As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9
God’s math is higher than our math. In God’s economy if you want to multiply something you must first divide it and if you want to add something you must first subtract from it. It makes us scratch our heads and wonder how it works, but it just does. Consider the way in which Jesus fed the 5000 starting with just five loaves and two fishes. We are told that He divided them among the multitude and they all ate and were satisfied. When the disciples collected the leftovers, miraculously they had multiplied into twelve baskets full of bread and fish. (Mark 6:41-44) Go figure. How did He do that? The little boy who gave his lunch away ended up with a staggering return on his investment.
Walking with God requires faith and the ways of faith defy logic. (Habakkuk 2:4) God’s higher math applies to time. Think about the Sabbath principle. God created the heavens and the earth in six days and then established the seventh day as a day of rest. He then commanded His creation to incorporate a Sabbath rest in giving a day to Him, into the rhythm of our lives as well. When the demands of work and projects overwhelm us, the temptation is to skip the resting part and our time with God.
In the natural, we think that working more will increase our productivity. But in essence it is just the opposite. Foregoing rest actually decreases effectiveness. Many studies have shown that productivity actually increases when people take breaks for rest. God’s counterintuitive math prevails. Laboring six days is more productive in the end than laboring all seven days of a week; and sixth sevenths is greater than seven sevenths. You must subtract in order to add.
There is a testimony from Martin Luther’s life which illustrates this point. The busier his day the more time he took to pray. He found that subtracting work time in order to give more time to God in prayer was the means to adding greater productivity and effectiveness to his day.
God’s higher math also applies to finances and is best illustrated in the tithing principle. God has so structured His faith economy that the key to adding abundance is in subtracting a tenth to give to Him. In so doing, God promises to pour out such a blessing that we will not have enough room to contain it. (Malachi 3:10) It is amazing that in keeping less (nine tenths) we are better off than if we had kept it all. And so we see that if we want to add to our income, we must first subtract from it.
On numerous occasions in my life, I have seen God’s faithfulness multiply through division and add through subtraction. I had the great benefit of growing up in a home where the Sabbath principle applied and tithing was a way of life. I can still picture my mother sitting at the family desk in the study each Saturday evening and writing out a tithe check in preparation for Sunday worship. So when I had a personal encounter with Christ at age twenty-five, a Sabbath rest and tithing became a natural expression of my faith in Him.
Since that time, for thirty-nine years now, I have seen again and again that 6/7 is greater than 7/7 when it comes to time and 9/10 is greater than 10/10 when it comes to money. I don’t know how He does it, but God is faithful and His “higher math” always prevails and never fails.