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I have been participating in a *modified Daniel Fast as part of a commitment I made with our church for 21 days of prayer and fasting.

Although it has been only 5 days that I have been fasting, it has already been rewarding. Each morning I have read through a Daniel Fast devotional that is available on the You Version Bible app, and I have prayed about some specific areas where I want to grow in my relationship with the Lord, and I have prayed specifically for my family and others who I care about.

Two observations I have during this fast:

 

1. I don’t really pray without ceasing

Obviously. How hard would that be anyway? But I have often thought: “oh yeah, I observe and think about the Lord’s blessings and praise Him throughout the day.” False. Every time I turn down a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and resist the urge to drink a Diet Coke I am reminded of how often I don’t think about the Lord. Each time I say no, I am reminded of why I am doing this fast, my prayers, God’s faithfulness, and it allows me to be aware of God’s presence in my life all over again.

2. It has become easier to deny the flesh

As I have been consistently telling myself “No, you can’t eat that. No, don’t grab a handful of marshmallows. No, Chickfila, and no Chickfila cookies,” it has become easier to say no to other things that my flesh desires. I have been able to process thoughts and habits differently now that I am in the routine of saying no. I don’t love saying no, and it reminds me of Paul denying the flesh and doing what he hates in Romans 7:15. My hope and prayer in now that I can break these old habits and take on new ones.

lion

“Sometimes we need to say no to
something in order to say yes to God.”

From what I have experienced so far, I would encourage you to a similar fast. It has been a very positive experience so far. If you have fasted, have you had similar thoughts or any additional observations?

 

*My “modified” plan includes brown rice, beans, nuts, seeds, some grains, dried and fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit juices, water, and coffee. I am avoiding everything else, including meats, dairy, sugar, and artificial sweeteners. Diet Coke, cheese, candy, and chicken being the hardest to fast from.

Here is more information on what we are doing as a church.

 

Have you ever said something that you wish you wouldn’t have said? We all have. James warns us in chapter 3 verse 8 that no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

Much of our communication throughout the day happens on Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, text messages, etc. Communication that does not require the use of our tongues. But:

For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man…” Matthew 15: 19-20

Sometimes we let our heart do the talking
without our brain being the filter.

 
Sometimes we share too much.

Our written words are more permanent than spoken words. Not only do they hurt once, they can hurt again and again. Even when we don’t intentionally try to hurt, we can still hurt others… or ourselves.

Scale back how much you post. Not everyone needs to hear unfiltered heart.

I love to pass social media through what I call the Philippians 4:8 filter:

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—POST, LIKE, SHARE, RETWEET on these things.

 

 

But there is hope for whoever is joined with all the living, since a live dog is better than a dead lion. Ecclesiastes 9:4

There have been some great men and women of God who have lived, served, and died. History has shown that, Christians can have the desire to be the next David, Isaac, Martin Luther, Billy Graham, or an admired pastor. But they are either gone, or their ministry is no longer at the height of what it once was. They are history. We are present.

They may be gone, or in the past… but we are the present. Our potential to reach people for Christ is present.

If I were going to battle, I would much rather have a roaring lion on my side. But if that lion is dead, he is no good to me. A hungry Rottweiler may not be as big or as ferocious, but it would do more damage than a dead lion.

Our ambitious generation must realize that we may not be the roaring lions of our forefathers, but we have every opportunity to be a hungry Rottweiler.

 

God doesn’t expect us to look like Abraham, Paul, or Jacob, He expects us to look like ourselves and make a difference to the people we minister to now.

This same thought can relate to our own previous successes. You may have had a roaring lion in your day, but every attempt to reach the previous success is preventing you from making an impact now.

Focus on the present, and go to battle with something rather than nothing.