Friday, January 4, 2013

The Daniel Fast - Day 3 Devotional

Today's Day 3 devotional is coming from 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 3 is Daniel 1.  This passage is actually the same one that I spoke about back on December 30th when I wrote about Preparing to Fast.  This passage is where the strict diet for the fast originates.

Daniel was among many captives taken to serve King Nebuchadnezzar.  There was a dietary regimen that these men were supposed to adhere to, but Daniel knew that the food and drink that would be consumed would defile him according to his beliefs.  He came forth requesting that he be allowed to follow a diet of vegetables and water.  A trial period of ten days was agreed upon.

"At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king."  {Daniel 1:15}

The training period for these men lasted for three years, and at the end of this time "The king talked with them, and no one impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.  So they entered the royal service."  {v 19}

You have to remember that the reason Daniel requested that he be allowed to follow a special diet was because of his beliefs and his commitment to his faith.  This diet probably wasn't a new idea to him upon being taken captive.  It was probably more of a way of life.  And it continued through his training period.

The devotional content for today reads:

"This response from these four young men didn't come from a fear of getting caught.  It came from a devotion to God's commands already formed in them before being taken from their homeland.  During this fast, you'll have many opportunities to deviate from your commitment - especially if you're fasting alone or if no one will find out."

If you are fasting, regardless of what you are fasting from, how is that going for you?  Remember, you don't have to be fasting from food.  But it can still be difficult to maintain your focus on the fast from time to time.  For me, I have had one full day of the Daniel Fast plan.  I went into it excited.  I came out of it weary and, well, hungry.  It doesn't help that I haven't been getting a lot of sleep yet.  Sleep deprivation and lack of food are never a good combination for me.  Just being honest.  I didn't do a great job stocking up the pantry for the first few days.  The first couple meals, yes.  But I'm seriously lacking in things to snack on during the day.  You are allowed to snack on the Daniel Fast - you just have to make sure what you are snacking on is acceptable!

Today's reading was a good one for me.  It helps me to re-focus on the purpose of the fast.  This dietary lifestyle is not my norm, so this is hard.  It is going to be a struggle for me at times.  One day in and I'm realizing how poor my habits were and what a huge difference it is to be on this plan.  Today I am praying for the strength I know I am going to need to get through this fast.  The difficulties and challenges you face in your fast are normal, I would think.  However, it's probably not a good idea for your mind to become consumed with those challenges.  Don't focus on how hard or even impossible it seems.  Don't focus on how you think you aren't going to make it.  And please don't think at this early stage in the journey that you're ready to quit.  It will get easier.  It may not feel like it today or tomorrow, but it will.

I know meal planning can be a struggle during a fast, especially if you're a picky eater like me.  Below is a quick and easy idea for breakfast.  If you click on the picture, it will bring you to a post I wrote last year which had a few other quick recipe ideas.  If you are concerned about what you can and cannot eat on a Daniel fast, go to this post I wrote a few days ago.  I have a guide that will give you a pretty good overview.  I hope this helps!

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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