Monday, January 7, 2013

The Daniel Fast - Day 6 Devotional

Today's Day 6 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 6 is Isaiah 58.

This chapter, to me, hits at the core of your fasting experience.  For what purpose are you fasting?  What is your outward behavior while you are fasting?

"'We have fasted before you!' they say.  'Why aren't you impressed?  We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don't even notice it!'  'I will tell you why!'  I respond.  'It's because you are fasting to please yourselves.  Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers.  What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling?  This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me.'"  {Isaiah 58:3-4}

Are we saying we are fasting because it is what everyone else is doing?  Or are we saying we are fasting because we have a deeply intensely personal desire to draw closer to God?  Are we saying we are fasting because we just really want to drop 20 pounds quickly.  Or are we saying that we desire to remove the distractions in our lives that are causing us to be physically separated from God?

But even if we are fasting for the "right" reasons, there is still the issue of our outward behavior.  How are we treating those around us?  How is our walk with Christ going during this time?  Are we simply following a dietary plan, calling it a Daniel Fast, while at the same time going about life as it was before the fast?  Are we making a move towards the improvements in our relationship with God that we desire through this time of prayer and fasting.  Are we praying during this time of prayer and fasting?

I think, particularly in the first few days of an extreme fast like this, it is very easy for the enemy to gain a foothold in our lives.  If you are fasting from particular foods or following a Daniel Fast plan, you may be noticing that there is temptation all around you.  You may be noticing that you are experiencing times of tremendous weakness and you may be wanting to throw in the towel.  In fact, others may be wanting to throw in the towel for you!

"The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.  My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life."  {John 10:10}

Do you think that the enemy wants you to be successful on this fasting journey?  Absolutely not.  Does he want you to deepen your relationship with God so that you can be more open to and capable of doing His work - the work that He has planned for you?  Most definitely not!

I spent time in prayer over this yesterday because I could just feel it.  I could feel the enemy's presence over my life in a palpable way.  I cannot - we cannot - let him win during this time of fasting {or at any time!}.  I would strongly encourage you that if you are finding your time of fasting to be extremely difficult or increasing in difficulty each day to pray with all you've got.  Cry out to God if you need to.  Ask Him to give you the strength you need to make it through today.  Ask Him continually throughout the day.  Ask Him each and every day.  Ask Him to protect you from whatever may be causing you to feel like straying from this fast and from throwing it all in.  Ask Him for guidance.  Ask Him to show you light and wisdom.  I did that yesterday and I have to say that I believe He heard and answered my prayers because my day was by far more peaceful than the previous two.

The devotional content for today says:

"Pray that God will empty you of all that is you and fill you with all that is Him."

I pray that each of you following some form of fast right now are able to use this time to draw nearer to Him and that each of us remains faithful to the sincere reasons for our fasting.

If you are in need of food ideas, here is another quick and easy recipe for you to try on your fast.  Enjoy!  We do!

If you are doing a fast right now, how is it going for you?  What are your major challenges right now?  What are you learning so far?  Do you have any advice to share on how to get through the difficult moments of the fast?  I'd love to hear!

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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