At the beginning of the year, I participated in a 40 day study called the Daniel Plan designed by Rick Warren. Now this is not to be confused with the Daniel Fast, Daniel Diet, or the Daniel Detox. Through this study, I gained a new appreciation for the Old Testament character, Daniel and realized why so many eating plans modeled his commitments. He was a man of strength, faith and courage. Not only did he refuse to eat the royal food and wine, he challenged others to do the same and after several weeks, they proved to be stronger, healthier and had more energy. You might say he was the Biblical precursor to Richard Simmons!
Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan is not just focused on food but a healthy lifestyle which includes five factions; Faith, Food, Focus, Fitness and Friends. The key to success is to learn to balance all five of these areas and make healthy choices. Being a part of this 6 week study made me more aware of unhealthy choices I make in my diet, and unhealthy choices I make in the other four areas as well. The book supplies the participant with the knowledge, the tools and the support to be successful in all five areas. However, I began to pick and choose what I wanted to incorporate into my lifestyle, thus compromising the possible results. This made me ask myself, do I do the same thing in my faith disciplines? Do I pick and choose what is more convenient, easy, less time consuming, thus compromising my relationship with my Lord Jesus?
Rick Warren writes in his book The Daniel Plan: “Daniel demonstrated his pursuit of excellence in His faithfulness in doing little things when no-one was watching. He had strength to do what was honoring God, what was right, even in the face of danger or conflict or against what everyone else was doing.”
You see Daniel was consistent in every area of his life and he did not waver from his principles and faith. I want to be like this in every area of my life but sometimes I feel as though I struggle as Paul writes in Romans 7:15 “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can’t. I do what I don’t want to—“
God uses many tools to push me to be more disciplined, dedicated and connected to Him. This time He used the example of Daniel and a study by Rick Warren. It looks like I might need to read that book again.
Dear Jesus, Thank you for the example of Daniel, his strength, commitment, courage and faith. Help me to not just read the words of your teachings, but to internalize your precepts, put them into my daily routine, thus strengthening my walk with You. Amen