when the numbers are devastating

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How far the needle bends (or doesn’t) when I step onto the scale. The time that lapses (or doesn’t) while I try to just keep moving on a “run” through the neighborhood. How many emails I have that came from real people, not Bath & Body Works. The number of likes or follows or comments or retweets my posts heart gets.

Yes, this is the lure of numbers and follows and scores and likes, Beloved.

These numbers could define, could legitimize, could affirm my value.

The enemy prowls like a lion, waiting to pounce, and sometimes the angel of light looks like a number of follows, but we might sell our souls chasing numbers to satisfy. They promise validation and love. But they lie, straight from the father of lies himself.

And I need this as much as anyone else. More.

Because who are we to live and die by the numbers? Who are we to study “follows” and “unfollows” when the call is for us to follow? When even the apostle Paul said, “Don’t boast of following me or anyone else; follow Jesus.” When even the herald of Jesus’ coming, the voice in the wilderness, John the baptizer, who drew crowds, sent his followers away to follow Jesus.

Take up your cross and follow Me. Die daily to the slavery of a life measured by numbers.

We were not meant to number our fans but to number His gifts and goodness as we devote ourselves to Him. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom,” cried the people who had looked at their numbers, compared them to the numbers of their enemies, and run away from the mighty working of God on their behalf (Numbers 13).

The twelve went in and the ten came out saying, “Too big! Too many! Too mighty! Too scary!”

No one listened to the two who said, “But God!”

And all those people who cowered at the numbers, enslaved by the fear of the improbable statistics, they counted down the 40 years until death. Only the two went in.

In all of this Moses prayed those words.

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

We number the ways of our God as we number the days of our lives, and this is the only way to keep from wasting a life on numbering our fans. Too busy counting follows and we miss out on the hands and feet of following Jesus. Preoccupied with the rise and fall of popularity and we miss the surge of grace that speaks all the prestige of Jesus over our entire lives.

Too busy counting follows and we miss out
on the hands and feet of following Jesus.

Beloved, let’s not beg for follows so much as we beg for the boldness to follow Jesus when it will cost us everything. Let’s not judge our souls by the metrics of what we can see. Let’s count out the days and ways He comes through for us. Let’s swell our hearts on the never failing grandeur of His Love for us.

When we number the gifts of God to us,
our eyes are lifted from the slavery of the screen
to the standing of our Savior.

Let’s number the ways He works. Let’s number the graces He gives. Let’s number the days as finite and not sacrifice them to the nameless numbers of the masses.

Nothing about your worth is attached to the numbers, Beloved. Jesus did the one thing that counts for everything. The blood of Jesus speaks a better word than any number of social popularity, any percentage of knowledge demonstrated on a test, any pant size. Let Him mediate your acceptance and worth, leaving nothing left for society.

And a special word for you, Beloved. To the one who cringes before the numbered scale: you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Your value is not counted as you step barefoot on the bathroom scale. Rest your worth on the willingness of Jesus to die for you, not on the staunchly scientific weight of your human body. You are not defined by the measured force of gravity on your flesh and bones; you are defined by the unmeasurable force of God’s love for your soul. The one force chases you to darkness, the other chases you into Light. The one will pass away, the other goes on forever. Let the love of God be the force that defines you.

You are not defined by the measured force of gravity
on your flesh and bones;
you are defined by
the unmeasurable force of God’s love for your soul.

Beloved, let’s turn down the offer of the numbers today. Let’s deny them the power to judge our souls. Let the love of God for you fill your voids and weigh your heart down with Truth.

And when we reach to refresh the page for signs of follows, let’s instead beg for the Spirit to refresh our hearts with the sign of His love. When the nurse tells us to step up on the scale, let’s step up into the Truth.

Holy God has counted as ours all the perfect scores of Jesus.

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