MAHANAIM: THE PLACE OF THE DOUBLE CAMP
by Nathan Shaw
Christians are citizens of two realms: Earthly and heavenly (Philippians 3:20). This dual citizenship makes us unique. Most Christians are more familiar with their earthly citizenship than with their heavenly citizenship. This is about to change. God wants to open up the Spirit realm and take us to a new place in Him. This was made particularly clear to me through a recent event in my own life.
Three months ago I was told I would have to move house. I had six weeks to find another place. At the time there was only a couple of small two bedroom flats and an extremely expensive three bedroom house available. With so few houses available the competition was fierce. I notified all the property managers in my area about my needs. The weeks were passing and I still had nothing. Not far from where I live is a very large playing field. I love going there and talking to God. The location helps me realize just how big He is, and just how small I am.
One day as I was walking and praying in the middle of the large field, an authority rose up from within me. I started to pray, “God, I send out Your angels to open up the doors for the house that You have for me.” The next day a property manager rung me with a house. The house was much bigger than anything I was even considering, but ideal for the various ministry purposes God had put on my heart. I moved into the house and took the time to ask God to cleanse it from any negative influences. I also dedicated the house for His purposes. Unexpectedly I heard God say, “Speak ‘Mahanaim’ over the house and property.”
Mahanaim hearkens back to the life of Jacob. Jacob was in deep trouble. He had stolen his brother Esau’s blessing and Esau was enraged. Jacob fled for his life. God appeared to Jacob and promised that His angelic messengers would be with him, even in foreign lands (Genesis 28:10-15). Jacob spent twenty years living far from the land promised to Abraham and Isaac. Finally Jacob found the courage to return. In doing so he had to face his greatest fear—meeting his brother Esau. So Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. When Jacob saw them, he said, "This is God's camp." And he called the name of that place Mahanaim (Genesis 32:1-2). Mahanaim means the place of the double camp.
At Mahanaim God showed Jacob that he would meet Esau with two camps. The first camp was Jacob’s family, servants, livestock and possessions. The second camp was a heavenly entourage of angels. Jacob was forced to depend on the invisible camp for protection and preservation. Without this invisible camp Jacob’s destiny was in jeopardy. Miraculously when Jacob met Esau, Esau’s heart had changed. Rather than seeking revenge, Esau met Jacob as a brother. Jacob’s life was spared and he was back in position in the land promised to Abraham and Isaac. To walk in his full destiny, however, would require Jacob’s continued dependence on the invisible camp. From here on in Jacob had to walk in a new way.
At Mahanaim Jacob’s eyes were more permanently opened to the invisible realm. He began to operate from a new place in the Spirit. Twenty years earlier, when Jacob was fleeing for his life, God had opened Jacob’s eyes to the intense angelic activity that surrounded him. However, over the following twenty years Jacob remained largely unaware of this angelic activity. At Mahanaim things had changed. Jacob was no longer fleeing from Esau in fear. In fact he was facing the fear head on. To overcome the fear he was forced to see with the eyes of the Spirit.
When Jacob was fleeing for his life the angelic realm was operating around him, both protecting and providing for him, but there was a clear distinction between the two camps. As Jacob grew in faith toward God he was able to respond to God’s leading, return to the promised land, and face his deepest fears. When Jacob responded with faith the distinction between the two camps became blurred. The two camps started working together. In the process his name was changed from Jacob to Israel (Genesis 32:28). The body of Christ is in a similar transition. At present the angelic realm operates around us even although we are often unaware of it. But we are stepping into a place where the two camps work together. Mahanaim is a place of promotion. Two camps become united and we operate from a new place in the Spirit.
Whenever God moves us into a new place it’s usually much better than we imagined it would be. God had told me to speak the word “Mahanaim” over my new house. Mahanaim—the double camp. Suddenly I realized my new house had double everything.
- The previous house had a single level. The new house had two levels.
- The previous house had three small bedrooms. The new house had four decent sized bedrooms, a large library and an office.
- The previous house had two double wardrobes. The new house had two double wardrobes and two walk in wardrobes.
- The previous house had one average sized living area. The new house had two spacious living areas.
- The previous house had a small conservatory. The new house had a conservatory that was twice the size.
- The previous house had one bathroom. The new house had two bathrooms.
- The previous house had a garage. The new house had a garage and a carport.
- In the previous house the kitchen, dining room and laundry were all one room. In the new house they were all separate rooms.
In so many ways the new house was more than double the previous house. My bedroom—which is on the second level—even has two views. The house is beyond what I believed possible, but I’m living in it! God delights to go beyond our wildest dreams.
It’s time to move into a new place in Him. It will take courage and sensitivity. God is challenging us to live with both our natural and our spiritual eyes open—to believe for a blurring of the distinction between the two camps. He will give us the courage to respond to His leading, face our deepest fears, and walk in a new identity. The angelic supernatural realm is not mystical and inaccessible. For us it’s normal. It’s time to speak “Mahanaim” over your life, your church and your ministry. We are going to another level and it’s going to be fun.
Released on Elijah List May 11th, 2018 - http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=20145
Nathan Shaw helps bring individuals and churches into dynamic encounters with God's indescribable love. Nathan's passion is to equip churches so that they can move in the Spirit, access heavenly realms, encounter God's heart and release His Kingdom on the earth. Over the last twenty years he has been instrumental in ushering in significant moves of the Spirit in over ten different nations. Many have experienced life changing prophetic encounters and dramatic visitations from God. Nathan is the author of two books: Passion and Fire and Unto the Least of These and he is the senior pastor at Fire and Destiny Centre www.fireanddestiny.org, Dunedin and Celebration Church, Mosgiel www.celebrationchurch.xyz.
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