Companies utilize customer-specific knowledge- demographics, previous behavior, fellow customer’s choices, so that they may craft customized offers and then deliver them, sometimes in real-time. Algorithms also help track customers, cross-sell to them, and promote similar products like what the customer previously searched or purchased.
Companies also have access to an unprecedented amount of data on your past shopping and browsing. They then use this data to predict or make inferences about what is likely to happen in your future.
HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED HOW YOU CAN USE A SEARCH ENGINE TO REFERENCE SOMETHING, AND THE NEXT TIME YOU LOG ONTO YOUR COMPUTER OR PHONE YOU GET THAT AD ATTEMPTING TO SELL YOU A SIMILAR PRODUCT OR SERVICE?
IT’S A FORM OF TRACKING AND TRENDING. ….SO NOW THAT WE KNOW HOW ALGORITHMS WORK LET’S DELVE INTO SCRIPTURE AND GET A PORTRAIT ON HOW THE DEVIL’S ALGORITHMS FOLLOWS YOUR PAST PATTERNS TO MANIPULATE YOU, AND TO DRAW YOU BACK INTO DANGER OR HARM.
1 Peter 5:8 – “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the Devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Luke 4:13 – When the Devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until a reasonable time. That means that the Devil leaves for a season and then returns when he thinks your guard is down, or when you appear TO HAVE ABANDONED PRAYER, FASTING, JOINING YOURSELVES TOGETHER WITH BELIEVERS, OR WORSHIPPING AND PRAISING GOD; AND THERE IS UNPRECEDENTED POWER IN PRAISING AND WORSHIPING OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.
** We know that these random temptations are not of God, and the Bible is clear that God does not tempt us- (James 1:13-17)
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
** Think about this- Not only do Algorithms dish out directions and tracks and trends, but… algorithms can also manipulate and process data to perform calculations or actions in various ways.
Think about your life, and then the area where you have repeated the same mistake over and over again. That’s precisely how the Devil attempts to use your past missteps or harmful behavior to predict how likely you are to be drawn back into that vulnerable area again; To trick you into making the same mistakes that you’ve always made so that you will get the results that you’ve always gotten.
It’s precisely what insurance companies do when they rate you for a premium. They take into account how many past accidents that you’ve had, how many insurance claims that you’ve filed, and although this is a controversial measurement, even what zip code you live in. Insurance companies believe that your past profile is almost absolute regarding what you will likely do in the future. In other words, how likely you are to have an at-fault accident or how many claims you will file.
Another example is a credit card company. Most credit card companies use algorithms to approve or deny you. That algorithm uses tracking and trending to determine your past payment history, if you have a high or low credit utilization, how long your credit profile is, and, more importantly, if you have defaulted on any past credit accounts.
Here’s another one— Corporations have even become savvier regarding who they will choose for an interview. It used to be a time when you faxed, mailed, or emailed your Resume to a company, and a human would review it. These days, a company’s algorithms search for keywords that fit their company’s profile for the particular position, and if there aren’t any keywords on your Resume that match their search, you may never get a call back for an interview.
Understanding that the Devil uses similar strategies to lure you back to your life areas where you are vulnerable and weak is the key to avoid being exploited by his evil system. The Devil also uses the insurance company and corporate algorithm, in the same way, to attempt to predict what mistakes you will make, what errant people you allow into your life, or even trying to lure you away from safety and into areas of your life that compromise your peace.
- Areas in your life where you know are “Off Limits,” but you have found yourself revisiting those areas.
- Areas like worrying – AKA freaking out for no reason because your faith is not where it should be.
- Returning to your Vice- only you and God knows what that VICE is.
- Fear- not trusting God wholeheartedly.
- Not saving money and not having a reserve.
- Here’s a big one- Making the same mistake twice, especially when choosing a mate. A mistake that you’ve made over and over again. A mistake that seems to follow you everywhere you go. Do you ever wonder why you still manage to get into another similar relationship after you escape a horrible one? The Devil’s algorithm is tracking and trending and sending another abusive boyfriend or girlfriend or situation into your life to disrupt your peace and interfere with your purpose.
Now God, on the other hand, has a PERFECT algorithm. Let’s look at a few scriptures-
Proverbs 3:5-6 says Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and hope. The KJV says- For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
You might be asking what does that means? It means that we are part of God’s daily thoughts and not his after-thoughts. When God thinks about us, he thinks about his people with thoughts of peace and celebrates our expected end.
Isaiah 58:11 says -The Lord will guide you continually, he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land, and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.
So there you have it- The Lord’s Algorithms are perfect, and even when it looks like you’ve lost, you haven’t because his purpose for your life is far greater than your mistakes. And even when it appears that you are off course, God’s algorithm will ultimately lead you around the trouble and back to safety.
Remember this, taking the long route might cost you more time, but it’s the route that takes you where your purpose is waiting to engage you and re-routes you away from destruction and harm.
So how do you get off the Devil’s Algorithm and onto God’s Algorithm? It’s more transparent than you think-
- Psalm 46:1-3 – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
- Proverbs 18:10 – The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.
The Devil’s algorithm might be in operation for many, but seeking God’s face every single day, praising, worshipping, and giving thanks is the open-ended process that keeps you near to God, who is your rock and fortress. This doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes, but God is there to mitigate the damages and uplift you above dismay, hopelessness, trouble, obstacles, and discouragement.
God is a “right now” God, and as you embrace the truth of the scriptures through Jesus Christ, God customizes your success and upholds you with his righteous hand.
Deuteronomy 31:6 says -” Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
It’s easy enough to get off the Devil’s merry-go-round and denounce any impact his algorithm might have on your life. When you seek God, he replaces the devil’s algorithm with the Zoe life that is promised to those who follow him, and through the renewing of your mind, he will transform your mistakes and bad behavior into the hope and truth of salvation through Jesus Christ.