January 19, 2018

Doing the Daniel Fast? Check the Expiration Date!

Daniel Fast

After coming home from a routine trip to the grocery store, I started putting my groceries in the fridge and pantry. At first, it was just a normal household chore, but then my maternal nesting switch went into some kind of hyper, warp-speed mode. As I put the BBQ sauce and Cheetos in the pantry, I started looking at all the items on the pantry shelves. I began to realize that some of this stuff has been here for a while. So, I checked the expiration date.

One by one, I checked expiration dates on boxes of granola bars, cereal, crackers, microwave popcorn and even hot cocoa mix. How could this happen? I could not believe how many items were expired! Soon, I had two trash bags full of old stuff from my pantry that needed to go. I silently kicked myself for letting good food go to waste. The silver lining from my pantry purging process is that I now feel great knowing I have neat and tidy pantry shelves without the extra clutter of food gone bad.

Although I am a little embarrassed to share that I let my pantry get this way, I think there is an important message in all of my pantry decluttering.

You see, Sunday’s sermon was about the important role decisions play in our life. We were reminded of David’s stunning victory over the giant Goliath. In the ESV version of 1 Samuel 17:46, David confidently tells Goliath, “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head.”

Pretty graphic, but I love the authority and boldness of David! He was so firmly grounded in his confidence in God. David’s confidence and trust were based on real life experiences. How do we know this? Because when King Saul questions David’s ability to fight the giant, David responds by sharing his track record of God-enabled accomplishments.

“And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:37

When the giants in our life have us backed into a corner, we can come out swinging! Why? Because our confidence comes from truly knowing the God we serve, and His track record is perfect!

The army of Israel were taunted by Goliath for 40 days. When David arrived on the scene with all of his swag and confidence in the Lord, he told Goliath, “this day” you are going down!

How long have your giants taunted you?

As you begin this New Year Fast, it is time to check expiration dates. Some giants have clearly out-worn their welcome.


Grow Deeper: Week 1 Journal Reflections

  1. Just as my pantry had food that should have been thrown-out long ago, our minds and hearts can hold on to things for far too long. Is there a pain, hurt, regret, attitude or mindset that is holding you back? Has fear, doubt or unbelief hung around too long? What about that voice inside your head that questions if you are really good enough to do that thing you believe God is nudging you to do?
  2. How is your confidence in God right now? In a previous blog post, I shared a testimonial about a breakthrough I received during a period of fasting. That is why I like to start periods of fasting with a list of people and issues that I want to focus on during my prayer time. It helps me document my prayer requests so that I can look back and see what God has accomplished. Perhaps you are entering this year’s fast with some very specific and important concerns. While we do not know when or how God will move, we can choose “this day,” to trust Him completely. We can rest in God’s track record in our lives. Yes, the situation may be very painful, scary, exhausting or even unfair, but He promised to never leave or forsake us. Take a few minutes to write a list of all the “giants” God has slayed in your life. Remember, David’s confidence in God did not come from reading Biblical accounts of God’s power. David learned to trust God through personal experience – tough experiences actually. We cannot bypass the difficult situations in life. God wants to use tough seasons to accomplish something far greater than we can imagine.
  3. When my daughter saw the transformed pantry, she commented on how drastically different it looked. She thought the pantry shelves looked “empty,” but I see them as neat, clean and ready for new things. After all, new wine is never put into old wineskins (Matthew 9:17). If we really want to live like it is a new year or a new season in our life, we have to be willing to throw out the old stuff. Check the date. During the Grow Deeper New Year Fast, we have 21-days to purge, declutter and throw-out old stuff. Pray and ask the Lord to reveal if there is anything He wants you to let go of and give to Him. For accountability and further reflection, write down what He reveals to you.

How does this resonate with you? Please comment below.

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