gift of the holy spirit is self control and God wants us to have that.  With self control over food, you can be more energized, more available, more attentive to the spirit and what God has for you on that specific day.  Instead of focusing on how tired you are and where your next cup of coffee is coming from, you can focus on complete dependence and trust on God.  Let me tell you something true: Our God is greater than caffeine, and He is so able to make any person a morning person!

It truly was the last few days that were the hardest.  I was really tired of chopping up veggies, cooking, and eating beans!  I yearned for some meat and cheese.  I persisted and on my first day back to regular food, I was so happy to eat an omelet for breakfast and a turkey sandwich for lunch!  I had never been as thankful for “normal” food as I was on that day.  And on that day, I felt different….I felt really free, super free.  You see, it wasn’t all about the food.  I tapped into self control through food and it bled into my mind and heart.  God is so faithful!  Other battles I was facing spiritually were won.  And I do not write this to boast of anything I did.  God led me to this and God guided me through this and I am so thankful.  So if you are struggling with self control, whether it’s with food, money, relationships, or any type of addiction, talk to God about fasting.  And when He says “do it!”, you obey.  It will change your life for He is “able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to Him be the glory.” Ephesians 3:20

For more information about the Daniel Fast check out this website or ask me any questions your wish!:

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