One morning, I'd spent time praying for several hurting people at church. As I prayed for my new friends, the Lord revealed their deeper wounds and secrets. I shared the insights God had given me as I prayed for them. I told them they could really trust God and his great love for them. Their tears turned to peace, and their peace turned to joy. How wonderful it was to witness the Lord move so mightily in their lives.
So on this day, knowing I'd heard from the Lord, I headed home. As I clutched the steering wheel, I prayed a silly prayer: "Lord, if You can speak to me, would You tell me the winning numbers for the upcoming lottery?"
It was not that I was interested in playing the lottery, though it was hard not to notice that it had reached a billion-dollar jackpot. But I was curious if God would speak to me in such a way. So I smiled as I drove down the freeway, wondering if God would answer me.
Immediately, a series of numbers came to mind. I grinned. I didn't really believe they were the actual numbers that would win. So I didn't stop to play the game.
But the next day, these were the very numbers that popped up on the ping-poll ball drawing. If I had played them, I would have won a billion dollars.
I Was Stunned
For one thing, I had really heard from God. And for another thing, I felt guilty. Imagine! If I had played those numbers, how much ministry I could have accomplished.
I took my thoughts to the Lord. "Did I mess up?" I asked.
It was as if I could feel the Lord smile on me.
And in my inner ear of my soul, I heard the Lord whisper, "I knew you wouldn't play the numbers. That's why I gave them to you when you asked. I wanted to show you that you really can hear My voice."
That brought me peace, though I still like to laugh about missing out on a billion-dollar jackpot. But how glad I am that the lottery is not my provider. God is my provider. He's all I need to do all that He's asked me to accomplish.
You may be wondering just how I hear God's voice.
For starters, I daily ask His Spirit to flow through me. It's His Spirit who makes the Word come alive as I read it. It's His Spirit who gives me peace, love and joy and all the other fruits of the Spirit. It's His Spirit who quietly, gently and lovingly whispers wisdom and truth to my heart.
Even if you never win a billion-dollar lottery, God will provide you with everything you need, including the wonderful fruit of His Spirit.
Linda Evans Shepherd is a nationally known Christian speaker and a bestselling author of over 30 books. She's the president of Right to the Heart Ministries, founder of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) and the founder of GodTest.com. Her latest book is When You Need to Move a Mountain.
This article originally appeared at leadinghearts.com.
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