The Potter’s House Fort Worth
Pastor Patrick E. Winfield II
“2017” 21-DAY FOOD AND FINANCIAL FAST
Monday, January 9th to Sunday, January 29th
This is a year of great PROGRESS!!! 5777 is the year on the Hebrew Calendar. It is the year of the Sword – a year of dividing and discerning between what is God and what is man; what is divine and what is demonic; what is His will and what is ours. The greater the discernment the greater the PROGRESS! A more detailed reading of 5777 is, “Behold my kingdom sign, to observe the end of the old and beginning of the new.” Moving from old to new requires an intention towards PROGRESS. Newness is not overnight but it is progressive. The intent of progress is to become better. Seven is the number of completion but completion does not mean finished it means mature. God’s expectation is that we mature in our relationship with him, our callings, and our demonstration of the Kingdom as disciples and wise stewards of His grace. Maturity is intentional and not accidental. Our intention will start with our fasting.
This year, along with our food fast, we will participate in a financial fast. With that said, we will again enter into a time of fasting and praying for the sake of growing closer to God and giving the first fruits of our year to him. In the Old Testament, God commanded Israel to observe several set times of fasting. For New Testament believers, fasting was neither commanded nor forbidden in the Bible. While early Christians were not required to fast, many practiced prayer and fasting regularly. Jesus himself affirmed in Luke 5:35 that after his death, fasting would be appropriate for his followers.
I believe this year will be a different year for us but He is calling us to a higher place of commitment to Him. I believe that just as Moses instructed the people to fast and sanctify themselves prior to receiving the Ten Commandments; it is encumbered upon us to do the same because we will need to be clear and hear every word that proceeds from the mouth of God for us to truly progress.
There are various reasons why we fast but none of them involve attention towards the flesh. So fasting with prayer is a spiritual discipline that helps us to:
- Direct our hunger toward God.
- It clears the mind and body of earthly attentions and intentions to draw us close to God.
- So, as we gain spiritual clarity of thought while fasting, it allows us to hear God more clearly.
- Demonstrate a profound need for God’s help and guidance through complete dependence upon him.
- To recapture authority over our decisions and choices to please God.
A Financial Fast will help us to create discipline with our money and help us to become better stewards with the finances that God gives us. It has been stated that money is a terrible Lord but a sufficient servant. Its design was never to be loved but to be used for greater purposes. God uses it to examine and locate the heart.
Remember this,” For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9: 6-14
It will help us:
- Become More Conscious of Our Spending Habits. If you stop for a cup of coffee in the morning, a snack in the afternoon, and a soda in the evening when you gas up your car, you may be spending $20 per day without even realizing it. A financial fast slows down your spending and helps you become more conscious of when and what you spend.
- To Become Wiser with Our Current Finances.Limiting your spending for 21 days won’t be a financial game-changer. However, it can help you save a little money, which can be a great motivation going forward. Seeing how painless it is to hold onto $15 or $20 per day simply by being more conscious of your decisions can give you the drive to chart a pay-down plan for your debts or reach a host of savings goals.
- Reduce What You Put on Credit Cards. Too often, when you don’t have enough money to buy something, you put it on a credit card. A fast can save you a lot of debt during the three-week period, and it can have a huge long-term effect if you learn to restrain yourself after the fast is complete.
- To Practice Biblical Principles – to demonstrate that ‘giving and tithing” is truly an ACT and extension of our worship unto God!
- To Adjust Mindsets and Tithing Perspectives into Becoming Better Stewards – we are “stewards” of God’s Money. A steward is a person who “manages or looks after (another’s property). It all belong to God not just 10% when we have a revelation of what a “steward’s” responsibility is it will adjust the way we manage and spend the 100% He has entrusted to us. It’s a 100% blessing not a 10% – what are we doing with the left over 90%?
- To Challenge Ourselves – to be a “sower”, budget the 90% and give your tithes and an offering consistently.
- To set aside a special offering to give to the Lord at the end of the fast.
Ex: Fast from Fast Food and outside eating – the money that you would spend on convenience – Fast it and set the money aside for an extra offering
Ex: Needs Vs. Wants – instead of spending on your wants take or “Fast” that money and deposit it into the tithe fast.
Reduce Temptation. When it comes to fasting there will be gains and losses. Weight loss and the tendency to spend frivolously will be a loss. But the gain is a greater discipline towards God’s purposes. One of the first rules is to remove temptation as best you can from your home. A financial fast has the same effect on your wallet that the diet has on your waistline. If you don’t allow yourself to go to the mall or log onto Amazon, you won’t be tempted to overspend.
- The Lord will add to the church such to be disciple and equipped for the work of the Kingdom of God.
- Bishop TD Jakes and the first family as well as the Winfield’s, Brady’s and Hill’s– clarity, protection, wisdom and strength to equip the church.
- For church staff and leadership of all campuses
- For knowledge, understanding, wisdom and discernment to navigate life.
- Progress in our families, commitments, and communities.
- That God will develop our ability and resources to transform lives, build leaders and strengthen families and have greater impact on the community and the world.
- That every worship service, bible study, workshop, gathering, conference and event will manifest the Kingdom of God in power and character; grace and truth.
- That all of us will continue to see growth, development and prosperity in every area of our lives (i.e. faith, favor, family, business, education, relationships, finances, etc.)
- For clarity and progress in our thoughts, purpose, destiny and decisions.
- Progress in our leadership ability to equip and empower disciples for the work of ministry.
- For the spiritual progress of gifts, ideas, creativity and of our nation and world towards Kingdom living.
What to do on the Financial Fast?
- Make It Last for 21 Days. Three weeks is a perfectly reasonable period of time to cut back on your wants and focus only on your needs. If you commit for less time, you may not really absorb the benefits of a fast and the transformative effects it can have on your financial habits. However, a longer period could put your resolve and willpower to an unreasonable test.
- Only Purchase Needs. Unless you absolutely need it to survive, don’t buy it during your fast. That eliminates trips to happy hour at the bar, restaurant dinners, movies, online purchases, and even birthday presents for your best friends. Instead, your money should only go toward food, housing, medication, and other necessities.
- Pay with Cash Only When Possible. You become much more conscious of the spending process when you actually pay in cash. Those bills can serve as a potent visual reminder of the decisions you’re making, as you make them. When the cash stays in your wallet, you’re going to feel a lot better about your self-restraint.
- Keep a Spending Journal. Throughout your financial fast, keep a detailed log of what you spend, what you save, and where you may be struggling. You can refer to this journal when you’re all done to help identify spending triggers and habits you’d like to change. Before you begin your fast, write down your wants and needs as you understand them.
- Delineate Between Needs and Wants. Your personal definitions of needs and wants are going to be different from other people’s. For example, while I consider a trip to the salon a want, some women might feel that it contributes to their professional image and therefore qualifies as a need. Knowing ahead of time can help take some of the temptation away – if you’ve already decided eating out is a want, it’s easier to decline an invitation from your friends.
- Be Accountable. Not everyone understands the purpose behind a financial fast, so you might find that some of your friends and family scoff at your experiment. Still, it’s important to be accountable for your spending, so be sure to find a support group or friend you can rely on during your fast.
What is the Daniel Fast?
The Daniel Fast is a biblically based partial fast. It is a method of fasting that men, women and young people all over the world are using as they enter into the spiritual discipline of prayer and fasting.
There are two anchoring scriptures for the Daniel Fast. In Daniel 1 the Prophet ate only vegetables (that would have included fruits) and drank only water. Then in Daniel 10 we read that the Prophet ate no meat nor any precious breads or foods and he drank no wine for 21 days. So from these scriptures we get three of the guidelines for the fast:
- Only fruits and vegetables
- Only water for a beverage
- No sweeteners and no bread
Another important guideline is drawn from Jewish fasting principles, where no leaven is used during the fast. So that’s why yeast, baking powder and the like are not allowed on the Daniel Fast.
Foods to include in your diet during the Daniel Fast
All Fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon
All Vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.
All Whole Grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.
All Nuts and Seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.
All Legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.
All Quality Oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.
Beverages: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.
Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.
Foods to avoid on the Daniel Fast
- All meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.
- All dairy products including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.
- All sweeteners including but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.
- All leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.
- All refined and processed food products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
- All deep fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.
- All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.
- Beverages including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.
During this time pray for the concerns that have been listed and anything else the Lord impresses upon your heart. Find time to mediate on those scriptures that will help you increase your devotion to God. I suggest Psalm 119. Every section in this psalm is headed by a Hebrew letter and there are 22. Meditate on a section a day. Bring your family together at least once a week for devotion and find some personal time at least once a day for your personal devotion time.
Remember if you fast without praying it’s just dieting!
Let’s all grow in grace and commitment in allowing His grace to change us.
For more on the Daniel Fast and recipes you can go to http://daniel-fast.com/about.html.
To download click the link below:
Word: 2017 21-Day Daniel Financial Fast