There’s a famous saying that goes , “not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted”. In fact, I will argue, the things that counts the most can not be counted.
It’s only natural to count those things that we can see so that we can count on them. We often predict our chances in life by taking stock of our horses: our assets, our abilities, the opportunities that are available to us, and the strength of strategic connections that we have.
There is nothing wrong with taking stock of our resources and making crucial decisions accordingly. After all, the scriptures remind us to count our blessings. But it’s unwise to pin all our hopes on the things we can see and dismiss the reality of the unseen divine resources.
By placing our confidence just on the things we can see we set our selves up for potential disappointments because for God to bring you victory He often deploys resources that can not be counted.
King David was no different to most of us. He commanded Joab, the head of the military, to count the Jewish population to assess his military strength. Like many of us David was falling into the temptation of counting the people he could count on rather than trusting in the Lord’s strategic plan.
Understandably, the whole exercise displeased the Lord. In consequence, God punished David and reduced his forces by bringing a plague that killed 70,000 men.
God’s desire is for us to grow to the point where we can trust Him alone for our victories in life. He wants us to count on His unlimited resources – His unmatched power, His unprecedented wisdom and His unfailing love – upon our lives.
Because He loves us so much, our smart God will always pick the best resource, the best method and the best time to bring the best for our lives.
Trusting only on what we can count is trying to limit God’s strength to what we can see.
This very point is well presented in Joab’s response to David, “ …my lord the king, are they not all the Lord’s subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?'” (1 Chronicles 21:3).
Joab knew so well that all people – including those that could not be counted – belonged to the Lord. God wasn’t limited to the strength of David’s army to bring victory to His people. As He often did, God was (and still is) capable of performing wonders from the unlikely (or mysterious) source.
What we know about God – about His strength and His resources – is far less than that which we do not know. In other words, what we can see is just a tiny fraction of the true reality. In fact, the scripture say, “eyes have never seen, ears have never heard and no human mind has ever imagined what God has at His disposal…” (1Cor. 2:9)
That which can be predicted can be controlled. Its for this very reason God can not be predicted. He will always surprise us by using that which our eyes have never seen, our ears have never heard and our minds have never thought about.
Having unprecedented resources under control, God our Lord is free to use whichever resource He deems fit to achieve His purpose for your life.
That we have a certain number of friends or partners on our list does not mean they’ll show up when we need them. If your experience is anything like mine you will agree that the people we most depend on often tend to go missing when we need them the most.
How many times have we fallen foul of trusting on our bank accounts, our friends, our strengths, our skills and the security of our jobs? When we begin to place our faith in the gifts we can only count instead of in the unlimited resourceful grace of the giver we set ourselves on course for massive heart-break.
One morning Elisha and his young servant woke up to a big surprise. An impressive military force of the king of Aram had come to kill them. After seeing the enemy’s Horses and chariots surrounding the city, the young servant was mortified and exclaimed, “Oh, master! What shall we do?” But Elisha the Prophet said, “Don’t worry about it—there are more on our side than on their side.”
Then Elisha prayed for God to open his eyes and let him see. When the eyes of the young man were opened he saw the whole mountainside full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha (2Kings 6:14-17).
My prayer is that may our eyes be opened to see what God has in store for us. May our minds be exercised to count on His unlimited power, on His astute wisdom and on His unquestionable love.