Updated: Jan 26, 2019
Satan loves statistics. With statistics he can influence us to do or not do all sorts of things that effect our lives in massive and often devastating ways.
Statistics are man’s attempt to predict the future. They give us the illusion of control.
Whenever people use statistics to support their cause, belief, or agenda, I can’t help but question how that number was obtained. For any thing that can be measure, there are thousands of variables to consider. Which ones we choose and how we apply them effect the results—or statistics—we end up with.
Figures lie, and liars figure is a gem of wisdom I’ve learned the hard way. When someone starts supporting their beliefs or justifying their actions based on statistics, my skepticism goes into overdrive. It is human nature for us to influence the numbers in our favor. And it is so easy to do it is often an honest mistake.
But guess what? God isn’t limited by the law of probability. He’s not at all deterred by the odds. In fact, I’m one hundred percent certain--statistically speaking--He’s completely amused by our attempts to predict outcomes by using statistics.
Do we really believe the God of all creation is limited by probability? Do we really want to treat Him as though He were running a giant casino in the sky?
Let’s face it, it’s not God who is limited by the numbers. It’s us. We see the statistical improbability of something and accept the numbers as inevitable. A marriage is failing, and we think “they married so young odds were against them anyway.” We are at ease in accepting it because we “know” statistics show that a high percentage of marriages don’t last anyway. A new business goes under in the first year…well the odds were against them. We give up on our job because statistically speaking we should be burned out by now. The doctor calls with the tests results and we google the odds that we’ll be here for Christmas.
But if we place our hope in statistics, we have given ourselves a false hope.
God isn’t in the numbers. He is the God of immeasurably more than all we can think or ask. He is the God of miracles. He delights to do what the numbers tell us can’t be done.
There is a tiny little number accompanying all statistics. It is known as the margin of error. A margin of error is defined as an amount (usually very small) that is allowed for in case of miscalculation (humans aren’t perfect after all) or a change of circumstances.
In case of a change of circumstances? I love that… and so does God.
I’m a writer. If I consider that less than one percent of all first-time novels get published, then that would be a pretty depressing career for me as I spend long hours at my desk typing, researching, and doing the dreaded editing.
But I can’t let the number stop me from doing what God has called me to do. To quit based on the odds of being published would be to say I don’t believe God can operate outside probability.
Quitting would be the same as telling God the odds are against this and I don’t believe there is anything He can do to change it. That’s not a conversation I want to have my Creator—my Sovereign Lord and Savior. I can hear Him laughing already.
No matter what you are going through or may face in the days ahead, know that God isn't limited by any numbers we come up with. He can, has, and will “blow the curve” just to remind us that He created the numbers in the first place.
Don’t look to statistics to define your life. Your hope lives in that tiny percentage representing the “in case of a change of circumstances.”
God moves in the margin of error.
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26