Tag Archives: Jesus

My First 21 Day Daniel Fast

My First 21 Day Daniel Fast

By Carolyn Dale Newell

But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place;

and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Matthew 6:17-18 NKJV

Each January, our church sets aside twenty-one days for fasting. This was the first time I had fasted for more than two days. After this experience, I will no longer be a stranger to fasting.

Sure, after the first few days, I felt some dizziness and fatigued. The Daniel fast is based on the foods Daniel ate while in captivity. Primary fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. If it doesn’t come from a plant, you don’t eat it. I abstained from processed foods, meat, dairy products and caffeine.

I did some research about protein, and I began drinking a protein nut milk. After that addition, I felt great.

Without caffeine, I slept better than I had in years. I had really struggled with sleeping. I mean really struggled. I found I didn’t need herbal tea and melatonin anymore. I am watching my caffeine intake, now that I am off the fast, because I don’t want to return to those sleepless nights.

I thought my age had contributed to my lack of energy. I became exhausted after my typical 1.5-mile walk. During the fast, my energy from years ago returned. Another reason to stick to this diet.

I wish I could say I lost more than six pounds, but I am glad I lost weight because it seemed all I could do before was gain it. Imagine losing weight while eating baked potatoes and whole-grain spaghetti. I also stopped experiencing digestive issues.

Now, let’s look at the spiritual effects, because a fast is spiritual. Otherwise, it is just a diet. Notice in our focal verses Jesus says “when you fast.” This indicates that fasting should be as much a part of our Christian life as giving and praying. In Matthew 6, Jesus spoke about all three topics.

Fasting is a time of prayer. You eliminate food, so you can make more time for prayer. I had three particular requests I brought before the Lord. One was to know God more intimately. That has already happened, but it is my prayer continually before the Lord. The other requests involved lost souls, and I eagerly await what God will do next.

During the fast, I read my Bible more, listening for the Lord to speak. He showed me things I hadn’t seen before.

Our worship services were immensely blessed by God. We had powerful services with lives changed. During one service, we had a prayer line, and God removed the arthritic pain in my hand.

A fast is a great way to start off a new year, corporately and personally. I highly recommend it, not just at the beginning of the year, but all year long.

Jesus fasted for forty days before embarking on His ministry. Why would Jesus, God incarnate need to fast? Though He was fully God, He was also fully man. If Jesus Christ felt the need to fast, shouldn’t we?

Lord, thank You for Your Word where we can learn how to draw near to You through fasting and prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Matthew 6:1-18.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Spend time studying fasting and ask God to direct your steps.

 

Copyright 2019 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Throwback Thursday: The Grinch Who Tried to Steal Christmas

THE GRINCH WHO TRIED TO STEAL CHRISTMAS

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
Matt. 2:13 (NKJV)

He was much worse than the Grinch. He wasn’t green, and he didn’t have a dog named Max. He didn’t dress up like Santa to steal the Christmas gifts, decorations and roast beef from the folks of Whoville. He was an angry king who would stop at nothing to protect his title, even to the point of killing all the male children up to the age of two years. All of this was done in an attempt to kill the young Child, Jesus.

As always, God intervened, and Joseph was warned in a dream to take Mary and Jesus, and flee to Egypt. Our Savior, Jesus, was…saved. His life was spared so that one day, He could give it up on a cross in order to save us.

This is a perfect picture of God’s providence at work, and it is at work in the life of every believer. Christian, you are safe and secure in the hands of God. “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day” (John 6:39).

Friend, are you insecure about your salvation? Perhaps, you know without a doubt that you are not saved. This Baby that was born in a manger came into this world for one reason – to pay the sin debt for all who will believe. He was virgin born. He was fully God and fully Man. When you wholeheartedly trust Him, He will save you. That is the real gift of Christmas.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for coming to earth only to die for my sins. Forgive me, and cleanse me from all my sin. Help me to live for You and not myself. I trust You as my Savior, Lord, and soon coming King. Amen.

DIG DEEPER
Read rom. 3:23, Rom. 6:23, John 10:28, 1 John 1:9.

HIKING THE TRAIL
Make sure you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If so, praise Him for His birth and His death on the cross. Tell others about Jesus!

Copyright 2014 Carolyn Dale Newell.