For as long as I remember the first month of January has always been a time of personal reflection, goal setting, extended prayer and fasting. Fasting is defined as an abstinence of food but I have broadened the meaning, personally, to abstain from extra curricular activities, reading anything other than inspirational or spiritual content, and social media. Doing without these “daily” activities has been the highlight of the year. Even though the first few days of going without food, reading content and social media, is difficult, it has been extremely rewarding.
Before you quit reading, please, let me explain. Practicing the Daniel Fast for 21 days has been better for me physically and mentally. Daniel, in the Bible, ate only fruits and vegetables for 10 days. later, he entered into another fast continuing for 21 days. The 21 day fast consists of eating only fruit, vegetables and grains, especially abstaining from sugar, fat, and chemically induced foods.
Reading material consists of inspirational materials only, basically, not reading the news, (which usually I do every day). Starting a Bible reading plan has been fundamental and writing regularly in my prayer journal during these 21 days, has been paramount. A prayer journal has been a record of prayers, thoughts and ideas during the 21 days, however, writing occasionally through the year has been a regular practice also. Sometimes picking up a devotional book has been invigorating, pick up a copy of Highpoint Book, for your 21 day Daniel Fast.
Through the last ten years a 4 to 5 day stay in a cabin or condo has been the highlight of the 21 day Daniel fast. Staying alone writing, praying, jogging, thinking, goal setting, and prioritizing has been a true delight. Working harder with greater determination without a time of rest, reflection and relaxation only wearies the spirit and damages our thinking.
Abstaining from social media has been a retreat from blogging, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Checking email becomes less frequent. Sorry if I don’t acknowledge your birthday, update my status or send out a Tweet of something I just read but a 21 day break will enhance my social media later. I have set some automatic Tweets and may send out some automatic blogs but my next written blog will be towards the end of January.
Why would anyone want to do so a grueling task? Before you count me as a legalist, I have no force, duty, work or command obligating me to this 21 day fast. Fasting for 21 days is a joy, a love, a complete step of “knowing what is best.” Many may start a diet, a budget, or “turn over a new leaf,” but for me starting the year off with a 21 day fast has a long list of benefits.
Focus is increased To see clear – clutter must be removed. While subtracting lesser elements from my life the important comes to the top. Priorities are maximized in my life.
Writing is clearer Clarity is grasped by every writer. Clarity is best when you have eaten right, prayed well, and removed less meaningful tasks from your schedule.
Prayer is richer You are no closer to God than when you pray. Prayer is intensified and enriched.
Bible reading is enlightening While not striving to be a scholar the love for the word of God has naturally increased during the 21 day Daniel fast. The Holy Bible is a mirror of who I am and a testimony to who Jesus really is.
Thinking is clear Just eating the right foods can clear your mind but withdrawing from the clutter of life can expand your vision. If you are trying to find the will of God, the purpose of God for your life or the reflection of God’s character in your life, the 21 day Daniel Fast may be for you.
Life becomes sweeter It isn’t because troubles go away but the courage to face them has been the reward of spending more time with God. Worries become dim, complaints don’t sting as much and steadiness abounds.
Time is fulfilling Finally feeling the benefits of a day well done is an outstanding reward of abstinence. Goals are achieved, time is invested rather than spent, the day finishes with contentment.
God’s presence is near Finding a closeness to God is the real reason behind the entire 21 days.
Comment: What would you add to this list of benefits?
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