Leon Fontaine - Enemies of Faith
When we take a look at our lives, it is so easy to slide into kind of you wouldn't call yourselves defeated, but plateaued, not much has changed. And if I have to ask you to make a list in your life as to what is changed in the last while, most people would probably only be able to put negative changes there or there. And Christianity for many has become a religion. A religion of rules, religion of, you know, things to do to please God. And it's kind of a place to go where you need psychological comfort. But that's actually not what Jesus came to do. He came to end all religions and to give us each a personal relationship with God with power, with love, with authority, a life where things change, things happen. But because so many people don't understand the new covenant, they stay in this plateaued state.
And so I wanna talk today about, the topic I'm gonna get into in just a moment. Since you're here, you're gonna go, "I know that". You know, the biggest enemy of faith is, and by the way, faith is important. Because 1 John 5:4, says, "This is the victory that overcomes the world even our faith". But the biggest enemy of faith is mental assent. It's where you agree, "Yeah, yeah. That's good. That's good. Good one. That's a great reminder, pastor. Praise the Lord! That encourage me". I want transformation, not just a little bit of encouragement. We want to get into God's Word in such a way that something takes place within us. And so the topic we're gonna deal with here, I believe today will rock you, turn you around, and get you on course to winning, to being excited, passionate for God.
I'm gonna tell you a story of Joshua chapter 6. This story is about them with Moses leading the children of Israel to the promised land. Then Moses tries to get in with them and I remember all the spies that turned against them. They had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Moses is now dead. Joshua is the new leader and he's taking them into the promised land. One of the first cities they had to take was Jericho. So God gave them very specific instructions. You can read the whole story there. I want you to camp out outside that the city and I want you to walk around it once a day and nobody say a thing, just be quiet. Walk around the city quietly. Then you'll do it a second day, then you'll do it a third day, a fourth day, a fifth day, a sixth day, and on the seventh day you're to walk around it seven times, nobody says a word, completely quiet. And when I say so, were gonna shout.
I noticed when I read different stories in the Bible, that words that are spoken or the silence that is maintain is very important. Why wouldn't God want them to talk? What's the big, I mean, you ever tried to walk around the whole city before? Let's all, we'll pick Saturday and we'll walk around Winnipeg. Now, when you take a look at this, you'll notice that God did not want the negative yucky talk that goes on between people when they don't like what's going on. Mumble, grumble, complain, whine. You know, it's just prolific in our culture. I mean, we tend to always share what's going. When we get up the first thing we wanna say is, "How do you sleep, babe"? Oh, not good. Not good at all. I could have slept longer. Yeah. How do you feel? Oh, you know, that old arm is acting up again and yeah, just. And we tend to and just want to, desire to always share the negative, what's wrong.
Now, if it was just information sharing, it would probably not be a problem. But according to the Word of God every word that you speak condemns your life or blesses your life. Every word, every one of them, everyone. "Well, that's just when I mean it, you mean". No. Every word that comes out of your mouth the Bible says you will be justified or you'll be condemned. Every word that you speak has an effect on your emotional makeup. It has an effect on your physical body and the physical world around you and it has an effect in the spiritual world. Those three worlds, mental, physical, spiritual. Every spoken word. Everyone has an effect. So when God has His people walking around this powerful, huge. This city was so huge and so powerful that the walls.
Okay, you know the story of how they went around it seven times not a word. And when Joshua says, "Shout"! They all shouted. And it says the walls weren't pushover. It says they came down flat, reason being as they prided themselves back then on having walls so wide they could race two chariot races on them. So the walls if you've to push them over they were squared, it's just be the same size. And if they disintegrated, they were so high you could never get around the rumble. So flat. It's a very interesting term, how that they went flat. And it says wherever they were, they went straight into the city that seventh time. They didn't have to work their way back to the entrance to get in and they had a great victory.
It's interesting as a church for example or as a family, as a marriage. The words that you use are creating your future. The words that you speak are impacting and empowering the devil or they are empowering God, the angels, every word you speak. I can give you a massive list of by your words you'd be justified, by your words you'd be condemned. Life and death are in the power of the tongue, on and on and on. Whatever you are speaking. But, now we in our generation don't agree. We just believe it's communication and you should communicate, you know, truth all the time. Just be truthful. You're not truthful and you know it. You don't tell everybody the truth. Like say, "Hey, how do you like my dress"? It's beautiful.
So we have to understand that words were not just created for communication. Words were created for authority. Adam in the Garden of Eden, he was the wimpiest thing in the garden. Have you ever been up close to a dead bear that's been shot, and you see how thick that fur is or a buffalo. I mean, it's just try to hurt one of those things is hard. Or the teeth on a bear or a tiger or the claws. I remember one time when my grandpa shot this grizzly bear and I have a looked at the claws, like it was unbelievable. But here's man who's supposed to be in charge of the garden. He's got little white skin or brown skin that can be easily ripped. His teeth are so dull, he couldn't bite through a celery stick let alone a bear if he had to attack it. And strength wise the elephant's got him. The skunk got his stink. The tiger got his claws. The elephant got his strength. Every animals got something and then here's a human being just... So where did the human get its power? It got its power and its authority from God and the ability to speak.
I want you, when this message is done today, I want you to understand that what you talk about, what you speak about, how you speak words, have an amazing impact on you. Zacharias was John the Baptist dad and when the angel came to him, as he was a priest doing his job. And the angel said, "Your wife's gonna have a son". Then he looks at the angel and he goes, "Okay, how can you prove this to me"? Do you know that he was struck? The Bible says dumb silent for nine months. Now, if an angel appeared to you, do you think that ain't proof enough maybe that God is speaking to you? The angel appears before you and tells you your wife's gonna have a son. How can you prove that to me? Really? And so the angel said, "Because of your unbelief you will not be speaking". And when the baby was born, he wrote the name down, his name will be John. And bam! His mouth was released.
Do you want to know why the angel removed his ability to speak? Because as the father of that little boy he have the power to curse or to bless. He have the power to disrupt this miracle or to increase this miracle. And because of his unbelief, the angel did not want him speaking a blessed word out of his mouth until the miracle was finished. And the same is true around the city of Jericho. As they went around those walls, He didn't want. Oh, you know, in every organization in this church, there's always gonna be the chicken littles. The sky is falling. The sky is falling. It's all over. It shot its best shot. Whatever! And if we don't speak up and say no and begin to speak words of faith over the organization the church got us, called us to and declared that people gonna be saved. And then they're gonna rise up and our kids are gonna be preaching and teaching when we're gone. Like, what are the words that you speak about your marriage? What's the words you speak about your spouse? What are the words that you speak about your future?
Words have incredible power. In the beginning in Genesis chapter 1, the Bible teaches us that the earth was without form, and void and darkness was over the face of the deep. It says the Spirit of God was moving and brooding on the waters. And says, and God said, and when God said, "Bam"! Things happened. When you go to Jesus coming down to the planet. He's God with us. Jesus is God. He didn't wave His hand. He didn't snap His fingers. He spoke. Everything that He did was done with the speaking of words. If we forget how powerful words are, you will live your life like everybody else who barely gets by and like every other earthling. But you're called to live supernatural. Your words are creating a future of negativity or your words are allowing the power of God to flow into your life.
The Bible says in Daniel, that he was praying about something. In Daniel 10:12-14, the angel came to him. Look at these words. It says, "Then he said to me, "Don't be afraid, Daniel, this is the angel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to God's direction. No. I have come in response to your words". This is an angel speaking. In Psalm 103:19-21, says, "The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all. Bless the Lord, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word"! It's written funny. Why does they just say he. They obey God because they do. But they obey His word. They perform His word. The last verse says, "Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, you who serve Him, doing His will".
Let me ask you a question. Do angels know God's will? Well, the Bible is God's will. So do you think the angels know the Bible or they're illiterate? No. We know that angels have been around. In fact, they watched Lucifer tempt Eve. They watched the covenant unfold from Abraham to Adam to the Mosaic. I mean, they were here watching. They know the Word. The Bible they watched it being written as the guy was sitting there writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Angels? They've seen all. They know God's will. So they're not just going, "Oh, I can't do anything till God -," They know His will. They moved when His Word is spoken.
And you need to know, you can speak God's Word. If you're not, if you're not, then by default your life is just gonna go with the flow of whatever is going on. If it's recession, it's recession. If it's flu season, it's flu season. If it's one of the three cancers, it's one of the three cancers. If you do not speak and you do not declare, and you do not release the angelic host of God and bind the demonic horde of Satan and speak to this body and speak to your mind. And if you do not speak words, then you are simply floating through life. Any dead fish can float downstream my dad always said. But it takes quite the fish to swim upstream.
What are you doing with your words? So many people are caught in the Old Testament of, "Lord, send Your power just now". Because in Genesis 1 it says the Spirit of God was moving on the waters and then God spoke. So we've got intercessory prayer, teaching. We've got all this teaching that we've gotta pray for the move of God. No, you don't! That's Old Testament. Go over to Acts 2:17 where it teaches us that the Spirit of God was poured out upon all flesh. So I believe in prayer but not some of the crazy stuff that's been taught out there. That's makes us go back into works trying to get God to move on an empty flat city dominated by demonic hordes. No, the Spirit of God has been poured out on a few flesh. All flesh. In Genesis, when the presence of God was poured out. God spoke, and miracles happened.
Today, in this world everywhere you go, when we speak, when we begin to declare the promises and the Word of God, things begin to happen. But unless you speak, unless you speak, and you pray God's Word, confess God's Word, sing God's Word, be very aware of God's Word. You will live like an average every other person that surround you. Maybe you're here now at a place in life where you just defeated or just, you know, barely get by. The Bible teaches us the only way to get out of there is to speak. You know, when the angel appeared to Gideon, he was so wimpy and so wipeout. He was hiding behind the winepress just trying to glean a little bit of grain to eat. The angel appeared to him and said, "Gideon! Mighty man of valor"! The words that angel spoke it did something to him. Read the story. He rose up and led an army that took out countries. What's the change? He heard words. Those words impacted him here. They impacted him here. They made him rise up. When you are going through something emotionally, you need to speak words.
I remember when first couple of years of Sal and I being here at Springs Church. I think it was three years, four years in. I just had this massive physical burnout. The church was growing. I think before it even hit 2000, I was the only pastor and I didn't have other pastors to help me yet and I burn myself out physically so bad that day I was in the hospital. They couldn't find a single thing wrong with me other than just physically, emotionally burnout. And I remember at that point. There's a couple things that I had to do. That was to learn to put in systems and structures and train and equip people and raise them up. And the second thing was I had to learn how to speak God's Word so that my mind would become crystal and strong.
If you've had told me back then, where I was pastoring just one little building on Saint Mary's Road and having a nervous breakdown. Well, not a nervous breakdown but a physical, just exhaustion. And you're to say, "Hey, yeah. Well, you're gotta be TV station and six sites and schools and nine languages. I would just went, I'm just, you could take me to heaven right now. I don't want that kind of mess. But I begin to speak the Word of God. That His peace, I have the peace of Jesus. Not as the world gives, which only exist when there's no problem. But Jesus peace exist in the midst of the storm. And I had His peace, in the name of Jesus. I began to confess that His joy is my strength. And that in the midst of whatever is going on, it's His joy that is my strength. When people would say, "How are you doing"? Boy! The first thing you wanna do is say the negative. I would say, "Oh, God's blessing is on my life. Thank you for His joy".
When I got up in the middle of the day and I'd sense depression, or something pushing at me. I just thank Him. The joy of the Lord is my strength and it comes from within me. The peace of God is encompassing around about me. No weapon form against me shall prosper. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. It is strong and healthy. My immune system is on high, no disease can exist in it. Thank you, Father. I just began to speak God's Word and declare it over my life. And then when I got back into the church, I would walk. You know, I get in the offices just go, go, go, go. And then I would sneak out of the office and I'd closed the doorways in the little sanctuary we had there on Saint Mary Road and I go play the piano on a few chords that I know, and I would just sing positive songs of victory.
I got in and I walked around the pitch black dark and I would declare that the world will be taught from this church. I began to declare that Canada will be touched by this church. I began to declare from the north to south, the east and the west people will fill this church up. And they'll be saved, and they'll be healed, and miracles will explode from this church in the name of Jesus. And I was saying that when I had no glimmer of hope. No glimmer of hope. Now, you say, "Well, you're a pastor. All you should really do is just teach the Word and God gives the increase". But every one of us, you included have a job to do. I would speak the Word over my marriage, speak the Word over my kids. Speak God's Word over their health. Speak God's Word over their protection.
And people say, someone will ask me, "How do you pray"? Well, I guess some of the simplest way is I'm always communicating with God, talking and asking for help and things like that. What do you think I should do about this God? But other than that, I'm always looking at a situation and then referencing a promise in God's Word and then speaking it on the situation. Speaking it on that situation. That's why knowing God's Word is so crucial. You know, I remember the time when we were first married, and we were working with mom and dad at Selkirk. Where our finances were so tight. And I remember just trying to figure out with two little girls having enough milk to make it through the week and then paying our bills. And if the dishwasher, we didn't have one over there. If the washing machine broke down or the furnace or the water heater or a flat tire, you go into a crisis mode for a month or two and try to figure out. Or I go get a part time job somewhere, you know, trying to make a little extra money and that was how we handled finances.
But I'm so glad God doesn't show us our future because if He had told me that I had to raise multitude of millions of dollars for each organization that I was supposed to run and bear the load of those finances. But as you speak His Word, you change. As you speak His Word, what goes on around you changes. People would often say things to me, like well, "Why do you believe that you're protected? Why do you believe"? I say, "Because God's Word says it". Well, I know so and so. I don't look at other people. I don't compare myself to other people and why bad things happened to them or good things happened to them. I don't compare myself at all. I'm just going into God's Word for me and I'm taking God at His Word.