No, I didn’t win the lottery you’re thinking of. But I have won something even better.
Let me explain…
Years ago I was driving down the road, reflecting on a TV interview of Bill Gates I’d heard a few days earlier. Gates clearly is a remarkable guy, and the interview discussed how he founded Microsoft and became the richest man in America in the process.
Gates earned his first billion dollars by age 31, and his wealth has now soared to $79 billion—that’s 79 with nine zeroes behind it!
While pondering all of this, I sensed the Lord giving me an entirely different perspective on Bill Gates’ amazing wealth.
“Bill Gates isn’t really the richest man in America, Jim,” God assured me that day.
“Oh really, Lord,” I replied. “Then who is?”
“You are!” He said with a chuckle.
“Lord, I admit that I don’t keep track of my bank account as closely as I should. But the last time I checked, my balance was a little short of Bill Gates’ $79 billion!”
I was astounded by His reply: “Jim, the most ordinary believer who is connected by faith to the resources of heaven is far richer than Bill Gates.”
The Lord’s message to me that day was brought to a pointed conclusion when He asked, “Would you rather have Bill Gate’s $79 billion, or have all the resources of heaven at your disposal?”
Frankly, His question made me squirm, because it wasn’t as easy for me to answer as it should have been. I had to think about it! If I had $79 billion in the bank, at least it would show up on my financial records. On the other hand, my credit rating might not improve much if I told the bank I had “all the riches of heaven” at my disposal!
As I struggled to answer the Lord’s probing question, He brought to mind what He told His disciples about this very issue: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19). In addition to moths, rust, and thieves, I’m sure today He would mention stock market crashes and recessions as some of the dangers to our earthly wealth.
From this I realized that I’m not only the richest man in America, I am also the most secure. Not only do I have all the riches of heaven at my disposal as I act in obedience to Christ (Ephesians 1:3), but those riches will never be affected by Wall Street or any other earthly factors.
When the truth of my incredible financial well-being began to sink in, I became grieved at how often the issue of money has deterred me from pursuing the things God wanted me to do. Instead of asking His will first, and then trusting Him to provide the finances, I too often do an assessment of whether or not I can afford it. I have a bad habit of trusting in my own visible resources, which are relatively few, instead of relying upon His invisible resources, which are infinite.
So, you are and I are much richer than we could have imagined. I guess you could even say we won the lottery.
If you’re ever in the Charlotte area and want to meet the richest man in America, I invite you to give me a call. However, if it’s a loan you are after, I will probably turn you down. Instead, I will try to help you see that you really don’t need a loan. Why? Because if you’re in touch with your Heavenly Father, you are the richest person in America too.