Winning the Lottery…or Not! Gaining the Things Money Cannot Buy
Wendy Blight

"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 know and follow hard after You. Change my heart to desire You above all else in my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
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.

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God's Story by Wendy Blight

Visit Wendy’s Blog, Living Truth to learn more about all that is yours in Christ.

The One Year Chronological Bible (NLT)

i am not, but i know I AM by Louie Giglio

Application Steps:
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?

Is Christ at home in your heart?

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?

Power Verses:
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.

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Blogger Emily Kane said...

Such a beautiful prayer - I have written it on a note card and put it on my fridge. I was teaching at aschool in a very well-to-do neighborhood before mybabieawere born. When they arrived, I quit to stay home and care for them. I did not realize how materialistic I had become while teaching at this school - most of the teachers were married to doctors, lawyers, etc., they would have new cars all the time, rarely wore the same thing twice, always had the latest trends in jewlerly and purses; hair and makeup to the nine everyday. The students were the same way - elementary kids with designer clothes and designer attitudes! I was no different - I made it my daily ambition to keep up with the rest of them - it was exhausting and way out of our budget - my husband is a farmer - a farmer Anne a school teacher aren't really rolling in the dough! So as my. SAHM lifestyle began to sink in I began to notice how that former lifestyle had been so destructive - day by day out here on the farm with my babies and little to no outside influence I started feeling freed from that desire to have "stuff" that desire changed to an intense yearning for the presence of God like I had never had before - oh I was a Christian, prayed daily - but never really "knew" God the way I am beginning to now. Thank you for taking me back to that dark place so that I have seen how far I have come - oh God's still working on me but boy have I ce a long way!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, to know God is everything. Thank you. It was a great privilege to read your devotional today. I pray that prayer not only for myself but for my family, too.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my prayer today! I can't wait to do the Bible study starting June 14. Only God knows what great things He will reveal to us. I'm so excited!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This week, I have meet a family that is worth over $110 million, a good friend's brother will soon be drafted into the NBA and will be purchasing her a new home, and another friend (single w/child) just passed the bar and will be practicing law. There was a time in my life when I would have been green with envy. Now, I appreciate what God has done and is doing in their lives. I now understand that God has a plan for each life and that my life is sooooo good. I may not have the money, the new home or the high profile career things that I really valued at one point in my life but I have the love of Jesus. A love that surpasses all understanding. I have His peace. I have His joy and I have His love. It is more than enough.

Blogger S. Kim Henson said...

Thanks, Wendy, for inspiration to believe God has a perfect plan even in those moments of envy - which when they come are some of the hardest for me to handle. I'm grateful they're not often! Your devotioal inspired one of my own.

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