By: Steve M. Woods
“So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting.”
Read Isaiah 58
Many will gather at homes, nightclubs, city streets, and churches to bring in the New Year. Each in their own way. But one motivation most people have in common with a New Year celebration is that this is a time of reflection, commitment and renewal. This year we plan on bringing in the New Year with a small gathering of friends at my home for a time of worship, prayer and fellowship. During a time of prayer I was led by the Lord to participate in a “Daniel Fast” as a way to usher in the New Year. My challenge to my friends and family for this evening of worship is to see who will join me in the Daniel Fast.
The Daniel Fast is a 21 day fast where you eliminate certain foods and drinks for the purpose of drawing closer to God and seeking his will. Fasting is spiritual warfare for breakthrough in prayer, guidance and direction, healing, and spiritual renewal. The Daniel Fast is a time of personal consecration as we seek God while expecting in anticipation for his best in our lives. Fasting demands sacrifice, repentance, commitment, intercession for yourself and others, and it will require an adjustment to your typical diet. Remember, fasting is not about food but about faith in God. Our faith is believing in God’s promises to answer your prayer according to his will. But before you participant in any kind of fast it is recommended that you get the advice of your Physician. Are you are ready to experience God’s best for youself, and your family and friends for 2014?
If you would like to participate in the Daniel Fast there are plenty of books and websites to help you get started. The Daniel Fast limits food options to only fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, quality oils, and water. There are amply of recipes for delicious foods to eat for the Daniel Fast. The following chart below provides categories of food included on the Daniel Fast, as well as foods that are restricted. Enjoy!
Foods to Eat on Daniel Fast
Fruits This category can include fresh, frozen, juiced, dried, or canned fruits. Fruits include but are not limited to bananas, blackberries, apples, apricots, cantaloupe, boysenberries, blueberries, figs, cherries, honeydew melon, raspberries, cranberries, grapefruit, grapes, guava, kiwi, lemons, limes, pears, mangoes, oranges, papayas, peaches, nectarines, pineapples, raisins, plums, prunes, watermelon, strawberries, tangelos, and tangerines.
Vegetables This category can include fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned vegetables. Vegetables include but are not limited to broccoli, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, beets, asparagus, sweet potatoes, collard greens, cabbage, carrots, parsley, cucumbers, cauliflower, celery, mustard greens, chili peppers, ginger root, rutabagas, corn, potatoes, eggplant, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onions, radishes, sprouts, scallions, spinach, squashes, tomatoes, watercress, turnips, yams, and zucchini. If you are not allergic to soy, veggie burgers are also an option.
Whole Grains This can include millet, whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole wheat pasta, barley, rice cakes, grits, whole wheat tortillas, and popcorn.
Legumes This category can include canned or dried legumes. Legumes include but are not limited to split peas, dried beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, cannellini beans, black eyed peas, black beans, white beans.
Nuts and Seeds This list includes cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame, and peanuts. You can also enjoy nut butters, such as peanut or almond butter.
Quality oils This includes olive, peanut, canola, grape seed, and sesame.
Beverages Limited to only water, including spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.
Other foods Vinegar, tofu, seasonings, soy products, salt, herbs and spices.
Foods to Avoid on Daniel Fast
Meat and animal products All meant and animal products including beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and fish, as well as others.
Dairy Products All milk, butter, cheese, cream, and eggs.
Sweeteners All sugar, honey, raw sugar, molasses, syrups, and cane juice.
Leavened bread Including Ezekiel Bread because it contains yeast and honey, and baked goods.
Refined and processed food Including artificial flavorings, white flour, white rice, food additives, chemicals, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
Deep fried foods Including but not limited to French fries, potato chips, and corn chips.
Solid fats All shortening, lard, margarine, and foods high in fat.
Beverages Including but not limited to tea, coffee, herbal teas, energy drinks, carbonated beverages, and alcohol.
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” Matthew 24: 7-8
Could 2014 be an historic year of major prophetic significance? Many Bible experts agree that end time prophecy is starting to escalate with the recent increase in earthquake activity, mass sinkholes swallowing up buildings, cars, lakes and people, drastic changes in our climate, historic volcano eruptions around the world, wars and rumors of wars in the Middle East, and the daily mass die off of animals, fish and birds. Could it be that God is warning and preparing the world for the soon coming tribulation period, and the return of his son Jesus Christ?
April of 2014 could be a very important month for biblical prophecy with the start of a series of blood moons on major Jewish feast days. Jesus said one of the signs of the approaching apocalypse would be the blood moons. The four blood moons have only happen seven time in 2000 years. This rare Tetrad happen in 1492 around the time that the Jews where being persecuted and expelled from Spain. During this time they hired Christopher Columbus, a sympathizer for the Jewish cause, to find them a new home. God lit up the sky again with the four blood moons when Israel became a nation in 1948 after being persecuted and scattered all over the world. Then during the six day war in 1967 Israel regain Jerusalem as their capital for the first time since the time of Christ and the four blood moons appeared again as a sign.
Another important event that could happen in April of 2014 is an historic seven year peace agreement with Israel and Palestine. Secretary of State John Kerry told the news media on July 30, 2013 that they have a goal to work out a comprehensive peace agreement within nine months (April 2014) that would lead to an independent Palestinian state. Just recently John Kerry told reporters that they hope to have a framework agreement for the peace treaty by New Years Eve of this year. This peace agreement could very well be the seven year covenant as spoken about in the book of Daniel that initiates the 7 year Tribulation known also as Daniel’s 70th week.
Whatever happens in 2014 one point we know for sure is that time is running out. Biblical prophetic events are unfolding daily before our eyes on TV news and the internet. Israel is God’s divine prophetic time clock which is counting down to the day and hour of the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When Israel became a nation again in 1948 God’s stopwatch started to countdown. According to scripture this generation will not pass away until we see the coming and soon return of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Change is coming, and coming soon. Will you be ready?