June 3, 2010
Winning the Lottery…or Not!
Gaining the Things Money Cannot Buy
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." Ephesians 3:17b-18 (NIV)
What do you desire more than anything in your life? Health? Happiness? Comfort? Success? Peace? A good marriage? Obedient children?
In 1997, when I still practiced law, a group of ladies at my Dallas, Texas firm decided to pool money and buy lottery tickets. They offered me the chance to participate, and I agreed but had no cash in my wallet. Should I borrow the money to go in on the ticket? I wondered.
The ladies were planning to do this every week, so they assured me there would be plenty more opportunities. I didn't participate that day. They won. Thirteen women split $33 million dollars!!
I cannot even explain what it felt like to be so close to winning that much money, or, more accurately, what it felt like to lose that much money. Day after day I went into the office and the women shared their plans for their winnings. Jealousy filled my heart. I longed to have what they had…to feel what they were feeling. Going to work became more and more difficult. Why didn't I have any cash in my wallet that one day? Why didn't I simply borrow $5?
I focused on what I lost and what I could have had. What I should have had. Looking back now, it is so clear where the desires of my heart lay.
Thankfully, the Lord moved us from Dallas to Charlotte, North Carolina. I quit practicing law to stay home with our children. In those years, He stripped away many of the material things we had in Dallas because we could no longer afford them. He led me to my first Bible study. In that study, He ignited a passion in my life to study and teach His Word. Eventually, He called me into ministry with Proverbs 31 Ministries.
My husband Monty and I believe with all our hearts that if we had won the lottery and stayed in Dallas none of this would have ever happened. I never would have made my heart available to hear the call. God moved us to redirect the desires of our hearts.
I ask you again. What is it you desire above all else in your life?
Listen to the words of this worship song:
Give me one pure and holy passion.
Give me one magnificent obsession.
Give me one glorious ambition for my life
To know and follow hard after you.
A few years ago at our She Speaks conference, we sang this song. It was like hearing it for the first time. Never had I thought about knowing God being something to desire most in life. Yes, I desired the things of God…but not God Himself.
After the conference, God took me to Ephesians. Wow! What a journey He started that day. Over the next weeks and months, God uncovered amazing riches that I never knew were mine in Christ Jesus. My heart broke with how long I had lived oblivious to the fabulous wealth that is mine…that is ours…in Christ!
Heavenly Father, God of Heaven's Armies, King of kings and Lord of lords, give me one pure and holy passion, give me one magnificent obsession, give me one glorious ambition for my life...to know and follow hard after You. Change my heart to desire You above all else in my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
God's revelation from Ephesians was the catalyst for Wendy's new Bible study curriculum, All Things Wise and Wonderful: Applying God's Wisdom to Everyday Life. If you'd like to discover the riches God has for you, join Wendy's blog series this summer, beginning Monday, June 14, to study the book of Ephesians together.
Visit Wendy's Blog, Living Truth to learn more about all that is yours in Christ.
Read Ephesians 3:16-20. Ephesians 3:17 says, "Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust Him" (NLT).
What does Paul mean when he says Christ will make His home in your hearts?
According to these verses, what happens when Christ is at home in your heart?
Reflecting on Ephesians 3:17b-18, what is your part in God's process?
Ephesians 3:16-17a, "I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith." (NIV)
Ephesians 3:17b-19, "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." (NIV)
© 2010 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105