Leon Fontaine - The Will of God in Your Life
In Psalms 146, it has a unique statement that it makes here. It says that God is going to heal the blind. He's going to look after the righteous. He's going to, He's watching over the strangers. He's the father to the fatherless. He looks after widows. But then it says in verse 9, "But the way of the wicked, He turns upside down". I like that. Ever had somebody come after you and try to destroy your business, a child, home, whatever. You know, God protects. God looks after us. But we are to believe that. So many people think that just prayer is all it takes. But as you study the Bible, you're going to find out that it requires faith when you pray. Not just I pray and I sob and I cry and the bigger the tears, the better. It's going to go, "No". There is something about believing the Word that must be released when we pray. But I love the fact that the way of the wicked, He turns upside down.
You've heard me for two years continue to teach from the Word. That the church of Jesus Christ is a church without... He's coming back for a victorious church without spot or wrinkle, washed in the blood of the lamb as that beautiful old songs says. And we need to recognize that God is with us. And wherever there is evil, He wants to turn it upside down. In Acts 17:6 is a New Testament verse. It says that this guy named Jason in the Bible had housed the disciples who were in his city. And there was a whole group of people that were angry against the gospel, religious people. They've heard it and they hated and despised the disciples. So they came, it says in verse 6, and when they couldn't find the disciples, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities shouting, "These men have turned the world upside down and they've come here to our city also".
I want you to know something. We're not supposed to be a quiet little church that just ducks our head down like an ostrich, and doesn't reach up and say, "Hey, we need to bring Jesus to a world who knows, needs to know how much love He has for them. They need to bring the wisdom of God's Word to them". And so I want to talk to you today about the will of God in your life. And the fact that you're not just called to look after you. In fact, looking after yourself is so easy when you become a born again believer that you shouldn't even be focused on it. The goodness of the Lord just follows you all the days of your life. We walk in the favor and the blessings of God. And that's hard for people who are religious. You know, going through some kind of pattern of trying to please God, trying to make Him happy and it doesn't work.
So many people think today, "Well, Leon, if it's God's will, it's going to happen". It's one of the most pervasive beliefs that is out there. I prayed and I didn't get healed. It's God's will. Prayed. She left me anyway. It's God's will. I prayed. They died. God needed another rose in heaven. It was His will. Got into an accident. It happened so it must be God's will. And it's such a naãve, infantile, shallow way of looking it God's Word. Now, in Romans chapter 8, it says something here that so many people miss. And I want to read it with you. Verse 26 of Romans 8 says, "Likewise Holy Spirit helps our weaknesses, for we don't know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit Himself intercedes for us, through us with groanings too deep for articulate speech. And he who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the spirit is because the spirit praise for the saints according to the will of God".
Well, I thought we don't need prayer. If it's God's will, it's just going to happen. No. Nothing happens on the planet without faith-filled prayer. I don't mean whinny prayer. I don't mean begging, pleading prayer. Nothing happens on the planet unless there is a prayer. And we must know the will of God when we pray. That's why we can pray in faith. If you pray and say, "Well, what is God want to do in this situation"? And you say, "I don't know". Then how can you pray with this full assurance? You can't. You got to pray, "Well, God, if it's your will and I'm not quite sure. So whatever You do, I just don't know Your will. So I hope it's You're will. Whatever happens. I guess it's Your will". It's such a wimpy way to pray. So we go to His Word and we find out what His will is. And then we pray with a confidence because it's His will. Holy Spirit knows what the will of God is.
Now His will is His Word. So you should learn His Word. We are a church over the decades of continually teaching people the Word of God. Why? Because when you know His will, you pray with incredible effectiveness. When you know the Word of God, you are going to know His will in almost every case. And if you don't know His will because the Bible is silent on it. Like, Leon, I don't know which woman to marry. God will help you and give you lots of scripture. I don't know what job to take. Holy Spirit will guide you. But the Bible will guide you as well in what to look for in a job and the wisdom to find it. But Holy Spirit will reveal things to you and I about our future.
Now, it's a very interesting thing when you go to the next verse, because here it says that He intercedes. He prays for the saints, or He prays through the saints. When you pray under the direction of Holy Spirit, okay? The day of Pentecost was a stunning day when they all burst out of the upper room. And a hundred and twenty people begin to pray in other languages. New languages, a prayer language. And here it says in verse 28, "And we know that those who love God, all things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose". Everyone just keeps thinking, "Well, you know, the Bible says all things are going to work together for good". It's not what it says. It's not what it says. And there's some pretty bad things that happen in life and people who don't know their Bibles will tell some 10-year old boy, "Well, if your mama died, it was God's will. He needed another rose in heaven".
I talked to a young man. He was now in his twenties. Just like that, hated God, would put the finger towards heaven and cursed God. Because when his mom died and the preacher told him, "God wants your mom in heaven". He thought, "Ah, you don't need my mom. I need my mom. And that's the kind of God you are". And he walked from Christianity until I begin to talk to him and tell him, that wasn't God's will. That was a naive preacher who was trying to make you feel better and did a lousy job. God's will is long life. God's will is a blessed life. God's will.
So whenever God's will isn't happening, it's not Him changing His mind. Oh, Leon. Yes, sorry sucker. Ah, we're going to give you 61 years maybe. Not the 120 I promised, or yeah, you know, Leon. And but once you know what God's will is, it's not enough to know His will. We must pray according to His will. Praying His Word is absolutely necessary. When the early church would pray, they would turn cities upside down. They didn't huddle in a building hoping everything was going to be peaceful and okay. They got out in their jobs and in the streets and with a smile on their face they shared people the Jesus that they loved. If you were sick, they'd pray for you. They wouldn't run around looking for a pastor. They'd pray for you. If you were hungry, they'd feed you. That there was a problem. They'd helped you out to the best of their ability. They absolutely turned the world upside down.
We need to recognize that we are all called to be in this world not just to fit into the world culture. We want to be culturally relevant. Yes. But so that we can introduce them to kingdom culture. The kingdom culture of God is amazing. So we know that all things work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose. Well, Leon, who does that leave out? Well, does it leave out people? Oh, yeah. It does. Next verse, "For those whom God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. And those whom He predestined, it says, He called. And those whom He called, He justified. And those whom He justified, He glorified".
Let's take all these words and unpack them for a few minutes, all right? For those whom He foreknew. Did you know that according to Ephesians chapter 1, before the world was even created, God is so amazing. He looked ahead in time and He saw where you were going to be born, who you were going to be born to, and He saw the decision of your heart. That you would choose God. God knows the future, right? So when it says He foreknew, He knew that you would accept Christ. That immediately put a plan into place. It says for those who He foreknew, He predestined. All right? He now knows you're making a decision for Christ.
Now, He has a destiny for you. That third book in heaven that the Bible says in Psalms 139. It's got your name on it, and every day of your life is a page in that book. He predestined your life and what it would do on this planet and everyone is going to have a life by His plan. He doesn't write boring plans. He predestined. He decided ahead of time. The gifts, the abilities, the things that would light you up. That would make you rise up and go, "Wow! Look what I'm doing". And your life would mean something for eternity. He doesn't just need another prosperous person. Oh, He can use another prosperous person financing the kingdom. He doesn't just need another famous singer. But He could use a famous singer who'd use their fame and their, and their skill to reach out and touch lives for Christ and see them miss hell and make heaven. And so He predestined everybody here who has chosen Christ.
Now, if you're here and you absolutely someone drag you out. There's no way you're ever going to give your life to Christ. I pray you will. But for those who don't choose Him, He didn't need to predestine them and He'll know by the way. So He foreknew you. He knew that you would. He predestined you to have to be conformed to His Son Jesus. So Leon, I thought you said we're going to have an amazing life? Jesus, He's conformed you to the same abilities of Jesus. Jesus said in the book of John, the things that I do shall you do. Do you want to walk into someone's world and see miracles? I do. Would you like to see the answers to prayer take place in the most difficult situations? Jesus did and He said you would.
Do you want to be able to look at people sobbing and hurting, and be able to walk in there and to see the miraculous change their lives. That's what is ahead of you and I. That's how He predestines us to be conformed to the image of His Son. Then it says in verse 30, "Now, He's foreknew you, predestined you and now He's called you". Called you. Why does He need to call you? 'Cause people can be born again, spirit-filled, and God knows it, has a plan for them. In Ephesians 2:10 in the Amplified says He's created paths ahead of time for you, that you should walk in it. And there are still a huge percentage of Christians who are going to walk out what their flesh wants rather than what their spirit wants.
No, I don't mean flesh as in sin. I just mean that all they can think about is a house, another house, car, a new car, holidays and more holidays, working, more work, finances and more finances. And these are all good things. But they've never listened to their spirit. They've never discovered their destiny. The call of God is upon them, wooing them and saying yes. You know, if you seek first the kingdom of God, all these things you're pursuing will be added to you. Why are you pursuing things that are to be added? Why don't you pursue the kingdom first? And so the call is out. And there's a call on every one of us. And as a born again spirit-filled believer, if we just live like the world. Which means we are frantically scurrying around looking after money, career, health, everything, and that's it. We can barely keep our own nose above water. You're missing it. The call. You are called. And the call goes forth and it touches your heart deeply. And the call is follow me.
"Well, Leon, I'm born again". Good for you. You're going to make heaven. But He said, "My sheep hear my voice and I call them by name. And I lead them out and they follow Me". Why is He calling you by name? Because your life is going to be different than mine. Both are going to be prosperous and blessed. Both have been foreknown. Both have been predestined. Both are going to do incredible things for the kingdom. I don't know what gifts are in you. I'm not sure all the gifts that are in me either. And but both, but God's plans are amazing. He's calling you and I. We need to know this, otherwise we'll live our lives. You are an incredible gift to this planet. You are an incredible gift to this generation. You're an incredible gift that God needs to use in His hands. And if you don't, who will?
The Bible goes on to say here that those He calls, He justifies. That means you get to walk in a righteousness that is so profound. It is just as if I'd never sinned. Justified. But the last verse here. The last Word says, "And to those that He has justified, He glorifies". Now, what does it mean to be glorified? When you look at that word glorified, it's stunning. Because it begins to talk about that Jesus has imparted this glory to us. And it's to make you renowned. It's to render you illustrious, it says in the Greek. It's to cause the dignity and the worth that He gives. It's to manifest within you the giftedness and the love of Christ and that people around you are just drawn to you so you can point them to Christ. They don't know Christ.
That's why Peter said when a guy wanted to be healed, he said, "Look at me". And the guy looked at him expecting to receive something because he didn't know Jesus. And he said, "Silver and gold have I none but what I have, I'm giving it to you". He didn't sit down and said, "Now, let's talk about Jesus a little bit because Jesus". And, you know, he's going to get taught the Word somewhere. But you and I need to understand something. God needs to glorify you. He needs to raise you up. People need to look at you and see something different about you. Oh, it's not perfection. So you ain't perfect. I'm not perfect. But He begins to see and sense. People around you, they see this, this glory on you.
What is that? That's God's glory. And anything that you're doing and that you're doing well. You've got to give Him the credit for the gift that's within you. You've got to say, "Well, why"? Well, because His presence is within me, and that's why this is going so well, and why I make it through the storm with a smile and... Whatever they notice, He wants to manifest His glory in your life. He wants the gifts of the Spirit flowing in your life. He wants people to look at you and see something that they can't put their finger on. My mom would always bake bread on the weekends. I think we went through with five boys. It was something like, it's always over 40 loaves a week she made. And do you know what that house smelt like?
When 40 loaves of bread were done, baked, sitting out on the racks ready bagged or frozen or wherever she was putting them. You mean, you think we're going to just walk by the bread and not do anything? The smell was driving us nuts. And so as soon as she's got her back turned, we are ripping apart bread. I mean, putting butter on it. The butter's dripping off that fresh bread. Why? Because there's a hunger in us that attracts us to this bread. People don't know why they are attracted to real glorified believers. People who are in love with Jesus, who have fed on His Word, who are filled with the spirit, who pray.
These verses are just so potent and powerful. It just turns the people around you upside down. Which is a good thing because they were upside down. So in a way it's right side up. They see you and it disturbs their world. But there's some bad news. You disturb everybody's world. Here we have these people saying, "They turned the world upside down". And the Bible says that these men, they would follow Paul and these apostles from city to city. And a great revival would turn up, and then all of a sudden this man with all these... And it says that he took the ruffians from the market place, unemployed, thieves, liars, the real rabble of the streets, and he would bring them along and they would just attack everything that the apostles tried to do to bring Jesus to the world.
Stop being surprised that you upset people. The presence of God upon you is bringing clarity to people. It makes them realize I need what you've got. And if they don't want it, there's going to be something in them. But don't let it bother you. Jesus has overcome the world. There's nothing they can do to stop what God wants to do through you. And so many people, give Jesus a hand.
So many people get worried about what will people say if they find out I'm a Christian. I don't know what will they say when they're standing at the white throne judgment and no one ever told them about Christianity and they see you walk by. Why didn't you tell me, Leon? Why didn't you tell me? I worked for 7 years with you. You saw me every day and you never told me there's an eternity? There's a heaven to gain. There's a hell to shun. Why didn't you? I would much rather run the risk of sharing in a classy cool Spirit Contemporary way the Jesus that I met and what He does for my life. Then one day to go to heaven and just see all these people at the white throne judgment. Which is not where believers go, whose names aren't being found in the book.
I just want to challenge you today. That the early church turned cities upside down. The early church wasn't trying to blend. People think Spirit Contemporary means we just blend and don't say anything. No. Spiritually alive is the vertical connection between you and God. It's like a cross, you know. That one timber points towards the sky. That's spiritual connection. And then there's that horizontal arms. And so contemporary is your ability to love and to get along with people, and to share with them in a contemporary relevant way. But you don't do it any less power. You do it with the power of God upon your life. Otherwise, you will live this sedentary, pathetic Christianity.
That, "Well, I sure hope no one finds out this week that I'm a Christian. Oh, I sure hope they don't find out that a..." Why? Have you met anybody at work that is shy about their beliefs? Whatever they believe in, they're shouting it from the rooftops. They'll wear the T-shirt. And they'll attack you if you don't believe. They want you to believe. And we live in a world that they say, "We want freedom. Freedom for you and freedom for me. And freedom for you and you and you and you as long as you all believe what I believe. Because that's what we're going to teach in your schools, and that's what we want in our laws, and that's what we want..." We better start speaking up as to what we believe about the future, about life, about eternity, about who Jesus is.