21 Day Daniel Fast
Why Fast?
 
At The Highlands, we have a discipline of seeking the Lord at the beginning of each New Year. While we are always attentive to what Jesus is saying, the season of a new year offers us the opportunity to examine our relationship with Christ and realign the places where we have drifted, as well as to hear fresh direction and promises for our families and ourselves for the next season of life.
 
If you have never participated in a fast before, we strongly encourage you to join us. Fasting is a biblical discipline that Matthew 6 reminds us should be part of our lives, just like praying and giving. Fasting refers to a period of time when a believer chooses to go without food or other things in order to become more fully dependent on God. Fasting is “unplugging” from other sources so that we can more fully “plug into” God.
The Highlands 2018 Fast

January 8 – 28, 2018

We encourage those who are able to participate in a 21 Day Daniel Fast and to renew their discipline of daily engaging God’s Word through the Life Journal Reading Plan. Fasting is a wonderful time to invest in quality prayer, journaling, and reflection, to hear God’s specific direction for your life.

Whether you feel led to fast fully, do a Daniel Fast, or fast a specific area like TV or social media, remember that Jesus’ ultimate desire is for you to draw closer to Him during this time.

Fasting Affects the Whole Person
 
The Body. Certainly our bodies are affected as our diet is changed, for some in very dramatic ways, during the Daniel Fast. Many men and women experience detoxing from caffeine, chemicals and sugar. The symptoms are most often headaches, leg cramps, fatigue and malaise.   Most people lose weight during the Daniel Fast. And many report healings from diabetes, allergies, arthritis and cancer. 
 
The Soul. Frequently referred to as “the flesh” in the Bible, the soul is also greatly impacted during the Daniel Fast. The soul is the seat of our emotions, intellect, personality and will. It is in the “soulish realm” where we experience cravings, frustration, anger and even happiness. During the Daniel Fast, your soul may very well rebel against the dramatic change in your diet. Experiencing and winning this battle over the flesh is often one of the most powerful lessons of the Daniel Fast.

The Spirit. Our spirit is that born-again part of us that surrenders to God and then abides with the Father and the Son. Our spirit is filled with the Holy Spirit when we yield to Him.  During the Daniel Fast, we want to put our spirit in charge of the other two parts of us.   When our flesh is acting out with a craving, we take control of it with our spirit (just as a parent takes control of a rebellious child). Fasting is always coupled with a spiritual goal. So during this time of fasting, you will want to focus on prayer, study and meditation.

How Do You Fast?
1. Fast with a Purpose
 
Before you begin, decide on the purpose of your fast. For example, what is your greatest need at this time in your life? Invest some quality prayer time as you decide.
 
Then make a plan for your prayer and study time during the fast. Gather books and study materials to help feed your spirit and guide your daily quiet time. Most men and women on the Daniel Fast find it helpful to journal.
2. Choose Your Fast
 
Common options include:
  • The 21-day Daniel Fast
  • A modified Daniel Fast or other food fast
  • A full fast (water only)
    or juice fast
  • Non-food fasts (social media, TV, music, etc.)
We encourage you to prayerfully listen to Jesus as He directs you on the type of fasting He would like you to participate in during this time.
3. Prepare and Finish Well
 
Prepare for the spiritual and physical aspects by establishing a regular quiet time before you begin and by easing onto and off of a food fast. Also be sure to drink lots of water.
 
As you conclude your fast, it is helpful to reintroduce foods slowly. Writing down what God has spoken to you will also help you remember it after your fast ends. 
4. Fast with Grace

Rely on the Holy Spirit to give you strength when you feel tempted or weak and seek accountability to help you overcome problem areas. Believe that you can go beyond where you’ve previously been.

If you fall short of your goal, don’t give up. Realign yourself and your expectations and continue on in your fasting plan as you grow nearer to Jesus.

 

Helpful Resources

What is the Daniel Fast?

The Daniel Fast is a biblically based partial food fast. There are two anchoring scriptures for the Daniel Fast.  In Daniel 1 the prophet Daniel ate only vegetables (that would have included fruits) and drank only water. From these scriptures we get two of the guidelines for the fast:

1. Only fruits and vegetables

2. Only water for a beverage

Then in Daniel 10 we read that Daniel ate no meat nor any precious breads or foods and he drank no wine for 21 days. So  from this scripture, we get a third guideline:

3. No sweeteners and no breads.

Another important guideline is drawn from Jewish fasting principles, where no leaven is used during the fast.  So that’s why yeast, baking powder and the like are not allowed on the Daniel Fast. Finally, with all the above puzzle pieces, we conclude that no artificial or processed foods nor any chemicals are allowed on the Daniel Fast. Be sure to read the ingredients on labels of prepared foods to make sure they only include Daniel Fast friendly ingredients.

 
What If You Have Health Issues?

Fasting should never bring harm to the body. And if you have concerns, be sure to consult your health professional before going on the Daniel Fast or making any major dietary change.

The Daniel Fast is a very healthy way to eat! So health professionals will support this eating plan, but might suggest a few modifications if you have health issues that need special attention. For example, pregnant and nursing mothers might get instructions to add fish, chicken and cheese into the Daniel Fast, but otherwise stay the course. Diabetics may need to add more carbohydrates or include chicken and fish. Also, those who are especially active either through sports, bodybuilding or vocation may need to slightly alter the eating plan.  Please check with your doctor if you have any concerns at all.