Fasting and Work

AUTHOR: Nikki Dieker


1 Kings 8:1-21. 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 about how the Lord’s presence filled the temple he built.


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 Work

Fasting from work! This one seems easy, right? A time to kick back and relax and enjoy the good that God has given us. No problem! Except the email I need to send…and that person I forgot to get back to…oh and the deadline I didn’t quite meet. The kids have practices, the house is a wreck, and we are having people over for dinner tomorrow night.

In my mind sabbath rest is something that should just happen naturally and easily.

When God gave the commandment to remember the sabbath and keep it holy, it was in the context of the Israelites delivery from slavery. God called them to be His people. No longer would they labor without rest and without enjoying the fruits of their work. Our generous God would give them true, soul-deep rest that they could enter into because God himself would be their provider. He would fill their needs. What relief and joy they must have felt! The same God who miraculously provided deliverance from Egypt with a pillar of fire and of cloud and the parting of the Red Sea. The God who provided bread from heaven, this God would sustain them.

Except, the Israelites were just like us; we share this human condition. And while sabbath rest sounds just like what we need and truly want, we have such a hard time giving up control and trusting God. We know that in Christ, our labor is not in vain.The work that we do here on earth doesn’t just disappear, that we are actively joining in the Spirit to bring the kingdom of God here and now. But do we really trust that God will carry us when we cease our strivings? That if we shut off our email for 24 hours it will all be ok when we plug back in? That we will have enough if we take a break? Do we trust that God’s ways are best?

Fasting from our work is a counter-cultural act of defiance that places our trust squarely in our God to provide for us, to define the good life for us, and to delight in His presence and His good gifts.

For many of us, this is not something that is part of our weekly rhythm and it can feel overwhelming. Start small. Sabbath for half a day at first and then work up to a full 24 hours. Plan for sabbath, do all the grocery shopping and wrap up the projects ahead of time. Figure out what replenishes your soul and engage in those activities during your sabbath. Worship. Fast from self-reliance and achieving. Truly rest in the goodness of our God.


Pray that God would give you wisdom as it relates to your work (paid or unpaid). Spend 2 minutes in listening silence and write down anything that comes to mind.


Week 3 of 7 Fasting

1 Comment

  1. Justin@leawood

    From today’s scripture, I noticed that God gave Solomon a job, which turned out to be a very big job. The job required years, thousands of workers, negotiations, and much resources. God also gave Solomon the resources and wisdom to complete the job. The job was completed, and God’s promises were fulfilled.

    How is this related to today’s blog? Surely God’s people were observing the Sabbath during this long period of labor. They were pretty diligent about that. I appreciate Nikki’s blog awareness of the challenges of resting on the Sabbath. It takes trust. Probably also some planning ahead. When God provided manna for the Israelites in the wilderness, they were to gather two days worth of manna on the day prior to the Sabbath since they would not be working on the Sabbath.

    For this Monday morning, the start of the work week for many of us, we can remember that God provides the wisdom and resources for us to the work that He has given to us.


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