Leon Fontaine - Motivated By Fear
Hey, everybody. It is so good to have you with me. Today's topic I believe is gonna help you immensely. We're gonna talk about fear or courage. What is the difference? You know, is courage the lack of fear, there's no fear? What are these two and what does the Bible say about it? You know, I've noticed was in dealing with people that so many people live in fear but they don't know it. You ask the average man something like, "Hey, do you struggle with fear"? Not at all. No way. No man is gonna admit it, most women won't admit it. And it's kind of like they think fear is like terror. That's only one form of fear.
Let me give you a list of the things I've discovered are fear-based and you need to deal with the fear in your life. If you are a person given to anger, there's fear somewhere at work inside of you. If you've given to worry, there's fear, the foundation is fear. If you're a grumpy person, it's based in fear. If you're unhappy, there's fear. If you're stressed, the foundation of stress is fear. If you live in shame and you're ashamed. You're in fear. If your self-conscious of yourself all the time and you live in this self-consciousness. The foundation of that is fear. Did you know that if you're sickly all the time, you will often find fear. If you're always tired, you can often find fear in there. If you're given to depression all the time even if you think, "Well, Leon, there's also other reasons". I agree with you. But I'm just telling you we have found at the root of this is fear.
If you're a procrastinator and you are horrid because you're always putting things off, at the foundation is fear. I can go on like this for another 50 or 60 symptoms. But I think I've nailed a lot of people in just the ones that we've done. There are time sensitive fear that will rise up in your life. For example, you could be a happy, happy, single person and then you get married. And all of a sudden fear, maybe you are raise on a fearful marriage. But you're fine as a single. Now there's fear that's involved. Maybe you're fine as a married but you have kids. As you go through life sometimes fear that are time sensitive will rise up. We need to deal with fear.
There are people who are afraid of not fitting in. There's people watching who are afraid of looking stupid. There's people who think they're realist because they're always fearful of the future of the unknown. Afraid because you don't even know what you want. The amount of fear that is out there and the Bible says the days that we lived in today that fear would be at the root of so much. Now, when it comes to the Word of God, there's a way to deal with fear. And we just need to know the Bible. I don't care what all the scientist and psychologist and psychiatrist saying about fear. They don't know it's God the creator of mankind who knows. He created your psyche. He knows what's hard on it and what is good.
In 1 John 4:18, it says that if you allow fear into your life, it will torment you. So all these things that I've just listed worry and grumpiness, angry, stress, the shame, self-conscious, depressed, procrastinating, fear of looking stupid, fear of the unknown. You are living in torment every day because fear has torment. In Proverbs 29:25, it says the fear of man bringeth a snare. As you are working in mar-, as you are working in your job, your career, your marriage, your friendships, if you are afraid of the opinions of people, what people might say about you, what they might do, and you're afraid of people. You live, you are snared. Your life is controlled. You'll never breakout of the box.
You see, a snare grabs an animal by the leg or the neck and it only lets you, it gives you about a two-foot radius. I know 'cause I've seen snares where animals have been caught in them. And you see the grass beaten down. Probably the same circumference of this table. And they're trying to get away and it just goes around and around. That snare is a wire that's gripped them by they run into it. It's gripped them by the foot and it's gonna keep them there until the hunter or the trapper comes and kills them. The fear of people is a snare in your life. It will stop you from increasing in your job. It will stop you from getting married. It will hurt the marriage that you are involved in. You literally being manipulated easily or you will manipulate people because you're so fearful in your relationship that you'd gotta control everything. You're a control freak.
Fear is horrid and it shows up in so many ways. If there's an area of your life, you can't seem to break free. Rise up, go to a new level, new heights, from career, to marriage, to family, to whatever. You'll need to deal with fear. Let's look at the misbeliefs about fear. Fear is not protective. You know having fear does not help us. Fears got torment. Fears snares us. There is nothing that fear is good. Fear is not a good motivator. Okay? It never last. You can make your kids fearful and make them scared of doing something. Don't you go on a highway. You'll gonna get hit by a car. Don't you climb that tree. You'll gonna fall down and break your neck. All these dumb things that we say. We use fear. They're gonna come to an age where that fear runs out. Teach them wisdom. Teach them the dynamics of a car, a human body.
This is why the role is there. I don't want you on there. People die every year and it's not gonna be you because you're a wise little guy and you're smart. You're sharp. You'll gonna live long. There's a way to instruct and to discipline without using fear. So fear is not protective. Fear is not a good motivator. Fear needs to be dealt with and taken out of your life or to limit you, torment you, and keep you from all that you'd love to do in your life. Let me give you a few points as we walk through fear or courage. I want you to break free. If you cannot, get somewhere in a certain area of your life, your marriage, you family. Maybe you're afraid of your teenager. That's the lasting you wanna do as a parent is be worried and fearful of what they'll do. They might run away. They might go to drugs. I just gotta be no way.
Do not be afraid of your kids. Do not be afraid of your teenager. We fear. There's no good area for fear. Yes, we can be cautious. We can have discretion. We can use wisdom. We can be aware of the pain and the suffering you can bring. But fear, no way. Number one, the foundation of all serious achievement lies in overcoming fear. If there's an area of your life, you can't seem to break free. Rise up, go to a new level, new heights, from career, to marriage, to family, to whatever. You'll need to deal with fear. Fear. You know, many Christians psychologist believe today in the study of human kind. There only really is two major emotions and strength, love on the one side. Which is love, value, kindness, joy, peace, patience, and fear. And fear was introduced in the garden.
You can't be a conqueror if you're intimidated by evil that you're fighting. Okay? It, for example, Winston Churchill was not afraid of Hitler. You listen to his speeches. You listen to him rising up. When that man at the right time rose up during second World War and began to speak and talk and convince. He was not afraid of Him. You can't be intimidated by it. It is courage not caution that leads great men and women into things they've never done before. The courage to keep going. You say, "Leon, we should be cautious". I disagree. We should be proactive and move forward but do it with wisdom. Cautious people are always too cautious to do anything. It's, you know, it's never good enough.
I was reading an article about one of the military groups and they would teach their soldiers because they found that they were paralyzed by fear to take the shot if they had an enemy in their sights. They not quite sure. How can you be completely sure that this is the right target? And they actually taught them that when you are 80 to 85 percent confident, shot. Because you'll never be a 100 percent. And I've used that little analogy from many business people. Many people who are looking at changing their marriages, confronting the marriage that they don't like. But getting rid the fear of divorce. The fear of, but they'll move ahead. We need to learn that it's courage not caution that leads to great success. Be courageous but use wisdom, use kindness. Walk in love with your courage.
I'm not talking about arrogant courage. If someone is courageous but don't respect people, love people, care about people. Then there's a fear behind their courage. They're just trying to make a name for themselves. All right, so many are living their lives doing what they really don't want to do. They're motivated by fear. They're apprehensive. Whatever word you're wanna use, it's just an attribute of fear. Overwhelmingly human action is motivated by fear. Politicians know that, for them to get voted in they'd gotta find problems with the country. They exaggerate it, blow it up, and they have to have the answer. So everything, if you want someone to work hard at school, you're not gonna find a good job. You're never be able to support your family. You don't get your degree. You don't keep going. Fear is not a good motivation. You can be a great leader. You can use your gifts and ability. You can love, that's the way to motivate not use fear.
Number two, I wanna, I gonna get this done on time. I wanna help people listen today. It is easier for people to deny the situation they're in than to face the fear. You see, they'll just deny. Well, things will gonna be okay. Things gonna be okay. Things gonna be okay. I don't like my marriage but things will work out. It's gonna be okay. Twenty years later, things gonna be okay. Ah, people have got it worse with me. You know, their job. Well, I don't like what I do. But, you know, it's safe and I don't. And so they spent their whole life working at something they don't enjoy, rather than do go forward with courage and do something or change your circumstance. So it's easier for them to deny they're in fear. They're in wisdom. They think, "Oh, this is wise". No, no, no. You got one life get up and live it for God. Get up and live it with your gifts. Get up and be part of great teams.
If you're with the great team, then don't leave it and go to something weird. And on that team speak up, be driven with courage, be driven with your gifting. Make a difference on the team that you're on. They might really love you getting involve more. But fear, drawing back, being cautious. You know, there's a verse in the Bible that says that once you put your hand on a plough don't look back or once you made a decision to attack don't be just cautious and back off. That's now how we're gonna get ahead. It's easier to deny it. The language of people who live in fear is often to mask the fear, to keep that fear at bay with all of their wise sayings. Like, "Well, I'm just being cautious. Well, just being reasonable here. You know, I'm just using wisdom here". But instead of using courage, courage or fear.
When we talk about courage, we're not talking about the absence of fear. I've talked and interviewed many courageous people who have done courageous things with their lives. Now, I'm not talking about all of a sudden someone heard a child cry. They saw a trailer on fire and they jumped through the window at the risk of their own life and saved them. I don't know if that's just courageous because most of the people I've talked to who have done that, okay. They said I didn't think about it. I didn't realize I could die. I just saw the need and I jumped. To me, courage is often when it has to be sustained for hours, sustained for days, sustained for months, for years of courageously seeing a vision for a church that's gonna change a city. I see courage as a person that puts their hand to the plough and builds that family, goes through the season of marriage problems, goes through seasons of kids and the issues. And just stays and keeps that marriage strong with the courage to raise up a beautiful family that for generations can helps cities and the kingdom of God. That's courage.
I wanna encourage you to make sure that you're not just, you have been developed the language of fearful people. I wanna encourage you not to develop the language of excuses. The excuse my mama always taught me was this, "Skin of the reason stuff with a lie". Oh, you got a reason but deep down on the inside you need to admit, I'm just fearful. I'm a procrastinator. I'm worried, stressed, grumpy, unhappy. Don't like where I'm going, what I'm doing. Don't like what's going on here but I don't have the courage to confront it. I don't have the courage to go take the courses to prepare myself for what I really would like to do. I don't have the courage to sit down with my leaders and say, "I really believe I can add more to this organization. I would love to do this. Here's a great idea over here".
So you're quiet and you sit around in this quite indecisive cautiousness just waiting for things to change. Hey, listen the time, most people say, "Well, you know, I'm waiting for my ship to come in". Well, you'll probably at the wrong dock when your ship does come in because it requires you to be proactive. It requires you to rise up and to get going, to be courageous. Third thought I wanna give you. When you deal with fear, by catering to it, by giving into it. It grows, fear grows. It doesn't remain the same. There are those watching who don't enjoy their marriages. But they really don't deal with it the way they should. They're afraid because what if they leave me. What if it just wrecks my marriage, that I bring up the concerns that I have. And as they don't bring them up and they submit and give in to things that they don't enjoy, don't like.
This fear grows and grows until you are controlled. And not even necessarily by your spouse. You're just controlled by your own fear. And if you've ever rise up and make a decision to face fear and be courageous and have that conversation. Do it in love. Do it with kindness. You'd begin to break free from the stuff that's holding you back. Fear is usually a self-fulling prophecy. If you're afraid of something and you'll say, "Well, if I do this, I'm gonna loss my job. If I do this, I'm gonna loss my marriage. If I speak up here, you know, I'm gonna loss my career". Usually the things we fear, Job 3:25 says, Job says, what I fear befalls me. He gave the reason for the whole book of Job. What I dread, comes upon me. Fear grows and grows and grows. You'd gotta deal with it. You'd gotta stop it. Get into God's Word. You have not the spirit of fear, Timothy said, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
So paranoia, envy, bitterness, self-consciousness, you know, arrogance. All of these things come from a river of fear, from a life of giving into fear. Maybe your parents gave into fear. Maybe your mom or dad was always giving in to fear of sickness. I know people who are so phobic about sickness that they get rash. They're running to the doctor, their knee, their eye twitches and they're sure they're getting cancer. They forget one thing and they're sure that they're getting dementia. And this fear never goes away. And you know what happens? The things they're always worried about began to, they attract them into their life. If you live in fear, you're gonna witness the gradual diminishment of your humanity. You'll become less adventurous, less truthful, and ultimately less alive. We do not evolve into something greater from fear. We devolved. We, little fear causes us to live less. Fear cause us to make less. Fear cause us to enjoy less, etcetera, etcetera.
Number four, fear paralysis us and cheats us out of life's riches and gift. The ability to experience Jesus, to experience life to its fullest. People who do not deal with their fear live in permanent frustration. They'll blame their spouse, their boss, their kids, their mom, their dad, anything they can. But really even if fear was brought into your life by parent. Hey, listen that first 10, 15 years of your life. Come on, you're 50 years old. You have now 35 years of living on your own. Get into God's Word. Make sure that you get stronger on the inside and push out this fear. Living in fear is a choice. It's a choice. What you gonna do? You know, just stay in fear, curl up into the fetal position and suck your thumb?
If you are motivated by fear, it will always bring suffering. Fear is not a good motivator as I said earlier. There's nothing good about fear. The more fears in our life, the more it's gonna destroy us. Another thought is, when you fear something, you gave it power over you. The thing you fear, you give power over you. You're afraid of cancer, the big C. Then, you know what? You're literally, your mind is so unrenewed the fear attracts disease and sickness. The Bible teaches us powerfully that we can have the mind of Christ. The Bible says we can have the mind of Christ. There is no fear in Jesus mind. There is no phobias. There is no frustrations. There is no terror. There is no grumpiness. None of the things that I talked about early in this program are in Jesus and it says we can have His mind.
Romans 12 says that we can renew our minds until we have peace and joy, courage rises up. You know, when we talk about courage, we're not talking about the absence of fear. You know the things that my wife and I have done within church and television and we've got private schools. And the things we have to face as a family. The death threats and lies and the blogs and just all the junk that comes at you. We'd had to stand strong and just make a decision. It doesn't mean that fears not niggling at you. It doesn't mean that fears not pushing at you. It doesn't mean that you don't feel fear pushing at you but we refuse to give in to it.
You see, everybody feels the push of fear. Everybody hears fear knocking at the door of your mind and your heart. What are you gonna do if the whole bunch of men in a foxhole and a friend falls down outside of that foxhole and they know someone's gonna go grab him and drag him out of there and back into the foxhole. The guy that runs for him, he didn't run because he was devoid of fear. They all felt the same fear. They all knew the same consequences dying. But one guy despite the fear gets up and do that does what is courageous. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is doing something in the face of fear that is right, just doing something that is courageous even though you feel the fear. Many of you who have given in to fear anywhere in your life think that successful people have dealt with fear permanently. No, every are of their life that they wanna change and grow, fear pushes at them.
So we've gotta recognize that fear comes from the enemy initially. That when Adam fell in the garden, he became a fearful person. He hid from God. He was in terror that something was gonna go wrong. So do not give in to fear. If you were to Google fear, you'll find out that it talks about fear all through the Bible that we don't have the spirit of fear. We're not to give in to fear. That perfect love cast out fear. Your love for God and life and family and home. Your love, your value for living free from fear and living courageously is so strong that even though fear pushes at you, you don't give in to it.