Leon Fontaine - Receiving God's Promises
Hey everybody. Good to have you with us. We're on this series about the mind and the emotions and changing so that our lives we really begin to know God, feel God. We get to live this incredible Christian life so our last session I talked about putting off the old, putting on the new as a Christian but I want to move on right from there because this is an issue that so many Christians have actually never dealt with, never known how. So let's get into the practical of how to do this. All right, you've given your life to Jesus Christ. He lives in your spirit. Now this spirit is you are a spirit, you have a soul. The soul is your mind, your emotions, your thinking. your will power and you live in a body which is your earth suit.
So, although all of God's power His love, His joy, His healing, His peace, his, all of this is in you. You've got to get it out into your mind and into your body so that you can experience Him physically and you can experience Him mentally. You can experience him emotionally. Some people say, well I don't go by my emotions. I agree. I don't make decisions by my emotions because they're so often wrong but I have found out that I can stay emotionally strong which means in normally, I can stay in the positive emotions of joy, peace, patience and perseverance and long suffering and goodness and gentleness. I can stay there and when attacks come, I could kind of deal with it whereas before I almost lived in this negative, angry, looking at others, blaming others, going to bed angry at night, bitter, unhappy, upset. This is where so much of Christianity is.
So all right let's start with in Ephesians 6. Now the apostle Paul, I'm gonna give you the context because everyone thinks they know this and it's one of the most powerful portions of Scripture in the Bible. Ephesians 6:10-19. And he's talking here about a man or a woman who's a fighter. This is a person that's, I mean, I was going to use the word wicked but it's not a good word but I mean just potent, amazing military person with all this armor on who wins all the time and people have taking this to mean that the reason you are the way you are is because demons keep you that way. I disagree or if you are this way because God hasn't touched you in a special way. I disagree. God's already given you all things that pertain to life and godliness and it's in your spirit.
So here Paul is thinking this through as Holy Spirit is because all of the scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit the Bible says and so Paul is looking at a Roman soldier one day. Maybe he was in captivity, maybe was in chains, maybe he was being guarded, maybe was just out looking and all of a the sudden Holy Spirit begin to show him that the armor that this soldier had was how we need to see ourselves as Christians. But here's what's interesting all of the armor were the armor of the mind. Every piece of this armor is a belief and if you don't have this belief, doesn't matter what you do. You can't renew your mind until you understand the truths of God's Word. So he goes on to say that you could be strong in the power. You could be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might so being strong in the Lord means inside you're full of joy and peace and patience and you love life, love yourself, love what's going on not worried about the messes it rise up in the things that come against you and the confusion and the stuff that life throws at you. Inside you're strong, strong in the Lord. Bring it on, not a problem.
I was sharing how today about when I was a young guy that my parents wouldn't let me fight and so I get beat up all the time because I was a Christian and one day, Dad had enough. Taught me how to fight, go ahead and use it. Now, wherever I went because I was trained first a little bit in boxing and then in taekwondo and we did a lot of just fighting and training in the ring and I became very comfortable and confident in looking after myself. Now wherever I went before I was in fear looking around and just inside I was trembling even if I had a strong front and I was hoping to get past this guy bluff my way past this guy. Now I'm walking down going, do you want to take me down, go ahead. That's actually how I felt. It was kind of a cool feeling not that I wanted to hurt people but that there is such a confidence.
Being strong in the lord is the strength on the inside that God within me is up for anything that's coming at me. Anything I need to deal with and handle I'm strong in the Lord but then it goes on to say and in the power of His might this means the presence of God flowing off of you. So here's what he talks about. He says that there's a wrestling that goes on not between flesh and blood but against principalities, powers and the rulers and the darkness of this age. He's talking here but there is a demonic force out there, that the enemy is always firing stuff at you and this demonic force is always against the mind. Jesus stripped him of all of authority. He's got no authority over you as a believer but he'll try to make you think he does.
So here it says that we're wrestling. Now this, no one has physically wrestled with a demon. I've not talked to anybody in my 35 years of ministry. A demon appeared, I wrestled. Got him in a full Nelson, got him in a headlock and I punched him in the face. No, no, this wrestling and it's not a spiritual wrestling because Holy Spirit is in your spirit and there's no way you have to wrestle with him spiritually. In fact some people think that God's kingdom and the dark they're all fighting each other. When the enemy sinned against God, okay, Jesus said, I saw him fall like lightning out of heaven. There wasn't a big battle that was centuries in the making as Satan's duking it out with God. God is God. Satan, he's just an angel he was created by God so it's not a wrestling in the spirit. It's not a wrestling in the flesh. It's a wrestling of the mind. Your waist needs to be belted with truth, the breast plate is righteousness, your feet shod with the Gospel.
So what is the Gospel? Then you have to have a shield of faith, a helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit. He's just looking at all the armor. And he's saying each piece of the armor is basically you better understand what are you saved from. A lot of Christians don't think they're safe from sickness and so there's no hope for them in that area til they change that belief and if they don't believe that the curse of the law is included then everything from being kidnapped, early death, sickness, disease, rape, murder, they don't know that it's a part of the good news. So not knowing that means that piece of the armors missing. Now if you're shooting arrows at me and I got all my armor on but I'm missing one piece. If it's a helmet, you're gonna shoot for the head but I got my helmet on but I got my breast plate gone and my chest is open you to shoot for the chest. If I got breast plate on and my helmet on but I don't have anything around my stomach, you know, that the belt of truth? Where are you going to shoot? You're gonna shoot where the armor isn't there to stop that arrow.
So the enemy simply looks like Christians, finds out what they believe and he attacks them in the area where they don't have beliefs that work. Why would he attacked the strongest part of a wall of the city? No, if you're attacking a city, you find the weak spot on the wall. If you're shooting an arrow at a soldier in armor where is the area of weakness? Now he's saying that when you have these pieces on so you understand truth, righteousness, the Gospel, faith and salvation and the sword of the spirit. When you understand these simple things and you understand the Word of God on them something within you will change everything in your mind because when a shot, when a shot from the enemy comes that says you're not righteous, you're a loser, you haven't done enough for God to ever look after you, righteousness says it's a gift. I am righteous because of Jesus that's simplifying it.
Good news is that Jesus took away all my sin. I don't have to be guilty about anything and he gave me all of his blessings and he qualified me for them. To know that, all of a sudden the enemy has no luck saying this cancer has a right to be here because as a young woman, you had an abortion or as a young man, you cheated on your spouse or you did this and we know all those things aren't good to do but the enemy will use that because you don't understand the Gospel. When a thought comes in, the shield of faith is the shield of your beliefs. If you don't have a solid beliefs when that thought comes in that's a lie, there's no shield of faith to stop it in that area because you don't have the right belief in that area. Each of these things is very interesting. Now it goes on to say that the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God praying always.
Let's stop right there. Let's practically go at this now. You have habitual thinking. You could be, maybe you deal with anger, maybe you deal with low self worth, maybe you struggle with bad habits that are killing you and destroying relationships, maybe your mind's a mess all the time. There's never peace. How do you deal with that? It says that the sword of the spirit is the Word of God praying, stop right there. What I do is I speak a Word. I speak God's Word over situations where God's Word is truth. You see just because something happens doesn't mean it's God's will. So if I'm in an area and I need help in finding peace because there's so many things rising up that could go wrong and I go, I could lose this and I could lose that and what about this. Oh, no I third thing's rising up and my life is just anxiety and stress. I would begin to pray God's Word. I would begin to pray that I have not the spirit of fear and by the way praying it out loud. Only spoken words interrupt habitual thinking. Only speaking words interrupts you know the negative thoughts.
Now someone's say, Leon, what about people who are deaf and they sign? I believe that the signing of the language for example causes the same pictures and influence on the mind that people who do speak do. So if you're deaf and you're watching this, yes, pray with your hands which is out loud because it begins to explode in your mind new pictures. So if fear and anxiety and things are pushing at me financially, relationally, physically and it's just like. And I can't even I can get the knot out of my stomach, all right, I'm gonna pray the Word. The Word of God, people say praying is the sword of the spirit. No, it's not. You can pray a lot of stupid stuff. Lord, give me that guy's truck. Lord, I want that guy's wife. Lord, I want that guy's job. I curse that guy in, no. Just because you're praying does not mean it's the sword of the spirit.
In fact I'm gonna go on record as saying after counseling as a pastor with people for decades and listening to them pray, most people are so ineffective because they pray with just they feel. They just pray what they think. They just pray a bunch of stuff. The sword of the spirit which mean it's a taste of steel, it begins to cut into your enemy. It's not so much even that the sword of the spirit is fighting demons as much as it is like a scalpel that cuts off the wrong beliefs. So I'm praying the word I'm declaring no weapon formed against me is going to prosper. I've not the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. I declare right now that I'm blessed in the city, blessed in the field. A thousand might fall at my side. 10.000 my right and I'm walking free. I am blessed because of Jesus. I talk out loud all the time. I don't do it in front of people. I don't do it in the shopping malls. They're gonna arrest you, I'm not talking, I'm talking about my prayer closet, my in my car time, by myself time. I'm speaking out loud.
What am I speaking? I'm praying the Word of God. The sword of the spirit is the only offense of weapon. The rest are all defense and I'm praying the Word and I'm praying the Word and every time you figure out something you need to put off. I need to put off this this sin that so easily besets me. All right now I'm gonna go father your words as the Psalms 119 that Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I will not sin against you and I thank You that Your Word is in me and I will not sin against You. I will not give in to temptation because You are with me in your strength and I just begin to speak out loud what I know God's Word says daily. All the time all. I gotta do it daily? What, you like to living the garbagy life you're living? You enjoy being addicted and never breaking? You love living in the fear and the inability to get to the next chapter of your life?
Start praying the Word. Praying the Word will deal with the enemy if he's coming at you. Praying the Word will deal with your own misbeliefs. Praying the Word will take down the strongholds that have taken years to build into you. Praying God's Word. Now fear is faith in reverse. So let's talk about fear, it'll help you understand faith. If I have a fear how do you know it's fear? You'll know it's fear when you're anxious about something and you start imagining all these wrong scenarios. You've got a really close friend. They're supposed to meet with you at 7:00 and they're not there. It's 9:00. It's 10:00. It's one in the morning and you're phoning everybody. You're afraid. Do you know why? Because you see them wrapped around a telephone pole with her body hanging out. You see them in a back alley with their throats slit. You see them. You know something's wrong and fear's erupting because you see all these scenarios that are evil, bad, wrong.
So fear is fear when it controls your imagination. When fear controls everything, your emotions, your imagination, you are seeing an end result that you don't know what's true but you're seeing it anyway. You're creating. Fear is creating these pictures and these pictures are just controlling you. Faith must do the same thing. What do you believe in God for? To destroy. I'm believing God to be in victory over this bad habit, to be in victory into walking peace, then this speaking of God's Word if it's in faith. All right. Should begin to repicture, reenvision, reimagine in your spirit. As you're speaking the Word of God, you're seeing yourself free. You're seeing self confident. You're seeing yourself victorious over every area. You see, the language of your heart which is where the control of all your life is, it's where your is, what, it's your self worth. It's the center of how you see yourself is the heart.
All these beliefs in there. You'll see yourself victorious. You'll see yourself healed. You'll see yourself prosper, see yourself married, see yourself laughing and enjoying the life. Faith produces pictures, words produce pictures. If faith does not produce pictures in your life, then you're not in faith. Okay. You're actually in fear. You could be saying I'm healed. I'm healed. In Jesus' name, I'm healed. Thank you, Jesus. I'm healed. But literally you can tell that you're saying that as you see yourself dying, as you see yourself doctor shaking his head, as you see yourself the doctor looking at the tumor. The tumor growing. You're seeing all your friends crying? Who's gonna be your pallbearers? What's your family going to do without you?
These are the scenarios blasting through your head, controlling you, this habitual thinking to begin to pray and declare. For example, no weapon formed against me shall prosper. Those are just words. What's the weapon that you don't want prospering? Well, well, it's fear. Good, then see fear falling down and you laughing. I'm full of courage. If the weapon is sickness then as you say that I am healed and no weapon formed against me shall prosper then you're seeing that cancer as a weapon and you're seeing a doctor smiling and go, it's gone. You're seeing you know your medical report completely healed. Whatever but you need the Word of God must build pictures. The Word of God must go to the end. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen but the words seen means sensed.
I wanna encourage to recognize that the weapons of our warfare as believers are not carnal but they're might be through God to the pulling down of strongholds or right here the putting off a wrong believes is the pulling down of strongholds. This is the same thing, put off the old, put on the new is pulled down strongholds, build the life that you want and it says the way to pull down strongholds is to cast down arguments. You're always asking yourself questions and you're always answering. That's what thinking is so arguing goes on in everybody's brain. You're normal if sometimes you can be so paralyzed in making a decision because your own mind is arguing with itself. Deep beliefs are roaring at you, deep beliefs are speaking to you it's like the Goliaths in your life are the beliefs of your life and they're shouting at you. You're a loser. You're gonna fail. You're not gonna make it.
Everyone's gonna laugh at you. You don't fit in. These beliefs shouted at you and it says there's an argument here. You got the cast it down. You gotta recognize that and it says in every high thing that it's exalts itself against the knowledge of God. God's truths. You have to literally judge every thought in your head. Is that Bible? Then I'm not gonna be thinking about this. As you pull down the spots and you take thoughts captive you're gonna find you're putting off the old, putting on the new. Even if you know for example that you have a bad habit. What's the good habit that replaces it? Leon I am impatient and angry and I say things before I before I think and I hurt my relationships. I do things my spouse, my kids, my, okay stop. Then you need patience. Yes, you need peace. Yes, all right. Let's go with patience. You're gonna put off the anger and the uncontrolled things you say and do to people and you're gonna be patient.
Now patience is a fruit of the spirit and as you take God's Word and speak God's Word, it grows on the inside of you know. Now fruit never goes, I planted a seed. There's the fruit. No. Takes day, takes weeks and so as you focus on God's Word deep within you, the fruit of patience begins to grow, the fruit of joy, if you're always negative and unhappy and grumpy and being around you is depressing and you want to break that, what do you want? Well you want joy. I want to grow the fruit of joy then you begin to focus on the joy of the Lord is my strength, I thank you right now Lord that you fill my mouth with good things that laughter do with good like a medicine that a merry heart and you begin to just speak words. This is who I am in Jesus' name. The way to pull down a stronghold which is the stronghold of thinking, to put off wrong thinking and to put on this new man which is Jesus in your spirit, this is a new you, how do you put Him on? You begin to speak God's Word.
This last line I'll share with you it says here. I think it's a verse 6 of 2 Corinthians 10. It says bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. How many? Every thought. Never let a stray thought bounce around in your head. The second of thought comes the makes you down, discouraged, unhappy, jealous, lustful, whatever that thought, stop right there. Wrong. I'm not taking the thought and the shield of faith or the shield of your beliefs comes up and go no and then it says and be ready to punish all obedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Kind of a crazy for it but look at it this way.
As you obey by learning the truths of God's Word, as you obey by getting the truths of God's Word into your mind and you know what the truth is, those areas of the armor then you still have to use it, you got to punish the disobedient thoughts in your head. It's not talking about you punishing others. It's talking about the disobedient thoughts that it could be the enemy shooting them at you as a dart and the shield of faith stops that. It could be your own beliefs that rise up that you've dealt with but yet all of a sudden you go to situation and this old fear tries to rise up. No, so make sure that every disobedient thought that you handcuff it, that you refuse to give in to it and it's gonna take some weeks of just continually confessing the Word.
If you do not pray the Word out loud, you will never really see the completion and you never really fixed permanently that the constant daily, see, the renewing of your mind is not, oh, I finally did it. No, no, it's a daily process all the time as new thoughts attack you, if you're single and you get married, you got new worries. If you're married and you have kids, you got new issues to deal with. If you've been doing well but now financial problems rise up, if you're healthy but now you're sick, there's always going to be new things that rise up in life so every day renew your mind with God's Word, watch what He does. I pray this has helped you.