King David referred to God as his portion in Psalm 16:5: "The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot." He echoed the same sentiment in Psalm 142:5. Asaph wrote that "God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" in Psalm 73:26. Lamentations 3:24 says, "'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in him.'" So, what does it mean that "God is my portion"? Sometimes the word "portion" is translated as "inheritance." Saying that God is your portion is another way of saying that He is your inheritance, your allotment in life. When we say that God is our portion, we are saying that He is our all-sufficient One, the source of all we could ever need.
In the Old Testament, each Israelite tribe, minus the priestly tribe of Levi (Deuteronomy 10:9), received an allotment of land upon arrival in the Promised Land (Numbers 26:52–56; Joshua 14:1–5). This land was their family inheritance and was passed on from one generation to the next (Numbers 36:7). As was indicated with the tribe of Levi, another side to the concept of inheritance is that God Himself can be the inheritance of His people (see Jeremiah 10:16). "Levi has no portion or inheritance with his brothers. The LORD is his inheritance" (Deuteronomy 10:9).
The New Testament furthers this by describing believers as co-heirs with Christ, the Son of God, for we have been grafted into the family of God. Through Jesus' redeeming work, we can become adopted as sons and daughters of God (John 1:12; Hebrews 1:2; Romans 8:17; Galatians 4:7). The presence of the Holy Spirit within our lives is the guarantee of this "eternal inheritance" we have received (Ephesians 1:14; Hebrews 9:15).
The Bible makes it clear that all people have the opportunity to become children of God and recipients of the same inheritance (Ephesians 3:6; John 3:16–18). What is the inheritance? The kingdom of God both now and forever (Matthew 25:34; Romans 8:17–23; 1 Corinthians 15:50–58; 1 Peter 1:3–4). This doesn't mean that the life of a believer in Christ is easy; it means we have the grace of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives to help us as we journey through life, and we have the promise of eternity with Christ. God is the source of our sufficiency (2 Corinthians 3:5). Jesus says: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). This is what it looks like to choose to make the Lord your portion.
By saying, "God is my portion," the biblical writers, and now us, are affirming that God is our source of all that is good. He is our portion in the life that is now (Psalm 142:5) and the life that is to come. He is the only inheritance that matters. Relationships, riches, jobs, health, and all other things in our lives may fail, but we can say with confidence that "God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (Psalm 73:26, NASB). When God is our portion, we lack nothing for we have a never-ending supply of hope (Lamentations 3:24).
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