So, I’ve been fasting. Juice fasting mostly, but not this time. This time I successfully completed a three-day water fast. This means that I had nothing else but water for 72 hours.
The last few fasts were spiritual fasts, which are combined with prayer for deliverance to overcome various defects of character. I solemnly believe in the soon coming of Christ and a preparation is necessary to endure until the end (Read Matthew 24 KJV). Now, I had a conundrum since I returned to writing my blog once per week: “What am I going to do when I fast?” Well, I had the epiphany to write about it. It dawned on me that some of you may also fast and an honest relation of my experience may help. So, you may ask, “What are the date balls about?” Well, I’ll get to that later in this post.
My fasts mainly focus on temperance. I mean, who doesn’t like to eat?*smile* Well, a Facebook friend that I team up to fast with (great tip if you need any support) noticed that I was struggling with my juice fasts and sent me an inspiring quote from a book called Prayer, p. 74 by ML Andreasen. It talked about Christ’s fast in the wilderness and how He overcame the temptations that came upon Him. What stuck with me was this on p. 74.2: “He was overwhelmed as the magnitude of the task rose before Him. Food was forgotten, rest was forgotten, the wild beasts which surrounded Him — all was as nothing compared to the test He must pass. As He daily grew weaker, His determination grew stronger. He would be faithful unto death. On Him depended the whole plan of redemption; He must not fail.” Amen! When I read this paragraph, I thought about my ability to be faithful unto death. I have NO ABILITY to be faithful unto death, but Christ does! I have faith in His ability to save us amply, fully, and entirely (See Selected Messages, Book 3, p. 172.3). Andreasen’s chapter is all about prayer and fasting and it is a wonder to read, if you have tried to fast and pray and have failed. It points you to where your focus must lie.
See, my focus was on my ability at first. This is how Satan gets us. I would fast one day a week without any problem. I did this for about a year, and then stopped once I moved (thinking I would return to it again once I was settled). When a friend contacted me to fast, I was fully confident that I could fast successfully with her, but I struggled. Every tantalizing thing came before my mind. I was hungry. I failed. See 1 Corinthians 10:12 KJV. I was discouraged. I thought, “How am I getting weaker spiritually?!? I used to fast without a problem each and every week!!” I was very disappointed until my fasting partner sent me the aforementioned quote. Hallelujah! I immediately determined to look away from myself and look to Jesus. It was the key to my success!
This fast I just completed today was just water, no food or juice. During the first day of this fast many things started to go way wrong. By the way, I am also a stress eater. However, as the tensions built, I laid them all upon Christ, turning to Him three times a day with pointed prayers of my need for His strength. He came through for me with strength! My troubles yet abound, but I have strength to face them without food. Each time temptation would come, I recited every Scripture I wanted to to commit to mind. Hunger pains ceased as my focus turned to the BREAD of Life and feasted on His words. The saying is “Mind over matter,” but I practiced Christ over matter. My spirit was revived and my strength increased. I praise the Lord! He is faithful (See 1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV)! I pray this testimony on my fast encourages you. I decided to also share a bit of a tip here with a raw date recipe. Here it is…
Now, about those date balls!*smile* Did you know that DATES, yes dates, are a wonderful food to consume when breaking a fast? Dates have terrific health benefits in reducing blood pressure, promoting cardiovascular functioning, reducing stroke, aiding with respiratory and digestive health, preventing colon cancer, among many others (See Food Facts on Dates by Mercola). One notable health benefit is for pregnant women as dates significantly produced a more satisfactory delivery. Pregnancy gets even sweeter! Rich in vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and fiber, dates are often used at the end of long fasts (See Organic Facts article on the health benefits of dates). I eat them when ending short fast!*smile* Dates can also be used as a healthy sugar substitute (See the Living Healthy Mom site on the benefits of date sugar). Continue discovering more amazing health benefits of dates by also reading this article on dates from Food to Fitness. Enjoy discovering how good sweet dates are for our bodies! Indeed, the Lord is good!
Now, my siblings and I have been eating raw date balls since childhood. My mother did not allow us to eat candy and so she made our treats. I have always loved these date balls. I pray you do too!
- 2 cups dates , pitted and soaked
- 1 cups walnuts (pecans or almonds)
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla, non-alcoholic
- Carob powder or extra-fine coconut shreds for rolling
- Soak pitted dates for one or two hours in just a little hot water, or overnight. The goal is to soften them.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Use a food processor to crumb walnuts and coconut.
- Add in the dates, vanilla and sea salt and process again until well incorporated into a sticky mass. If needed (and I very rarely need it), add date water to help mixture form into a mass. Be sure not to over process as the mixture should be able to be rolled between your fingers.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop the sticky date mixture, then roll between your hands to form balls and line them on the baking sheet. Here, if you wish, you may roll them in additional coconut shreds (I like to blend mine fine or process as pictured) or roll them in carob powder before placing them on the baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour to set.
- Store the balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week. They never last that long though.
- Depending upon the size of your tablespoon, you can make 20 or more balls with this recipe. You can make small balls or larger balls. Larger balls will make less.
Notes: You may freeze these and thaw them later. Freezing also makes them harder longer. Temperance is always good; so there might be some to freeze!*smile*
Also, though I usually soak my nuts to reduce the phytic acid, I do not soak my nuts for this recipe. This yields a firmer texture, but you may soak your nuts. In that case, I’d probably add more shredded coconut or it might be a bit wet.