Leon Fontaine - Holy Spirit Guide
There's an astounding verse in the Bible and I love teaching the Bible to people so that they understand it for themselves. God did not give us this beautiful Word for us to not know it. He wants every person to understand it. Here in John 16:12 is a startling scripture. Listen to this, Jesus is talking to His disciples and He says, "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now". Let's stop right there. Jesus is talking to His disciples and He's saying and He taught them a lot of stuff. He says I got a bunch more to show you but you're not gonna be able to handle it.
Did you know that until we give our lives to Christ and He comes in, and the Bible says He forgives us, that we become a believer. That we have an ability to understand the Word. And here, He's literally saying you're not gonna be able to handle this. But then He goes on to say, "When the Spirit of Truth has come, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He'll tell you things to come". What's interesting is that, the presence of God is within us when we give Him our lives. And Holy Spirit's job is to guide you specifically. He will guide you into the Word of God in a way that if you're going through a family stuff, He knows what Word that you need to move into.
If you're going through a personal crisis, maybe depression. Maybe an identity issue of you're at a place in life and you're going, "I don't know where I wanna go from here". Maybe right now it's sickness. Maybe you've had a loss. Did you know that the presence of God within you wants to guide you into peace. He wants to help you with what you're going through. I wanna take you through one of the most, probably one of the most well-known scriptures in the Bible, and I wanna unpack it for you in a way that shows you the heart of God. Listen to this, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want". The Psalmist is saying here that when God becomes your shepherd, that you won't lack for anything. You won't have all these wants that are never meet. He says, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in thorns, thistles, mud, manure. No, He makes me lie down in green pastures.
Do you realize that God loves you so much? That when you read one of the most powerful well-known Psalms on the planet amongst Christianity. Whatever denomination that you're in, it says, He makes you lie down in green pastures. God is teaching us through the Psalmist that God is not wanting you to get into pain, heartache. He doesn't want your life a mess. He doesn't want your life filled with sickness, anger, disease, divorce, heartache. But yet, we live in a world that has all of that. And we've gotta recognized that in the midst of all that's going on God's will for your life is to find green pasture. You know, when shepherds would lead sheep, they would take them to the best grass and they literally would go over and they'll push them down and make them just lay down and relax. It's a beautiful picture of God's will for your life. Yes, we've got careers and families to raise and things to do and holidays. But in your inner world, you need to learn to rest. And this beautiful picture of God is in love with you, He wants you to find the green pastures.
Many of us late at night dealing with whatever issues you're going through, before we go to sleep often become aware of the deep emptiness, a deep desire for more that isn't being meet. And you need to know, God is so in love with you. He wants you to lie down in green pastures. It says, "He leads me beside still waters". One of the thing about sheep is that they won't drink from a moving river. They won't drink from a fast-moving creek. So even when there is a river and a shepherd will lead the sheep there. He would often just kind of look for a little eddy, where the water would come out into a little pool beside the river and there where it's calm. That's the only place sheep will drink from it. It doesn't say that God's gonna lead you besides pukey, putrid water, that's full of disease and sickness and yuck. No. He, His desire is to lead you in life, to green pastures, beautiful waters. That refresh you, help you, sustain you. This is Gods' will for your life.
If you believe you're a loser. If you believe that you're a failure. If you believe you don't fit in. If you believe that you're less than everybody else. That's gonna affect what you reach for. Who you marry. Who you hang out with. What you go do with your life. It says, "He restores my soul". Your soul is the emotional side, your will, your emotions, your thinking. And everybody here including me will go through seasons where you get hurt, where you go through things. Everyone here has lost someone whether it's a great grandpa, a son, a daughter, a spouse. Maybe a bankruptcy of a business that rifts your family right on its own home and things disappearing. You gotta start over, whatever you're going through. In life you are gonna need your soul restored and you need to know that that is God's will. He restores my soul. Whatever you've been through, whatever you've gone through, don't worry. There's so many people that either they're suicidal. They don't know where to turn to the help and you need to know turn to God. He'll restore you. Even the hope that's disappeared from maybe your marriage or for maybe yourself and you need to know that He'll restore your soul and you'll smile again. You'll have hope again.
It says, "He leads me in the paths of righteousness". That word "righteousness" means "things that are in right standing with God". Righteousness, right standing. So God knows the best path for you. He knows the best career. He knows how to handle the things you're going through. Where do I go from here? He will guide you in paths that are beautiful for you. He'll guide you in paths in making decisions that are even morally right. That are good for you. He guides us. It says, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I'll fear no evil". You know, one of the most beautiful things about Jesus is that He died on the cross so that every person who would just believe in Him, your sins are not only forgiven but you become a new creation. And because of that, you don't lose people. You'll see them again.
You know my dad helped me pastor this church. He was pastoring in another city. Sally and I came in here and took over Springs and it just exploded far out of our control. Got on the phone and said to my mom and dad who were amazing pastors in another city. Would you come and help us? They came and for five years preached and taught and baptized and all the things they did with us. One Friday night after a special service my dad went on his car and just slipped into eternity. I remember preaching his funeral. People are shocked that I'd had that kind of strength. But I said, "Oh, I miss him. But I have an incredible confidence that I'll spend eternity with him. One day I'll join him". A hundred years from today we're all gonna be in a place called heaven if we've given our lives to Christ. And heaven is this incredibly, do you know the earth is made in the likeness and the image of heaven? Just like people are made in the likeness and the image of God?
And so we're going not to a place where we get harp lessons on a cloud. You're going to a place with rivers and fruit orchards and houses and homes and streets and cities. We don't have to worry. When you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, don't fear evil. It says, God is with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Now, listen to this next line because this is what this whole message, I'm coming to this point and I believe it's gonna impact you hugely. It says the Psalmist David is saying to God, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies". What? Is he saying that your enemies are at the table with you? No. They're around. But even in the midst of your enemy, God is preparing a table. Now, a table, it means sustenance, energy, laughter, joy. You know, I love getting my family together around the table. We are a crazy family. I have five kids. They're all married.
And when we get around the table, I mean, you can get a word in edgewise. We are cooking food, ordering food. I mean, we're talking church. We're talking biz. We're talking family. It is just the most fun. You get up from an evening of hanging out with your family around the table and you just feel and so in love. You feel encourage. I mean, the conversations. We have four daughters and a son. So, you know, Zac and I before he even got married, we'd sit at the table and daughter, women have the ability to all talk simultaneously and understand each other. What is with that? I don't get that. You know, and men kind of go, and women like interrupting each other. Have you noticed that? Like, they'll be talking and they'll interrupt and you would interrupt the men, you'd-, So Zac and I just learned to listen. But you don't know what's going on because one is talking about their friend's dog who got fixed and someone else is talking about their favorite show and who got divorced.
And someone is also talking about a friend and what they're going through. We don't know who got fixed and who got shoot and whether a TV or it's real life because they all understand and talk. But I love every minute of it. I love sharing of the heartache that someone will go, "Well, just stop". And, you know, and a tear in our eyes we brag about somebody what they're doing in our family. There's something about the family table. Getting around supper, dinner, where you get a chance to talk and be a family. The Psalmist David is saying about God, You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Now, I wish God would just get rid of my enemies. Gone. Thank you, God. But you're always gonna have enemies on this planet. Because on this planet the Bible says are two kingdoms. The kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness
The Bible's very clear that evil on the planet isn't just the other side of your nature. There is a devil. There was a fallen angel named Lucifer that took a third of the angels and attacked the throne of God. And Jesus said I saw him fall like a lightning out of the sky. So we know in the spirit world there's an evil world. So who are our enemies? Well, we know that the devil is our enemy. We know that demons are our enemy. The Bible said sickness is our enemy. It's not your friend. Poverty is not a friend. It's an enemy. Anger, fear, you know, a jealousy, all this junk that comes in and destroys us. Those are not our, it's our enemy. And the Bible saying in the midst of whatever storm you're going through and in the midst of what's coming into your world right now.
There's a place for you where you can just sit with God and He prepare a table for you. That nurtures you. That energizes you. That brings you hope. Even when you can look around and see the storm, it's still here. My enemies are still there. In life, until you die and go to be with Jesus in heaven, this world's got storms. It's got disease, sickness, poverty, angry people, hateful people. You know, we stop taking count of how many death threats I've gotten just because I'm on TV trying to help people. Go figure. There's evil on this planet. But in the midst of all that's going on, you need to know that relationship with Jesus is like going to the table. In the midst of all that could be happening and a peace and a confidence comes on you because He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You don't have to be worried about what all that could happen and go on. It goes on to say, "You anoint my head with oil". What is that mean? There's a story in the Bible of a young teenage boy named David and he was the future king of Israel. The prophet Samuel was sent to anoint him and God said, it's that boy right there. Prophet Samuel walked over with the oil and David, future king David got down on his knees and they poured the oil over his head. In the Old Testament language, it was a sign of the presence of God coming upon you for a special purpose. And the Bible says there that the presence of God to be a king came on David and never left him. Did you know that when you serve God and you look to God's Word. There are times when you don't know if you can go on. You don't know if you can go on with your marriage, your business, your career, your mind, the things that go on in life. You don't know. And He'll anoint you with fresh oil. The hope that comes back. The presence of God that touches you. He's talking about He'll anoint your head with oil.
His Spirit, His presence will come on you at a time when you don't know where are you gonna keep going? How you gonna keep going? He'll be there for you. It says, "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life". When I was a little kid, we had this song that we sang in Sunday school. And I'm sorry for my lousy voice but it kind of went like, "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me, all the days, all the days of my life". Oh, I thought as a six-year-old boy that Surely was a woman. Goodness and Mercy were two other women that followed you all the days of your life. What it was really saying here is that no for sure. Surely, God's goodness and God's mercy will follow you all the days of your life.
Now, I'm gonna say something that I don't mean to hurt anyone. But you need to understand this principle. In life, God's goodness and God's mercy is always following you. But also, we live in a world where there's a dark kingdom, where the enemy wants you to believe lies. He wants you to give up. He wants you to be negative. He wants you to believe all the stuff that goes on. And so when you're going into a storm, if you turn into his wisdom, his negativity, his lies. You can be so consumed by the dark kingdom of, life's sucks and then you die and nothing gets any better. You gotta fight your way to the top of any-, It's almost like there's no blessing. There's no goodness. But I have learned in my life that as I'm walking to be very aware of God's goodness is following me. And when I go through something that it's disturbing and hurtful and storms that try to sink the boat of your life.
I always remember to turn to God's goodness and to believe that it's gonna work out, to believe that God is there for me. And that His mercy, why do we need His mercy? When you drop the ball, when you make a mistake, when you fail, when you sin. Everyone expects God's judgment. Bang and knock you off. No, His mercy is there to forgive you. But some people don't turn to God's mercy. They'll turn to the lies of the enemy. God doesn't like you. God's gonna get you. God's gonna smack you upside the head. It's like the enemy speaks into your head. And so you begin to be afraid of God like Adam in the garden of Eden. But it's not true. Jesus, when He walked the planet through the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. He said if you've seen Me, you've seen the Father. If you wanna know what God is like, what He'll treat you like, look at the life of Jesus.
You know what's really interesting to me, is that religious people couldn't stand Him. But the alcoholics and the prostitutes and the thieves and the liars flocked to Him because He had such love. He had such mercy. He gave people a second chance, a third chance. He was so in love with people. I want you to understand that every day of your life, God's goodness is there. Have you ever noticed? Well, I tell you a story that you heard. I remember reading an article years and years and years ago before planes. And two shoe companies, they both want to bring their companies into this huge island and start them there. So they both got on a ship and when they got there one guy telegrams back and says, "Give me another boat take me out of here. Nobody here wear shoes". The other guy said, "Send me a boat load of shoes. Nobody here wears shoes".
You know how you look at life? What you believe about life has everything to do what can God work with you. The Bible says in 1 John 5:4, "This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith". It's not God's faith. It's what do you believe? If you believe you're a loser. If you believe that you're a failure. If you believe you don't fit in. If you believe that you're less than everybody else. That's gonna affect what you reach for. Who you marry? Who you hang out with? What you go do with your life? It says here, His goodness and His mercy will follow you all the days of your life. Maybe you've tried too hard on your own energy. Maybe you've been a Christian your whole life but you've forgotten His goodness. You've forgotten His mercy for you if you've failed or sinned. It's always there, turn to goodness and mercy.