The Acceptable Christian Sin of Gluttony #86 / Daniel Fast Encouragement Message #22
 
TEXT: Daniel 10:1-14:

1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.

2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.

3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;

5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:

6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
 
7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.

9 Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.

10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
 
11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
 
12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
 
13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
 
14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

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Keyan Soltani said, "We are a culture of abundance that indulges and abuses -- fasting is a means of God’s grace to embrace someone greater than our appetites."
 
Daniel’s experience in this passage -- especially the fact that he fasted for 21 days, but didn’t receive a response from God until after 21 days -- ought to encourage us as we fast and pray because, even though it may seem as though God is not hearing us, he is. The messenger who came to Daniel told him that his words were heard in Heaven “from the first day” of his fast.
 
But somebody else was paying attention to Daniel's fasting and praying as well. The messenger tells Daniel that he has come because of Daniel's "words" or prayers, but why is he so delayed in arriving? He says, "The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days." This prince of Persia, according to Dr. Wiersbe, is a "satanic evil angel" who opposed God's plan for the Jews' return to their homeland which was being carried out through Cyrus, the king of Persia, at that time. For 21 days, this evil angel fought against the heavenly messenger, trying to prevent God's message from being delivered to God's man. But, the angel says, "Lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me." With Michael's help, the messenger was able to break through the satanic opposition and reach Daniel with a message from Heaven.
 
You have probably never really considered it, but there are satanic forces observing you as you fast, pray, and seek God's face. Even now, a message from Heaven may be on its way to you -- some insight, some revelation, some direction -- but Satan knows that if you receive that word from God, it could change your life, and he has sent his evil angels to oppose it. The fact that Gabriel was hindered by one of these evil angels for 21 days tells us that the battle is very real. Heaven and Hell are really at war in the invisible realm, and sometimes, it will seem as though Hell has the upper hand. What should you do? You should not grow discouraged as you fast and pray. What would have happened if Daniel gave up after ten days? He may never have received his message from Heaven. Your answer may be delayed, but it will arrive. Fast on. Pray through. Don't give up.
 
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PRACTICAL INFORMATION REGARDING THE DANIEL FAST
 
This information comes from "The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life," by Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman. The book guides readers to adapt the Daniel Fast and continue it as a lifestyle. The authors write:
 
Change is a matter of choice. We can't just passively sit around doing nothing and expect our lives to get better. We must make healthy choices to use the resources God gives us, and the first healthy choice is to carefully carefully choose what we think about.
 
It is often said, "You're not what you think you are, but what you think about, you are!" Did you get that? If you are going to change your life, you must first change the way you think — your perceptions about God, about yourself, about life, about food, about health, and about everything else. Change always begins with new thinking. We must change the patterns of our mind.
 
The biblical word for personal change is repentance. Most people completely misunderstand the term. The popular conception of repentance is "Stop sinning! Quit doing bad things!" But the word actually means to change your mind. It comes from the Greek word metanoia, which means to change your perspective, think in a different way, make a mental U-turn. Of course, if you change your mind, your behavior will follow, but repentance starts in the mind, not in actions.

 
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Now, in this series, as we focus on  overcoming the sin of  gluttony, and managing our bodies as God intended, we must not lose sight of the most important part of our existence -- our spiritual life. Even those of you who are fit, who eat right, and who exercise regularly must still address the condition of your soul. You may keep your body in perfect condition till the day you die, but you will still die -- we all will, and the only thing that will matter is the condition of your soul. Is your soul in shape? Is your soul in right standing with God?
 
The only way to make sure of that is to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin and the consequences of sin. He alone can save your soul, put you in right standing with God, and ensure that you do not perish in Hell. Now, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, here is how you can trust Him today.
 
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God's law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
 
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death…"
 
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
 
Now that is bad news, but here's the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
 
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
 
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
 
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read "What To Do After You Enter Through the Door". Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."
 
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
 
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.