In previous posts I encouraged you to stretch your ability to hear God’s voice by asking Him questions. When we ask honestly, and earnestly, He loves to answer, and sometimes He answers emphatically. That’s what happened to me several years ago when I asked Him about Christians and gambling.
It started in the hair salon where the stylists were excitedly talking about a lady in Las Vegas who had just won the largest payout in slot machine history (around $35 million at the time). Weeks later, I was in Las Vegas for a business conference and her story came to mind. As I passed the casino on the way to the front desk, I asked the Lord, “You know I hear your voice. Can’t you show me which slot machine will pay off so I can use the money for ministry work?”
Playing by house rules
Later, in my room, the Holy Spirit answered with a question of His own.
“Whose house is this?”
I didn’t understand, so He said, “When you are in the casino, you play by house rules, correct?”
I said “Yes”, and He asked again, “Whose house is this?
Then I understood. It’s the devil’s house.
And He said, “What are the devil’s house rules?”
John 10:10 rose in my spirit. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”
Then He asked, “And what are My house rules?”
And I knew based on the rest of the verse, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
You see, we can play in the devil’s house, but if we do, we must accept His horrific rules of engagement. God could show us which slot machine to play, which lottery ticket to buy, or which horse to bet on, but He won’t because He doesn’t want us subject to the enemy’s house rules. Besides, there’s no need for us to play in the devil’s house when God guarantees a divine payback as we follow His law of sowing and reaping (See for ex. Luke 5:38 Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:32).
The exclamation point
Several weeks later, God brought this topic home in the emphatic way only He can. I was in the doctor’s office reading a magazine, and there was an article about this same Las Vegas woman. Not long after winning, she was in a car with her sister when they were hit by a drunk driver. Her sister was killed instantly, and the “lucky” lady was left paralyzed from the chest down by a shattered spine. Tragically, she said she would give every cent she owned to get her old life back and to be able to walk again.
This story put the fear of God in me – which I’m sure it was meant to do. I’ve never had any urge to gamble since that time. In fact, if someone were to give me a winning lottery ticket, I would drop it like a hot potato, and run screaming in the other direction!
My friends, don’t mess around in the wrong house. Research it and you’ll find many more heartbreaking stories of people who say, “I wish I’d never won.” Stick with God’s way of blessing you. When you play by God’s rules you win 100% of the time – and you get life – and life more abundantly!
Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands–all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you.
And he went on to say to them all, “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be.”
*Good News Translation® (Today’s English Version, Second Edition) © 1992 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.