A friend of mine gave me this example from the Bible about how the tribe of Levi in the Old Testament relates to my ministry work today.
My ministry calling is similar to the tribe of Levi in biblical times. This lifestyle is sometimes referred to as one of the “Modern Day Levite.” Below are the main tenets of how the “old” way of the Levite presently plays out.
-The Levites were a small portion of the population.
The Levites were descendants of Levi, the third son of Jacob and Leah. The Levites are one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The members of the other eleven tribes of Israel had many functions; some were farmers, government officials, or marketplace workers. Today, we still recognize the importance of different people serving in different functions to make up the complete body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12).
-The Levites ministered unto God.
“At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name…” Deuteronomy 10:8
The Levites were called to carry the ark (which was at that time the dwelling place of God), oversee the temple activities, and minister unto God. Today, through the place of prayer and worship, I am a companion of God, standing in His council, and partnering in intercession with Jesus, the Great and Living Intercessor.
“Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25
-The Levites ministered unto the people of God.
“They (the Levites) are to perform duties…for the whole community at The Tent of Meeting…” Num. 3:7
As the tribe of priests, overseeing the functions of the temple allowed the Levites significant interaction with the people of Israel as they offered sacrifices to God on their behalf. In our day, Jesus is our mediator and we have no need of animal sacrifices. Yet, we are seeing an increased hunger among people for the things of God, to see the power of God at work in their lives and in the world around them. I desire to be the vessel of the message, heart, and power of God in our day. In practical terms, this looks like proclaiming, singing, and writing about the Word of God and ministering through counsel and prayer to those whom I meet at IHOPE, Bridge of Hope Church, and the community.
“If they had stood in My council, they would have proclaimed My words to My people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.” Jeremiah 23:22
–The Levites lived primarily from the offerings of the people.
“The priests, who are Levites- indeed the whole tribe of Levi- are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the offerings made to the Lord by fire, for that is their inheritance. They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the Lord is their inheritance, as He promised them.” Deut. 18:1-2
Like the Levites of the Old Testament and Christians of today, I believe that the Lord is my greatest reward and ultimate inheritance- even as we are His! I do not seek to store up treasure on this earth, but to live simply, honorably, and generously with the finances and possessions I am entrusted with.
Other biblical examples of this “fasted” lifestyle are found in Anna (Luke 2:36-37), Simeon (Luke 2:25), and Mary of Bethany (Luke 10:39-42 and Matthew 26:6-13).