Leon Fontaine - Fighting for Your Mind
I wanna talk to you today about fighting for your mind. As a pastor and a person who spent seven years as a paramedic and working out of a hospital. I've seen an explosion of the population struggling with fear, anger, stress. I've seen diseases, sicknesses of the mind rise up as never before till today. It's exploding. 25 to 30 years ago, my instructor when I was being trained in the hospital, said that modern science was so good, that in 20 or 30 years we will see the hospitals emptying as disease, we've discovered cures, as we find all of this out and hospitals are going to change.
Here we are 20 to 30 years later, and you can't even get into a hospital because it's packed out, hours in a waiting room. The hallways are filled with stretchers. And if you need to get put into a room, there's no room to put you in. And that's hospital after hospital across Canada, across America. It's just rampant. And mental health, mental health is something every one of our families talked about because we all have someone we love struggling in an area. More than 80% of the people living right now, they say will go through a period of literal depression. Where they're gotta win and figure out how to solve this problem. They're finding new diseases. They're giving new names too all the time.
And as I was preparing this message, I just go in to some of the stats and listen to some of the experts that out there. In our own church, we have doctors, medical doctors, psychologist, psychiatrist, scientist, naturopaths, that I speak to on a regular basis. And when we talked about what is going on, a lot of this, there's multiple reasons. I mean, we've got postpartum depression. We've got depression because of brain tumors, illnesses. The lot of them most say things like the toxic chemical load that we experience every day and our world has a part to play on the brain. One of the scientist we had was Dr. Caroline Leaf, who's one of the foremost brain experts in the world. And when we were talking, and we're just talking the other day. She said, you know, there's a lot of reasons, a lot of things that are going on in this area. And it's so complex no one can put their finger.
Is the chicken before the egg, the egg before the chicken? What's the reason? What's the cause? There's a multiplicity of reasons. Which gives us this thing, we know for sure that the mind affects the brain. The brain is the organ that's in your head. The mind, your soul. You that is inside of there have a phenomenal effect. And the book that she's written, I think many of us when she was here, picked up the book and began to read, how that they can prove now that your thought life can be seen in the development of your brain. That if you believed and you struggled with fear and stress and anger and negative emotions. They can see in the brain, how this brain and in its pathway are developing. And then how that brain is literally plastic. It's not fixed. It can begin to change when that person's beliefs and the impact that God's Word has on our lives.
I want you to know that in this world, in this lifetime, you will need to fight to have the mind of Christ. Because the enemy is an enemy of our souls. So many people over the years I've taught, that to see miracles and to have results on the Christian world is to some form of special intercessory prayer to pull down demonic strongholds. Baloney. Jesus dealt with them. Others feel it some way of interceding and praying where we can get the power of God to flow from heaven to us. Whether it's the bright skies or etcetera. Baloney. The power of God is within us. He's given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. In Romans chapter 12, if you want the perfect will of God in your marriage, your mind, your kids, your health, your finances, and all that's in your, all it says to do is to renew your mind. Renew your mind in God's Word and that Holy Spirit would guide you.
And there's so many beautiful things the Bible says. But if you do not, if you do not take an active, positive role in renewing your mind, my friend you will struggle. And if you don't now, you will. The Bible's got an incredible verse in 2 Timothy 2:26, talking about the enemy and it says that people need to come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him, to do his will. How does a defeated foe take people captive? The Bible says he's the father of lies. That means his attack is on the human mind and he's to get you to believe a lie. Some of you are struggling in your marriages today because you believe the lie about your spouse. You believe a lie about whether or not you're gonna make it. Some of you struggle with health. Some of you struggle with yourself. Some of you struggle with anger, with jealousy, and you struggle with depression. We can struggle about a lot of things. But the enemy's goal is to begin to attack the mind, break it down. And then be able to control not just your thoughts. But the thoughts that you focus on give you your feelings.
So therefore, your emotional make up begins to be controlled by the lies that he shoots at you. And by the way, you are no match for the devil. You have no hope about thinking him. You have no hope about planning him. The only way you successfully easily destroy everything he tries to do is by the renewing of your mind with the beautiful Word of God. And when you get God's Word on the inside, it says it's not just that good, not just acceptable, but that perfect will of God. The Bible says this is the victory that overcomes the world. Pray more. No, please pray. That's not what I'm saying don't pray. It says even our faith which is what you believe. What you believe determines whether or not you're gonna make it through the season that is ahead of you. Or whether you're gonna just give in to the attacks, to the lies, the stuff that goes on. Not only do we need to fight the good fight of faith, which means to fight what you believe. Don't fight devils. You don't fight with God. You don't fight with people. You fight to stay in faith. You fight to believe the Word of God.
John 8:32 says, "And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free". Over the years of pastoring, I've seen people taken captive by one thought and unable to get rid of one thought. That one thought begins to take root in their heart. That heart, the heart grows whatever you put in it. And belief systems of the heart are what determine your future. We call it your BS. Deal with your BS, your belief systems. But the mind is the walls of the heart. It's what we need to take God's Word. And we need to think God's thoughts. In the Old Testament it says that, you know, can anybody have the mind of God or the thoughts of God or know His ways? And the answer is no. But in the New Testament, it says, but we have the mind of Christ. In the Amplified it says, you can have His emotions, His feelings! Wow! Is He worried? Is He stressed out? Is He in fear, freaked out about relationships? Is He looking towards the future cringing thought? No. Confident, filled with love for people, not struggling with jealousy, and anger and judgmentalism and all the things that you and I if we don't renew of minds to the Word, that our day is taken up with all this stuff.
There's a place that you can find as a believer where your mind and the spirit of your mind, it says in Ephesians 4, begins to just walk in the joy. And it's not, I said to one onetime, I said, you know, renewing the minds are real issue that, he was talking about some problems he was having. "Oh, I did that back in 1997". I said, "You did what"? "I renewed my mind back in 1997. I'm there, done that, been that, you know. So now, I need help". He's saying the Word is not enough. He needs something deeper. And by the way, he was looking into new age stuff and other stuff. And I'm thinking, "Dude, renewing you mind is not a onetime thing. It is an ongoing daily practice that we must. It literally means be, be renewing, continually be renewing your mind. Keep your mind focus on the Word of God.
Today, with the mood disorders and just people that can't even control their emotions. And you say, "Well, Leon, would it not be stressed"? Yes. When you wake up with your stomach in a knot, and you go to work with your stomach in a knot. And you worry about your boss and you worry about your marriage. And you don't even know anymore what that low-grade hum is. It's just kind of whoaa and it never goes away. It's killing us. It's destroying us. No wonder the Jews talked about shalom which is a peace so powerful. That it brings healing to physical bodies, healing to minds, healing to relationships, healing to business relationships, healing to your career, and all that is there. This blessing is so profound, so beautiful, so real. Have we lost as Christians recognizing that the Word is stunning, phenomenal, incredible! It says it is unkillable, unstoppable.
It is seed that when planted in your heart, will grow into crops of 30, 60, and a hundred-fold. In Ephesians 6:10-18, it talks of 30, 60, and a hundred-fold. In Ephesians 6:10-18, it talks of 30, 60, and a hundred-fold. In Ephesians 6:10-18, it talks about the weapons. It talks about the armor, I'm sorry, that we have. And it says that we should not be unaware of the wiles of the devil. What are His purposes? And as it goes through each piece of the armor. I haven't got time to teach you. Let me give you a profound thought that you can study on your own. Every piece of the armor is a revelation of God's Word, every piece. That He's just using armor to show us how powerful the Word is. When you understand righteousness, that piece is on. When you understand salvation, that piece is on. The enemy can't bypass it. And it says in there that you need the shield of faith. And with this shield of faith you can stop and quench all the fiery darts of the enemy. Here we go, and the arrows coming at you.
Now, if you get the shield of faith, it says it stops it and it quenches it. No, it's the shield of what you believed. Faith is what you believed. It's the shield of what you believed. If you don't believe truth, then that that, it's unstoppable. That arrow is coming at you. You see, in coming, in coming. And that thought begins to control what you focus on, what you think about. You can't turn your brain off, can't stop an emotion, a deep feeling that rises up from within. And you can pray and bind and loose all you want. You can seek God all you want for some kind of instantaneous, magical little hex you can pray out of the Bible. But the Bible says renew your mind with the Word of God. Be so in love with Jesus. Get to know Him through His Word and as this Word begins to come in, there's a strength.
You know, often when you talk with people, you can look right into their eyes, and sometimes I can see people who are right on the edge of a breakdown. You wonder how they're making it day to day. Every little thing becomes a mountain. Every little issue in them. You can just see them. And the fear when I've spoken with many of them is, "If I let myself just go for an instant, I don't know if I get my mind back". There's so much stress, so much fear. Then there are others who I call, stuck. And they're stuck in the in-beliefs that keep them there as they go through new seasons of life or new battles rise up. Things are brought into their world and they try to go through and move on. They're stuck, or they're stuck in old beliefs, heart beliefs. And there's something about them that they begin to believe their own stuff. Every time you go through a hard situation, one of two things is gonna happen.
You're gonna developed your own doctrines because your experience has changed the Word, or you will stand on the Word of God and the Word will change your experiences. But all of us have gone through heartache, hurt, lost. All of us have dealt with things that go on for years and you wonder, "Will they ever change"? And if you are not a person that loves His Word. That just reads, gets at coming to church like you are once a week is a stunning start. But this daily ability to see that businessman just stop at his desk and open his Bible or his iPad and just let God's Word begin to come in. It changes you. If you want strong kids, who will rise up. They're not gonna do what you say. They do what you do. They watch you. They know whether you're fearful or whether you're faithful. They know whether you are angry or whether you're filled with peace and joy.
And they need to see parents and grandparents who know Jesus, who know His Word. They didn't know that they can look ahead and know that their marriages can make it. That they can make it through being sued. They can make it through a bankruptcy. They can make it through a business problem. By watching you and I, with that peace of God. Yes, we're believing for miracles. Yes, we see these miracles come. But if you're going through a dry time or you're going through a place where you've had a lost. Maybe you're here today and the loss is someone you've loved, and no one can understand the pain. The human race losses people they love. Grandparents, great-grandparents. Loss is a part, and we need to know never give up what you know, for what you don't know. You might not know why this happen, how this happen, why it didn't. You might not know and you just why, is the biggest question in your world and it's killing you.
Remove the why. You can ask God when you get to heaven. But never give up what you know, for what you don't know. Because when you give up what you know, and you begin to wonder in this doublemindedness of, "Well, I believed the Word of God but now I don't know. I tend to believe this". That, see, doubt is not a lack of faith. Doubt is an opposing thought and that opposing thought comes against the truth and it began to duke it out. You don't need more faith. You've got the measure. You need to believe right faith. This believing what will you believe. And today, my challenge to you is, you can live with the mind of Christ, His emotions, His thoughts, His peace. He's powerful, believing in the future, looking ahead with calm and hope.
Some of you have lost your hope. Something has slapped you around brutally or for a long time. You tend to just go, put your Christian smile on and go, "God bless you, brother". How are you doing? "Things are going great". And don't be concerned. Don't, "Yeah, us Christians are phonies". No, we're not. What you need to understand, is that you've gotten cynical. And when you get cynical, it's because you've been discouraged, disappointed. And you no longer, no longer, don't tell me you are. You no longer believe the Word works. When you believe God's Word works, something inside of you just fills up. There's a joy. There's a peace that passes understanding. And you begin to realize that everywhere I go, He's with me. I don't care what storm blows in my life. God is not in the storm. He's with me against the storm.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5, very familiar portion of scripture. It says, "For though we walk and live in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh using mere human weapons. But it says there is a warfare. The weapons of our warfare are not physical weapons of flesh and blood, but they are mighty before God to overthrow and destroy strongholds". One group that off chart with that and thought it was like demonic strongholds. But we know that if someone has a stronghold. This is what it says next. "Insomuch as we refute arguments and theories and reasonings. Where all our brains always reasoning things out every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God. And we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ".
There are times that a thought is gonna hit your brain and you better know, don't let it sit there, don't leave it there. You better have this warfaring spirit that says, "Fight"! Because if you don't, that thought will harass you the rest of your life. In Philippians 2:12-16, "Therefore, my beloved, as you've always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence". It says, "Work out". Okay, how many here like we need to work out more? Yeah, you do. Just telling you. I do. But it says, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you both to will and to do". Do you know that God's will and His ability to do it, both will change you. You'll desire different things when you get into God's Word.
Then it goes on to say, "To do his good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world". Now, this is the next line. "Holding fast the word of life". God's Word is not just doctrine. God's Word is not just brilliant reasoning. God's Word isn't just His thoughts and His thinking on it. God's Word is life. Life to your mind. Life to your emotions. Life to your relationships. Relationship change when people renew their minds. Homes change when people begin to look to Jesus as the author and the finisher of their faith.
My prayer for you today, is don't let pride. The Bible says in Proverbs, the pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Often in the counseling offices, our pastors will hear someone talk and they'll bring them to a conclusion and say, "God's Word says". And they'll say, "Oh, I know what God's Word says, but my experience says". Stop! You are now in pride. You now feel like you know more, you know better than the Word of God. Today, I just wanna challenge you to don't allow your thinking, your expertise on heartache and hurt, the things that you have gone through. That make, that gives you, "I got that. I got the T-shirt. I got the keychain. I got the cap. I've been through this. I know all". No, no, no. Don't let what you don't know, change what you know. Cling to His Word. Hold true to His Word. People who do, they walk in the best.
Generations of people before us have stood true to Jesus. Truth that all we deal with today is finances. They gave their lives, their children, their homes. Beheaded for the gospel and they wouldn't change. They wouldn't stand. Today, we get tease at work and we've got a crisis. I wanna tell you that go back to this incredible, beautiful basic and let God's Word be something that you feed on. Holy Spirit's job is to lead you into all truth for you. To show you things to come, for your world, your life. You're not alone. Jesus said follow Me. He said My sheep hear My voice and I lead them by name.