Archive for the Daniel Fast 2011 Category

Daniel Fast 2011 – day 18

Posted in Daniel Fast 2011 on January 28, 2011 by mikekeaton

Depending on when you started your fasting during this years Daniel Fast, today is either 2 days from the finish line for you or 3 or 4 days from finishing.  Either way, you are to be commended for your disciplining yourself for spiritual growth.  1 Timothy 4:7, says, “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness”.  whenever you focus your heart and mind and body to grow spiritually, its a good thing.

one thing I would encourage you to continue is your discipline.  not necessarily fasting, but ‘connecting’.  Connecting to God that is…dont just go through the motions and check off a list that you had a “devotion” or “quiet time”, but purpose and discipline yourself to “connect” with the Lord.  Hopefully this time of fasting has helped you, but now that its approaching being over, we are often tempted to go out and satisfy our flesh and cravings and gorge out and feast away.  It’s ok to celebrate, but remember what you have learned and don’t waste what you have learned by returning to your old ways.  a life of godliness involves regular daily discipline.

it’s like the training that makes a professional athlete, well, a professional athlete!  A lot of professional athletes go to what you and I would think are extremes, like, weighing the ounces of protein they are eating and timing the eating of those proteins at exact times in the day for optimal uploads of Branched-Chain-Amino-Acids for protein synthesis in their muscles…for what?  so they can have the “edge” on the field or court.  We would say they are nuts, but they would say that what they do is what makes the difference between the minor leagues and the majors, or the difference between the playoffs and winning the championship!!

What you and I do has far more eternal implications and yet we approach it with such a “slacker” mentality.  we are too comfy with a lack of discipline and let’s consider just one arena…sin!  So many times in my own life I am just too comfy with a little lust or a little gluttony or a little pride or a little fear, worry, anxiety, and on and on.

I, like you maybe, have too much of a slacker mentality vs. a edge mentality when it comes to spiritual matters.  Today, on our church’s prayer calendar, we are praying for “confronting the sin in our lives”.  What a prayer request!!  only if we all would do that today, try to eradicate sin in our lives, well, eradicate is a bit strong what about just confronting it?!  sometimes we just have to admit it and that is a great 1st step.  also in todays proverbs reading (ch 28), i read that if I want to prosper, I will not conceal the sin in my life, on the other hand if I confess them, I will receive mercy and Proverbs told me that I am blessed if I “fear to do wrong”.  Wow,  what a thought!  Do I actually “fear” to do wrong?  If I am honest, more often, i do not!  like I said, I get too comfy with my sin.

But I want blessing, and I want mercy, so, I must confront the sin that’s in my life and if that means more discipline in my life, whether its more fasting or otherwise, then its worth it.  I will have the “edge” on the field of life’s arena’s and be a champion for Jesus!!  awesome!!

Remember….”discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness”

blessings, mk

Daniel Fast 2011 – day 10

Posted in Daniel Fast 2011 on January 19, 2011 by mikekeaton

consider these words from God and how they might apply to you during this time of spiritual disicpline…

Isa 58:1-12
1 “Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid. Tell my people Israel of their sins! 2 Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me. 3’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. 4 What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. 5 You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord?

6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. 7 Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. 8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. 9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! 10 Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. 11 The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. 12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.

May the Lord be pleased with us with the kind of fasting that pleases Him!!

Daniel Fast 2011 – day 7

Posted in Daniel Fast 2011 on January 16, 2011 by mikekeaton

Eating for my Glory?

7 days –  Congrats!!  I have heard different comments from several people about this fast.  Some are finding it to be not “as bad as they thought” 🙂  others are wondering “what have I done” 🙂  Be encouraged, b/c the first of 3 weeks is almost over and God is just beginning to share with us what He has for us.  So, be encouraged and be steadfast!!

I was reading this morning again in Proverbs (in case you didn’t know, I read ‘the proverb for the day’ – which is the chapter for the calendar date, today was 16) (i encourage you to do the same), anyway, several things jumped out to me, like vs. 9 (it always speaks to me), “the Lord determines our steps”.  I often wonder, if He already knows, why doesn’t He show me?  Well, I conclude that’s why this journey is a ‘walk of faith’.  Also, and here is the main truth of this post, vs. 6 and 17, again spoke about the ‘fear of the Lord’.  This time it said that the fear of the Lord leads away from evil and that people who are fearing the Lord avoid evil.

I have felt guilty because I have blown this Daniel Fast several times already.  I try to live in grace but I just “want” some flavor or something sweet.  I will use good discipline for several days and then I will blow it and just feel awful about it.

For me, and maybe you, here’s the crux of the issue…who’s glory do I eat for?  mine or the Lords?  I will admit, when I give in to my passions and desires to eat, and to overeat (gluttony), I eat for my glory, and not the Lord’s and that becomes sin for me.

Proverbs told me this morning that to avoid sin (evil), the key for me is to walk in the fear of the Lord.  To honor Him, to please Him, not me, not my flesh, not my cravings.  He  has told me that if I will draw near to Him, He will draw near to me (Jms. 4).  So, to avoid sinning and eating for my glory, I must ‘fear the Lord’ and turn away from evil!!  Galatians 5:16, gives me this promise, “If I will walk in the Spirit, I will not fulfill the desires of my flesh”

I hope this encourages you and your focus in who’s glory you eat for!!  blessings…

mk

Daniel Fast 2011 – day 5

Posted in Daniel Fast 2011 on January 14, 2011 by mikekeaton

Sorry I missed yesterday’s post.  The day got away from me.  I am sure that will happen again, so if it does, at least you will know and understand that it happens to all of us.

we are almost completed with our first week.  I hope this week has helped your relationship to the Lord.  I know with me, fasting really clarifies my mind and focuses me greatly.  I have enjoyed that, especially in the midst of PHTS – post holiday traumatic stress syndrome – Ha! 🙂  On top of that throw a little sickness and then a week of ‘snow days’ and endless news reports about icy roads to where at one point major highway systems are graphically portrayed all the way down to a reporter standing by a ‘patch’ about 8×8 in size dramatizing its effect on passing motorists!! – AAAUUUGGGhHHHH!  can you feel it?! – ha!

Well, being ‘snowed in’ has had its benefits.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Word.  It’s been wonderful.  I saw something today that I have never seen before in Scripture, it was awesome!!  Remember how I said fasting clarifies and intensifies focus, it does!  Being sick has been a plus too, b/c honestly, my appetite hasnt really been there, thank God! I have struggled with the fast though, but God works most powerfully during struggle, at least from my experience.  So, I thank Him!!

Well, here’s a learning to share…it comes from this mornings Proverb (ch14), its about the “fear of the Lord”.  I have done a “fear of the Lord” study before, but at times God reminds me and shows me additional nuggets.

First, I have to admit that I depend on myself too much.  Consequently, I get frustrated alot b/c I am not that good of a leader, pastor, teacher, father, husband, and on and on ( I did insinuate I focus on myself too much didnt I?), well, sometimes I think, “man, if I was just like that guy, think of where our church would be, think of how much better my family would be”, or some other mental insanity and self-absorbtion.

Secondly, and this is the main point, God has taught me, and honestly I do believe this, that spirituality and my relationship with Jesus, is the most important thing and the best thing that I can do to be a better leader, father, husband, friend or otherwise.  It’s not my skill set, but my heart set on spiritual things.

Proverbs 14:34, said, “godliness makes a nation great”, vs. 2 said, “those who follow the right path fear the Lord”, vs. 26 & 27, said, “those who fear the Lord are secure” and the “fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain”.

what powerful truth to those of us who struggle with too much “self”.  its godliness that will make a nation great, or a church, or a family, or a _______ (you fill in the blank).  Godliness comes from the fear of the Lord.  in fact, they are kind of synonyms.  do you know where  the fear of the Lord comes from?

the fear of the Lord comes from pursuing Him!  getting to know Him!  drawing near to Him!  getting closer to Him!  all of which are “spiritual” things.  If we pursue Him a natural fear of the Lord will result, thereby putting us on the “right path” and making us wise, understanding and Godly, which is what will make a nation (family, church, business, etc.) – GREAT!!

not skills, but spirituality!!

so apply it to your life however the Lord desires for you, and I will do the same!!  Isn’t God’s Word AWESOME!!

blessings…

mk

Daniel Fast 2011 – day 3

Posted in Daniel Fast 2011 on January 12, 2011 by mikekeaton

I hope you all have had a great day and that you are finding your connection to the Lord to be gaining focus.  For today’s post I wanted to share a thought with you that was sent to me by a lady in our church.  She has always encouraged my walk with the Lord with her faithful prayers and spiritual focus.  She sent this to me via email the other day and I wanted to share the thoughts with you.  I think you will agree they are pertinent for this time.

She writes…,
Once again, the devotional from “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young is a timely message for us, the Crossroads family, as we begin our Daniel Fast in search of God’s leading and blessing this year. Of course, His Word is ALWAYS timely. But what a reminder to watch for and prepare for His work among us:
“January 11
Trust me by relinquishing control into My hands. Let go, and recognize that I am God. This is My world: I made it and I control it. Yours is a responsive part in the litany of Love. I search among My children for receptivity to Me. Guard well this gift that I have planted in your heart. Nurture it with the Light of My Presence.
When you bring Me prayer requests, lay out your concerns before Me. Speak to Me candidly; pour out your heart. Then thank Me for the answers that I have set into motion long before you can discern results. When your requests come to mind again, continue to thank Me for the answers that are on the way. If you keep stating your concerns to Me, you will live in a state of tension. When you thank Me for how I am answering your prayers, your mind-set becomes much more positive. Thankful prayers keep your focus on My Presence and My promises. – Psalm 46:10 (AMP)

Colossians 4:2 –  Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. -NIV

2 Peter 1:3-4 – His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. -NIV

His plan is already in motion for our church and our lives. We pray…..we thank….and we watch for His answers to unfold…(far more than we can hope for or even imagine!)

Fasting and Praying for the Shank family and for the Crossroads Family as we seek to grow and advance the Kingdom,
Ruth

Awesome Ruth!!  thank you so much for your heart and passion to seek God, for encouraging me with this and the permission to share it with others, so they might be encouraged.  Love you guys!!

Blessings…until tomorrow…

mk

Daniel Fast 2011 – day 2

Posted in Daniel Fast 2011 on January 11, 2011 by mikekeaton

I was reading in Proverbs 11 today and i was struck by the many comparisons of the wicked and the godly.   I noticed that the godly have “spiritual characteristics”.

If you track through the chapter, you will notice the godly are honest, humble, they choose to live right, they are good people, they have the knowledge of using the right words, they benefit a city and the people they live around, they are careful with their speech and are not gossipers, they show wise leadership, gain respect, are kind, have integrity, live free of punishment, are rewarded, they are generous and give freely, blessed by others, have favor, flourish like leaves in spring and their deeds are like seeds that sprout and give life.

That’s quite a resume!  But the thing that jumped out to me was that these traits are “spiritual”, they are traits of the “godly”.  then i jumped over to Psalms and read 101 and found David’s passion to live a life of integrity and blamelessness, and desired to avoid certain types of ungodly people and chose instead to find companions who were “faithful”, again, another trait of spirituality or godliness.

It would be easier sometimes i think to just try to be more honest, or just be more generous or just do more good deeds, but godly people just do these things because of who they are, not because of who they are trying to be.  these traits are the fruit of a godly life, not a godly life from the fruit of “acts of righteousness”.

That’s how i see this time of fasting and prayer for our church and for my life.  a time to produce fruit!  Jesus said, “by this is my father glorified, that you produce much fruit”.  But the production happens as a result of “abiding”, not striving.  this is a time for us to ‘draw near’ and let the glory of God shine on us and make us into who He wants us to be, not who we are working hard at becoming.  my prayer today is that you will not strive, but abide these next 20 days.  Abide in Him and He will produce in you a godly life!!

for more study on this read through John chapter 15.  blessings…

mk

Daniel Fast 2011-day 1

Posted in Daniel Fast 2011 on January 10, 2011 by mikekeaton

Well, it’s that time of year again.  Each January our church sets aside 3 weeks to seek the Lord through the spiritual disciplines of prayer and fasting.  We call it the “Daniel Fast”!  In the Bible in the  Old Testament book of Daniel, chapter 10, verse 3 it says this…

“I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips;

and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.”- NIV

We call this 3 weeks the daniel fast but dont necessarily observe the daniel fast in particular.  in other words there is a specific fast that you can do called the daniel fast.  Because we live under grace and not law we dont have to observe the daniel fast specifically.  at our church we just devote the three weeks to a time of fasting and prayer and give our church freedom to fast however they sense Holy Spirit leading them.

so, for the next 21 days choose a type of fasting for your spiritual vitality.  During this time choose to surrender something that would be a sacrifice for you.  i believe food to be the most compelling thing to sacrifice b/c we all like to eat.  so, choose to fast from a type of food, a meal or set a day aside for fasting completely, partially or otherwise.  a complete fast is liquids only.  Some people would consider a complete fast water only.  a partial fast would be liquids of your choice, including juices, milk, protein drinks, or cutting a certain type of food out of your diet, like, caffeine, sugar, dairy, or otherwise.

Another fast consideration would be to sacrifice something related to time, like replacing sleep with bible study and prayer, or fasting from TV, internet, social media, video games, or some other time related item.

either way the idea is to sacrifice something that you like that will require you to use discipline in order to focus your heart and mind on spiritual things.  The idea is to replace that thing you would normally do with focused time of prayer, bible reading, journaling, meditation, and connecting to God.

If you have never fasted before, I suggest you start off simple, but as the Lord leads.  If you have fasted before then you might want to consider taking it up a notch for greater discipline.  I cannot explain it but there is something spiritual about it.  the times that i have fasted for extended periods of time have always granted me greater clarity in decision making and closer intimate relationship with my Savior.

i am looking forward to hearing from you and hearing how God is working in your life through this focused time of prayer and fasting.  God will do great things!!

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” –
Jer 33:3 -NIV