But Moses gave no land to the tribe of Levi, for the LORD, the God of Israel had promised to be their inheritance. Joshua 13:33 nlt
The word resourceful is an extremely powerful one to me. When I hear it, I picture someone like MacGyver or Survivor Man. I like playing games that sharpen my ability to be resourceful, such as the hypothetical question “What ONE thing would you bring with you to a deserted island?” Ever since middle school, I have often tried to picture how “present me” would successfully live in hiding from the Nazis for two years like Anne Frank. (That one is a lot more challenging to figure out now that I have a husband and three kids; I can’t even keep just two of them quiet in a dressing room with me at The Gap for more than 15 seconds.)
One of the key ingredients to being resourceful is to drop the “mine” attitude about 99% of what you own. As soon as something is mine, then I find myself significantly more consumed with keeping it mine. It becomes something that is non-negotiable, which can restrict flexibility and creativity, and keep me from seeing other ways God is blessing me. For example, I have started to try to view the place I sleep each night not as “my house” but rather as a headquarters for our family mission. When I shift this small perspective, large things happen. All of a sudden, it doesn’t concern me when someone drops by unannounced – it’s a Mission Headquarters, not Emily’s personal pajama, soap opera & wine spa – I expect someone will stop by with exciting news on their own personal mission and want a place to rest and recharge. I will have the headquarters ready. All of a sudden I don’t have pity parties about how badly I wish my kids would listen and obey – it’s a Mission Headquarters – they need space to bump into God and life under my watch and what better place than the one I happen to live in! I will rejoice in their struggles with me today because it means mastery someday on their own. I will stop seeing this as my own personal property and remember I am here for a plan bigger than my own comfort – it’s Mission Headquarters – I want to be equipped and available to serve God with all my resources being used to the fullest.
The book of Joshua is full of examples of resourcefulness in faith. Once the Israelites had conquered all the nations within Canaan, they divided up the provinces to all the tribes based upon the allotments Moses had made on the plains of Moab. But look –
“But Moses gave no land to the tribe of Levi, for the LORD, the God of Israel, had promised to be their inheritance.” (Joshua 13:33 nlt)
I have read this promise a couple times now in different spots in the Old Testament and think it is the coolest thing, ever. Who would want a stinking square of dirt when you can have God as your inheritance, right?! There were some study notes on this, as well.
“The tribe of Levi was dedicated to serving God. The Levites needed more time and mobility than a landowner could possibly have. Giving them land would mean saddling them with responsibilities and loyalties that would hinder their service to God.”
That makes them an amazing model for me today in my attempt to be resourceful rather than greedy and resentful. I want to look at all that I have as moldable and useful for a greater cause. So, if my inheritance is God, the Creator of the Universe, my Heavenly Father, then why am I wasting so much time on “landscaping” rather than reading the Eternity in Heaven manual?
Challenge: I will evaluate the things that “saddle” me to a temporary inheritance. What rituals do I live by that are not allowing me to be more resourceful with my life?
Dear Lord, I want to always be mindful that I am just a manager of your blessings here on earth and none of it is “mine.” I will take joy in each responsibility you have given me and, instead of trying to make it into a heaven on earth, I will ask you how I can use it as eternal currency. Thank you for being the God that wastes nothing. Amen.