It’s the glorious and hopeful start of another new year, and tons of churches across the nation are joining together in a 21 day fast called the “Daniel Fast”. Now if you’ve never heard of the Daniel Fast, it is a partial fast involving a diet of solely fruits, veggies, natural whole grains and nuts. The premise comes from the Old Testament in Daniel 1:8-16 where Danny and his three buds have been taken to Babylon and the king orders them to eat all of the rich food and drink from the king’s table. Daniel insists that if he will be allowed to eat only vegetables and drink only water for ten days, he will be healthier and stronger at the end of it than the other group of men who will remain eating the king’s royal food. And as you will see at the end of this passage, Daniel shows them up big time:
8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
So obviously the Daniel Fast is not a full-fledged “no eating for 40 days and 40 nights while hiking through the desert with nothing but sandals and a camelskin of water” fast, but it still is an incredible opportunity to separate ourselves from our flesh and all its demands, and just spend some time getting quiet before God. When we get all wrapped up in self-gratification and what “I” want and what “I” need and how “I” feel, we start to drown out God’s voice and all that He wants.
Fasting has many spiritual benefits, but not a lot of benefits for your taste buds. Here is a miraculous (yes I said miraculous) recipe for fudge that is completely Daniel Fast friendly, and taste bud friendly too! And did I mention there are only four ingredients?
- 1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 T cocoa powder (unsweetened, unprocessed)
- 1 t vanilla (real, not imitation)
- 1/4 t sea salt (optional)
- Dump everything in your food processor and pulse until moist and combined.
- Form into small balls or squares.
- Believe the goodness
If you’re not fasting, these are still a wonderful and healthy treat to satisfy a nagging sweet tooth. If you are fasting, enjoy the rest of your time. Remember to not make it too much about the food you’re eating or not eating. God wants to talk to you. Listen, learn, and grow.