Archive for the 21 Day Fast Category

Daniel Fast 2014

Posted in 21 Day Fast, Discipleship with tags , , , , on January 10, 2014 by mikekeaton

Tomorrow kicks off our church‘s Daniel Fast.  We’ve tried, as a church, to seek the Lord together through prayer and fasting by way of the Daniel Fast now for 3-4 years.  So, we’ve selected these last 21 days of January to seek the Lord together through prayer and fasting.

The big idea is just to draw near to our Lord, to grow closer to Him, to discipline our selves for spiritual growth.  Spiritual discipline is essential for spiritual growth!  I have always loved practicing the disciplines in my own life.  I can remember back even as a young man, even as a pre-teen, doing what I could do to draw near.  If the spiritual disciplines are new to you, then I suggest some reading…maybe Whitney’s, “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life”, or Foster’s, “Celebration of the Disciplines“.

So, what is the Daniel Fast?  That is a big question!  I won’t answer it fully here in this post, but I encourage you to do some searching online.  Simply, just google Daniel Fast, and you will get many results that provide a wealth of information.  The simple idea is taken from the book of Daniel, the prophet in the Bible.  It is found here in this citation from the Scriptures:  parenthesis mine

Daniel 10:2-3
2 When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning (fasting) for three whole weeks.
3 All that time I had eaten no rich food. No meat or wine crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions      until those three weeks had passed. -NLT

Other translations use the word “savory” for rich.  So, the idea is basically, a fruit and vegetables fast, no meat,  alcohol, or other “savory/rich” delights! 🙂

I am not a legalist, so I have told our church to pray and ask the Lord how He would lead them to fast.  I suggested other things than food, like, fasting from social media, TV, Internet, or certain foods like sugar & sweets.  Truthfully, the sky is the limit.  If one is to follow the Daniel Fast to the “T”, then they will only eat bland foods, primarily fruits and veggies.  Otherwise, they can just fast from things.

We don’t need to get caught up in the details and mechanics of it so much that we forget its purpose.  We are trying by Ascetism to draw near to our Lord and Savior.  We desire to fulfill 1 Timothy 4:7 in the Bible, which says, “discipline yourself for godliness”. When someone is fasting from food, the idea is clear, you will get hungry or have cravings…so, instead of satisfying those cravings, go to the Lord in prayer and read scripture…seek Him for the needs in your life.  When someone is fasting from things, the idea is when you would normally spend that time doing that thing, replace it with prayer and scripture reading, drawing near to God.

I am praying for all of us as a church to experience the mighty hand of the Lord in each of our lives over these next 21 days!!

blessings…

Mike

P.S.- almost forgot…I recommend keeping a journal during this time of seeking the Lord so, find a notebook or go to the store and get something to write down what God says to you and how God reveals Himself to you. 🙂

My Learnings…

Posted in 21 Day Fast on February 28, 2009 by mikekeaton

God has been teaching me a lot these past 3 weeks.  One of the biggest things He revealed to me, was that when I fast, I don’t do it to get answers.  Actually, this is what I do, in fact, this is often what will motivate me to fast.  I will feel like I don’t know what to do about something, like about the land deal, or what is our next teaching series, so, I will fast and seek an answer.  Now, there is nothing necessarily all that wrong with that approach, but, the Lord just revealed to me, that I don’t need to fast just to get “my” answers, I need to fast to connect to Him, I need to fast to get closer to Him, not satisfy my agenda, so much.  This breakthrough was a huge for me!  I pray I don’t forget it.

 

Another thing He revealed to me, actually, reminded me, was just to actively deal with my personal sin.  We all have “our issues”.  Well, I have mine also.  No matter how great or small (as we perceive it), sin is sin, and it breaks our relationship with Jesus.  Sometimes, I just get “comfy” with my sin and I don’t “actively” fight against it.  Well, for the last several days, and it has taken almost 2 and a half weeks to make me see this, I have had to deliberately take several thoughts captive, often “as they were happening”, and actually, quote scripture, redirect my thoughts and focus elsewhere.  Sometimes successful, other times not.  Thank God it’s a process, and about progression, and not perfection.

 

I fail often, and I am thankful for Grace…because if it were up to me to be successful in the Christian life, I would be doomed!!

 

I have been grateful for this time of fasting.  I have grown closer to my Lord and experienced “breakthrough’s” as described above.  I pray you have also…..

 

If you have not yet read “How to break a fast”, check out the info below….God bless!!

Breaking your fast

Posted in 21 Day Fast on February 28, 2009 by mikekeaton

Breaking a fast the right way is very important.  Especially, if you have been fasting like we have for the past 21 days.  Your body has undergone many changes over the past 3 weeks.  There is more going on biologically then you realize!!  When you don’t eat anything but a clean, fresh diet (fruit and veggies), the worst thing you could do is go eat a big steak or anything heavy or rich.  If you have been following the Daniel Fast regimen, then by now, your digestive system has been less active than before.  You may have digested foods faster, but your system has slowed way down.  To introduce big quantities and heavy rich foods would actually be “painful”, not to mention cause major digestive problems for several days.

 

There are many websites you can visit, just google, “how to break a fast”, where you will find many suggestions and ideas, as well as cautions.  Most information sources suggest a light “re-entry”.  If you are craving meat, it would be better to eat light, clean meat, like fish, turkey, or chicken.

 

Another thing to consider when breaking a fast,  is what today’s devotion below addresses.  Don’t undo what God has shown you and revealed to you during your time of fasting.  Don’t’ go back to “indulging” your flesh.  So, just a few suggestions, but if you want more, then do the google search.

Daniel Fast – LAST DAY!!!

Posted in 21 Day Fast on February 28, 2009 by mikekeaton

Day 21 – John chapter 21

 

Back to normal?

 

“Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” “We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.  John 21:3-NLT

 

 

In John 21, the Lord had been crucified, then resurrected.  In the last 40 or so days between the crucifixion and the ascension, Jesus was randomly showing up and visiting with His disciples.  Peter, along with some of the other disciples had gone back to fishing. This is what they knew best prior to Jesus’ ministry and something at which they were successful, or so they thought!.

 

Sometimes we get impatient, waiting for something we know God has promised. During that time, we go back to what we were good at, or what we thought was the thing to do, only to find it’s just not the same.  Tomorrow, what will you do as far as your spiritual life is concerned?  For the last 21 days, you have sought the Lord, prayed, fasted, connected to Him, talked to Him, read His Word (Gospel of John) and Lord willing, grown closer to Him.  What will you do tomorrow?  Life back to normal?  Back to gluttony and eating for you glory vs. His?  Will you go back to what you were before our Daniel Fast?  I hope not. 

 

I pray that you will not –THIS TIME- identify with the disciples, and “go back to what you were doing before”!  if you do, I pray that you, like the disciples will find that it just isn’t the same and you don’t find success there apart from the Lord.  But if you do, I pray the Lord will reveal Himself to you once more and let you know that your way will not work.  You will need to listen to Him, and do what He says to do, and then find success.  That is what the disciples did.  They were fishing but “caught nothing”.  Only when they listened to Jesus and followed His instructions, were they successful.  But then, they left that success to go hang out with Him on the beach.  Why?  Because He changed their lives.  Life “back to normal” just did not seem as it once did.  I pray yours doesn’t either!!

Daniel Fast -Day 20, fri.

Posted in 21 Day Fast on February 27, 2009 by mikekeaton

Day 20 – John chapter 20

 

Revealed

 

John 20:27(NIV)- Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

 

I am always amazed at the mercy and grace of Jesus.  After all He had been through just 3 days earlier, when He appeared to His disciples, especially Thomas, He could have been impatient with their unbelief and said, “look, what’s wrong with you people”, but instead He was full of grace and mercy and met Thomas right where he was and helped him cross the line of faith.  Jesus wanted Thomas, as He does you and me, to believe in Him so much that He “proved” Himself to him by His wounds!  Isaiah says “by His wounds you will be healed”

 

Do you believe?  Jesus wants you to believe in Him.  Jesus wants a close relationship with you.  He will meet you right where you are.  Why have you been fasting these 20 days?  Has Jesus “revealed” Himself to you?  In what way or ways has He met you right where you are in your unbelief?

 

Don’t’ you find it interesting that right here at the end of our reading in John, some of His, so called, disciples are just now believing in Him?  As we approach the end of our fast, how do you find yourself believing?  What answers have you received?  How have you grown?  Have you been overwhelmed by a fresh sense of His grace or faithfulness?  Are you realizing anew the power of His resurrection?  Have you witnessed an eye-opening miracle firsthand in your own life?

 

What will you do with such grace and mercy revealed to you?  Is it for your belief or others’ belief?  Read 20: 20-21, 30-31 again.  But what will you do with this powerful discovery? How will you tell others about your encounter?

 

If you like, share your personal testimonies by posting a comment for all to read and believe, or email your story to stories@crossroadswalton.org

 

Our last chapter and post will be tomorrow, I will share what God has been teaching me at that time, until then…enjoy being blessed….

Daniel Fast – Day 19, thurs.

Posted in 21 Day Fast on February 26, 2009 by mikekeaton

Day 19 –John chapter 19

 

Right vs. Right

 

Sometimes we have the “right” to do something, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the “right” thing to do. We might have the “right” to enjoy the money we earn, but the “right” thing to do may be to give it away. Often, what’s right for you, may not be what’s best for others. What is always “right” is what would bring honor to God. Jesus understood the scope of his rights and what would honor God:

 

“…Don’t you realize I have the power to release you or crucify you?’ (Pilate

speaking) Then Jesus said, ‘You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above’ …” John 19:10-11 (NLT)

 

We know Jesus had the power to immediately put a stop to everything.  Jesus could have pulled rank if … if He wanted. But what we see here is a picture of total surrender and submission to authority by Jesus. Authority, which was actually given by Him and His Father!!  Jesus had the right to call down ten thousand angels, but he chose to do what was right for God’s children, for others!. Jesus came to fulfill the will of the Father, not His own will and knowing that “this suffering” and His crucifixion was the only way the plan of salvation could be accomplished.  This is a vivid illustration of what Paul said…

 

“He gave up His divine privileges” (Philippians 2:7).

 

He didn’t stop it all just because He could; or because He had the right!!  He was looking at the bigger picture, God’s greater purposes. What greater purpose or will do you think God is calling you to? What “rights” might you have to surrender to step into this call? Choose what is “right”.

Daniel Fast – day 18, wed.

Posted in 21 Day Fast on February 25, 2009 by mikekeaton

We only have a few days left…if you have not yet posted what the Lord has revealed to you or how you have grown to another level spiritually, I want to encourage you to do so.  I will be posting my learnings toward the end of the week of what the Lord has been teaching me.  I will also be posting how to break a fast, because you don’t want to immediately go back to eating like you did before the fast that would be painful!!  Not to mention the spiritual damage.  Well, enjoy today’s devotion and reading, it was a great chapter…

 

 

Day 18 –John chapter 18

 

Hearing from God

 

Prayer provides us an opportunity to seek God and invite His power and presence in our lives. Yet it demands that we come to God with authenticity. We call it “getting real” with Him. There is a place in prayer that we all come to – the line of truth – truthfulness within ourselves and truthfulness with God. At this place, the decision is simple – are we willing to stand with truth or hide from it? Are we willing to place everything on the altar and invite His inspection or shut our ears to His still, small voice?

 

Jesus answered Pilate’s questioning of His kingship with these words “everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18:37). In other words, we too will listen to him (openly invite and receive His Word into our lives) when we take the side of truth. This is the place of raw authenticity with God. This is the place where real change happens. 

 

Often, my experience has taught me that such a moment happens toward the end of a time of fasting.  Sometimes, the Lord wants us to come completely to the end of ourselves.  Only here is where we “can” be real with God.  Have you been hearing from God during this time of prayer and fasting?  If not, don’t despair, persevere to the end, you may be surprised how He meets you and speaks.  If you have, then, what else does God want to say to you?  Don’t miss a thing!!  Focus!!  Pursue Him, with full transparency before Him, fully open your heart to hear the truth and receive it in you, to be changed by it.  As you seek God with honesty, draw closer to this place of wholehearted truthfulness with Him. It is there He will speak… it is there you will hear.