Dieting is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions that adults make each January. At the start of each year, more and more churches promote the Daniel Fast, based upon a ten day challenge made with a guard in Daniel 1:11-12. This diet involves fruit, vegetables and water to challenge and encourage members to develop healthier eating habits. Some who have been successful adopting Daniel’s diet into their daily lives may even consider a fluid’s only fast. This follows Jesus’ model in Matthew 4:1-2 prior to beginning his earthly ministry. Beside losing weight, my ultimate goal for fasting is to feed my faith.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh, Galatians 5:16.
Unfortunately, fasts are not for everyone, especially for those with medical conditions. Others find that fasts result in irritation, easily annoyed by the slightest thing. Whether you attempt to fast or not, everyone is under attack, wrestling with the human flesh inside of you. If you use the Devil’s temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4 as a case study, the flesh is awakened by weakness. However, each soul is different, vulnerable to various types of temptation. Thus, one person may be tempted daily by food, another struggles with obedience and some simply possess bad judgment. In the end, you have to decide if you are going to feed faith or your flesh?
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want, Galatians 5:17.
How you respond to this question will dictate the path your life takes. The imagery of Matthew 7:13-14 illustrates how attractive the broad road can be. Thus, if you don’t exercise the discipline necessary to keep the desires of the flesh in check, faith will be crippled. One of the reasons why I start each January with a modified Daniel Fast is to reconnect with God. It doesn’t take much to become sidetracked or be sucked back into the bad habits of your past. Therefore, if you find yourself fighting a losing battle with your flesh, try a new approach with a combination of fasting. praying and worship to ensure that your faith will be well fed.
by Jay Mankus