Fasting and Wealth

AUTHOR: Sharla Pair


1 Kings 8:22-66. King Solomon likely wrote portions of Ecclesiastes himself or his life was the inspiration for the author. Continue learning more about Solomon’s life as you read his prayer of temple dedication, reflecting on God’s faithfulness to His people.


During these 7 weeks we will focus on the discipline of fasting. Each week we will dig deeper into this discipline. Take the next 5 minutes to read a blog post that connects the discipline of fasting to Sunday’s sermon topic.


Fasting and Wealth


What comes to mind when you read, “fasting and wealth?” Some might think I am relating fasting with obtaining more money. But let me challenge you to see how fasting can actually help you to become more generous with the wealth you have.

Christian Newsome, pastor at Journey Church International in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, defines fasting this way: “Fasting is intentionally creating a physical dependency in your life that reminds you of a spiritual dependency that you have on Jesus.” So, how does this relate to money?

Craving wealth can lead to deep dissatisfaction and an unquenchable thirst for more. Fasting allows us to let loose of those earthly treasures that we strive for, including money, that take the place of our desire for Christ. By deliberately denying our desire for food, we can submit to God’s design, including His design for our generosity.

Some have the misconception that God wants everyone to live lives of poverty. They cite Jesus’ response to the wealthy man who came to Him, asking what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. At first, Jesus tells him to keep the commandments. When the young man asks which commandments he should keep, Jesus mentions commandments 5-9 as well as, “love your neighbor as yourself.” After stating that he had kept these from his youth, the man continues to question Jesus. Finally, we get to the heart of the matter. Jesus replies, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then, come follow Me” Matthew 19:16-22 CSB. The Scripture states that the young man left sad because he had many possessions. Jesus revealed what was most important to him: his wealth. Wealth in itself is not inherently sinful. However, when we choose the pursuit of wealth over God – when we place our trust in our resources and allow them to dictate how we live our lives – we become guilty of idolatry.

Perhaps you are curious how wealth can be idolatrous when you are struggling financially. It can be difficult to be generous when you look at your bank account and wonder how you’re going to pay the bills this month. In times of financial stress, fasting can help us to mentally get out of the way and allow Jesus to work on our behalf. When we step out of the way, we let Someone greater step in our place. Allow Him to bring to mind other ways you can be generous – with your time, a listening ear, words of encouragement, a thank you note, or acts of service.

When we fast, we are allowing the physical discomfort to remind us of the spiritual dependency we need to have on God. We give our best, honor the Lord with our work, and trust the Lord with the rest. When we remember that we are spiritually dependent on Jesus, we don’t have to rely on ourselves to replenish our resources. We can be truly generous when we hold our worldly wealth with open hands, remembering to Whom it all belongs.


Pray that God would give you wisdom as it relates to finances. Spend 2 minutes in listening silence and write down anything that comes to mind.



Week 4 of 7 Fasting


  1. Justin@leawood

    I was curious about who Sharla is and looked her up on Google. I discovered that Sharla is the new Pastor of Corporate Worship at Brookside campus, a posting I happened to see a few months ago. Welcome, Sharla!

    When I fasted breakfast and lunch last Thursday, I was tired, irritable, hungry, and had a harder time concentrating (for various reasons exacerbated by the fasting). I do remember reading something from the at lunchtime that was helpful. Hopefully this Thursday will be a more positive experience

  2. Anne McDonald

    Thank you, Sharla, for this beautiful, insightful examination of the ways in which fasting and the purposefully lived life through our Lord enfold and insure rightful wealth as a recognized element of God’s plan for us.


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