Leon Fontaine - Change Your Future
I want to speak to the young today. I want to speak to teenagers. I want to speak to twenty-somes. I want to speak to those who are new in faith. Because I want to talk to you about a hidden truth that for some reason seems to get covered over in, by religion and it destroys the power. It destroys the move of God in your individual life, and we don't want that. When I was, I was raised in a Christian home. Many of you have heard my testimony. My parents were pastors. And about 18, I discovered something that radically changed my life. I had developed as a teenager this thinking that God is in control of everything.
So all I was, was this pawn walking through life. This robot just walking out whatever will be, will be. And all of a sudden, it's like Holy Spirit woke up on the inside of me something about the topic of faith. Personal faith. That my faith had something to do with my future. I began to, and it just electrified me to go, "You mean I don't look at the next year and go, 'I wonder what's going to happen. I wonder what God's going to do. I wonder how this world will be'". I discovered that to sit around passively waiting to see what life will give me was not to what the Bible taught. It taught a personal faith in something. And so as I begin to dive into the Word as never before, I begin to recognize that even my salvation was a personal faith. And we could come together in faith and speak over a nation. But you have a very personal faith.
What do you believe? And as you believe on Jesus, that's the only way. That there is a born again experience inside of you. That the God of the universe forgives you. He literally makes you a brand new creation. His presence comes within you. That does not happen off somebody else's faith. It doesn't happen off your family's faith, your parents' faith, your grandparents' faith, or because someone raised you in a Christian home. No, your personal faith is what God is waiting for. He'll never violate your choices. And so as I looked at this topic of faith, I began to realize that as a teenager, I could have the favor of God on me in my decisions, my finances, my health, in protection. And I figured out what the Word was saying on how to do that. And oh, man, it was a new day. I dived into the Bible now because I kind of had developed this concept of God's in control.
And, you know, we sing songs that, that are not true. Like, "He's got the whole world in His hands. He's got the whole wide world". That's not a verse in the Bible. That's a kid's song. But it becomes people's doctrine. Well, the Bible says the earth is the Lord's. Yeah, read it in context. So people believe in what is called today the sovereignty of God, and that God is in control. So when you say, "He's got the etty betty babies in His hands". Well, twenty million died or something like that last year. So what, His hands aren't that good. Ah, He's got you and me brother. Well, half of our marriages are ending in divorce. And like don't say God has everything under control. It's just nowhere in the Bible.
Now you personally can get God involved in your life by believing with your personal faith, focus, and obedience. Yes. But to just say, "Well, everything's going to work out for the good". What, really? For who? For everybody. The Bible doesn't say that. The Bible says for you individually. Yes, called according to His purpose, walking in His love. Yes, absolutely. So this thing called faith. Now, years ago this teaching it seems like it's brought back to the body of Christ. And this faith message of personal faith, it literally electrified the church across the world. I was a part as a young teenager, I've seen it in going to conferences and hearing great teachers that just changed how I thought. That I could believe not just in Him for salvation, but I could believe in His promises.
His Word is so powerful and so strong that heaven and earth will pass away before He will allow His Word to be broken. He's not fickle. He's not up and down. He's not having a bad day on Monday and so you're in trouble. And He's having a good day on Friday, so you could probably ask for a few extra things. And so religion has literally made the young people of today abandon church. Why? Well, you can't trust God. I don't know what God's going to do. I may just do my best to go succeed because God's not going to help you succeed. And all this crazy teaching came into the church and it cost us the emerging generations. Did you know that in the 40s and 50s, when people began to preach that God was a good God. The majority of the churches wouldn't allow that message in the church. That God was a good God. That's how crazy doctrine had become. And so when we dive into the Word, and I recognize that faith, my personal faith.
Now, that doesn't mean that what happened to me was my fault. I mean, what happens to you when you were a child. The way you were born. I'm not even going to preach on that but it's not your fault. But now it's my responsibility on what I do from here on. So my response needs to be one of biblical faith and believe God. So that the future isn't controlled by the past, or by horrific things that took place, or by people that betrayed, or abused me. My future should not be controlled by that person. So there's a very biblical way to trust God, to use my faith and believe that God's going to restore the years the locusts have eaten. He's going to restore the things that were taken from me.
So rather than sit around and not forgiving. I just cut that umbilical cord. Let that whole mess go. Forget those things which are behind and go, "Here I am God. Let's go live it up". That's what He's calling you and I to do. So as a teenager, as a 20 something, if you're new in the faith. The Word of God is saying very clearly to you. God wants you to have an amazing life. When I realized He was for my good, it changed. Because the more I would listen to some preachers, it was just like, "No wonder. I mean, I'm glad that some, some people left the churches they were going to because who could sit there and get pickled in depressing suffering doctrine". And so I want you to know that Jesus said in John 10:10, "I'm come that you could have a life". You could get a life. And you could have it more abundantly in every area of your life. So understanding that I could believe in Jesus in the Word, and that would impact my future was a turning point for my life.
There's something else that begin to be restored to the body of Christ as a doctrine and that is the doctrine of grace. Grace is God's favor in your life. Grace is God's ability in your life. And, you know, faith when it really begin to rise up in our churches and some of them, people begin to use it for greed. For every mile of truth, however many, there's two miles of ditch. So people get off, and people got greedy with faith. It was all about them rather than first of all seeking first the kingdom of God. And grace was the same way. Grace came in and I began to realize that, that God is in love with you, and that because Jesus died in your place, He doesn't hold your sin to your charge. That stunned the people. Absolutely made my mouth hanged open when I understood that grace is God's ability in my life as a favor.
And because Jesus took my sin, went to hell in my place, took the curse of the law, rose up with a new life for me, and that I was riding on His coattails. And as He is, so am I in this world. That God is in love with me and He's not sitting there nitpicking every dumb little thing I didn't do right. I changed my world. And then as I begin to look at faith and grace, and as I begin to bring them together and realize they don't work separately. They're not fighting each other. But God, He says, "You need to believe in the finished work of Jesus". So that you will begin to believe God's grace and favor in your life. And then you'd have what we call, the Bible calls faith righteousness.
What is faith righteousness? I can't make myself more righteous. I can't make God love me more because I gave more, did more, cleaned up my life more. That had nothing to do with God's love for me. But then as I learn to fall in love with God, people would use grace to go live any kind of a lousy life they could and say, "God loves me anyway". Yeah, that's not the point. The courts don't love you, your spouse won't love, your kids won't love you. The person you rob from won't love you. The person you beat up, he's not going to love you. And you're going to wreck your life. And so all these beautiful principles of God's Word is so you could have a great life. It's not going to earn you more love and favor with God. Jesus did that. And as I begin to sort through these beautiful doctrine, I begin to recognize how I could live a life, how I could... God would be on my side.
And I want to challenge you today. That if you looked at the Word of God and someone has taught you that God's going to make you suffer sucker. And if He can get you to suffer, then maybe He can get your attention. No, God is not such a poor teacher that He has to use some despicable happening to get your attention. But now at the same time have you noticed, that when you have gone through a lot of stuff in your life, you do turn to God. Okay? Like, when my kids touched a hot fire place, I used that. I was trying to stop them from doing that but I can't be there all the time. When they first touched it and got burnt. I used that opportunity say, "Come here, sweetie. Okay, fireplace, hot. Can you say hot". That little one had to go, "Hot". Yeah, hot. Okay?
And I use it as a lesson. But I didn't bring them over to the fireplace and put their hand on the glass and burn them. Like everyone thinks that's what God's like. No. Did you get what I'm talking about here? And so our young people and our youth would have grew up in church and go, "Oh, I don't think I want to you know God any better because the better you know God". Then they say things like, "New levels, new devils". Well, who wants then to get ahead, if every level is going to be worse than the last level. I got news for you. The devil's shot his best shot at you. He's not holding something back. He's trying his best right now. He's trying to wreck your life right now. How's he doing? Well, as good as he gets. So get up and succeed. Get up and live. Get up and laugh. Get up and recognize the presence of God is on you. And that Jesus is with you. And that any storm that you see, He's with you not with the storm.
In Deuteronomy 30:19, this is, this is at the very foundation of Christianity. He says, "I put heaven and earth before you today". And He says, "And before you is set life and death, blessing and cursing". And then He says, "Ah, choose life". It doesn't seem to be a hard, a hard question. He says, "I put before you, life". He says, "I put before you death, before you is cursing and blessing. Ah, choose life". What does that mean? It means our choosing is in our decisions. Let's choose life. It's our choice to follow Him. And the laughter and the joy and the blessing that God... Are you saying that God's only good all the time? That's exactly what I'm saying.
You know, the Bible says that we're not going to go through the desert of heaven. Heaven's not a desert. It's an oasis. It's beautiful. He didn't start man out in the desert of the garden of Eden. He put him in a garden. Like, everything about God has been taken and destroyed. And we think, "Well, you know". We think we're being humbled. But what it has done is destroy the emerging generations from embracing a false God who religion has crept in, and it's crept in through other religions like, like Greek mythology and other teachings that are not even biblical. And so today I want to tell you. There is no deeper purpose for suffering. When suffering comes, use God's Word, use wisdom, whatever you can. Get out of it. Win. Get on top of it. Financial, health, whatever it is. Get up and believe God's with you. And when you recognize God's with you, man, does it energize you and go, "Ho, ho, God's with me, not with the storm".
As we go into God's Word and look at these things, it's amazing the truths. It says in Romans 8:32, listen to this incredible verse. It says, "God did not withhold or spare even His own Son from dying for you". He gave Him up for all of us. Is He not also going to freely and graciously give us anything else? Like if I had to do something for you. Well, good thing I'm not God. I wouldn't give any my kids for you and neither would you. But God did. And if He's that loving, He gave up His Son for you to die in your place. Is there anything He'd withhold? I mean, can I give you my house, my car, anything I have before I give you one of my kids. And if God's going to have His Son lay down His life for you and I to get a life, then why is He going to withhold? Yeah, Jesus died for you so could live on this planet, messed up, sick, depressed, emotionally down, poor, beaten, whipped.
The Bible doesn't teach that. Religion teaches that. And so we need to know the Word of God. I dove into the Word of God when I, when that epiphany hit me at 18, that the Word, that's not what the Bible's saying. In John 10:10, Jesus says, I'm, the thief steals, kills, and destroys. Me? I'm here to get you a life and a life more abundantly, superior in quality, innumerable in quantity. I love Psalm 103 because in verses, from verses 1 to 7, listen to how God looks at you. David is saying this and it's very prophetic of this new agreement we have with God. See, the difference in the Bible is the old agreement called the old covenant was in the blood of animals. The new covenant is in the blood of Jesus who died in your place. It's completely different.
When you read the Old Testament, you'd better take it through the new covenant. But listen to this beautiful portion of scripture. This is what God is like. David says, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Bless the Lord, O my soul, bless His holy name. Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you like a king with kindness and tender mercies, satisfies your life with good things. He renews your youth like the eagle's. He executes righteousness and justice around you, for you. He makes known His ways to Moses". That's what He wants to do for you. That's our God. It doesn't say, "Yeah, He's going to withhold a little bit and make you suffer". He's going to just say, "Ah, not yet you sucker, suffer a little longer. Hang on till there's only three fingers left hanging on to the cliff. And then maybe we'll sweep in at the last possible minute. You know, God's never early but He's never late".
And all these crazy non-verses that we just make up. I don't believe them anymore. I don't believe made up slogans that people make to explain why they think God doesn't do something. And I went back to the Word and just begin to believe that God's on my side. He's with me on the storm. That He makes me strong. That His favor is upon me. That my family, my home, our church. And as you begin to recognize these things, something changes on the inside of you. And you begin to believe in what Jesus has done. And that's the key. The key here is not to believe that you're so good, God's going to do something for you. 'Cause that's going to get you into trouble. That's pride, and God resists the proud.
What you believe is what Jesus has done. That Jesus has qualified you to be born again, to become a brand new person, to be forgiven, to have a new life. And that ahead of you, a future with Him in it. That He would guide you, lead you, bless you, execute judgment. He would do all these beautiful things for you. And that He would assist you to make sure the generations of your family are the same. And so today, all of you young people that maybe have looked at church and go, "Good Lord, get me out of here". Because it's like God is, He is old and out of touch and He's mean. And the only way He's going to teach you anything is that you struggle and suffer.
I've got news for you. I have not experienced God that way ever in 40 years of preaching. And you won't hear too many preachers say something like that. I've only experienced a good God. No, I've experienced heartache and brokenness and death. I've experienced lying and cheating and betrayal and all the rest. But you know what really took me through? God wasn't in it. He was with me. And it gave me such hope. It gave me such faith. People will say, "Well, how do you stay strong"? I go, "I don't know. I just believe in Jesus". Well, how do you just look at the future and go, "Everything's going to fall apart that is evil and only the goods going to prevail. How do you believe that"? I said, "Well, the Bible says that".
And so I challenge you today. The Bible is the most incredible book. And as you begin to dive into the Word and get out to church here. You will find out what God's plan actually is for you. And then as you begin to believe this, you will find a transformation taking place in your life. People will look at you and go, "You're so lucky". And you just go, "Yeah, sure". I don't get in... They're not going to understand favor anyway. So I just go, "You better believe it, everywhere and all the time". Really? Yeah. Huh, like, I noticed that. Yeah, you're going to have it, too. If they want to know. And I just talk to them about favor. Which is better than luck because luck you'll never know what's going to happen. You guys, "I forgot my lucky rabbit's foot at home, or I didn't stand on the left leg when I actually made the pot". So I just didn't know, or whatever your beliefs are on lucky. I'm not lucky. I'm favored. You are highly favored. God is in love with you.
I'm after one thing today. You young people. He's in love with you. He wants your career, your marriage. He wants you to find someone special. He wants you to love life till you just giggle and chuckle and go, "God, You're so good". He wants your kids to serve Him, your grandkids to serve Him. He wants you to know He'll never leave you. He'll never forsake you. And that's, that's the God that we serve. And the new covenant and the finished work of Jesus has made it possible. That you don't have to earn all of these blessings. These blessings were earned for you. By Jesus who lived a perfect life. By Jesus who died and took your sin, my sin. By a Jesus that took all punishment and curses for when we did mess up. And Jesus rose again and gave us a new life. And today we are born again with a new future.
The Bible is stunning. It's amazing. You have to want to get it wrong, to get it as bizarre as religion has got it. God is in love with you. Absolutely in love with you. And He's a brilliant teacher, brilliant at showing you, teaching you, communicating to you. He doesn't need to slap you off your stool. He doesn't need to use cancer as his teacher, or death as his teacher. He doesn't need to use betrayal and bankruptcy and allow it in because He's got to teach you something you're not getting. That's not our God. Now when you turn to Him in the midst of the stuff you're walking through, man, He'll be there and He'll help and teach you. But you better get a new look at God, or you're going to struggle the rest your life and your family won't follow God. 'Cause you don't have the correct God of the Bible.
You don't have the Jesus that came to the planet and said, "If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father". Jesus didn't walk around making people sick. He didn't walk around killing people. He didn't walk around povertizing people, not a word. He didn't walk around dissing people. He didn't walk around making them sick or mentally ill. He didn't walk around. He walked around and all He did was bless and heal and include and say, "Bring the little children over here. Go and sin no more". He says, "Don't let that, their judgments bother you, ma'am. You just go free". Who's accusing you now? And she goes, "Father, master, no one". Neither do I. Go. He's showing you and I this incredible beautiful life. And He'll give you the power to win overall temptation and to live a life that is so strong and gorgeous for Him. Praise You, Jesus. Praise You, Lord.
If you don't know Jesus but you're listening to this these and you say, "I don't know if I even know or am a Christian"? Just right now say:
Jesus, come into my heart. I give You my life. I choose You and I choose to follow You. I'm going to get to know You better. I'm going to learn Your Word better. But right now I just choose You and I'm asking You to come into my heart. I believe on You as my Lord and Saviour. In Jesus' name, amen.
Pray that prayer and keep following us. Let us know you made this decision, and together we're going to help you rise up to an overcoming amazing life of walking by faith.