Try Doing Nothing For 40 Days

September 20, 2013 at 7:48 AM

“If I am honest, doing nothing is never nothing for me. It involves spiritual warfare with my demons, and the longer I put off that unhappy appointment, the worse the warfare can be.” 

The first thing I do before crawling out of bed is start creating a mental to-do list. It’s the way I’m wired. I listen to educational podcasts while working, write on my laptop while in the waiting room, get my phone calls out of the way while driving, skype while doing dishes, watch the news while juicing, read while going to the bathroom. I like my conversations to be short, pithy and productive. I shop at Costco to shop less often, buy quality so not to squander time replacing. I loth time-wasters, like finding myself in the lineup where a cashier is in training; I can hide the resentment behind an encouraging, “you’re doing a great job,” but barely. At least I can text while waiting.

Jesus spent 40 days in the desert alone fasting. He did nothing. No healings, ministering, no writing. Imagine. No washing your car. No rebuilding your back deck. No going to work. No watching TV. No listening to the news. No doing dishes, talking to friends or family. No texting, phone calls or emailing. No bodybuilding, running, cycling. No cooking or eating. Nothing. I did the math, Jesus’ 40 day fast worked out to over 5% of His entire three year ministry. How many miracles, teaching, healing or casting out demons could he have done in 40 days? I get a weekend of nothing, or even a week, but over a month? The thought depresses me.

I’m on day 12 of a 25 day fast. The first five days was a tug-of-war between doing, and do-nothing. I guess I should define nothing. After all, my nothing cannot be compared to being alone in a desert watching the sand go by. My nothing is, after leaving work, I make no plans, just go home, prepare my juice, and for the rest of the night, set up  on my sofa with pillows, bible, a spiritual book (presently reading, The End Of Religion, and I highly recommend it), and laptop to record my thoughts. The evenings can go by in slow motion as I enter into the deep and often uncomfortable place of uninterrupted meditation, self-reflection and prayer. The weekends are even more of a challenge. I remove all social events, have no human contact, and spend the morning, afternoon and evening alone with the Spirit of God. 

Alone, doing nothing with the Spirit of God—if only that were true. If only it was all Jesus and singing angels. Fasting and doing nothing for me during this fast has been dam painful.  I am alone with my demons. No running or drowning out the sound of those oppressive accusing voices that wait to pounce in an opportune time. 

It comforts me to know that I am not alone. It was no different for Jesus. He was not just watching the sand go by. “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit . . . was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.” (Luke 4: 2)

Make no mistake, it was not just three tidy temptations at the end of his fast, we are talking about a 40 day warfare with Satan himself. Doing nothing for me is not nothing at all. It involves spiritual warfare with my demons, and the longer I put off that unhappy appointment, the worse the warfare can be. I wonder if that is why so many people have a hard time doing nothing.

There can be no breakthroughs, even when it comes to your eating and weight, without spiritual warfare. It’s not good to have false expectations about what fasting involves for the Christian. So in my next blog post, I’m going to honestly talk more about fasting and spiritual warfare, at least my experience with it.

Also read: Spiritual Warfare Fasting Testimonies

Posted in: Fasting


Comments (7) -

This one really puts things in perspective!  I've fasted before and so I know that after day 3 or so I will be feeling so GREAT physically.  This last time though everything felt like I was slogging through really thick mud, and I got frustrated and quit.  I hadn't phrased that fast in spiritual terms, had told myself it was just a "health" fast, to lose the weight and detox, so I wasn't overly crushed when i ended it--just sadly resigned.  It was spiritual though, these battles of the flesh always are, so I had just stripped myself of my armor by not taking the whole thing to God.  Hubris is all it is, thinking I could do this thing apart from Him.  Duly chastened, I'm about to start a proper fast, aware this time of the enemy's role in my struggle.  I'm highly anticipating your next posts!  Thank you!!!


Hi Ron,
I am currently on day 8 of what I planned to be a 40 day juice fast.. am doing this for spiritual reasons and also to support my friend ....glad to find your blog..


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