God or Blessings?

Deuteronomy is quickly becoming one of my favorite books of the Old Testament. It is packed full of amazing truths about God, His law, and His love for His people. This week, I want to look into three different passages from the book of Deuteronomy and apply them to our lives as a people who are His own special people, His royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9).

It’s this priesthood notion in particular that I want to focus on today. As Christians, our Old Testament counterpart would have been the Levites. A tribe that was set apart to do special service for the LORD. Today, we are the priesthood, able to offer our sacrifices to the One True God and be special workers in His kingdom. We work under the High Priest, Jesus Christ, who was the spotless Lamb who died for us. Sometimes, though, even though we work so closely with the High Priest, and even though our entire lives are to be dedicated to serving God, we get distracted. We lose focus of what is truly important.

Today, I want to ask you to do something really personal: I want you to do a heart check. Really look into your heart and evaluate what’s most important to you.

In the Old Testament, Deuteronomy echoes many of the things that the books of Leviticus and Numbers had spelled out in a very detailed manner. One of those echoed thoughts comes from Deuteronomy 10:8-9, where we read this about the Levites:

“At that time the Lord separated the tribe of Levi to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister to Him and to bless in His name, to this day. Therefore Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance, just as the Lord your God promised him.”

At first glance, this may not seem that significant. But really read the words of the text. The tribe of Levi would have no portion of the inheritance that was going to be divvied out among the rest of the tribes. Instead, because they were privileged to serve God as His special priesthood, their land and livestock and other inheritance would be received in a different manner. They would get to live by the tabernacle. They would receive a portion of the sacrifices that the other tribes brought. The LORD would take care of the Levites, and truly He would be their inheritance, instead of them having a specific parcel of land to call their own.

Here’s where the heart check comes in.

Would you be content with the LORD being your inheritance, or would you want the land and stuff that comes along with it? Stated in a more applicable, 21st century way: do you want God or do you only want His blessings?

I’m afraid many of us get distracted by all that the world has going on. We see all the stuff — the bounty of food and technology and popularity and fame and money and fancy clothing — and we pout. We long to have those kinds of things, instead of being beyond satisfied to have God as our inheritance. We feel like we got the lesser deal. And how unspeakably sad to feel that way. To feel that the God of the Universe is a consolation prize!

On the days when we feel discontented with God as our portion and our all, we need to spend more time in His word. Reading through text after text of God’s amazing love, His unwavering provision, and His incredible mercy and long-suffering. When we’ll spend time contemplating who we are in relation to who God is (read: worthless), we’ll realize that truly He is all we’ll ever need. He’s all we’ve ever needed. We don’t need stuff to survive. We don’t need stuff to be happy. But God? We absolutely need God to survive! And we need God to be happy and to live fulfilled lives. We don’t need a physical inheritance. We don’t need land or riches or material blessings or houses or computers or cars or anything else. We need God. We desperately need Him to be our inheritance. Our portion and our all.

It is my prayer that we will be filled and satisfied with God and God alone. And on the days when we’re not, may God forgive the hardness of our hearts. May He change our appetites and desires, and help us to crave His righteousness (Matthew 5:6).

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