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10 Things I Want to Happen in 10 Days

I have this love-hate relationship with fasting. I love the after-effects but really struggle through denying myself food in order for God to do something incredible within me!

As a church, for the past few years, we have started the year off with a traditional 21 day fast. This year however, I believe that God is calling for us to fast for 10 days!

Why you may be asking? Well, towards the end of last year in my devotional reading through the book of Daniel, God highlighted to me the change that Daniel and his friends made in order to bring about something new. Daniel and his three friends were taken captive by the super power of the day. They were selected to be trained in all the wisdom of the day and the new world that they had been taken into. The problem was though that they were to eat food that had been offered to idols and that came from the kings table. To them, their faith in God would not allow them to eat such food. So Daniel asked the chief official if they could just eat vegetables and drink water. Here is how Daniel records the chief official’s response:

Daniel 1:9-15

“Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel. But he responded, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king, who has ordered that you eat this food and wine. If you become pale and thin compared to the other youths your age, I am afraid the king will have me beheaded.’”
“Daniel spoke with the attendant who had been appointed by the chief of staff to look after Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. ‘Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,’ Daniel said. ‘At the end of the ten days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king’s food. Then make your decision in light of what you see.’ The attendant agreed to Daniel’s suggestion and tested them for ten days.
At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king.”

When Jesus was asked about fasting, He replied with a parable. (A parable is a natural story with a spiritual meaning) The parable was about the wisdom of not using a new piece of cloth to patch an old garment and then Jesus reinforced the principle with another analogy. He said: “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be stored in new wineskins.” Luke 5:37-38

We fast to renew ourselves to contain the new “wine” that God wants to pour out into our lives. He has given us abundance but God in His amazing generosity, wants to pour out more of His precious Holy Spirit into us, so that we can give more to those far from Him. If we don’t renew the “container”, Jesus is saying, it will burst when the new life is poured in.

2014 was a great year of increase and abundance in Urban Life. Just in our average attendance, we increased by 30% across the family of churches. Thirty percent is amazing!! God wants to give so much more however, so we respond to His call to fast for renewal!

Here are 10 things we can be trusting God for during our 10 day fast:

  1. New wine for the new wineskin
    • Personally for each of us, as well as for all of us corporately, that our hearts, emotions and our spirits would be renewed in order to receive the abundant life that God is going to pour out this year.
  2. For God to be first and centre in our lives
    • Matthew 6:31-33
      “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need
      .”
  3. Create
    • David prays in Ps 51 – Create in me a pure or clean heart
    • God specialises in emptiness! He created the world from nothing so if we allow Him, God will create something brand new out of our emptiness.
  4. Renew
    • That each of us may experience a greatly renewed desire for God and His Word in us.
  5. Restore
    • David continues his prayer in Psalm 51, asking God to restore the joy of his salvation to Him. If our joy is low or run out, why not believe and trust God to restore in us the joy of our salvation?
  6. Presence of the Holy Spirit
    • We need to avoid being distracted (like Martha was) but rather focus on being present in His presence. That way we get to experience His true presence to the fullest.
  7. Wisdom and Favour for Life
    • Even as Daniel and his friends denied themselves the king’s food, they flourished and received favour from God and from the king but also grew in wisdom and knowledge. May God give us wisdom during these ten days, a word spoken in this season that will bring about a future filled with abundance!
  8. A new Journey
    • The ten days of “testing” that Daniel and friends undertook, led to a three year journey of learning and they became the stand-out men of the day. 
      “When the training period ordered by the king was completed, the chief of staff brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and no one impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they entered the royal service.” Daniel 1:18-20 
  9. Overflowing buckets
    • From our series “Simplify” the question is being asked, “How full is your bucket?”. Buckets represent our lives, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Our desire is to see everyone overflowing with the life of God in these ten days and beyond!
      “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your life. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”  Luke 6:38
  10. Ten Days to 10X More
    • I love the testimony that is given about Daniel and his friends during their time in the king’s employ: Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.

I am believing for the first ten days of February 2015, to be the beginning of a journey to ten times more of all the above – for everyone in Urban Life.

Author: Craig Clark

6 Comments. Leave new

I haven’t been back to church yet this year, but God has been speaking to me of these three things: fasting, the lifestyle of Daniel and the old vs new wineskins! Excited for this process. Thanks Craig for the insights :)

Reply
Nokwanda Khuzwayo
26 January 2015 8:00 pm

Amen…. just prayed about such a few moments ago. Amen and amen and amen

Reply

This has been very helpful, thus is my second fast and it might be a shorter one. I fasted for 40 days the last time. I feel obliged to do the same again as i have done it before. So this could be a challeneg

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I feel that this fast will be challenging for me as there’s too much happening in my mind. But, I feel confident that at the end of the 10th day, I’ll come out victorious. Thank you Craig for reiterating Daniel’s lifestyle!

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I had two dreams this morning – absolutely from God. One was about testing – relating to 10, and one was almost a commission from God – about the hungry, homeless. Would love to share more at the prayer meeting tonight.

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