In the Old Testament, Israel was commanded to take the physical land of Canaan and all the other lands the Lord was giving to them as their inheritance. Each tribe was given a section of land that was designated as theirs. They had to conquer kingdoms, fight giants, tear down walls and keep advancing in order to take the land that Yahweh was giving to them. The Lord even went as far as to say, wherever your foot treads, that land will be yours (Deuteronomy 11:24/Joshua 1:3). So, Israel marched in and took over land from other peoples who were enemies of Israel and were squatting on land that belonged to Israel, for the Psalmist tells us, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;” (Psalm 24:1, NIV). But when Jesus came to the earth, there was a significant change that took place, but that many, if not most have missed it.
In John 2, Jesus is having a discussion with some Jews after He turned over tables in the temple and this is what Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body” (NIV). Jesus makes a significant shift in understanding from the temple being brick and mortar to the temple being His body, He now was the temple. Then Paul takes the thought one step further when he says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” (1 Cor. 6:19, NLT). So, there is a shift that takes place from that which used to be outside of them to it being inside of them.
As New Testament believers everything that Israel obtained in the natural or outside of them, like land, like defeating of enemies, like building temples, all of these things are what the Lord has placed inside of us. Think about this for a minute, Jesus prayed in Matthew 6, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. Who is the earth Jesus is referencing? Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:7 that we have this treasure in earthen vessels. Is it possible, Jesus was praying that the kingdom of God would advance inside of us, that God is seeking to take ground in our hearts, in our lives, not in the earth, but in people? Think about this for a minute, Christ in you is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27), then from what direction is the Lord seeking to advance His kingdom, outside of you or inside of you? Where is your real battle, is it outside of you or inside of you? James says, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice” (James 3:16, NIV). James, Paul, Jesus all say that everything is inside of us.
The land the Lord is calling us to take is inside of us, not outside of us. The battles we face are not outside of us, they are inside of us and inside of others. The only way anything is outside of us is if it comes out of our mouths (Luke 6:45) or our actions. The fruit of the spirit is inside of you, the spirit of God is inside of you, the kingdom of God is inside of you. Everything you need is inside of you, but it all starts with you allowing the Lord to advance the kingdom of God within you. Many people are not successful, not effective, not because they have not had a door open, or an opportunity arise, but because they have resisted the advancing of the kingdom of God in you. 3 John 2 says, “May you prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers” (NIV). The land the Lord is trying to take is inside of you, so who controls how much land is taken, you do. Let Jesus, Take the land!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When you buy a brand new deck of cards, they come color coordinated. All the hearts are together, all the diamonds are together, all the spades are together and all the clubs are together. Even the hearts and the diamonds are next to one another and the spades and the clubs are all side by side in a brand new deck of cards. There is something about us as human beings that likes to be around people who have the same color as us. To take it a step further, we tend to be suspicious of people who are of a different color than us. So, this prophetic word God gave me about a month ago has finally made sense to me, God said, “I Am shuffling the deck.”
Revelation 12:7-12, says, “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
Did you know the Greek word for accuser is kategoros, which is where we get the English word, categories? The enemy, the devil, Satan himself seeks to bring division by putting us into categories. Black or white; rich or poor; slave or free; spiritual or sinner; Democrat or Republican; Baptist or Pentecostal; leader or laity; the number of categories that we have been placed into us beyond naming, and the goal of categories from the enemy, the accusers standpoint is so we are divided. Division is the goal of the enemy and what we are seeing on the earth right now is the highlighting of categories or can I say division.
God said, “I Am shuffling the deck.” When we rise up in anger based on injustices we see, the enemy, the accuser is right there to egg us on to strengthen the categories. If the media highlights a mistake that Trump makes, the categorically Hillary supporters jump on the band wagon and character assault Trump, if Clinton and the DNC fire someone, then the enemy eggs on the Republicans to reinforce the belief that Democrats are not trustworthy. Now, if you are not a Christian, these divisions, party lines, attacks on one another, in many ways is to be expected, because the god of this world has blinded the eyes of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4). But as believers, as Christians, as people who claim to be in the light, we should have eyes to see the scheme of the enemy who is seeking to put us in a category and divide us as people.
God is shuffling the deck not just on the streets of America, not just in companies around this country, not just in politics but He is shuffling the deck in the church, which if we were honest is the most categorically divisive place on the earth. What we are beginning to see and will see more so in the days to come is black preachers speaking in white churches, white preachers speaking in black churches and women preaching in every church. God is shuffling the deck and the church is not going to be exempt. Leadership teams are going to be including women and men, black and white leaders, young and old, all serving together, all leading together. The revival that is coming is multigenerational, multiethnic and multi-gender, because as Paul said, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female for you are ALL one in Christ” (Galatians 3:28).
The reason the church has very little voice in the racial challenges our nation is facing, minimal authority in the political arena or in the streets of our cities, is not because we lack authority given from Jesus (Matthew 28:18); not because we do not have the truth (John 8:32); but because we are just as categorically divided as they are and Jesus said in Matthew 12:22-28, a house that is divided cannot stand. God said, “I Am shuffling the deck.” Kenneth Copeland said just the other day at his SW Believers Conferences, “thus saith the Lord, nothing is going to look like it has looked, a change is coming that is going to be so different than anything we have ever seen.” So, God is the I AM and He is shuffling the deck!