Summary: Have you ever heard others talking about a Daniel Fast and wondered what it was? Today we will address this question and find the answer from God's Word!
Mark 9:14-29 (29b) - “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.”
• Share the backstory of the text.
• It should not go unnoticed that the responses of Jesus, concerning the boy with the unclean spirit, were instructions that included cleansing for those who needed to help him get free.
o Fasting is a cleansing process (spiritually, physically, emotionally & sometimes relationally ‘unhealthy soul ties are broken’)
• Share personal stories of fasting experiences. (Process and Benefit)
I. Daniel Fast Defined in Scripture
A. Daniel was mourning in Babylonian captivity and he needed an answer from God.
1. The description of the man who came to talk with Daniel (from heaven) largely resembles John the Revelator’s description of Jesus Revelation 1:13-16.
B. Daniel 10:3 - I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
1. No sugars, deserts, meat, wine…
2. Anoint myself – He did not “pamper his flesh.”
B. The time defined in Scripture is Three Weeks! (21 Days)
1. “…till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”
II. How to Conduct Ourselves When We Fast.
A. It was prophesied that our generation would fast.
1. Matthew 9:15 - The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
B. Jesus instructs on concerning our proper conduct when we fast.
Matthew 6:16-18 - ESV
16. “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
17. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
18. that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
III. The Discipline of Fasting
1 Corinthians 9:25-27 - AMP
25. Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither.
26. Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary.
27. But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].
Fasting is “Spiritual Conditioning” for the Soul!
A. V.25 - The war between our flesh and our spirit is never more on display than when we are fasting.
1. Your flesh wants sugar… Your spirit says you want the intervention of God in your life more.
2. Your flesh wants to be pampered… Your spirit says, Pay attention to the spiritual part of your life.
B. V.26 - We should set goals and have a purpose for fasting.
1. Ask yourself, “What do I want from God?”
2. We can’t buy what we want from God with a meal but fasting helps us position ourselves spiritually to receive what we have asked God for!
C. V.27 - We need to take responsibility for where we are spiritually and for the spiritual direction of our lives.
1. No one is more responsible for the “spiritual you” than… you!
2. We teach, train, encourage and promote Jesus but only YOU can make the decision to allow Him to be the LORD OF YOUR LIFE!
A Long Close: The Struggle is Real!
Galatians 5:16-26 - Read and Expound showing the Biblically defined differences between the Flesh and the Spirit.
• Works of the Flesh
• Fruit of the Spirit
24. And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.
25. If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.]