Leon Fontaine - Please Help Me Change
Today, I want to entitle this message, "Please help me change". Please help me change. It's the cry of so many hearts on our planet, who feel so stuck. Stuck in their emotions. Stuck in, their behaviours. Addictions. Stuck in, awful emotions of jealousy and anger, rage, irritableness. Unable to break addictions, these addictions can be alcohol, drugs. Addictions can even be addictive thinking that you just can't seem to break free from. And so I want to talk about this today because, the Bible has stunning answers for this. So many people, live in a way where, they're stuck. You see, the way God designed you and I, was that we are born, our parents begin to teach us who we are in Christ, begin to teach us the Word of God which anchors our souls. Our emotions. Our belief systems. Anchors them.
And then as we grow, and we go through the different seasons of life, our personality develops. We're a healthy child. A healthy teenager. We rise up in schools, and learn friendships. We become a healthy single person. Didn't say perfect, I said healthy. Then you get married, and now you must begin to adapt with your personality, to understanding and having right thinking in your marriage. Along comes children, and as you raise children, there's different seasons of life. Then you're going to go to the empty nest. Go over to financial seasons, as you learn to work with people and hire staff and meet the needs of those around you in a free market system like we have. And so as you develop and learn, this personality rises up more equipped, more mature. And able to understand the nuances of others' personalities, and to get along with them. To work with them. To team up with them. To network with them.
This is how God, has designed us. But then there are those, for some reason, who get stuck. And there's no development of their personality. They feel stuck in certain emotions. They feel stuck in certain behaviours. And, I'm going to just touch on this lightly but I want to explain to you the problem before we begin to go for the solution. Because, people who do not develop, often in their angst and in this conflict, they begin to blame those around them for the inadequacies in their lives. Now, going along with that problem, is the church of Jesus Christ who seems to feel like it's good enough to get people born again and make heaven. Granted, that's the single most important thing. Where are you going to spend eternity? Eternity without Christ, will be a horrible thing. But while we're on this planet, Jesus has prepared something for us.
Now, the Bible says that when you give your life to Christ, you are a new creature. Now the word 'new creature' here, it means new as in you are fresh, energized, special, but it also means that you are a part of a new species that has never been seen before. You are uncommon. You are unique. You are special. You are set apart. And here is where Christianity, I believe, in most of it has failed to bring truth. To believers. Instead, we want to just continue to confess, we're just sinners saved by grace.
Now, what you call yourself is your identity. So the Bible doesn't call you a sinner once you're born again, even though you make mistakes. Even though you do things that are wrong, your identity, your nature, has been changed. And so, when you say Jesus, come into my life. Come into my heart, I receive You as Lord and Saviour. Something amazing takes place deep in the part of you called your spirit. You are completely remade. The old you dies, it's the only way God can explain it to us. There is just a complete end to every facet of your old life's feelings and emotions, and anger, and angst, and selfishness, and it's an end to it. And then He pours Himself into you. And when He pours Himself into us, our spirit, there is nothing left that you have to worry about. And He seals your spirit. A sealed unit. This is, a new species. A new creation.
But then the Word of God teaches us, to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. It's saying, there better be in you and I, this amazing awe that goes, I need to put on the outside of me what's on the inside of me. I need to be who I am. I need to be who I is, because everything I've been trained in so far, has been in the old life. That old self-centred, low self-worth, never good enough, or arrogance, but arrogance is often because you feel so small on the inside. So this incredible, new species that you are uncommon, you're unique, you're special. It must, come out into your mind, your emotions, and your physical body. Your emotions, your behaviour, they impact your character development. And to think well I can't control my emotions, is wrong. That's not what the Word says.
And so, as we look into the Word, we have to reject all that we have been taught if it's against the knowledge of the Word. I love psychology, just as a, quote-unquote science, I've read so much. I know so many great people in the field. But psychology sees a man as a two-part being. So you're a body, and then they are in awe of the mind. And the conscious and the subconscious, and they'll divide it up and all of their areas and then they'll, they'll diagnose you with what behavioural problem you have. What personality disorder is yours. And because they can name it, they think they can understand it or change it. But really honest, counsellors and psychiatrists will tell you, very clearly, although I cannot change what goes on deep inside of you, we do not know how. I can assist you in your behaviours to control behaviours. To begin to monitor and handle better your emotions as they burst out, et cetera.
But the Word of God does not teach that way. And because of that, if you've got disorders or named things, the Bible doesn't do that. The Bible clearly divides things into two parts. The old you, has a residual. The residual is your memory banks. You remember the pleasures you had. You remember how you handled people, how you manipulated people. Your passive aggressiveness. Getting what you want, et cetera, et cetera. But the Bible says, pick up your cross daily. And follow me, in Luke. Pick up your cross, what does that mean? A cross is a symbol of death. Well, it means die to the self-centred you. Then it goes on to say, those who seek to find their life, lose it.
Woah, woah woah woah. What's that supposed to mean? It means in your strength, with your ability as just a human being, if you only in your thinking with the advice of others, live your life. You're going to lose everything that's dear to you on the inside. You're not going to have the dreams, the things that you really want. But if you, lose your life. You'll find it. What? By losing it, it means you give up your thinking, your preconceived beliefs that got you this far but will never get you further. And you submit them to the Word of God as the authority. And you say, you created me, so who am I? And then you take the Word of God for the truth on that. If you do not take this incredible new species, this new life, this new you that is deep within your spirit and it is now your nature. If you do not take this, and put it on.
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, Romans says. Ephesians 4 says put off the old emotions, the old behaviours, the old thinking, and put on the Lord Jesus Christ. If you do not do this amazing, stunning, incredible thing. Put off, put on. Put off, put on. This is the only hope we have, to enjoin down here. thank God you're born again and heaven is a guarantee. But who wants to spend the next 60 years living like hell? Feeling like hell? With emotions that you can't seem to control and feelings that seem so real to you. And situations you can't seem to change. That's not a part of the new species. And as children grow and develop, if there's been areas that have been stunted or they've been hurt. Broken-hearted, and this development of who they are. Has them stuck. You can stay stuck in a developmental phase, the rest of your life. You can stay stuck in something you should have learned at age five for the rest of your life, and act like a five-year-old. In certain areas.
And then, often people, who have never learned to put off, put on. They cannot be wrong. Because they have such fragile, self-worth. That to be wrong, they're not sure they can make it through a situation where they're wrong. And so they have to be right. And, you need to see that. And if this is you, that this is the human condition. That I must feel right because I'm trying to hold together everything about my self worth and who I am. And so to be wrong again, I just can't handle it. So I must point my finger out. Because I don't want to point it in. And that's why your relationships are all garbage. Because you have to find someone else to be the fall guy for why you feel the way you feel. Why you can't get results the way you want results. And so, we live in the greatest pain possible. Relational pain. The lack of healthy relationships. We can't build healthy relationships, because the Bible has a principle that says love your neighbour, how much? And some of you hate yourself.
If you're going to be really honest, you look in the mirror and you despise yourself. You'll bang your head or your fist against a mirror and just, what is wrong with me? You walk into any situation and feel like I don't belong. You'd prefer to isolate yourself from people than to have friendships because every friendship is imperfect. There are no perfect people. Except perfect moments. And everyone needs relationships. But you won't know how to build them, because at the deepest level, you'll only have as good a relationship as you love yourself. And a relationship is only as good as the weakest person in them. If you're married, you should count your spouse as your best friend. But God made marriage beautiful and perfect. It's the people in the marriage, that are flawed. And need to work at it. But the person who works at it the least, gives you the measurement of the health of that marriage.
Healthy people, are always growing and developing, in their personalities. Now, in Psalms 8:4-6, it teaches us, I'll read it to you. What is man? That, that you are mindful of them. And the son of man, that you care for him, God? Yet you made him a little lower than God. You crowned him with glory and honour, which means dignity and worth. You, are crowned with dignity. If I had a crown up here, that said dignity and worth, and on behalf of God, I could just slip this thing on your head. He's already done it. He has given you dignity and worth. And no one can take dignity from you. No one. That's the dignity that comes from God Himself. This value that we call self-worth. Or, more accurately in the Word, it's dignity and worth. What you're worth has been established by God before the foundation of the world, and you are crowned with it. Your spouse should not be able to touch it. Your children, your enemies, your dad, your mom, your, your crazy uncle. Or bitter aunt, or whatever. Or teacher that said you're the most likely to fail, or the bully of the classroom that tried to make you feel small, or whatever is going on that is broken heart.
When you begin to recognize that you are crowned according to Psalms 8 with dignity and worth. Then you don't need to look to anyone else, you should never look to your spouse for your dignity and your worth. You should live in it, know it, and enjoy it, so that you can make this relationship and take it to the places God intended it to be. But when you hold someone hostage, for the feelings that you have and the desire, it's not going to work. So here he says in Psalms 8 chapter 8 verse 5. He crowned you with glory and honour, which is dignity and worth. And he's given you the dominion over the works of his hands. And put all things under his feet. You have to on purpose make a decision. What do I want to look like emotionally? What do I want to look like, in my behaviour? Because all of us have emotions and behaviour, that are sin.
Now the Bible says in Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ. Killed. Nevertheless, I live. But it is not I, but it is Christ who lives within me. That word Christ means the anointing, the anointed one lives within me. Okay? And then it goes on to say, and the life that I now live, this is your emotional life, your physical life, your relational life, just every area, your financial life. I life by faith in the Son of God. You don't live by faith in your spouse. At the core. You don't live by faith in your banker. You don't live by faith in your kids. You don't live by faith in your parents. You don't live by faith in your family name. You live by faith in the Son of God. Who died in your place. Here is such incredible, concrete, dignity and worth. Such amazing love that you sense that you experience that you know. But, you must do the work.
The Bible says work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. There better be something in you that just awesomely goes, what Jesus has done. I must move from the legal, to the experiential. Many marriages don't move from the legal. To the experiential. Are you married? Yes, it's legal. Got the paper. Whoop-dee do. Will you experience the incredible, friendship, companionship, love, romance, that God's designed? The jury's out, we'll see if you change. And your marriage is, nothing wrong with marriage. It's not flawed. It's the people in the marriage. And so both must encourage each other, not manipulate each other. Not use anger or irritableness, or anything in any way to force, because then love begins to drift off, and that person will only know anger.
And if you decide to change for somebody else, you will begin to loathe that person. Because you're changing for them, and they could never give you the accolades and enough back that would really help you to rise up and be who you are. This ebb and flow of self-worth that you want to come from a spouse for example, in your life. It will never be enough. So you must free them. You must cut every umbilical cord, every person that you hold responsible for why you can't do something. You must turn to Christ. This is picking up your cross daily, dying to self-centeredness. And saying I put my faith, in Jesus.
In Romans 13, it says put on the Lord Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 4, it says you have not learned Christ like this. Verse 22, put off your former conduct. Verse 23, be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Verse 24. Put on the new man. This is an absolutely crucial part of the Christian experience, that I would have to say, more than 90 percent, if I was to take a poll of who I meet and talk with, to try and council and help out with, more than 90 percent of people have never finished putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. Where they are putting off things that He would never do, say, feel, think. And they're putting Him on. His actions, how He thinks. How He feels.
The Bible says, to know the ways of God, who could know them? But then it says, we can have the mind of Christ. What is the mind of Christ? His feelings. His love. His thinking. His emotional makeup. His relational expertise. We can have the mind of Christ. This should be something that every individual person is working out their own salvation with fear and trembling. To all you single people, stop looking for just the packaging. It seems to sag after a few years anyway, on both. And, look for someone who knows who they are in Christ. The love that you can have with that kind of a person.
As the maturity within them to look past your flaws, past your needs. Doddy Rambo wrote a song, to all you country fans, decades ago. He looked beyond my faults, and he saw my needs. If you want to change lives, wherever you go, please, do the work of putting off, putting on. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. So that wherever you go, you bring glory to His name. To His kingdom. And if the church would do this, instead of just looking for new keys to bring people, instead of looking for new keys to help others out. And only feeding them on the streets, or only, and we want to help people every way we can. But if we could simply work out our own salvation with this awe, because there's a life ahead of you that is so uncommon, so unique, so beautiful. That, it would affect everything around you.
Every head bowed for just a moment. All across the auditorium, for all of those that are here. That need to give their lives to this Jesus. I'm going to lead you in a prayer so powerful, that when you pray it and mean it, you'll never be the same. He will come in to your spirit, and He'll never leave you or forsake you. This is not religion, this is a beautiful, amazing thing that Jesus died for. He took your sin, He took everything you deserve to have negative. And He says if you'll just believe on me and accept me, I will be with you. Out loud, would you join me with all these amazing folks making this decision, the prayer goes like this. Just say:
Dear God, thank You for sending Jesus. Who won for me, a place in Your family. Forgiven, with a new life. I accept, come into my heart, Jesus. As my Lord and Saviour. And teach me Your ways, from today and on, in Jesus name. Amen.