Bland oatmeal with slices of banana in almond milk; I lift the spoon to my lips and think on the connection between the Daniel Fast† and my spiritual growth. I am not a veteran of fasting, frankly, I have fasted infrequently. My carnal mind questions the significance of fasting past the physical benefits, “Daniel had conviction to remove himself from the kings food and God called Daniel to speak to the king through his fasting”. Moments later Christ directs my thoughts to Him.
But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink.
The “Daily Light on the Daily Path” devotional and the text opens with, “O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.—The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup.” The devotional ‘coincidentally’ uses terms that parallel consuming food and drink. As the Word is written, His Bread, scripture, guidance and council, will satisfy.¹ This scripture does not suggest we should not eat or drink but, the pleasure that can be momentarily received in sweet and rich foods is obtainable in Christ. When Daniel fasted with three other young men, God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
Each of us needs to hear from God and none are without needs. The bible provides many examples of how through fasting results were obtained and difficulties broken. Discipline is another objective of fasting. Some unable to fast for extended periods will often fast one meal coinciding with prayer to seek God’s intervention.
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove hence in the yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind [that is this kind of faith] only goes out by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:20-21).
Jesus shared this previous passage with the disciples because they were wondering how they were powerless in a situation. Prayer and fasting was direction to build faith in the disciples. How often do we feel powerless? There are many areas in my life which I feel powerless. Could fasting be the key to victory? Today, arms wide open, we come; You are our portion, You hold our right hand, Father, You guide us.