361. Daniel Fast

361. Daniel Fast

Daniel Fast starts from next Sunday. It is our annual partial fast, which we do for 21 days to reorient our relationship with food and media, and seek deeper intimacy with God. It involves eating only vegetables and water, abstaining from meat, dairy, sugary food, caffein, and media for 21 days.

It has been 7 years since we started doing it, and I’ve participated in it every year. Despite the many benefits I experienced after, I don’t think I anticipated it wholeheartedly before going into it. But recently, I feel a bit excited because it now feels like an annual reset point. Eating healthy and control amount of food is difficult when you do it alone, but it gets much easier when done together. There are a few diet changes I’ve started in the last few years. I still maintain some of them, but I gave up on some. Daniel Fast is a wonderful opportunity for me to strengthen existing changes I’ve made and revive the ones I failed to maintain.

Eating and spirituality have deep correlation. Many ancestors of faith are known for their fasting, such as Moses, Daniel, Esther and so on. Jesus also fasted before he was tempted. The Christian life is built on the paradox of “to die is to gain” (Phil 1:21) and “to lose is to keep” (Mat 16:25). It sounds illogical, but this simply how God works and brings benefits into our lives. Fasting is one of the main disciplines that reflects this truth. We think we are giving up something so dear to us only to gain something we could’ve never gained without it. Giving up certain category of food and media we crave brings freedom we deeply desire within.

Of course, fasting without spiritual purpose is just dieting. The goal of fasting is always seeking deeper intimacy with God. When we reduce the type of food we eat, and the time we are on the media, we realize how much time we had all this time to read the Bible and pray.

Fasting is difficult to do on our own. When there are other people doing it, ride the momentum and join. You don’t have to do the full fast. You can just do media fast, which will have tremendous benefit for your mind, your body, and your spirit. But you will never know about it until you courageously give them up. Remember, we gain by losing.