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Daniel’s Determination

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank…” Daniel 1:8 (NKJV).

After the House of Judah was taken into exile by the Babylonians, King Nebudchadnezzar wanted the best and the brightest of the Exiles to serve in the king’s palace.  “Bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants [King Jehoiakim, king of Judah], and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good looking, gifted, in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand…” Daniel 1:3-4 (NKJV). 

Daniel was but a youth, somewhere between the ages of 14-17, when he was taken into captivity but he had enough teaching and knowledge of the Scripture to not want to be part of anything that was a direct violation of the laws of God.  Not only did he know, but he also had the courage, as a young man, to stand up to the Nebubchadnezzar and not defile himself.  Was there really anything wrong with eating the king’s meat or drinking the wine?   After all, others didn’t seem to have a problem with it. Perhaps because they were afraid of possibly being put to death.  But Daniel was not afraid.

Daniel knew that the king’s meat was culturally and ceremonially against God’s law and that the wine had most likely been offered up to idol gods.  This was wrong and he would rather obey God than an earthly power, therefore, he purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.  That is, he was determined, with all of his strength, with every ounce of his will, that he would not partake in what the king wanted in order to serve in his palace.  Thus, he requested that he, along with Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abed-Nego) only eat vegetables and water for ten days.  This is where we get the term “Daniel’s Fast”.

Even when the king changed Daniel’s name which means, “God is my Judge,” to the Chaldean name of Belteshazzar (“Lady, Protect the King,”), Daniel yet held true to who he was and his faith and trust in God.  Daniel believed that he and the three Hebrew Boys would be just as strong, smart, and healthy by obeying God and not eating the king’s meat than those who ate what the king ordered.

Fasting, along with prayer, is our key to victory.  When we fast and pray, mountains are moved, miracles are wrought, and deliverance of the devil takes place.  When the Disciples asked Jesus what they could not cast out the deaf and dumb spirit out of the young boy, Jesus replies that, “This kind can only come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”  (Mark 9:29, NKJV).  Fasting helps us focus our energies on the resources available in our great God.  It builds our faith to believe that, “all things are possible to him that believes.”  God’s power is released if we have the faith.

During this time that we set aside to consecrate ourselves, I encourage you to fast and pray for the things you need God to do in your life.  There are three types of fasting you can choose to partake in:

  • Daniel’ Fast – no meat, no sweets, and bread.  Drink water, eat fruits and vegatbles.
  • Partial Fast – from bedtime to perhaps 3:00 or 4:00 pm or from sun up to sun down.
  • Full Fast – drinking only liquids; you determine the number of days (2, 3, 5, etc.)

Fasting should never be considered as a competition and, if you are taking special medications or under the doctor’s care, always consult with your doctor before deviating from your normal, daily diet.  And during times of fasting, you should consecrate yourself by limiting certain activities such as television, physical activities, and perhaps some social activities.  Remember, it is a time of meditation, quiet time, reading, listening to uplifting music, reflection, and praying.  Attending church services is always in order and many churches set aside the month of January for revivals, conference all or “telephone” prayer, shut-ins and other special services.

Whichever approach you opt for, the objective is to be drawn closer to God, to grow spiritually, to have unprecedented victory, and to receive from God the things you are desiring as you fulfil His will for your life.