Day 18 of 21 • This day’s reading
Day 18: Daniel’s Fast and the Spiritual Dimension
The Daniel fast is a popular type of Biblical fast practiced today. Yet, there are actually two fasts that signified Daniel’s ministry in Babylon and even future prophecies applicable to us.
The first fast, in chapter 1, was in Daniel’s early days of training in Babylon. While he was only a youth, Daniel wanted to have a healthy mind, body, and spirit for his service to the king. He showed self-restraint by eating only vegetables and water for 10 days. With astonishing results, he continued for three years. Despite serving a king that did not acknowledge their God, Daniel and his friends were spiritually convicted to fast and represent their God well. By doing so, God accelerated their intellectual and spiritual capacity and made them 10 times better than all the enchanters and magicians in that Kingdom. God honored Daniel’s lifestyle of purpose, intentionality, and sacrifice.
The second fast, in chapter 10, was also a partial fast over three weeks. Despite his prominent position, Daniel initiatively fasted for spiritual illumination and breakthrough. He stripped his diet to the basic nutritional necessities, focusing on the priorities of his spirit and needs. He understood that he was fighting spiritual battles, and prayer and fasting was a weapon that overcomes spiritual resistance. And true enough, there was a battle between an archangel and a demonic spirit in the spiritual realm, which delayed the answer Daniel was looking for. But victory came and Daniel was given prophecies by God that spoke into the future for Israel and the end times.
As we’ve come to realize, fasting is a paradox. Both of Daniel’s fasts seem to succumb to weakness by subtracting foods, yet they each produced a strength that shifted kings and nations. God honors the setting of ourselves apart, the acknowledgement of dependence in our spirit, and His strength that is made perfect in our weakness. Then as we step into fasting with the heart intention to listen, God can whisper revelations and stir spiritual breakthroughs for even beyond our lifetime.
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