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The Burning Plow

Ben Reed —  July 2, 2012 — Leave a comment

I had the chance to speak yesterday at Grace Community Church, where I serve on staff.

As I looked through the life of Elijah and the calling of Elisha, the heart of my message was this:

Doing what’s right doesn’t always feel right, and many times when you do what’s right, it won’t make sense to everyone else.

If you’ve not heard the story of Elisha’s calling to ministry, it’s one of the most dramatic in all of Scripture.

 

The Burning Plow from Gcomchurch Sermons on Vimeo.

 

I talked with a friend the other day who’s in his 50s. We were talking about a potential job opportunity on his table.

It was a significant step up in pay and influence. I asked him, “Why aren’t you strongly considering this?”

He responded with, “At my age, I can’t make a move like that. If I fail, I’ll have nowhere else to go. Statistics prove that people who have been in my position for as long as I have and transition to another church tend to only spend a couple of years there before they leave.”

There are two important words in what he said. “Statistics show…”

photo credit: Creative Commons License, user Mac Steve

Here’s my word of advice for anyone who uses that phrase:

Who cares what statistics show?!?

Statistics show

  • That everyone dies. But I’m not ready for that.
  • That more marriages end in divorce than stay the course. But I’m not going to quit fighting for the health of my marriage.
  • That I’ll be an absent dad. But I’m not going to let that happen.

Who cares what the statistics say? Not me. I’m not letting statistics hold me back.

I’m thankful that God isn’t limited by what statistics say has to happen.

God isn’t limited by statistics.

  • Gideon led an army of 22,000 300 to conquer the Midianites (Judges 6-8). Against the statistics.
  • Moses led the Israelites out of slavery to the most powerful man in the world. With no weapons (Exodus 12:31-40). Against the statistics.
  • Daniel was thrown into a pit of lions and survived to be a leader for his exiled people (Daniel 6). Against the statistics.
  • David, a boy at the time, defeated the best warrior the the Philistines had (1 Samuel 17). Against the statistics.
  • Abraham and Sarah birthed a nation at the ripe old age of 100 (Genesis 21:1-7). Against the statistics.
  • Jesus had 12 followers that took the Gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts). Against the statistics.

Statistics don’t hold a candle to God.

I know that wisdom takes statistics into account. Statistics aren’t evil, but can help inform our decisions. We should take them into account. But we should not use them solely in our decision making.

Don’t let statistics determine your decision.

Remember that you serve a God who overcomes odds and breaks through strongholds. He won’t be stopped by a mere statistic.

Neither should you.

*photo credit: Creative Commons user: Mac Steve