Fast to Feast

by

Bryan Craig

“Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.”  So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days.  At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food.  Daniel 1:12-15

 

I believe in the power of Fasting.  Throughout the Old Testament, it is clear that this was a common practice, especially in times of mourning, of fear, of seeking the Lord.  And we know that Jesus, right after his baptism and before his public ministry, had a period of 40 days of fasting in the desert.  Later, Jesus is teaching His disciples and mentions Fasting.  He says, “When you fast…”  He doesn’t say, “If you fast…”

One famous “fast” is found in the book of Daniel, as he asked for a special diet from the guards who were attending to him and his friends in captivity.  He asked them for a diet of only water and vegetables, not the heavy fare and wine from the King’s table.  Daniel wanted to make a bold statement as to the true King of his heart.  This is a mark of Daniel’s obedience and character that would be exemplified his entire life.  And these young men who ate this restricted diet, in fact, were healthier and heartier than all the rest of those who were eating the rich foods from the King.

I felt prompted to subject myself to a “Daniel Fast” starting September 1st and going until September 21st, intending to break it on the 22nd, my birthday.  It was a very private matter, but let me try to explain my intentions with this fast.

  • I wanted to purify myself…my body, my mind, my spirit.
  • I wanted to stand in the gap in Prayer, much like Daniel, who got on his knees 3 times daily to cry out to God.
  • I wanted God to break strongholds in myself and those around me where generational sin, worldly idols, hatred and wickedness seemed to be winning.
  • I wanted to pray for my country and for God’s Will to break through.

This fast may not sound like much to you, but I can tell you that when you seek to do anything bold for the Lord, the resistance comes from the enemy, and it comes relentlessly.  There were times that I felt SO weak, as I craved protein and carbs.  In those moments, I found myself asking the Lord to feed me.  I asked for His Bread and His Wine to fulfill me and strengthen me and sustain me, and He answered my prayer every time.  It was as if I understood The Lord’s Supper better than ever before…His body, His blood, poured out for me.

There were other temptations with relationships where the Devil tried to divide with misunderstandings and miscommunications.  It was tangible!  In my weakened physical state, I found a spiritual strength to endure that brought peace in the midst of chaos.

I was journaling about my Fast one day, and I accidentally wrote the word, “Feast” instead of “Fast”.  It was strange, and yet, just as I was about to cross out the “e” in my journal, I made a spiritual connection.  Yes, Fasting is not a time to be weak, pitiful, somber.  Fasting is a gateway to a FEAST, a time of communion with the Lord where we eat from table of the King of Kings…the food He gives us is a true Feast, giving us spiritual nourishment like none other.

This confirmed a truth about Fasting I had always thought.  Fasting denies our bodies their most basic need, and we will our bodies into submission to the spirit within us, which is fed and controlled by the Holy Spirit.  This is a battle, for the flesh does not die easily.  But once the submission is complete, there are spiritual breakthroughs!

Well, all of this would be tested in a major way, as I came down with COVID on Day 16 of my Feast.  The final days of my 21-day Daniel Feast were spent in exhaustion, aches, chills, fever, so my body was weaker than ever.  Amidst all of this, I felt a spiritual strength that was unwavering.  God knew before I started this that I was going to get COVID…perhaps He was getting His servant ready for the battle.  Perhaps He was helping me understand fasting more than I ever had before.  When I am weak, He is strong.

As a matter of fact, as I reflected on the “E” that I had inadvertently added to the word FAST to form FEAST, I believe the Lord told me that it stood for “ENTRUST.” Yes!  This whole journey of Abiding with Christ is one of Entrusting our lives to Him.  Just as we say, “Personal Abandonment and Absolute Trust” are the doorway to intimacy with Him, the word “Entrust” says so much.

I have survived my battle with COVID, and I have found a strength that Daniel and Jesus found in the midst of their battles.  My perspective has forever changed in regards to fasting and living life, as the things this world has to offer, the spoils from the king’s table, are less attractive than ever before.  I long for the real Feast!

So, I want to encourage you to Entrust your lives to the Lord.  It may help you to do a Fast, to deny your body its desires for a period of time, so that you, too, might break through and find the FEAST your soul is longing for.