Leon Fontaine - Faith, The Servant of the Believer
There's an interesting teaching in the Bible that I'm going to springboard from today. And I'm going to challenge you, and I pray that you'll take off your religious hat, and that you'll allow the Word of God to provoke you. You'll allow the Word of God to build you up. And say okay, I want to do that, Father. But in Luke 17:1-10, you want to just study this at home for this next week. Is an amazing teaching about the topic of faith. The problem with the word 'faith' is everybody thinks they know it, everybody thinks they've got it, everything think they're using it, but nobody's happy with what's going on in their life. And then we ask the question, well what's wrong? What do you mean what's wrong?
Well, I'm doing what I'm supposed to, and nothing's changing. In other words, it's God's fault. And so today I want you to understand that, that when we look at this, I want you to just rise up with a sense of victory. Jesus is teaching His disciples and He's telling them, how to stay out of offense. He's teaching them that, when someone offends you, you make a decision not to get into offense. And when they come against you and they trespass against you, in other words you've got a right to get upset. He says you forgive them seventy times seven. And the disciples went, increase our faith. And so Jesus goes into a teaching about faith. And He says, faith is like a mustard seed. And this, when you speak to a Sycamore tree, it's going to have to obey you. He's talking, that the, the things on this planet, they have to obey faith. The forces on this planet.
And as you read the Word, you'll see we're not to be under the circumstances. Everyone says well under the circumstances, you're about to hear an excuse. We are to be more than overcomers. Now, I'm not going to teach from that portion but that's amazing as you understand seed and faith. But then he goes on, and he says something that few people have seem to grasp. He says, will any man, of you who has a servant plowing or tending sheep, say to him when he's come in from the field. Come at once and take your place at the table. Will he not instead tell him, get my supper. And gird yourself, and serve me, while I drink and eat. Then afterwards, you can eat and drink. Is he grateful? Does he praise the servant because he did what he was ordered to do?
Even so on your part, when you've done everything that was assigned and commanded you, say we are unworthy servants. We have merely done what is our duty to do. It's kind of this weird story. That is not the way Christians act. You! Come here and make me something to eat. You, get out, you look after me. Because He's not talking about our treatment of people, He's talking about your use of faith. And if you do not learn to release your faith, to grow your faith. And what to believe in as far as a new covenant faith. You will believe but you will not be acting in faith. You will literally have all this knowledge, and you'll know what the Word says. And you might even be able to say what you believe. But it's not acting in your life, because faith, the servant of the believer, is not working. You're letting him sit down and do nothing. And instead, you get him up and you put him to work.
Faith without works is dead. When you look at this topic of faith, you and I have to understand that this faith is what helps you to overcome in life. And not just on the defense. Like well, I never think about my faith until I've got a problem. Well that's not very good. Because the way you rise up and do incredible things, is by what you believe about God's Word. What you believe about Jesus. There is this stunning, tenacious, stubborn faith that the believer is supposed to have. And it radically changes your world. When we look at Jesus, and when we look at the Bible, it doesn't say that you should be living on barely get by avenue, and drive to work on just hanging in there boulevard. Working at just enough to get through job. But, yet, vows of poverty, and oh we don't want to believe for God for too much. All these crazy religious doctrines have come in and sabotaged what it is God's people will believe for.
And so Jesus is saying to His disciples who say well increase our faith. And He's saying put it to work! So many people, have the Word in them. They know what the Word says. But if I say to them, is your faith at work? They'll almost always go. I hope so. You need help. Because your faith is the servant of the believer. It's something the world has no clue of. That when you begin to believe in the finished work of Jesus, and the grace that is on your life, which is the favour of God. The ability of God. Everywhere you go, things go your way. The Bible says get up, and go. And let His blessing comes on your life until the world gets jealous of what you've got. The world's not jealous of most of the church. They wouldn't even want to be a part of it. But yet the word blessed means happy, fortunate. Where we get the root word fortune, and to be envied.
There is something about your life, that as you begin to learn to put faith to work in your life, that is the servant of the believer. That's what Jesus is saying in this portion of scripture. When they said Lord, increase our faith, and Jesus is saying put your servant of faith to work. Get him working on your marriage. Get him working on your finances. Get him working on soul winning. Get him working on taking the Gospel to the world. Get him working on the church you attend. Get him working on the generations that aren't even alive yet, because words that are spoken by faith, they transcend your lifespan. I am living out things my dad spoke over my life, and he's been in heaven for twenty years. And my grandkids will speak and live out the things that he spoke, because I heard him pray over his grandkids and his great-grandkids.
And I've learned to pray over them, and the day that I die and I go to be with Jesus, the words that I've spoken, the prayers that I've prayed, they are here. In the Old Testament, you'd have a prophet of old speak things out that were hundreds of years from happening. And those words never came back void. They accomplished what the spirit of God was doing, when it was speaking through a man or a woman of God. Oh, if we could understand how God has prepared you and I to live in this world. And how we are to rise up, and how we're to put our faith to work, believing in the grace of God. I'm going to give you an analogy today that I hope will just become picturesque in your head. Paul taught us in the New Testament, that the Old Testament is for us to learn. And that there are types in the Old Testament that we should apply. For example, did you know the story of the children of Israel, coming out of Egypt as slaves. Beaten nobodies. I mean, dominated, manipulated. They came out of Egypt, and he took them to the promised land.
Now many of the songs that have been sung, they say the promised land is heaven. But there are no giants in heaven to take out. The promised land, is a type of the spirit-filled, faith-filled life. And so we look at this story, and we begin to have God teach us how to think, how to believe, how to apply ourselves. In Deuteronomy 11, it goes from 8, I mean Deuteronomy's a really cool book. It's chapters of him instructing his people how to stop being a slave, and become a leader. Stop begin a slave, and become an overcomer. The attitude that was in Egypt, was one of slavery, domination, and manipulation. It was kind of this, oh well. It was so bad, that only two of the adults even made it into the promised land. And they had to walk in circles in the desert for forty years. Until the adults died off. You know why? Because they couldn't believe God would take them through, into that kind of a life. There's a temptation upon every Christian, to go back to the habits that you once had in the old life.
Where, you could at least anesthetize a little bit of your pain with the pleasures that you did. Whether it was golf 24/7, nothing against golf. Whether it was sexual sin, alcohol, drugs. Whatever you did to numbify your brain so that you didn't have to, you know, have these dreams that irritate you. I find that I get around some people, I've got to get away from them, because they'll ask me what's going on, I'll start sharing dreams and victories and visions, and they just go. Hm. Yeah. And they don't want to hear. Don't ask. Because I love sharing what God is up to, and what I'm believing God for and where I'm going. Because when you get around people with faith, people with vision, people want to get up and do something. It encourages one another as we share what God is saying. What God is doing. And it lifts us up. Or we join the adults in Israel. Well I wish I was back in Egypt eating bean soup. That's exactly what they said. And God said, to Moses. I'm not taking them into the promised land. In other words he's saying they won't make it. Turn them around, get them out of here.
Forty years come and go, and finally the last one died off. And everybody under 20, from the 40 years before is now 60. Except for two or three men. Caleb, Joshua, and Moses. And they took those kids in, took them 40 years to clean out the slave mentality. What do you think they were doing 40 years wandering in the desert? Just, I mean, having a lot of funerals. Having a lot of funerals. And teaching these kids, you're an overcomer. You're born of God. You are children of the most high God. You are leaving slavery. You are made in the likeness and the image of God. He has promised the land that flows with milk and honey. They were instructing these kids for 40 years about who they were. And when Joshua got onto the edge of the promised land, that promised land was done when it came to giants. They went in there by faith, God intervened, they did things. Whatever God directed them to do, and they begin to live a life so stunning that the Bible explains it this way.
Listen to this in Deuteronomy 11. It says, if you'll obey what I'm saying to you, God is saying, go in and possess the land. So wherever you are in life, learn to be an overcomer. Learn to rise up and believe God. Learn to take all the, the fiery darts of negativity and, and pride, and arrogance, and religiosity, and just take them out with the shield of faith. And then get up and say we're going in to possess what God has promised us. If you do not have this kind of an assertive, let's go do great things for God. You will settle into the status quo, of just another earthling. But if you'll rise up and recognize God's called you to do something great. That every person has gifts and abilities. So he says to the children of Israel here as they come out of Egypt. Go in and possess the land.
Now here's the thing. What kind of land was it? Well, it was acres of desert. No it wasn't. It was a land so beautifully developed, that the only way to describe it was it flowed with milk and honey. Well it flows with milk, you've got a stunning farm, agricultural country. If it's flowing with honey, you have a beautiful country filled with trees, and flowers, and crops. Because as you begin to understand where these fit into all this, you realize this is one stunning country.
And the Bible tells, teaches them you're going into a country where cities are already built. You're going into a country where the vineyards are already built. You're going into a country where the wrenches are already built. And you're going into countries where the roads are already built, the walls on cities to protect them are already built. He was taking them to a place that needed such little work, that it was hard to even fathom that there was a promised land. And yet the promised land, is a type of the spirit-filled life. Believing what God says. Well Leon, how much is going to happen in my world? I don't know, what are you going to go possess? What are you going to believe?
As you begin to study the Word of God, you begin to, Jesus said my yoke is easy and my burden is light. But I'll talk to some Christians who say oh, it's so tempting to go back to the world. It was, I had a better time there. If you did, there's a problem with your Christianity somewhere. Because Jesus said His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Jesus said, that you're going to rise upon the high places of the earth. The Word says you're going to be the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, you're going to walk in health and blessing. They're going to be jealous of just the incredible life that you've got. Your children will be like olive trees around your table. Your wife is that virtuous woman. You can't even really recognize how high you married up. And vice versa.
This life, what is it? I hate religion. I'll say it with more passion every year of my life. It wasn't the drunks that crucified Jesus, it wasn't the Romans that crucified Jesus, it wasn't the prostitutes that crucified Jesus, it wasn't the thieves that crucified Jesus. It was religious people who crucified Jesus. Who were angry and proud and arrogant about what He was saying and what He was doing, and they're the ones that made this thing happen. And today I'm going to tell you something. Look out for the religious people who've got a rule on you for everything. That you've got to earn everything God's going to give you.
And you ain't good enough for God to bless your life. 'Cause they, man, their attitude will creep into you, onto your world like old underwear. God begins to go on and tell His people, the land you're going into, no one's going to stand before you. The land you're going into, people will be afraid of you. They're not afraid of you because you're a wicked fighter. They're afraid of you because they can't understand how you get so blessed. How can you just start something, and it just gets blessed? How can there be a whole bunch of things, free talents floating around, they always come your way? People will often say to me when they hear about some of the things God's doing.
Man, I've never seen anybody so lucky. Thank you, yep. I don't even try to correct them. Unless God gives us some time to do it. Yep, you're right. I'm lucky. Lucky with land, lucky with who comes here, lucky with people, lucky with staff. I just, everywhere I turn around, I can see the favour of God. And every time I turn around and someone comes against me, I just see all of a sudden just disappear, kind of go oh cool. You know, why? Because of the favour of God. As you begin to believe in the favour of God, and you begin to activate your faith, and get it to get up off the seat where you've been feeding it and feeding it. This verse here, Jesus is saying when your servant comes in from the field, you don't sit him down and feed him.
See this faith is this stunning, amazing, phenomenal thing that God is looking at every one of you and saying you've got faith, this measure of faith that He gave you. And as you believe the finished work of Jesus, that finished work of Jesus qualifies you for every promise. That finished work of Jesus takes out all the sin and the guilt and the condemnation, you're a brand new creation, and you can begin to believe as never before. And you don't have to qualify yourself anyway. And so as you look at this, here's another thing that's interesting. When they're on their way to the promised land, it's interesting how God looked after them on the trip.
For some of you that might be going, oh you know one day Leon, I'm going to be able to believe like you. I know one day, maybe I'll arrive and I'll get there. Okay. They came out of Egypt, they're on their way to the promised land. First thing that happens, he parts the Red Sea with a wind so strong it drives the muddy bottom and piles the water up. 600,000 warriors trained in combat come after them. And God takes out their enemy in about twenty seconds. Bam. Then they get on the other side of that Red Sea, and how are you going to feed a couple million people in the desert? He provides mana every morning. Where you going to find water walking through the desert? They just slap a rock, the one God points out, and a river flows out of it, and water is everything. What do you do in the desert when you've got to carry everything by hand? It says they wore the same clothes. I know that's depressing. But the Bible says their clothes never wore out. Forty years of wearing the same shirt, and it doesn't wear out.
The Bible says that in the hot Egypt, or that in the hot desert sun, that when they went somewhere, that they followed a cloud. And everyone thinks it was a little smoke ring that just you know, Moses was looking for it. So he could follow. No. The cloud that covered the Israelites, stretched from horizon to horizon, so that all two million people had shade from the hot desert sun. The mommas, the babies, the toddlers, the teenagers. The men who were working and carrying. Because otherwise you'd fry so bad, how would you even do it? The cloud by day. Why would it be a cloud by day? To protect you from that hot, hot, baking sun. And then a pillar of fire by night. And we think it was like a little Bic flick that was just kind of over Moses' tent. And he's looking where's the Bic flick today?
I've got to find it, no. That, that Bic flick was so powerful as a roaring fire, that it went up into the heavens and it radiated heat in the cold desert nights, and warmed two million people. I wonder how big, that's bigger than all of Winnipeg. You talk about miraculous, God's miraculously going to take you to your promised land. He's going to be with you through all the stuff you've got to work out. Some of you got to work out stuff with debt, some of you have been working out stuff with the police, and you're working out stuff with a judge. Some of you've got to work out stuff with your parents, your spouse. Some of you are addicted, some of you are sick. Whatever's going on, God is with you even on the journey. And He does miracles on the journey, on your way to the life He's promised you.
We have got to understand, that when the disciples looked at Jesus, and there's a number of times the issue was faith. Help us. Help us. Jesus will always take them to something so simple. You either plant His Word in your heart, because when it starts to grow, it's unstoppable. And, you put your servant to work. Make sure, that each day when you're in the Word, and you're reading the Bible, that you're getting up and declaring who you are in Christ. There, there's a transfer as His people rise up. The answer is, you and I being who we're called to be in the area we're gifted in to be. Rise up in politics, rise up in healthcare. Rise up in finance, rise up in university. We need professors who know who their God is. And as all of us begin to believe what the Bible says about us, and we begin to rise up in the area that God has called us to, we the church become salt and light.
And we live out this promised land living. Where, we begin to know that okay. God wants me there, let's go for it. But do you really think, I mean, think about the unknown. Oh, I should probably tell you. God's not only the God of my heart, He's the God of my future. He's the God of the unknown. He's the God of the risk. He's the God who is with me when I, when He just says hey. You know, the shortest message in the Bible, is when Jesus walked up to twelve separate men and said two words. Follow me. Oh, um. Yeah, about that Jesus, He just walked off. Later on He even talked to some others, said follow me. One said oh can I just go bury my dad? You'd think Jesus, have a heart.
There's something about following Christ, that when you're sold out for Jesus, and you, you are doing what He has called you and I to do. Final thought, we use our faith for a lot of personal means. I think it's time you start using your faith, for getting the Gospel out. Using your faith for going into the world and preach the Gospel. Lay your hands on the sick, cast out devils. You know, believe. If anything comes against you, that if you eat any deadly thing, it won't hurt you. It doesn't matter if you have to drink it, eat it, absorb it, breathe it, radiate it, the Bible has a promise, it can't hurt you. His people can rise up in the blessing and the favour of God, and then we become salt and light. And so, let God just touch your heart. And then get up and use your faith that everywhere you go, you are to share this faith.