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Watch 2022 online sermons » Leon Fontaine » Leon Fontaine - Overflowing Joy

Leon Fontaine - Overflowing Joy

Leon Fontaine - Overflowing Joy

Today, I'm going to talk about, Practicing Joy. This is crucial. Whenever I meet my kids or grandkids or Sally. I always, I'm so happy to see them and I want to show it. Now, the grand kids, I mean, they get the most of this ahhh, when they walk in the door and I just start walking towards them. And the second I begin to speak or talk, their little faces just light up because they are so celebrated. They're so wanted. They're so desired. Joy is one of the most incredible things you can do to the people around you because they sense your joy which is super love.

And so I remember one time just playing a joke on one of my grandkids. And so, you know, the parents knocked on the door and the door comes open and I just kept my head down and I just kind of ignored them. And so this little girl, she'll go come running into my kitchen and she's waiting for me to go, "Hi"! And to pick her up and, I'm just ignoring. I'm just kind of playing a little trick on her. She just stops and she goes, "Pops, I'm here". So I couldn't resist any longer. I jumped off the seat, grabbed her in my arms, and danced with her around the room. And we have to understand something, practicing joy is a crucial part of the Christian life. If you don't practice joy which is in you as a born again believer, you'll never release it in much amount.

As a young man, I would watch my dad and all his pastoral friends and the people in our churches who were super spiritual. And, you know, the super spiritual ones are the ones who look like a priest of old. You know, and they have this forlorn look on their face, and look like they've been sucking on pickles. But somehow in the generations past, we thought that was spiritual. And so the person, "Whoa, how you're doing"? That's not spiritual, and yet the Bible's the complete opposite. It says the kingdom of God that we now are citizens of is righteousness, peace, and joy. They are in perfect order. To know that you are righteous, brings a peace. It doesn't matter about peace around you. It brings a peace inside of you, a righteousness that you sense. And then there is a joy, a huge deposit of joy that is within you that will never flow out. It'll be a dribble from the tap of your heart until you learn to spin that tap, until it comes out of you and flows out of you, and influences you, and it influences others.

If you love somebody and you do not show joy in their presence, you are saying to them I tolerate you. I don't celebrate you. It's why marriages go so wrong so quick. It's because people just begin to become familiar with them. And so they don't celebrate the people they love. If you love somebody you should celebrate them, you should talk it up, speak it up. And it should be reciprocal. Don't you give me that garbage about, "It's not my personality". Well then don't get married because it won't work. You know, you don't want to curse somebody with your toleration of somebody who needs to be celebrated.

And then the next generation, if they do not learn joy, if I do not learn to practice joy, they will not know the strength that comes with joy. And one, the Bible teaches us that one generation must teach the next generation about the things of God. This is not just how to be saved. Are you kidding me? We must teach them the strengths of the Spirit, the joy of the Lord. The freedom of God's Word that starts in the Spirit, renews the mind, and then gives your body this amazing ability to get up and be healthy and whole. Because if you don't feel free on the inside, your brain and your emotions won't feel free. And because they don't feel free, they allow sickness to come in. The Bible says that it is the soul. It is your mind and emotions, your way of thinking and believing that determines how healthy you live and how long you live and how enjoyably you live.

And so I want to talk to you today about you practicing joy. Stop sitting around waiting for joy to come. Well, I've got a whole bunch of reasons to be unhappy. It does not say that this joy comes from the absence of problems. It does not say this joy comes because things are working out. Now, you can have fullness of joy with answered prayer and you can increase joy with all that God is doing in your life. But joy never leaves you. Joy is not this shallow little he, he, he, he, he. Joy is a powerful force on the inside. And if you do not teach your children how to practice joy, and your grandchildren how to laugh and dance in the rain, they'll look for it someplace else. That's why I hate religion so much. Religion. These manmade rules of judging one another and holding somebody else to some kind of rules that you think you get to be cops, and you get to judge them, and look at them. And it destroys people because their freedom is they get to do what they want with their lives even God is not going to force them.

So who you, who me to force them to live the way we think they should live. It is this relationship with Christ that is going to get them on a journey of freedom. And as this truth, as truth begins to rise up in them, it's the truth that sets them free. So the more you spend time in God's Word, the greater the truth that rises up on the inside of you. The biggest question that you need to ask yourself is, in my presence, how do people feel? Well, you need to know. I don't need to know anything. I just need to ask you a question. How do you make people feel? Not what you say, not who's right, not who speaks the most truth? How do you make people feel? And let's start with your marriage, and then let's start with your kids, and then let's start with your grandkids, because it takes parents and grandparents and family to learn to have a culture of joy. This culture of joy is this very strength, the very fabric of the emotional health. The problem with mental health is that it deteriorates slowly.

Now, some people can have an event that takes place. Some horrible kind of, of event takes place in their life whether they're abused, and that they can be slammed. But in most cases, it's a slow creep on your mental health as you let go of beliefs and form new beliefs based on your experiences rather than the Word of God. The reason the renewing of the mind is a powerful process for you and I is because the attack on your mind by the five senses. Your five senses and the world that you live in can only be sustained by a spirit that is alive with righteousness, peace, and joy. These are, this is kingdom living. So if you want to know when the presence of God is in your house the greatest, then are you dancing, laughing, playing jokes, telling joke, giggling, belly laughing. That is where the presence of God is, not in this mournful, teary, "Oh, God. I could just sense the presence of God". Oh, quit. The joy of the Lord is your strength. Are you practicing this joy?

Nehemiah 8:10, the joy of the Lord is my strength. So we need to practice this joy because we'll learn to develop strength. He's not talking about a human strength. In Psalm 27:1, it says, "The Lord is the strength of my life. Who am I going to be afraid of"? Now this word strength has both defensive and offensive attributes to this Word, both in the Hebrew and in the Greek. But the church as a whole, which is annoying, all they ever think about is the defense. God's going to protect me. God's going to be there for. He's going to be my fortress. He's going to be my high tower. He's going to be my rear guard. Yes! I preach that all the time. But have you forgotten this word strength also means God is the force of my life. What's that? That is a penetrating sword of the Spirit. That is the wisdom of God being a wise master builder. Building marriages, homes, companies, provinces, nations. Building leaders, creating. This force is what we need to be aware of.

What are we building? What are we becoming? Where are we going? We're not just wandering through this world in defensive mode. If we're going to be attacked, if we're going to be attacked, if we're going to be attacked, run for the castle, run for the high tower. Jesus is my protection. He's my shield. He's my rear guard. I claim all those promises but I'm not sitting around. I am not going to live my life with no risk, everything's in peace, so I can arrive safely at my death. Everybody dies, seems like few people really live. This force, this strength is not coming from a natural gift. We all have different gifts and abilities. This force, this strength, comes from inside of your spirit to be an amazing mom, to be an amazing dad, to be an amazing broker, to be an amazing leader, superintendent, gifted artist, singer, worship leader, pastor. This force, this strength. David is talking about here. He is saying, "Hey, the Lord is the very strength, the power, the force, the ability".

Now, here's another word that this means to all of you who are low energy. The Bible says He is the energy of my life. The energy of my life. Now, you better protect your body. You better look after it, feed it right, rest, recreate. Do all the things you need to protect your body. But I'm telling you right now, there is no way that in my life I would ever with my human ability be able to maintain the organizations, the structures, the meetings, the things. Just the mental drain, the burden that pushes at you, if I didn't have the energy of the presence of God. And I had to learn how to produce it. I had, and I found it came from one of these very crucial issues practicing joy. Practicing joy.

In Psalms 100, it says, "Make a joyful noise". It doesn't say, "When you feel joyful, then you are authentically making a joyful noise". I get tired of those people. No. I don't wait till I'm authentically joyful. I get up and say, "Hey, let's have a good day today. It's good to see you. What do you guys want to do"? Well, do you really feel that excited? Rarely. But I've never lived by my feelings. I'm never going to hand over the fickleness of, to feelings. Really? What's today? This is the day the Lord hath made. When I feel like rejoicing, it's one out of 100 maybe. I'm going to get up and rejoice. No. This is the day the Lord hath made. I will. It's my will to get up and begin to rejoice. That's practicing joy. It's getting up and learning. When you talk to someone say, "Hi. How are you today"? "Well, I'm glad you asked me too, you know". And then we're going to listen to your list.

And people come to church and someone talked to me one time and say, "You know, I just got to go find someone where people are authentic". I say, "What do you mean authentic"? "Well, you talk to anybody about how rotten your life is, and how, you know. It's just like no one wants to listen to you". I said, "Oh, no. That's for great friends. Do you have close friends"? Well, no. That might be a problem. But it's your close friends that you talk to like that. But when you're around people, no one saying, "I'm going to go find thirty-five people I can counsel today". No one's thinking that. When I know we encourage one another, and I know we've got to have people around us to speak to. I have, I need someone once in a while to complain to, and yeah, but I want to live my life in a way that I'm practicing joy. Where I'm choosing to rise up and say, "This is the day".

The Lord made the day. He didn't make the trouble, contrary to all the popular opinions in religion. Well, God's going to teach you something. So just accept everything from God. The Bible does not say that. It says rejoice in the Lord always. But why would I thank Him? Because the Bible very clearly says the enemy will be on attack. So you're supposed to lift your shield. Put your helmet on. Put your breast plate on. Why would you need armour? Because all the things that go on in your life aren't God. He don't make the problems. Bad English, good point. He made the day. What you're going to do is today? The next 24 hours. Me? I'm going to rejoice. I'm going to practice joy. I'm going to walk in love. I'm going to choose that this is the way I live. And I have found that emotions follow. The very decisions that I make to get up and focus on what is good in my life.

List of problems? I probably have a list bigger than yours. But I don't sit and stare at my problem list. I'm aware of it. I look at it. I often sit down with each one to think through how I'm going to solve it. But I don't live my day looking through a set of glasses with all my problems written on the lens. So I got to remember. I can't be happy today because I have problem number one, problem number two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten. And so I don't want to be fake and phony. I need people to really see the real you. Who is a real you? Is the real you your emotional negativity? Oh, you think it is? You're in trouble already. Who am I? I'm made in the righteousness of God. I'm made in the likeness and the image of God. I was made to win, to overcome. So were you. You and I were made to speak faith words, to declare words of where we want to go, not to continue.

Now, you say, "Leon, I've lost". Yes. I am not talking to you right now. You've lost somebody you love and you're in mourning. But joy doesn't leave. It stops the mourning. It stops the brokenness from going so deep you're scarred for the rest of your life. Because Jesus heals the brokenhearted. Jesus is the one who sets captives free. We can be held captive on the inside. Proverbs 4:20-23 have been stunning scriptures for me. Where it says keep the Word before your eyes. Keep it in your ears. Keep it at the very center of your heart and it'll bring life. The life of God will be brought to you. And so I found that God's Word is what I focus on, and I'm very aware of every problem. I'm very good at problem-solving, sitting down, putting strategies together, and helping. Yeah, yeah. But when it comes to the attitude of my day, that's determined by practicing joy. And when you have strength of joy, you have an ability, a creative ability, proven, proven by psychology.

And anyone that studies creativity will tell you where there is joy, where there's a sense of peace. You will be at your creative best. And at your creative best is where you will solve problems, dream up where you want to go. Where to take your business? Where to take your marriage? What to do with your life and how to look ahead? But when you release joy and cast away your confidence which is a very similar thing to casting away your faith. You no longer are winning. There's not this positive resistance on the inside of you. See, this positive resistance is what the shield of faith is. You know, this stuff bombard your head. Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. Canada's done. This is over. Oh, my marriage. Oh, quit. We refuse. We get up and say, "No. I'm going to prophesy to the future. I'm going to declare the promises of God".

And when you begin to declare, words are so powerful. They are my weapons of choice. Words. Why? They impact demonic forces. They impact the angelic host in freeing them. Words build my faith and establish my faith. Words communicate my love and joy to the people that I love and care about. Words. They carry, that they carry power. They carry anointing. Words can fill a room. I can walk into someone's home after words have been spoken and sense what's going on in the air. Words create atmosphere. Words create future. Words allow God to get involved in your life because He'll never force Himself into your world. This thing about words is so incredible.

And so joy is about declaring the promises of God even before you see any results. The Bible says that faith is believing. That when you pray, when you speak, you believe you have received and you will have it. It doesn't say, "And you will have it, so you can believe". No. That's Thomas faith. Jesus said, "Thomas, there are those who believe without seeing and they are blessed". The word blessed means happy, fortunate, and to be envied. So this joy that we're talking about. This strength that we're talking about. It's powerful. It is crucial. Make a joyful noise. Get up and speak the Word. Get up and sing. Get up and dance. If you're so down, get in the middle room by yourself and dance. You'll start laughing at yourself. I do. Get up and get on your knees and go play dolls with your granddaughters, or your girl. Get up and play football. Get up and go do something. There's nothing worse than sitting and marinating in what is going on on the inside, or the things that are pushing at you.

Meditation is so powerful that Joshua 1:8 says that if you'll meditate in the Word, you will make your way prosperous. It doesn't say God. He's already done that. He says you will make your way prosperous. And you will be successful, if you will meditate in the Word and don't let it ever depart from your mouth. Did you know that joy refreshes you. Joy energizes you. In Proverbs 10:28, it says, "The hope of the righteous will be gladness". The hope. If you, if you begin to sense hope, what happens to someone who has no hope and then begins to get hope? When hope rises, gladness begins to rise. Joy begins to rise. So if there's no joy in your heart, if there's no gladness on the inside you. Then you have to understand that you've let your hope go. And hope is what gives your faith direction.

Now, hope won't produce anything for you because it says that, that faith which is believing. It's done. Acting like it's done. But hope is saying there's hope. So if there's no hope around you, your hope is in the Word. Your hope is to dive into God's Word and find this hope. Then as you meditate in the Word, as you plant it in your heart, as you get up and declare what your future is going to be like. This hope becomes faith. Faith is a process. It says with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. One of the problems with Christians is that we've become familiar with the Jesus that resides on the inside of us. We've become familiar. The disciples one day come to Jesus and, "Jesus, the demons listened to us. We got power". And Jesus says, "Rejoice, that your name is written in the book of life". Well, he's a bit of a joy killer there, isn't he? No. He wanted them to hang on to this incredible relationship with them and God and never become familiar.

People who become familiar with God which is what religion does. They talk, "Ah, Jesus is my homeboy and good old God. Hey, Father in heaven. How are you doing buddy? Good to talk to you today". It's just, you think, "Well, I know Him well". No, you don't. You're just trying to be cool. That's the cool talk for the streets. But familiarity is where a contempt, a disregard for Him. No real fear or awe of the Lord. This salvation, when you gave your life to Jesus Christ, if you go back to thanking and that you're saved. That you're born again. Hey, I've got a dad in heaven. I've got a great grandparents in heaven. I've got friends in heaven. I've got generations of my kids coming after me and we will all spend eternity together because our names are written in the book of life. There's never an end to this.

And I want to challenge you. That if you want the favour of God, you've got to believe in it. You've got to rejoice. You've got to allow the Word of God to get on the inside of you. Psalms 144:15, says, "Happy are the people whose God is the Lord"! And there is no brackets that go, "Except when you're just not feeling up to it". No, what he's showing here is this happiness is there because there is this joy that is your strength. And even when things don't look right with your five senses, your sixth sense which is faith, sees in the realm of the spirit where there is no time. There's no time in heaven. There is no time in the spirit world. Angels don't grow old. People who you love who've gone before you to heaven. They don't grow old. There is no time.

And so when you and I begin to recognize that, man, what a revelation on the inside. That I can be happy because my five senses which are in the now and haven't seen the answer yet, and don't see any hope yet, and don't see any evidence yet, and don't feel like anything's going to happen yet. You begin to rely on faith because faith says He'll never leave you, or forsake you. Faith says get your eyes on the hills from whence cometh your help. Faith says this is the victory that overcomes the world our faith. This ability to look into the spirit realm of God's promises and of what Jesus has done when the five senses are being paralyzed, petrified, terrified. And instead of living there, you rise up with the Word and you begin to declare. My life is blessed. My future is whole. Grace surrounds me like a shield.
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