Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Daniel Fast - Day 2 Devotional

My 21 day fast officially began after our First Wednesday service at church last night.  I am excited to begin this journey.  I hope you are too if you are following along or participating in a fast with your own church.  In case you missed it, I wrote a devotional yesterday for Day 1{since the fast technically began yesterday, even if it was in the evening}.  If you are looking for my weekly Thankful Thursday post, you can go over here.

I am following YouVersion's 21 Day Fast reading plan.  Each day you will find devotional content as well as scripture readings for the day.  The scripture for Day 2 is 1 Chronicles 21:18-27.

In this passage, we find that an angel "told Gad to instruct David to go up and build and altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite." {v 18}  David hears this and sets off to do what he has been commanded to do.  David offers Araunah the full cost so he can build the altar to the Lord.  In return, the threshing floor is offered to him for free.  David refuses, insisting to pay for it.  He says, "I will not take what is yours and give it to the Lord.  I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!"  {v 24}  The altar is built and offerings are made to the Lord.  And the Lord hears David's prayers.

When an offering is made to the Lord, it is something significant. We are giving something to Him that honors Him.  We don't give Him our worst.  We offer Him our best.  It shouldn't be done grudgingly.  We should be coming before him humbly, willingly and of our own accord.

We may look at this time of fasting as our offering to God.  What we have chosen to fast is our sacrifice to God so that we can improve ourselves for His glory so that we can offer Him the best of ourselves.  The devotional text for Day 2 says:

"During this fast, build an altar and lay a sacrifice on it that honors God.  It will cost your convenience, your comfort, and it will also take some serious willpower and commitment.  What will your sacrifice be during this fast?  Make sure it's a sacrifice that will cost you something."

As I have shared in previous posts, the "what" of our fast is something that is a distraction in our lives that is keeping us from having a rich, fulfilling relationship with our Heavenly Father.  Thus, our sacrifice must be something that is going to "put us out" or inconvenience us.  If the sacrifice we make is easy, then it isn't really a sacrifice, is it??  If it means nothing to give something up, then what can we hope to achieve through this time of fasting?

For me, the Daniel Fast is hugely inconvenient.  Just being honest.  I don't like vegetables, yet I have chosen to sacrifice the food lifestyle that I have become accustomed to.  Was it an extravagant lifestyle?  No.  Was it healthy?  No.  If I am not in the best physical shape I can be in, how can I possibly expect to give God the best part of me when doing what He has planned for me?  I can't.  By doing a strict Daniel Fast, I am handing over all that is comfortable and convenient for me in the area of food.  It is costing me something to choose to fast from so many foods all at once.  As for willpower and commitment, you had better believe that the next few weeks are going to require plenty of it!

As you read through today's word, reflect on what it is that you are offering up to Him during your fast.  It doesn't have to be the same as I have done.  It is whatever you feel led to offer up.  It is whatever you feel has a stronghold on you that is keeping you from a deeper relationship with God.  The devotional also suggests having accountability.  That is why I wanted to have this series on my blog.  I know that there are so many people out there embarking on a fast right now.  While it may not be taking the same form as mine, there are people who may be entering into a period of fasting from something that is extremely difficult for them.  Whatever it is, it truly helps to have the support of others.  If you want to use this as a place to be accountable, that would be wonderful!  

I will be sharing devotionals such as this and other ideas to help you through this journey.  If you are reading a bible plan or devotional during this fast, what are you learning?  I would love it if we could share our insights so that we can be a support to each other during this time.  Link up below and grab a button while you're at it!

Daniel Fast 2013


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