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Watch 2022 online sermons » Leon Fontaine » Leon Fontaine - Be Patient And Grow Your Faith

Leon Fontaine - Be Patient And Grow Your Faith

Leon Fontaine - Be Patient And Grow Your Faith
TOPICS: Patience, God’s Timing, Faith

There's an interesting story in the Bible that doesn't explain itself. It says something fantastic but then doesn't explain itself. And I want to endeavor to do that today and it's a story of King David. He's not been crowned the king of Israel yet. So he's got a group of men that follow him. They have built their own village. They've got wives and kids. One day as they're coming back from the, from out whatever they were doing, fighting. Someone had come in and stolen their wives and their kids.

Now, I can't think of anything more devastating than having an enemy. In those days warfare was brutal steal your kids, your wife. The men were so upset. They were going to kill David. And you know there's a problem when everybody wants to kill the leader. And David did something interesting. He did not stand in front of them and try to defend himself. He didn't say, "Hey, guys. I got a plan". He literally pulled himself away. And the Bible says he strengthened himself with God. But it doesn't tell us how he did it. That's important to me.

I remember years ago. You know, I grew up in a church and a couple of amazing parents who were pastors but we'd never really seen a church grow past a couple hundred. And when Sally and I got married and begin to go to conferences of mega churches and we saw what God could do. It became our prayer. I said, "God, if I'm going to do something for you, I want it big. I want to do something that's going to make a difference". I didn't realize the bigger you get, the more problems you got. The bigger something is, the more pressure that you feel. And there's multiple times in my life personally where I was so overwhelmed and the answer was simply management techniques, administrative techniques. But then there were times when I was overwhelmed where it was just capacity. I just, didn't matter how many techniques you've got, you feel the burden, like Paul says the burden of the churches.

And I remember going crying out to God and finding the story of David. Then going, "Rip off. You don't even tell me how he did it". So I begin to go into the Word and begin to follow David's life. I begin to find out what did this man do, because he wasn't even born again. And so when you find heroes in the Old Testament who aren't, because they're under the old covenant. They didn't have a born again spirit. They didn't have the peace of God. They didn't have the presence of God in them. They had to pray to a God that was out there. Whereas we have Him on the inside. And I found a word and we have to explain this word because it doesn't mean the same thing, and it changed my life. It's the word wait.

Now, I hate that word in our language because I don't like waiting. I'm a very impatient guy. I have to work on that all the time. If I see a line up, I don't get in it. If it's a line up for a restaurant, let's go to McDonald's. I just don't want to stand here and wait. And many pastors when they see the word wait in the Bible, they think God is making you wait. And I've heard some of the most deep messages on, "God's going to make you wait. And in his waiting and you're going to suffer. You're going to learn something". And that's wrong. Just so you know, that's wrong. The word wait does not mean that God is making you wait. That you're climbing to a, you're hanging on to a cliff in your last fingernail. And God's looking over at Gabriel going, "Well, you I think Leon suffered long enough, Gabriel? Two more weeks, what do you think Michael? Let's take a vote amongst the angels. Yeah, that Leon. He's got lots more to learn it. Let the poor sucker just hang in there baby".

That's not God. And I had to figure that out because if that was God, that was, that was pretty awful in my books. But I found out that the Bible says the eyes of the Lord roam to and fro over the earth. He's looking for someone on whose behalf to move suddenly. He loves suddenly. Today's the day of salvation. It doesn't say tomorrow, next week, next year is the day of your salvation from sickness or poverty or disease. It's always in the now. It's today. It says His eyes are always on His people, always on His family. That term means so He can move now, right now. If you're a mom and you got a 3-year old, you know what that's about. You can't walk down a sidewalk and take your eyes off him for a second, or they're going to be playing amongst the traffic. So why is your eye on them? So you can move now! Not ah, in an hour. Let them play in the freeway. I'll catch up. No! Your eyes are on now. So you can move now.

And I want you to know. This is an important part of what I want to show you today. That God moves quickly, suddenly. There's nothing left that God has to figure out. He wants to explode on the scene for you. Well then, why does it say wait? Let me read you some of this. And I think I'm going to share with you four or five thoughts that will change your life, because once you learn this, life changes. In Psalms chapter 25, it says, "Indeed, let no one who waits on you be ashamed. Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause, show me Your ways, O Lord". There's our first hint. When you slow down and just spend time with God, He'll show you the way. What way? The way to deal with your son. The way to deal with your marriage. The way to deal with your finances. The way to deal with situations. The way to deal with your head, your emotions.

I don't know what it is in your life but too many people make decisions. And they make decisions quickly, and they jump from the frying pan into the fire. Wait on God and He'll show you a way. The Bible says that many are the plans in a man's heart but the one from God is the one that stands. When you begin to slow down and just spend time with God, waiting on Him, shows you the correct path, the correct decision, the way to handle everything in your life. Psalms 37:34, "Wait on the Lord and keep His way, and you will inherit the land". That means rule, reign, lead. It doesn't mean we can make people do anything. It just means that your influence is so amazing. You inherit the land. But it says wait on the Lord and keep His way.

I've noticed when people go through stuff, some people change. They don't keep their honour, their integrity. They don't keep their value system. They talk one way in public and they act in different way in private. They can't seem to be able to maintain God's way of doing life. And the Bible is saying if you wait on Him, that you literally keep the way. You'll keep His way. You walk in the fruit of the Spirit. You walk in the strength of the Spirit. You walk in honour. You walk in integrity. You'll deal with your mouth with wisdom. You won't judge. You won't, you'll forgive. There's this way. The Bible says there is a way that seems right to a man but the end is death. We need to stay on the way. I love this word wait now. Psalms 40 says, "I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined to me. He heard my cry. He brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, set my feet on a rock, and He established my steps and He's put a new song in my mouth".

I remember working at the hospital when I was in my early twenties. I was training to be a paramedic. Monday's, I mean, I would just be happy. I love the, if I started to whistle or kind of hum or sing a song. There'd be someone, "Oh, shut up. It's Monday". When God does something and He pulls you out of a pit. That pit could be financial, relational. It could be depression. It could be sickness. It could be, I don't know. There's so many different ways the enemy will try to get us into a pit. It says that when we wait on the Lord, that's the qualification here. He'll pick us out of a horrible pit, out of miry clay. Do you ever walk in, in wet, wet dirt. It's pretty easy to walk in unless it's got clay mixed into it. And then you can hear your boots. Your rubber boots always come off, and then you hear this sucking noise. It says when your feet are mired in the clay, He'll pick you out of that mess and He'll set your feet on a rock. There's something about spending time with God. It doesn't matter what goes on and what isn't working for you right now. This waiting on the Lord will pull you out whatever pit that you feel yourself in.

This waiting is stunning. Something is going on during this thing called wait. My soul wait silently for God alone. For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation. He is my defense. I shall not be moved. Now, there's a word in here about silence. I love praising and singing and declaring His goodness. But never be afraid of silence. Ever been around someone that just can't stand silence? Or they get nervous, and they get worried, and they're going through something. They just, you can't shut them up. Their mouth just keeps going. They need to keep saying it. When you watch movies and you got heroes in the west or, you know, it's always the guy that is just quiet. And they're trying to emulate that real confidence means you don't have to, you know, talk out your nervousness. And the world has learned that. There is a stillness. There's a quietness that comes right out of your heart.

And what I love about this portion of scripture is that God's not strengthening your emotions. He's not strengthening your thoughts. He's not strengthening your body. He's strengthening your heart because your heart strengthens all of the above. When your heart gets strengthened, it's not just an emotion that kind of courses through. There's a revelation, an opening, an aha moment about who you are, because everything that has to do with your heart has to do with your identity. And when anything changes around your identity that you believe, your entire world changes. So God's Word isn't about memorizing rules. It's not about memorizing what you can do or can't do. God's Word is about taking you and beginning to change how you see you, how you see God. This takes place when you wait.

Last one Psalms 130, "I wait for the Lord. My soul waits, and in His word I do hope, more than those who watch for the morning. Yes, more than those who watch for the morning". You know, things always seem worse at night. Have you ever noticed that? Have a good fight with somebody and try to get through the night, or you're sick with a baby. It just, or you got something pushing at you. As soon as the sun goes down, I've heard so many people. I have experienced it, too. Get into the night sometimes in the darkness. And if you're up, anyway, walking the floor with a baby, or trying to deal with an issue. Maybe you got bad news and you can't sleep. Maybe you lost somebody you love, night times can be hard. But to get up and you look at the sun come up. You're looking for hope. That sun breaks over the hill and you see those first reds and oranges. Something beautiful is about to happen. A new day is dawning. A new day is breaking. The mercies of the Lord are renewed daily.

And all of a sudden, and we've got to understand that this is giving us an incredible key. He's saying wait on the Lord and learn to watch like those who watch for the morning. The Bible says that tears only last for a night. But what comes in the morning? Joy comes in the morning. There's something about mornings. And he's saying that when you wait on the Lord, all of these scriptures give us a new wants of what it means to wait. But now I'm going to give you the one everybody knows. This is the most popular verse around in Isaiah 40:28, "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable because He gives power to the weak. And to those who have no might, He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary. And the young men shall utterly fall. But those who wait on the Lord, they're going to renew their strength. They're going to mount up with wings like eagles. They're going to run and not be weary. They're going to walk and not faint".

What does it mean to wait? Let's pull all the scriptures and just tie them together really quickly. The word wait means to get into faith. To wait means to get into faith. See, the eyes of the Lord run to and fro over the earth. He's watching over His family. What is He looking for? He's not looking for a need. Those are everywhere by the billions. What's He looking for? He's looking for faith. He's looking for someone who'll just believe Him, trust Him. And when it does, something miraculous takes place. So waiting has to do with us growing or establishing or finding faith. And this word wait, there's a, there's a bunch of Hebrew words that mean wait. But this one means twisting and braiding and binding someone together with something. It's like the Bible teaches how a rope of three cords cannot be broken. Jesus in John chapter 16 talks about I'm in you and you're in Me. And God's in Me, we're in God. You're just so mixed up with God. You're just one.

And as you're waiting on God, you're remembering. I'm His son. I'm His daughter. He's in me and I'm in Him. And Jesus in me, and Jesus in God, and God in Jesus. And they're in me and I'm in them. I can't lose. This waiting is finding that faith. This waiting is remembering. Goliath looks big. But if you looked at God lately. You know, Sally bought this magnifying glass. It's this great big ones. You look at a bug and the kids love it. You look at a bug and it's just small. But you start pulling it away and this bug looks this big. Imagine you look at your problems through a magnifying glass. It looks pretty big. And the problem is, that when you stare at something and you magnify it. You give it place in your heart. What do you do? Get that magnifying glass off that bug. That little critter. That is just a little fiddly thing, and you put it on God.

Now, the magnifying glass doesn't make the bug look bigger. It makes it looked bigger. And the Bible says, "O, magnify the Lord with me ". Let us exalt His name together. Why do we do that? Because when you look at God and you magnify Him, you tell our puny little brains, "Come on little guy that giant is puny compared to the God who put the planets together. This is the God who designed everything". And you begin to realize how big is our God. How great is our God and faith. You can just feel it begin to rise upon the inside and it causes your cells to regenerate. It causes your mind to go happy. It causes everything within you. The relationship, how you look at people is no longer judgmental. It's, "I love you and I love you. All of us imperfect people. I love you". This love of God starts to rise up when you magnify Him. This waiting is in faith. This waiting is a braiding and a binding you to God. It's magnifying God. And it's looking for the answer.

Have you noticed that when you go through something, you're waiting for the other shoe to drop. You're waiting for the axe to drop. What's going to happen next? I can just feel something bad is coming and you think you're a prophet. No! You're a self-fulfilling prophet because people in faith look for the morning. People in faith look for the rays of the sun. You know, it's a beautiful verse in the Bible that says, "How lovely on the mountains are the feet of them who bring good news". You know I love that? It means I was behind that. In Israel if you ever go there, it's just hills of rocks everywhere. And when a city gets attacked, they would always surround the city. And the importance of surrounding the city was to not let a runner out. Because if the runner gets to the next city, he'll bring back help. So the city gets attacked. You get surrounded. And there's, you can't do it yourself. You get a runner out.

Now, some cities would actually have hidden tunnels and caverns to get a runner out. They had a way of getting a runner out to the next city. And as he would run, and this man would run. The city is fighting for their lives. They're on top of the wall. They're doing anything they can to keep this army at bay and their eyes are on the hills. From whence comes your help. Why? Because they see that runner coming, and they know he made it. He made it. And there's an army behind him. We're going to be okay. We're not going to have our men killed and our boys slaughtered and our women stolen. The price was huge. How lovely on the mountain? When we talk about waiting on God, we're looking for answers. We're looking for the sun to rise up. We're looking for that man on the hill. We're believing that somewhere, somehow God is going to breakthrough. There's no way we're going down. This is waiting. This is praising Him ahead of time. Waiting is declaring His goodness.

You know, the Bible tells us about Abraham. It says that God, the God of Abraham. He calls things that be not, as though they were. In the Expanded Bible it says, "Prayed. Abraham prayed and thanked Him in advance, trusting and knowing". My God fail me? Ha! He'll see me through. This waiting is waiting in His Word. This waiting is waiting praising Him. This waiting is getting out to church. It's getting in to some beautiful music. Is there a song that's touched your heart lately where all of a sudden you're going to Him? His Word. I always have songs rising up on the inside of me when I'm in the car and I'm alone. I'll just start singing Him. And it's always an encouraging song to take you through whatever is going on.

Waiting is not a time thing that God's making you wait. Waiting is the preparation of your heart. Waiting is getting the Word planted within there. Waiting is an Old Testament look at a New Testament teaching on the process of faith. And now that Jesus has died on the cross and He's forgiven our sins. And we can invite Him into our heart. We have a nature changed. Have you ever met somebody whose nature is not what it should be but they're born again? They've been paying attention to the flesh too much. Because you see the nature of God is in our spirit, but we got to renew our mind and got to make our body, listen, get up, and be happy. Rejoice! Magnify the Lord with me. Look for the sunrise. Look for the runner on the hills. Quit thinking everything is so bad and so hard. And as you do, you'll begin to remember, "My yoke is easy. My burden is light". Because the eyes of the Lord, they run to and fro over the earth to show Himself strong on someone's behalf. He's not looking for needs. They're everywhere. Jesus even said the poor you have with you always. It's faith.

People say, "Why is God like that"? Because He gave the earth to man. The authority of the earth is given to man. And so for God to move, require someone to work with Him. He is our helper the Bible says. Yet He's our God and our leader. It's this incredibly beautiful relationship of a father with his kids that can't do anything, unless you're going to believe, unless you're going to... and from deep within us, our heart begins to believe. And when you believe, heaven moves. When you believe, angelic hosts are revealed. When you believe that subatomic particle in your body, all these subatomic particles begin to bring healing. The same spirit that raised Christ from the dead in Romans 8, it says, "Quickens your mortal body". It means to make it alive with God's life.

Every area of your life, wait on the Lord. That's how David strengthened himself. He just spent a little bit of time with God. Sometimes it just takes a minute or two, just to reset. Other times and daily, and you can get aside with Him. The problem with people is they wait till they got a problem, then they wait on the Lord. But I've discovered every day, wait on the Lord. Hang out with Him. Spend time with Him. And stop believing that prayer is only for problems. What about the future getting brighter? What about your career getting bigger? What about your influence touching your family? What about training your kids that when you're dead and gone, generations of your family are going to go on and do great things for God. It's not just about problems. Waiting on the Lord is about living a life that is bigger, living a life that is greater.

You say, "Well, God's not into me". God is absolutely into that. He needs you and I to influence in the business world, influence in the government world, influence in our cities, influence education. The God on the inside of us wants to take the giftedness that's inside of you and He wants to make you bigger. The problem with most of the church world today, they don't think big enough. Think bigger. Let God take you on a journey. Celebrate. Recognize. But remember to wait. Spend time with Him.

Father, I pray right now for every person that's listening to this message. That You'd touch something deep inside of them. That we'd remember or recognize spending time with You is to absolutely get charged up. Father, I pray for that Christian who might be in a horrible pit. For that believer that's bang their head against the wall. I pray they'd learn this beautiful, incredible, the depth of this mystery but it's revealed now, to wait. And Father, for those who don't know You. I pray they'd make that decision right now.

I'm going to close my message down with a powerful prayer. It's a prayer that I prayed that many of us have prayed, of giving our lives to Christ. You see, He'll never forced Himself into your life. You have to invite Him in. And so all of us together are going to pray this prayer. And if you've never made this decision for Christ, or you need to come back to Him today. Around the world wherever you are, just pray this prayer with us as we've prayed out loud. It goes like this. Just say:

Dear God, I give You my life. Come into my heart. Forgive me for everything, all of it. And from today and on, I want to be in Your family. Thank You, Jesus, for dying in my place and making that possible. Come into my heart, and guide me for the rest of my days. In Jesus' name, amen.

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