Well folks, yesterday was about as hurried as the first day was, although not so physically difficult. I have yet to get up as early in the morning as I wanted to before setting out on this venture. However, I am starting school tomorrow with an early morning class which will force me to rise whether I am ready to or not.
So today I am going to include some general information about the fast that my family and I are partaking in. No wait, back up. First I will mention the types of fast, then I’ll get more into my specific one.
- Full Fast– Drink only liquids (this is not the one I chose)
- Partial Fast– From sunup to sundown (can be any of the varieties of fasting)
- 3 Day Fast — Any variety of fast to last for three days
- Daniel Fast– The one I chose
The Daniel Fast originates from the book of Daniel in the Bible wherein the prophet Daniel and his Jewish companions, while in captivity in Babylon, were put to a spiritual test. The law that they received from God at the hand of Moses prevented them from eating or drinking anything that had been sacrificed to an idol; however, as wise-men in training for King Nebuchadnezzar they young men were required to eat the king’s special diet. So Daniel approached the head eunuch and asked permission to eat only “pulse” (food derived from seed) and drink only water. Daniel later adds that nothing pleasant (sugar, honey, etc) came to his lips. The eunuch agreed to a trial period, after which if Daniel and the other Jewish men were not up to par with the ones who were on the king’s diet, they would have to return to the king’s delicacies. God honored the faithfulness of the men who refused to deflie themselves with food God instructed them not to eat and caused them to excel the men who were eating the best that the land had to offer.
So today many people have followed the example of these men of faith by setting aside a period of time (typically three weeks) where they eat only: fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans), whole grains, nuts and seeds, oils (not derived from animals), water, soy, and spices and seasonings. There are some more difficult restrictions added: no artificial products of any kind; no sugar, syrup, or honey; no leavened bread; no deep fried foods; no solid fats; no dairy or meat; and no non-water beverages, including tea and juice (although small amounts of lemon, cucumber, or mint may be added as long as the water remains water).
But what is the purpose of all this? Does God really care if I restrict my diet for three weeks? What is this supposed to accomplish? Tune in tomorrow to find out why fasting is an important practice that all Christians should partake in. (And please don’t take that as a judgement. I have been a professing believer for nearly eight years now and this is my first serious fast.)