Soon we will celebrate a New Year, but you could be celebrating a new you in 2018, too!
MeadowBrook will begin 40 Days of Renewal on January 8. Our purpose is to be intentionally healthy in every area of our lives. We will seek renewal of body and spirit through prayer, fasting, worship and reading the Bible.
There is no fasting needed for access to God, however, fasting does have great benefit for those who find their spiritual rest in Christ Jesus. Jesus has accomplished our salvation, and he declares us to be righteous. There is nothing that you and I do to earn our salvation, and there isn’t anything that we do to keep it. By God’s grace, we are saved through faith, and by his grace our salvation is complete in him.
Fasting can benefit your physical and spiritual health. As part of our 40 Days of Renewal, MeadowBrook will be introduced to a partial fast that is mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Daniel.
Daniel was a faithful servant of God, even though he was enduring difficulty as a captive of the Babylonians. He resolved that he would not defile himself with all that was being offered during his captivity. He prayed to the Lord God three times each day, he sought the word of God, and he ate only foods that the law of God allowed for Israel.
Once Daniel and three of his friends, who were faithful to God, asked to be put to the test for 10 days. Whereas others were given the king’s food and drink, Daniel asked that the four of them be given only vegetables (food from seed) and water. When the trial period was complete, Daniel and his friends appeared better in appearance and they were healthier than those who were given the king’s food and drink. Later, Daniel fasted this way for 21 days and ate no delicacies, meat or drank wine.
During MeadowBrook’s 40 Days of Renewal, we will invite The Brook and friends to join together for a Daniel Fast. We’ll purpose to eat only certain foods, including vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds and whole grains. We will drink only water.
40 Days! That’s a long time for a partial fast! Yes, I know, but physical and spiritual disciplines take a while to form. Let’s purpose to do the partial fast for 40 Days with the understanding that we’ll each reevaluate on the 10th day. If the fast is helping you to focus on God more clearly and is revealing the weaknesses of your flesh, while helping you to press into the presence of God, and you feel better, look better and are clearer in thought, then you’ll probably want to press forward. If you don’t feel more energized and spiritually refreshed, then you’ll stop the fast and continue on with the 40 Days Renewal with prayer, praising and reading the Bible.
If intentional, a physical fasting has great spiritual benefits. As we restrict our food consumption and are deliberate to detoxify our bodies, we purpose to do the same spiritually. During the Daniel Fast, we will exclude all meats, dairy products, sweeteners, leavened bread, refined and processed foods, deep-fried foods, solid fats and all non-water beverages. At the same time, we will limit our consumption of TV, movies, and secular entertainment and online access. Such limitation will be difficult, but it will allow us to more fully press into the renewal that God desires us to experience for 40 Days and beyond.
Will you join us for 40 Days of Renewal? I believe that your body and spirit will benefit greatly. Are there others you know who may be interested in 40 Days of Renewal? Invite your co-workers, neighbors, family and friends to be renewed together. I’ll share much more from the MeadowBrook platform during upcoming Sundays and Wednesdays.