Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.Psalm 16:5-6
What is filling you right now? What is filling your heart? Is it peace and joy or anxiety and fear? What is filling your mind? Is it thoughts of God and of life or thoughts of death, jealousy, bitterness? What is filling your body? Is it the gifts of God or are you taking in things that distract you from Him? Can you really say that God is your portion? What does that even mean?
For God to be our portion means that He is the thing filling us. He is the source of everything we have and need. He is what we crave.
How does God become our portion?
The Levites were a defensive, angry, vengeful, and brutal people, an inherited trait from their namesake, Levi, the son of Jacob (Genesis 34, Genesis 49:5-7). They loved the sword and used it for their own name, until they chose to defend the renown of God (Exodus 32:25-29).
So [Moses] stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the LORD, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him.
Due to their love and passion for God, their radical allegiance, even to the extent of fighting against their own loved ones to death, they and all their livestock became God’s inheritance instead of the firstborn sons of Israel (Numbers 3). Loyalty to God evokes His invitation to become blessed by God, holy, set apart workers in His house. Their job was not even to be priests, but to guard and carry the pieces of the tabernacle. They were laborers! It would be one thing if they got to enter the presence of God, but they literally could not even touch or look at the most holy tools of the tabernacle! They were the Lord’s for the purposes of just carrying His house, ministering before the Lord, and blessing the people! Of just “being His.” Here’s the kicker. God is our portion of the land, our inheritance. But we are also HIS (For the Lord’s portion is his people…Deuteronomy 32:9).
This “blessing” was so literal, that when they reached the promised land and the land was being divided up among all the tribes of Israel, God did not give them land.
Instead, He gave them Himself.
But to the tribe of Levi he gave no inheritance, since the food offerings presented to the Lord, the God of Israel, are their inheritance, as he promised them…to the tribe of Levi, Moses had given no inheritance; the Lord, THE GOD OF ISRAEL IS THEIR INHERITANCE, as he promised them.Joshua 13:14, 32
I wonder if they were disappointed.
At the time the 10 commandments were given, “the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today. 9 That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as the Lord your God told them.” (Deuteronomy 10:8)
Were they let down by their inheritance? Did they view it as God withholding blessing from them? Did they see it as a lack of land, income, and ability to build a name for themselves? Or did they view it accurately, as the greatest inheritance a lineage could receive, the gift of being close to God’s presence in meaningful service as commissioned by God Himself, to bless Him and others?
So now, what is the job of one who experiences God as their portion, We simply are filled with Him. And we live all of life from that place of fullness. Jesus fills us as promised from a neverending well of life (John 4, John 7:38-39). That is, The Holy Spirit.
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, RIVERS OF LIVING WATER will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.John 7:38-39
David, the man who would be King after God’s own heart, took on this inheritance that God was His portion out of desperation, before he was even king. He said God was His portion when he was running for his life in a cave.
I cry to you, Lord;Pre-King David, in a cave hiding from Saul. Psalm 142:5
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.Ephesians 5:18-20
My 10 year old daughter does not take credit for things. The other day she used her own money to buy ingredients for cookies for her discipleship group and made all the cookies herself. When I got there to pick her up, everyone thanked ME for the cookies. When I asked her later why she didn’t take credit, she said she just can’t right now, but she doesn’t know why, but it feels like God. I told her that makes sense, because she is filled with God’s love. We are all like cups, filled by something. If you’re a cup filled to overflowing with the love of God, then there is no room for the praise of man. You’re not thirsty for it anymore. AND you can pour out generously and joyfully and secretly.
If I’m honest, I am not always full. I feel the need for people’s praise and approval far more often than I would like to admit, especially on days I don’t get alone with Jesus. But that doesn’t change his offer to us.
What shall I return to the Lord
for all his goodness to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord…
I will sacrifice a thank offering to youPsalm 116
and call on the name of the Lord.
Oh God. Fill me.
...know by experience this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:19