Daniel’s Fast: The Path to Wisdom and Understanding, by Laura Leal, VLCE

posted May 23, 2023

Eating a natural thing we do, an activity carried out instinctively to survive. But the science of eating is much more profound than counting calories, knowing about macronutrients and micronutrients, and learning cooking techniques. Eating right is fundamental to our physical health, emotional health, and spiritual wellness.

Photo credit: Unsplash.com, Sixteen Miles out

You may wonder, “What does food have to do with spirituality?” I discovered that food plays a very important role in our spiritual life in reading the book of Daniel in the Bible.

Daniel was one of four young captive royal Israelites brought to serve Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar ordered that Daniel and the other captives be fed the food and wine from his kitchen; however, Daniel refused and asked the chief of staff to give him only fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

The chief of staff was fearful of this request and replied, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age?”[1]

But Daniel insisted and said, “Please test your servants for ten days. Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with the young men eating the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance to what you see.”[2] The chief of staff agreed and fed them a Vegan diet.

Photo credit: Unsplash.com, Jack Sharp

After ten days, “To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.”[3] They were presented to Nebuchadnezzar and the king discovered they were different from all the other captives and servants. “In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.”[4]

What Daniel did was a kind of modified fast. In these ten days he abstained from eating anything other than fruit, vegetables, legumes, and water. Fasts are used in the spiritual life to strengthen the spirit and gain control over our desires. The connection between the spirit and God gets stronger and the person recognizes God’s voice when practicing a fast. While sleeping, dreams are clearer, and this is another way for God to communicate. Fasting is usually done when a person needs to get God’s direction over a situation.

Photo credit: Unsplash.com, I.am_nah

The Bible mentions other types of fasts, like Jesus’s fast, where he spent 40 days and nights fasting at the desert with no food or drink. (This is not recommended. While some people do undergo medically supervised fasts of this legnth, they drink ample water during the process. 40 days without water is impossible to survive; Jesus did it with divine intervention). More common fasts include: three-day water-fasting like Queen Esther; 16 or 24 hours total fasting (not even water); and abstaining from certain foods that are hard to stop eating, like a 21-day no-sugar fast.

An intentional Vegan diet can catalyze your connection to God and the supernatural world. Abstaining from animal products, accompanied with daily prayer, meditation, and journaling (writing down dreams and things that come to mind when talking to God) will build a closer relationship between the individual and God.

[1] Daniel 1:10 NLV

[2] Daniel 1:12-13

[3] Daniel 1:17

[4] Daniel 1:20

Photo credit: Laura Leal

Laura Leal is a Main Street Vegan Academy graduate from Monterrey, Mexico. In the food business since 2001 and a Chef instructor since 2006, Laura’s passion for food and teaching has always been fused. Her mission is to offer more plant-based options in Monterrey. You can follow her on Instagram @crownedinvictory727, and her website, Escuela de vida.

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