Math has never been my strong suit. I was reminded of this last week when I tried to help my 7e grader for her nine-week math exam. Most math problems are beyond me, but I like word problems where you have to figure out which process to use to get the correct answer. Each process has another process which can completely reverse your answer; addition to subtraction and multiplication to division. And this is where my math skills exceed.
I have discovered that God’s favorite mathematical processes are addition and multiplication. Look at Abraham, your father. When I called him he was only one man, I blessed him and made him several. Isaiah 51:12. Talk about multiplying! God promised Abraham that he would make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand by the sea. These are numbers too many to count. Talk about mind boggling!
This is the kind of math that should excite believers. We serve the God of growth. Where there is faith and obedience, there is increase. Abraham was chosen, but Abraham had to choose obedience. By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later inherit, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. The one who received the promises was about to sacrifice his only son, even though God said to him, “By Isaac will your seed be numbered.” Abraham thought that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did. Hebrews 11: 8, 17, 18, 19.
Sometimes our reasoning skills become as rigid as a math test. “If I go through this process, then it will equal x, y, or z.” But reasoning in faith is totally different from solving a math problem. You can be like Abraham and be in the negative: old, with a barren wife, and living in a foreign land. But the math of God kicks in and then you become Father Abraham with the largest family in family history.
Where there is faith, where there is obedience, and where there is the Word of God … the increase will certainly follow. In Acts we read that those who accepted his message were baptized, and about 3,000 were added to their numbers that day. That day was an addition, but fast forwarding two thousand years and today 2.5 billion Christians is proof that God is multiplying.
Maybe the enemy has subtracted and divided your life recently. Satan would love nothing more than to undo everything God has done in your life and leave you in the negative. At this time, we must remind Satan that his mathematical operations are inferior to Almighty God. God is always working on our behalf to increase and bring victory.
If you feel it is even difficult to have faith that God will bring an increase, consider the apostles’ call to Jesus in Luke 17: 5. “Increase our faith!”. Admit the raw honesty of the man who said, “I believe; help me overcome my unbelief. Mark 9:24. Hold on to faith in God who wants to make you grow.