Daniel turned down delicious kingly delicacies in turn for a delicious caesar salad, no dressing, no croutons, no parm. So… Romaine. Yumm.
Last time I wrote about how Dan was living for a different calling, a calling that was above even what the king had for him. He was able to say no to something that looked delicious so that he could instead say YES to something later that would be more delicious. When Dan said no to a foreign king, he was saying YES to the King of the World. He knew that God had bigger plans, even though he didn’t know what they were.
I submit that God has bigger plans for our Daniel Fast (and every other fast, and every other non-fast day, too) than we can imagine. In Isaiah, there’s a beautiful passage about fasting. (It’s Isaiah 58; you should look it up in its entirety. My mama always taught me to look up all my own scriptures and double check them. People are very good at misleading. Plus you don’t even know me. I could be way off).
So God says:
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
What if we did THAT on our Daniel Fast? What if we took our fasting as if it were a time to right wrongs and heal hurts and come along side people who needed to see the beautiful light of Jesus!? I totally realize that this passage is from the OT where God is specifically talking with Israel. But this theme is so consistent throughout scripture. There is FREEDOM in Christ and as His followers, we are to be ambassadors of the Freedom that comes only from Him!
As American Christians, we have so much to give. Compared to the world at large, we have so much money. If we could allow Jesus to help us climb out of the debt pit, we’d *feel* like we had so much money, it’d be that much easier to give. If we took time to notice the hurt all around us — or if we got crazy and even started looking overseas at the need there — we would be ashamed I’m sure of our spending habits in light of the pain around us. At least Husband and I were. Ashamed. Oops. I mean “convicted.”
We have so much opportunity to bless. What if we all allowed Jesus to move in our hearts AND our finances, setting us free so we could really, truly, crazily bless others with the blessings He’s given us? What if we fasted like this? What if we broke the chains of oppression and fed the hungry and provided shelter for the wanderer?
I just know God has plans for us besides just paying off our Christmas debt in time to rack up more next year. I know He has plans for us besides just “fasting” so we can feel like we are doing a hip Christian thing and maybe losing some weight. I know His plans for us involve healing hurts.
When are we going to get legit about this? I know there are people all over America who were legit about this long long long before I was even born. There have been generations and generations of Jesus followers who have healed so many hurts and broken so many chains of oppression.
I guess what I’m saying is, when is my generation going to break the record? When will my generation take it to the next level? 🙂 I theorize it’s when we get our butts out of debt — say no to the delicacies of this world — and say yes to what Christ has for us. 🙂