20th of Iyar
Today May 25, the 20th of Iyar, is the day in biblical history where the glory started to move after the children at Israel rested and set up the tabernacle on their journey outside of Egypt. This happened a year after The Ten Commandments were given.
They resumed their journey when the pillar of cloud rose for the first time from over the tabernacle -the divine sign that would signal the resumption of their travels throughout their encampments and journeys over the next 38 years, until they reached the eastern bank of the Jordan River on the eve of their entry into the Holy Land.
In Exodus 40:36 says that,
“Throughout all their journeys whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the sons of Israel would set out “but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day when it was taken up. For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.”
Notice the children of Israel did not move until God moved. This is a lesson for us to be mindful when God is moving or directing, we must be sensitive to His moving. Let’s not limit the movement of God to moving in a church service. God is active all day and everyday throughout our lives. Follow when He is leading you from your job. Follow when he is leading you to a new city. Follow when He is leading you read a certain chapter in the Bible. Follow when is He leading you to pray. Follow when He is leading you to intercede on someone’s behalf.
It’s time to move and to be in sync with the move of God. You never know when it’s time to close down shop and move when God has moved.
The trend of partaking into the Daniel fast has been around for years. Many churches have taken it on and made it a part of their culture. When churches call a fast, it is usually the Daniel’s fast. We tie and cross the stories together to make it sound more friendly and attainable rather than telling the story how it is supposed to be. The word fast means to “cover mouth” or to abstain from food. If you are not abstaining from food, then it is not consider a fast. If you decide to take some food out of your diet, then it is a diet modification.
When I decided to study Daniel, I was very shocked on what I found out and that we have been approaching the Daniel’s fast completely wrong. It shows that we as a people do not read scriptures for ourselves and allow religious traditions to carry on for years.
It is all about going through the book of Daniel and really read about what is going on.
The church gets the Daniel fast from Daniel 1 when Daniel refused to defile himself and would not eat from the king’s table. He asked permission to just eat vegetables (it does not mention fruit) and drink water and for 10 days and they would be judge accordingly.
But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be observed in your presence and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king’s choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see.” So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king’s choice food. So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables.
We have taken this practice and said that when we go on this fast, we would gain intellect and wisdom like Daniel and the other boys had received. This went on for only 10 days. Not 21 days. This was technically not a fast. Nowhere in scripture does it say that it was a fast. It was an eating modification or diet. Daniel and the other young men decided not to go on the fast because they did not want to defile themselves. Their providence, Judah, were under Babylonian captivity. To partake in any Babylonian tradition or lifestyle would be dishonorable to God. So where did we get this from? Over in Daniel 10:
“In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar; and the message was true and one of great conflict, but he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision. In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed.”
Still, in this scripture it says that he did not eat any tasty food, meat, nor wine. Pleasant food in other translations. You have to understand that Daniel had the best of the best. He did not partake in the royal foods. The food that he did partake it could be define to vegetables and unleavened bread. Daniel went on a partial fast because of the news he received. There was so much adversity going on in the land. The Jews has the option at this moment to return to their land, but many decided to stay in Babylon and it grieved Daniel. Daniel constantly had dreams and visions and he was not in a good place. The burden of the people was upon His heart and all He could do was to cry and fast unto the Lord.
Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.”
This is not a pretty fast that we have portrayed it to be. For years, preachers and pastors have taught this story all wrong. And I am one of those. But I have decided not to walk in ignorance and walk in the truth. Daniel was praying for a nation and it grieved him so much!
So what does this mean?
We as a people are not ready to pray for the nation. We still are fighting over arguments on Facebook media by bashing each other in the kingdom. While the world is dying and perishing, we are caught up in the minor. The enemy has gotten us and we do not even know it. We are not ready for the Daniel fast mentioned in Daniel 10. We do not want that burden nor have a desire to have that burden. The state of the world is not getting any better and the earth is waiting for the sons of God to get in place. Romans 8:19 says that, “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.” The earth knows who we are but we do not!
So we must be conscious of partaking the Daniel’s Fast. If we are going to do it, let’s make sure we are doing it for the right reasons. I would not recommend this fast if you do not have a strong prayer life. This is another level of spiritual warfare and we must be secured and planted in the word of God.
For the past few months my new church has been in a season of transition. From new jobs to new homes, the church has been blessed. We have been exposed to great new relationships and been confronted with the truth of others in the midst of lies. There are those who experienced job loss and home loss as well. Many have experience the good side of transition and there are those who had been dealt a bad hand to play the best way they could but God never left their side. We also see those who refuse to transition and stay in the current situation they are in.
I experienced a taste of both sides. I received a promotion at my job that gave me $4,000 more a year. Two months later, I had to quickly move out of my apartment and into my mom’s house. The owner sold the building and did not tell the tenants that it would be converted for a place for the MRDD. We were supposed to be given 60 days but the previous owner refused to break the news and put the new owners in a bad position to tell us now we only have 30 days. So I quickly moved out of my house and moved everything in storage within 3 days from hearing the bad news. I had no idea what to do.
It moved me WAY out of my comfort zone. I am a person who lives alone and do not mind it. Perfect rent. Perfect place. Before given the bad news, literally my prayer was, “Lord, I have everything I need and I thank you for it. I do not ask for much so I am grateful for what I have. It may not be the best, but it fulfills my needs.” Then the doorbell rang. After receiving the news, I wanted to cry and scream but I remember the season the church is in that I currently attend: The season of transition. God is always moving and transforming us to look more and more like Him. When you are in a comfortable position, prepare to be moved to the uncomfortable. Just know that it is God’s Will.
How do you conduct yourself in the season of transition? What prayers are you supposed to pray? I am a very private person so for me to even write this is a huge step! One thing that I am learning in the midst of my transition is to wait and hear from the Lord. I have so many people in my ear telling me what I should do. Waiting in (not just on) God can seem like the longest wait but even in the longest wait has its meaning and purpose. He redeems time and restores the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25). You can have confidence that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28, NIV). Not one minute of your journey is a waste of time. See it instead as a priceless opportunity for learning and growth.
My prayers never changed because God remains to be faithful and good. A mind at rest stays at rest until an external greater force moves it. Transition requires the mind to shift from one paradigm (a way of thinking) to another. I had to see God in the midst of storm. I could not focus on the storm but what comes after the storm. Ecclesiastes 7:8 says that, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.” Even though the end of a thing cannot be made out at the moment, you got to keep your mind on the higher because God will always exceed our expectations (Eph. 3:20).
If transition is where many of us are in this hour, then humility will be the path to peace. If we act out of a humble heart we will show to ourselves and to God that we are the people He wants us to be. Don’t speak against transition but embrace it. Remember that God is always with you. Sometimes you may not be able to feel Him, but He is there standing by. Never try to figure it out on your own. God has the ultimate plan and answer during your season to transition. During the season of transition God, will mature you, grow you up, heighten your senses and allow you to be more aware of God in your life. Just remember to mediate and stand on His promises.