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Draw Near to God That He May Be Glorified


For a more in-depth teaching series on this content, please see Seven Keys to Kingdom Advancement.

Daniel Spirituality is a commitment to seek God wholeheartedly and in community throughout 2023.

The deep desire of many Christians today is to see God glorified in their lives, families and communities like never before. Pledging to Daniel Spirituality helps Christians please God by giving them a framework for faithful consistency in their ministry and devotion to Him, and helping  strengthen them for a vibrant walk with Him, including fillings of the Holy Spirit on an ongoing basis.


Here is a brief overview of the Daniel Spirituality Commitment:


The Daniel Spirituality Commitment

      1. Morning and evening devotions of 30 - 60 minutes minimum (8 of 12 per week).
      2. Weekly morning and evening church attendance lasting one to two hours (3 per month).
      3. Fasting Wednesdays and Fridays until 3pm minimum (6 per month). Sometimes it may be needed to switch fasting days, for example, to fast on Wednesday and Thursday because of a special situation on a Friday. 
      4. Monthly all-day seeking God (8 of 12 per year).  At least eight hours need to be spent during the day seeking God and preferably as many as 12 hours.  Bible reading and memorization, praying, and worshiping are to fill the day. 
      5. Twice a year conferences of two to seven days each. 
      6. Periodic extraordinary efforts of seeking God.

Support Structure

  • Interact with a Daniel Spirituality Advisor one-on-one each month to encourage you in your journey
  • Invitation to a monthly Zoom meeting with all Daniel Spirituality members for ongoing support and encouragement
  • Access to proprietary content, including the Seven Keys to Kingdom Advancement teaching videos and presentation slides


Learn More About the Daniel Spirituality Commitment

  • Why are these practices chosen?
  • What is the biblical basis for the Daniel Spirituality commitment?
  • How have Christians historically practiced these kinds of commitments?
  • Is this kind of commitment legalistic?
  • How have these spiritual practices been a means of increased grace and power from God?

These questions and more will be answered below, in two parts:

I. The Vision of Daniel Spirituality
II. Living Out Daniel Spirituality


I. The Vision of Daniel Spirituality

Daniel exemplified devout faithfulness to God while serving as a prominent leader and influencer in a spiritually hostile context, having been taken captive from Judah to Babylon in approximately 605 B.C.  Serving as the second in command to King Nebuchadnezzar and successive emperors, Daniel was regarded by God as “highly esteemed” because of his character, mindset, and lifestyle.  He possessed a remarkable spirituality, available to all believers, especially Christians today because of the increased authority and power of the Holy Spirit, made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Through the teaching of the scriptures, and the power of the Holy Spirit, this type of faithfulness to God is available to all who desire it, although it requires focus, diligence, and perseverance.  


Christians today, like Daniel, live in the context of a wicked and perverse generation, and likewise do not have to succumb to it.  The benefits of living a devout life are truly wonderful because Christians living devotedly are promised God’s supernatural joy, His friendship, and the power to be true overcomers no matter the circumstances.  The dedication required is worth the effort because Christians will be able to live the type of life God had always intended for them.  When a growing number of Christians choose to live wholeheartedly for God, He is more responsive to our prayers, and often pours out His Spirit in much greater measure, radically changing not just our own lives, but the destiny of our families, communities, and nation.  


Because Christians in the West have drifted so far from historical norms of righteous living, it may initially be surprising when patterns of devotion from the scriptures and church history are first learned.  Without realizing it, Christians have succumbed to complacency, thereby becoming lovers of pleasure and lovers of self.  Our current ways of life as Christians often depart radically from Christians in American history, the current international church, and the first-century church.  As a result, God’s blessings have been steadily withdrawing from the West, with secularism steadily growing in most sectors of society.  God is patient and loving, but eventually brings increasing judgment as a means of discipline to highlight the need to return to Him wholeheartedly, but this does not have to happen as Christians return to Him wholeheartedly.  


It’s earnestly believed that if a zealous culture of seeking God wholeheartedly can be stirred and sustained in our hearts, then God will increasingly respond to the collective cry and will pour out His Spirit for salvations, holiness, devotion, blessing, hope, joy, healings, deliverances, and miracles, with the realization, of course, that opposition and persecutions may also come as well.    


There’s no need for Christians to wait for increasing problems in order to return to Him with all their hearts.  In past times of revival, large numbers of Christians returned to Him even apart from any looming catastrophe.  He’s always willing to return to us when we return to Him, but this usually requires a dramatic shift in mindset and lifestyle.  Instead of thinking God exists primarily to meet our own desires, our mindset must shift so that we believe and live the opposite.  That is, He’s created humanity to please and honor Him, therefore it’s our responsibility to search Him out, draw close to Him, and to discover what honors Him.  As the prescribed way of life comes into view, we are to make the needed adjustments in our lives, no matter how big or how small, so that we are pleasing to Him in every way.  

II. Living Out Daniel Spirituality

Arguably, from the scriptures and history, this kind of commitment is the expectation of Christians generally.  It’s more robust than the average modern Western Christian’s devotion, and it’s the privilege of Christians today to return to it. 


Daniel Spirituality is explained below in three sections:


        1.  Hungering after God Himself explains God’s desire that we center our hearts on He Himself and not teachings and practices per se, even though they may help us center our hearts. 
        2. The Seven Principles of a Seeking God Lifestyle summarize many biblical passages about what God means by seeking Him wholeheartedly. Remarkably, a historian of early Christianity, Professor Robert Wilken of the University of Virginia, has identified Psalm 105:3 and 4 as summarizing the heart and mindset of the church for the first four hundred years.  The verses state, “Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!”

        3. The third section of Essential Spiritual Practices summarizes the spiritual architecture or pattern of faithfulness needed to fulfill the Seven Principles of the Seeking God Lifestyle.  Organizing one’s life around God in this way is a departure from much of so-called normal Christianity in the West, but it’s the “normal” Christianity of today that is insufficient for the hour.  By conforming ourselves to His commandments, and drawing close to Him we gain life and supernatural joy.  As Jesus states in John 15:10-11, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

The following will unpack each of these three sections in more depth.

. . . .

1. Hungering for God Himself

Daniel Spirituality is about a life transformation of seeking God wholeheartedly. While it includes what for many is an increased discipline in spiritual practices, the heart of it is an eagerness to hunger for God Himself, thereby having one’s life totally transformed and led by God.  It’s not less than a lifestyle of strong spiritual practices, but it’s much more.  It’s an attitude of wanting God to be exalted in every way.  It means learning to feast on God Himself.  God desires that primarily we live as “Mary” rather than “Martha,” and that we sit at His feet, getting to know Him and His ways. There’s certainly “Martha” type work to be done in ministry, but Jesus told Mary that she chose the better option because sitting at Jesus’ feet comes before anything else we might do.  


Psalm 42:1 - “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.”
Psalm 81:10 - “I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.”
Luke 10:41, 42 - But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

. . . .

2. The Seven Principles of a Seeking God Lifestyle

As a Christian, and therefore as one who’s willingly and eagerly submitting to God’s authority, it’s essential to take steps to draw close to Him and to know Him better.  To hunger after God and to love Him is to seek Him wholeheartedly with great energy.    


Psalm 105:3, 4 - “Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!”

The following seven principles comprise the seeking God lifestyle. Principles are listed along with exemplary Bible passages.

    1. Humbling Oneself with the Help of Fasting - Humbling oneself before God brings spiritual strength, which is aided by the practice of fasting.  Fasting is going without food for a period of time for spiritual purposes, and is expected of Christians since it’s a tool to deepen humility.  

      Ezra 8:21 - “Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods.”

    2. Frequent and Fervent Prayer - Fervent and frequent prayer is part of what it means to be Christian.  God expects to hear from us and for us to listen to Him as we walk with Him.

      Daniel 9:3 - “Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.”

    3. Massive Intake of Scripture - Reading, listening to, memorizing, and studying the Bible builds one’s understanding of God and His ways.  It takes time to plumb the depths of the riches of the greatest and most influential book ever written, and this is because it’s the very word of God to humanity. 

      2 Chronicles 31:21 - “And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered.”

    4. Deep and Ongoing Repentance - Repenting of one’s sins and putting faith in God begins a relationship with Him, but also maintains and develops one’s ongoing relationship.  Examining oneself daily ensures there’s nothing displeasing to Him.  If there is, you can repent, and He will forgive.  

      Psalm 78:34 - “When he killed them, they sought him; they repented and sought God earnestly.”

    5. Faithful Obedience - The intention of God’s gospel has always been to bring people into faithful obedience to Him, therefore the Christian’s life is different from others’ lives because the Christian seeks to obey God’s commandments, not finding them burdensome, but a joy to fulfill. 

      Isaiah 51:1 - “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.”

    6. Strong Community - Seeking God with family, friends, and one’s church adds richness and enjoyment to the Christian life.  Whether participating in spiritual practices as described below, developing Christian friendships for mutual encouragement, or benefiting from the spiritual gifts of others, God provides many of His most consequential blessings through other people.

      2 Chronicles 11:16 - “And those who had set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their fathers.” 
    7. Relentless Perseverance - As you persevere in the six principles listed above, your closeness to God will steadily increase.  Even as a Christian, life can have its ups and downs, and God desires that you develop patient diligence in drawing close to Him. 

      Proverbs 8:17 - “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.”

. . . .

3. Essential Spiritual Practices 

After deciding to hunger after God Himself, and to seek Him wholeheartedly, finding a disciplined way to fulfill these desires is needed.  Putting effort into one’s Christian life honors God and ensures growth in Him, so that we increasingly please Him, and become all the more able to fulfill His destiny for our lives.  Christians are urged to imitate athletes by training, working hard, and struggling:


1 Timothy 4:7-11 - “Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers. Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them.”
2 Timothy 2:1-7 - “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. 3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”


Working hard spiritually brings Christians closer to God and brings His many blessings.  The apostle Paul acknowledged the benefits of working hard, even while thanking God, knowing that he succeeded only by God’s grace. 


1 Corinthians 15:10 - “But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.”


The following require effort and self-discipline in order to receive increased grace to live a holy and pleasing life to God.  Self-discipline is a virtue to be cultivated in the life of the man or woman who loves and fears God. It’s the Christian’s joy to seek God wholeheartedly through the following regular spiritual practices, confessing all sins, and living fully surrendered to Him.


It can be seen in the scriptures, it’s always been God’s intention for believers to follow an established pattern of honoring Him through devotional practices.  

Genesis 1:14 - “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years.’”


Jewish commentators have seen Genesis 1:14 as God’s way of letting humanity know that there are patterns of drawing close to Him and that these are even written into the orbits of the planets and stars.

1 Chronicles 23:30-31 - “And they were to stand every morning, thanking and praising the LORD, and likewise at evening, and whenever burnt offerings were offered to the LORD on Sabbaths, new moons, and feast days, according to the number required of them, regularly before the LORD.”


The following may be fulfilled through one's local church, on one’s own, with a group of family or friends, through offerings of Christian Union or other Christian agencies, or a combination of all of these.  


        1. Morning and Evening Devotions - Draw close to God for thirty to sixty minutes mornings and evenings through Christian devotions.  Listen to praise music, repent of sins, read and memorize the Bible, learn to listen to God, and pray.   Striving to read the entire Bible at least once per year is a great minimum goal. Perhaps some days the time would be spent all at once instead of split between morning and evening, but twice daily is the ideal. This can be practiced alone, although is often more rewarding when accompanied by friends, family, or one’s church community.  Some families establish a “family altar” which is a fixed time and place to pray as family mornings and evenings. The goal is to be faithful to this commitment for at least four of the six days per week. 

          1 Timothy 5:5, 6 - “She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives.”

        2. Sunday Church Attendance with Increased Devotion - Spend Sundays (or another day as a Sabbath) attending church, resting, and participating in other activities to grow in God. Some churches offer more than one service on Sunday, so attending both can be of aid in Christian growth and strengthening. The minimum time commitment entails one to two hours for church and the same amount of time in the evening.  The goal is to be faithful to this commitment for at least three of the four or five Sundays per month.  For the evening one to two hours, churches may offer evening services, or something more informal online like a zoom prayer meeting.  Of course, this commitment could also be met with one’s family, friends, on one’s own, or in some other way.    

          Exodus 20:8-11 - “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

        3. Fasting Wednesdays and Fridays - As was practiced by the early church for hundreds of years and still practiced by many Christians worldwide, fast by refraining from all food up until at least 3:00 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Fasting helps Christians humble themselves, draw closer to God, and experience more of His presence.  The goal is to be faithful to this commitment at least the majority of the seven to ten fasting days per month.  There may be circumstances that would require switching a fasting day to another day during the week, and there also may be circumstances necessitating a refraining from fasting because of family, medical or mental health concerns. 

          Luke 5:35 - “The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”

        4. Once-a-Month All-Day Devotion - Once a month devote an entire Saturday or another day other to strengthening one’s relationship with God with one’s church family, alone or with friends and family by drawing close to God by praying, building strong relationships, reading the Bible, repenting of sins, listening to Christian messages, and worshiping.  Eight to twelve hours of the day should be dedicated to this pursuit.  The goal is to be faithful to this commitment for at least eight of the twelve months per year. Because some churches do not offer this, it may be fulfilled on one’s own, with spouse and family, or by participating in  CU Fire Retreats (www.cufire.org), which are held Friday night and all day Saturday four times a year. Sample schedules can be provided for those seeking to construct their own.  

          Ezekiel 46:6 - “On the day of the new moon he shall offer a bull from the herd without blemish, and six lambs and a ram, which shall be without blemish.”

        5. Twice-a-Year Christian Conferences - Approximately every six months attend a Christian conference up to a week long with great teaching, worship, repentance, prayer, fellowship, and encouragement.  This renews one’s love for God, brings honor to Him, likely facilitates a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit, and strengthens Christians for effective service.  The goal is to be faithful to this commitment approximately every six months, spending a minimum of eight to twelve hours each day drawing close to Him.  This can be fulfilled through a church or ministry conference, on one’s own, or with friends.  

          Exodus 23:14-17 - “Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. 15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. None shall appear before me empty-handed. 16 You shall keep the Feast of Harvest, of the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. 17 Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord GOD.”

        6. Periodic Extraordinary Efforts - Periodically, God calls individuals and groups to more extraordinary efforts in seeking Him.  For example, He may have you fast and pray for three days for an important decision.  He may have you pray all night, like Jesus did, to draw closer to Him.  God may ask you with others to set in motion a 24-hour prayer chain for a season or indefinitely, like the Moravians for 100 years.  He may have you seek Him in prayer, fasting, and repentance for ten days like Jeremiah, 21 days like Daniel, or 40 days like Moses.  He may have you read the Bible once to four times in a year, or have you memorize chapters or a whole book of the Bible.

          As part of God’s international, dynamic movement of expanding and deepening the Kingdom of God, He will have you follow His direction for seasons of extraordinary efforts in seeking Him.  As you grow in Christ, He will give you the desire and strength to participate in these types of exceptional efforts. The goal is to participate in at least one such effort per year.  You may do something God individually calls you to, or you may participate with a larger group of people such as an extended fast sponsored by your church.  Christian Union also typically hosts two national fasts every year in August and January.  Zealously participating in these helps Christians draw close to the face of God. 

          Esther 4:15-17 - “Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.”


Diligently seeking God is an expression of faith facilitating the renewing of one’s mind and a filling of the Holy Spirit.  It takes time and effort to rearrange priorities so that God is first and foremost, but is extraordinarily important so that growth is not hindered and one doesn't neglect one’s responsibility to God. It becomes incredibly rewarding to deepen friendship with God and love for Him, especially when persevering week after week, month after month, year after year.  


When striving to seek God with one’s whole heart as He requires, legalism is to be assiduously avoided.  Legalism is the misunderstanding that one’s efforts seeking God through spiritual practices merits or earns God’s favor.  This is clearly false because everything from God is a gift, yet it is also false that it’s not needed or not valuable to expend effort in seeking God, because He plainly states that He draws near to us when we draw near to Him (James 4:6).  Legalism has to do with earning; seeking God has to do with effort.  If you believe you are earning God’s blessing when seeking Him as He requires then you will periodically be frustrated with Him when difficulties arise in your life because you think that He owes you something specific.  When you remember that He promises you blessings out of His grace, then your disappointment and frustration are much less when blessings are delayed or not forthcoming, because you remember that you were never owed anything.  


You will be rewarded as you seek Him as the New Testament directs:

Hebrews 11:6 - “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”


If you start to experience burnout when seeking the Lord faithfully, it may be that you’re not receiving fresh fillings of the Holy Spirit.  This may mean that you need to repent of something or start obeying God in an area where you have not done so.  It may also mean that nothing is wrong spiritually, but that God is developing your ability to seek Him faithfully even when it’s difficult.  The next time you take a whole day or multiple days with God, focus on ensuring that you receive a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit.  Often, burnout comes not from spending a lot of time drawing close to God but from spending too much time in ministry or other activities.  Remember to pace yourself and to remember that there is only one Savior.  He has many servants to fulfill His will and we each have only a small part. 


As Christians draw close to God faithfully day after day and month after month, their walk with Him becomes increasingly rewarding, and are given the strength to live a devout life that’s pleasing to Him, ascribing to Him the honor He deserves.  



When one reflects on the need to draw close to God, the seven principles of what it means to seek God wholeheartedly, and the patterns of devotions demonstrated in the scriptures, it can be seen that combining these into a regular lifestyle is nothing less than extraordinary.  It’s a lifestyle pleasing to God which allows us to center our lives wholly on Him, and because He’s full of grace, He fills us with joy, and delights of all kinds, and releases  His sovereign power and love into the lives of our family members, community members, and nation.  


By God’s grace and His power, the greatest revival in history will come about, but must be preceded by large numbers of Christians crying out to Him with abandon and seeking Him as He expects and deserves.  He is faithful and will draw near as His people draw near to Him.  This takes faith and leadership on behalf of all Christians to call others to seek Him diligently.