WHY ARE WE FASTING?
The entire purpose of fasting is to abstain from things that feed the flesh for the purpose of engaging in things that feed the spirit. By “flesh”, I don’t mean your body. But rather that part of you whose interests, appetites and pursuits are turned away from God and toward the world. The Bible calls this “the carnal man”. We fast to weaken our carnal man (flesh) and strengthen our spirit man (spirit). When we do this we draw closer to God, experience spiritual breakthroughs and become more of what He intends for us to be. I am currenty teaching a sermon series entitled “Prepare”. This fast is to help us as a Church be prepared for everything the Lord desires to do for, in and through our lives and ministry.
HOW ARE WE FASTING?
>>>On this particular fast we are abstaining from:
CERTAIN FOODS (see below)- 1st week Jan 11-17
SOCIAL MEDIA- 2nd week Jan 18-24
TELEVISION/ENTERTAINMENT- 3rd week Jan 25-31
Each thing we fast from accomplishes the same goal. When we abstain from the foods we normally like to eat to pray and meditate on God’s word it tells our body that feeding our spiritual appetite is more important than feeding our physical appetite. In the same way when we abstain from social media and television to engage in prayer and Bible Study it tells our mind will and emotions that godly things have become a greater priority to us than the things of this world.
However, we must remeber that the purpose of fasting is to abstain from things that feed the flesh to engage in things that feed the spirit.
>>>So when we do our social media fast we are not going to simply stop all social media activity. We are only going to abstain from the aspects of social media that have nothing to do with spiritual and Godly things. They may not be bad, they just don’t build you up spiritually. Such as:
- Scrolling through your friends and families Facebook pages to see what they are up to.
- Watching videos or reading posts that entertain you, make you laugh, or “spill the tea”, instead of help build you up spiritually.
>>>However, watching Church services online, listening to sermons, reading biblical commentary, etc. is not only acceptable, it is absolutely encouraged. Remeber the principle is abstaining from things that feed your flesh to engage in things that feed your spirit. Be honest with yourself and with God. If you just abstain from something natural but you don’t replace that activity with something spiritual then you are not really fasting. You are just checking a religious box and God is not really involved. This is a trap that is easy to fall into during a fast. So beware of it.
HOW YOU CHOOSE TO FAST
I’m encouraging everyone participating in this fast to do so in unison. Meaning that the food fast will be week one, the social media fast will be week two, and the television fast will be week three for everyone. However, if for financial reasons it’s easier to rearrange the order of the weeks to suit someone’s budget, that is completley understandable.
FOODS TO EAT ON THIS FAST
Amaranth, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, freekeh, millet, oats, purple rice, quinoa, rye, sorghum, spelt, teff, whole grain pasta, whole wheat, and wild rice.
Beans and legumes
Black beans, black-eyed peas, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), great northern beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, pinto beans, and split peas.
Nuts and seeds
Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, nut butters, peanuts (actually legumes but people think of them as nuts), pecans, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), pine nuts, pistachios, poppy seeds, walnuts, sesame seeds, soy nuts, sunflower seeds.
All vegetables are allowed (fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, and canned).
All fruit is allowed (fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, and canned). However, any dried fruit shouldn’t contain added sugar (check ingredients to be sure).
Oils (such as coconut, olive, and sesame, for example) are allowed but should be used minimally. For example, you can sauté foods in olive oil but avoid deep-frying them.
Unleavened bread (whole grain bread made without yeast, sugars, or preservatives. All herbs, spices, and seasonings are allowed, including salt and pepper. Soy products (such as edamame and soy nuts) and tofu are acceptable.
Water should be the main beverage on your fast. Distilled, filtered, sparkling, spring, and mineral water are allowed as well. However, you may have 100% fruit juice on occasion (just don’t overdo it). You can also use 100% fruit juce in recipes.
FOODS TO AVOID ON THIS FAST
Meat (bacon, beef, bison, chicken, lamb, pork, and turkey).
Dairy (butter, cheese, cream, milk, and yogurt)
Agave nectar, artificial sweeteners, brown rice syrup, brown sugar, cane juice, corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, molasses, and raw sugar.
Yeast and, therefore, leavened bread isn’t part of the Daniel Fast.
White flour and white rice. Only whole grains are allowed on the Daniel Fast. A whole grain product contains the entire grain kernel ― the bran, germ, and endosperm.
Foods that contain artificial flavorings, chemicals, food additives, and preservatives.
Examples are corn chips, French fries, and potato chips. (Baked chips are acceptable if they don’t contain restricted ingredients. Check the label for “baked” to be sure.)
Butter, lard, margarine, and shortening.
Milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, and cacao.
Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages
Alcohol, coffee, caffeinated tea, and energy drinks.
Thank you for joining with us on this fast. I pray God does great things for you and your family in 2021 as we build an altar in our homes for His presence to dwell.
In His Service,
Rohan Peart, Lead Pastor