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, "Every place where the soles of your feet tread will be yours" (Deut. 11:24; Josh. 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 belongs to the Lord, and its fullness, the world, and those who dwell in it" (Ps. 24:1, MEV). But when Jesus came to the Earth, there was a significant change that took place that many, if not most, have missed.
In John 2:19-20, Jesus is having a discussion with some Jews after He turned over tables in the temple: "Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' They replied, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and You will raise it up in three days?' But the temple He had spoken of was His body" (MEV).
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, What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God ... " (1 Cor. 6:19, MEV). So there is a shift that takes place from that which used to be outside of them being inside of them.
As New Testament believers, everything that Israel obtained in the natural or outside of them, like land, the defeat of enemies, 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 that 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 (Col. 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 there is envying and strife, there is confusion and every evil work" (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 or 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 inside them. 3 John 2 says, "Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, even as your soul is well" (MEV). 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!
Lisa Great is an author, speaker and blogger with Mouthpiece Ministries International. She has been in ministry for over 25 years, she has a BA in Youth and Family Studies, a MA in Education. She can be reached at
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