To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams. (Dan. 1:17)
Expanded Passage: Daniel 1:15-17
I was sitting in a worship service when I felt God prompting me to fast. For the following year, I fasted from buying clothes for myself. What began as a simple and seemingly frivolous yes to a nudge from the Holy Spirit grew into a deeper dependence on God and a trust in his provision. What I didn’t know at the time was that God was preparing me to trust him even more. Shortly after that year of fasting, my husband and I felt God’s prompting again. This time, we sold almost everything we had and moved to New York City to start a new church.
Fasting can bring clarity. For Daniel and his friends, God gave gifts of knowledge, understanding, and the ability to interpret dreams. Maybe God would have given these gifts regardless of their circumstances, but as they trained under the watchful eye of the guards and ate a diet of vegetables and water, perhaps these men gained clarity. As their stomachs growled, they learned to depend on strength from the Lord. As they craved something sweet, they were reminded of God’s goodness. Instead of relying on the nourishment of a vast array of food, they turned to the nourishment from the faithful one, and God strengthened them immensely.
God’s promptings may be subtle, but when we respond in obedience, what we gain can be significant.
Pay attention to God’s prompting, and quickly respond.
Jenn Petersen is an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church, Director of Mobilization NYC for International Justice Mission, and co-founder/pastor of Resurrection Life NYC in Manhattan.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.