Leon Fontaine - Strengthening Your Mind
Hey, everybody! It is so good to have you with us. We have been talking so much about the mind, mental games, the enemy trying to control us. What do we do as believers, do we live under this constant barrage and this emotional mess of feelings that come and go? And so today, I wanna dive right back into this and I just hope you get a pen and a pencil or make sure and encourage everyone you know to be watching this series and be watching this program so that they can grow and learn as well.
Now, in Ephesians 4:26-27, it says, "Be ye angry, and sin not, let not the sun go down upon your wrath, neither give place to the devil". Let's start there. This is an interesting scripture because it's shows us that before you go to bed at night, you need to find peace. You need to remove extreme emotions like anger, bitterness, etcetera, deal with it. Now a lot of people will say, "Well, you know, always ask for forgiveness before you go to bed at night". I think that's wisdom especially if your married, if you've got friendships. But I think it goes even deeper and further in a lot of areas. When you go to bed at night, if there's a problem. If something has arisen today and you have not learned to deal with anger. You have not learned to deal with wrath. You're gonna get sick. Not only sick physically, you are gonna begin to build what we call strongholds deep on the inside. And you've got to be careful because the enemy is looking.
The Bible says in another verse, the enemy walks around like a hungry lion and he's looking for someone to devour. So can we give place to the devil if we do not control our mind, renew our mind? Because what we think about, what we focus on creates strong emotion. And so many people think that every thought in their head is true. They think that if they've got an emotion, it must be true. So they'll stay in that emotion. Some people stay locked in an emotion for days, weeks, months, or I have talked with people who were raised in angry homes, who are angry themselves and actually do not know what even peace is. They've never had it. They don't even realize they don't have it. They just think that living in this tense, angry, judgmental, lashing out, fighting over anything that you need or want environment is normal. But as a Christians we can make decisions even if you were raised in that kind of a home or you developed these strong beliefs. I call them misbeliefs.
If someone has hurt you, betrayed you. If someone has done something that shook you and made you become super insecure. Maybe you've done something in life that you're so ashamed of and this shame is the new control. They're strongholds that are built into our mind and into our heart. And that would, a stronghold in the Old Testament and the New was a fortified city that you couldn't breakthrough. There are people today with fortified thinking. They have habitual thinking that is wrong. But you try to talk with them and help them? They'll fight you. They know they're right. And they will continue in their pride of, "I'm right. I know I'm right," down that pathway.
A great friend of mine years ago was one of the leading psychologist/psychiatrist, in a great practice in one of the major cities in the States. He left his practice and began to set up Bible Schools. And he said, "You know, when people are hurt, when people go through something that shakes everything. They begin to build walls". And he said, "They build these walls around them to control the pain, the heartache, the discouragement, the betrayal, the strong emotion, the insecurity that they feel and hate. So they developed beliefs. It could be a belief like all men are, they only want one thing or, you know, look out for people with money. Don't trust anybody for friend". They build these beliefs which are walls and these walls are out in front of them. And these beliefs are how they keep themselves protected, they think. But anytime you build a belief which becomes a stronghold.
The Amplified Bible calls them arguments, reasonings, that you are hurting your life. Because Jesus is very clear when He says that the gospel is the gospel of peace. The good news is an extreme emotion whether its partying, whether its anger, bitterness, jealousy. They're all forms of fear, okay. But it doesn't matter how we've been worried, grumpiness, irritableness. If you know somebody that, any of those things. Those emotions control. They destroy marriages, homes, families, businesses. They destroy you. Do not go to bed at night, with not just wrath or anger. Any strong emotion, because it will be there all night. You wake up with an even stronger in the morning as it begins to build wraths in your heart. And the Bible says as man thinks in his heart, so he lives. You can't seem to get your life out of those wraths in the...
You know, years ago we lived in a small town called Weldon, Saskatchewan, and I love growing up there. But the country roads would have gravel which would be okay. But often the roads off of the gravel, roads would be mud and it might be into a field. It might be to someone's house. And after a really good rain, they didn't like people driving on them because you created a deep rut when it's muddy. Once it's dries, those deep ruts they hold your tires in them and you can't even get out. If it rains again for example and those deep ruts are there. You can't even get your car out of that rut. You just, you're driving down. You turn to the left, to the right and those wheels just keep sliding into the same rut. That's the way people's thinking is. This habitual thinking is you've developed ruts in your thinking, how you deal with people, your spouse, your kids, and you need to deal with it.
I love Ephesians 4:17-24. It says here, "This I say therefore," This is Paul talking to the Ephesians. "That you should no longer walk, live like the rest of the Gentiles walk". The word "Gentiles" in this one, to them it means something different than it is to us today. It means those without Jesus. "Walk in the futility of their mind". Okay, he's saying that if you walk according to your mind, it is a futile life. Because it says, having their understanding darkened. When you just deal with your mind, you only have information coming in from five places, your five senses. What you see, hear, feel, touch, taste, etcetera, and so that's all. So it says here that your understanding is darkened. There's not an enlightenment from the presence of God that you're open to. So it says you are being alienated from the life of God.
I don't wanna be alienated from the life of God. Then it says because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. Woo! What? Your heart can be blind. Well, your heart is that deeper level of thinking, believing. It's what, your spirit man when he's alive with the presence of God, this wisdom comes up out of the deep inside of you. So blindness of heart. Then it says, who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness and greediness. So if you live by your mind, you'll always be self-focus. You'll always be a self-interested. You'll be narcissistic like you would believe everything you do is about you. Even when you're helping others, it's hard to get away from I'm earning points. I'm gonna make them like me, and everyone's gonna see that I'm special. But then it says, but you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus. Put off your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful desires and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
This attitude of your mind or let me bring it to you another way that will really help you. This habitual thinking area. You know, we can have thoughts that come and go. But what do you habitually think about? What fills your mind every day? Is it the fear that's in your marriage of losing them or trying to make them happy? Or is it that there's, you're nobody. You don't fit in. I'm confused. I don't know what to do. What habitually do you think about? Most people don't know. And if you've got a need in your life. Let's say you're single and you need somebody. You wanna get married. Let's say that you're really poor and you're struggling, all you can think about is money. If you habitually focus on these areas, you will miss so much of life. Because when God's Word begins to come into our mind, it renews our mind. And then it says, as a Christian, that you put on the new man which was created according to God in true righteousness and holiness.
If you haven't given your life to Christ, you need to do that. It is impossible to live from the flow of God's presence, His peace, His joy, His incredible comfort, and direction and power and strength, a sense of authority that comes over to live your life and to move forward with confidence and with courage. God's presence brings that, when we give our lives to Him because Jesus died for us. But yet, I see many Christians who still struggle with the old stuff they had before they became Christians, nothings ever change. And they think, "Maybe I'm not really born again". You know, you are a three-part being. This is my body which is my earth suit.
Now, I have a mind, thinking, emotions, will power. That's my soul. That the spirit is, and the Bible says in the center of us, we are spirits. We've got a soul. We live in a body. So we gotta understand that when Jesus comes into our life and makes everything new. Everyone say, "I don't feel new". No, it's talking about your spirit. Your spirit. You no longer have a nature of fear. You no longer have a nature of sin, a nature of death. The Bible says your nature is now the nature of God which is of love, faith, courage, and it's deep inside of you. The issue is that your body, your mind, have been trained by a lifetime of wrong thinking. This might help you.
Let's says that as a business person, I buy a business. It's in this 20-story building. It's got thousands of employees and so I wanna buy that company. So I buy the company. I'm now the owner. And so I walk into that company and there's no ownership. The old owners are gone. But I wanna bring change to this huge company. When I own it, does it automatically change? No, I've got to go in and retrain CEO's. I've gotta retrain all the leaders. I've gotta retrain the managers. I've gotta make sure that the culture of this business changes. Now, I as the owner have a different culture than the old guy. I've got a different drive, a different way of doing business. So I'm the owner. But I still need to go in and change the systems, the thinking. And if people won't change, I release them. I hire new people for those position.
That's kind of a business way of looking at when you give your life to Jesus. You've got a new owner. It's not the kingdom of darkness. The Bible said to some people, you're like your father, the devil. No, your Father is now God. You've got His nature. His Spirit is within you. But your mind and your body have been trained for your whole life to think, act, the way you do. He's saying now, that we can be renewed in the spirit of our mind as you've been to get God's Word in there. It's not just a new concept. It's just not knowing more information. It is a complete change of the attitude. The habitual thinking of your mind will become one of peace. You can literally begin to take every thought captive. That the shield of faith which is your new beliefs which you gotta develop will stop every fiery dart of the enemy trying to break up your peace and your joy. And you can literally walk and live in this incredible ability.
Many Christians fall into this problem. They think new knowledge changes their mind, but it doesn't. The Bible goes on to teach that you have to put off the old and put on the new. So you need to be aware of thinking issues and habitual thinking and attitudes and misbeliefs you've got that are hurting you. Become aware of them. Become aware of your thinking. Then go to God's Word and find the new belief. You know, the old belief was you're a loser. The new belief is, you are made in the likeness and the image of God. You're a winner. The old belief was, that nothing good is gonna work for you. The new belief in God's Word which is true is that the favor of God is on your life because Jesus want it for you. So there's this change of your beliefs. If you just learn the whole bunch of Bible, you're not learning to put off and put on.
Here's a good example I use. You know, Sally and I have five children. They're all married. We've got grandkids now. When you've got a baby, let's give an example. Let's say, Sally goes out and I'm at home when I was younger with one of the kids. I don't like changing bums. And I mean, this baby make a mess. So this little three month old baby, I mean, it literally goes in its diaper. It smells. It's bad. But I'm just gonna add another diaper. So I sprinkle some power on the first diaper, leave it on and tape the second diaper overtop of the first diaper. You know, smells good. No mess coming through. Except in about an hour or two or the next four or five hours that mess breaks out of that first diaper into the second diaper. So, oh, that's okay. I'll get a third diaper.
So I sprinkle some powder on everything and put a third diaper on and tape that thing tight up. Each diaper is like new knowledge. People will add new knowledge to their head. They'll add new knowledge to their repertoire. But they haven't made time to process of putting off the old. Now, every mom and dad, listen to me, that's a joke. When I jokingly say, "Well, hey! Some diapers say good for 25 pounds. Maybe they mean the load rather than the kid". No. What do you do with that baby? You take off that first messy diaper. You wash it down. You clean it up. Then you put some Penaten cream or some powder or whatever you do, and you put a brand new clean diaper on. To put off and put on. Put off and put on is a crucial, crucial issue for every person who is a believer so that you're aware. Don't hang on to all your crazy beliefs, your habitual thinking, and then just think that because you have more information, more knowledge, that everything's gonna be okay.
I've actually noticed that Christians who gain new knowledge from the Word about prosperity, healing, peace, joy, making relationships work, the power, the presence of God, whatever they're learning. If they don't use it right away and put off an old thought and misbelief, begin to deal with old attitudes. And every time their anger rises up which used to cause them all their relationships, all their business acquaintances, was their anger. Everyone was tiptoeing around them on eggshells. That they realize, I'm angry and I'm taking on people. I habitually look at people and I just take everything they say as they're mad at me. They're coming against me. I'm gonna fight for. And all of a sudden, you begin to believe God's Word, that you have favor with all men.
The Proverbs say God will even give you favor with your enemies. And you begin to believe this. It actually is changing you. You go into situation where someone says something which normally sets you off. And you realize that, "Oh, no. I'm putting that behavior off". And a soft answer turns away wrath. I'm gonna speak softly. You're now putting off, putting on. Putting off, putting on. This is important. And if you don't understand that, you're gonna find out that you're gonna messed up. Because learning truths from God's Word that you don't apply actually causes unbelief and it cements it and stronger. What do you mean? A pastor will teach on something like the fruit of the Spirit, controlling yourself. And Holy Spirit in His fruit is gonna, it's actually your human spirit that is touch by Holy Spirit. He's inside you that begins to grow peace and joy. That if you learn that but you don't apply it. The next time someone teach you, "Yeah, I know that". It becomes a mental assent. It becomes a pride of, "I know that. Yeah, I've heard that, know that".
I have met people who know more about the Bible than me. It doesn't matter what I teach on. They've got all these different speakers. They know it, frontwards and backwards. But there's still somebody no one wants to hang with, marry, do business with, or even spend any time with because there's no change in them. All of this knowledge, no change. When you acquire knowledge and you don't let Holy Spirit change you, that you literally are gonna go deeper and deeper into unbelief because nothing seems to change you. In 1 John 4:17, it said, "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as He is," That's Jesus. "As He is, so are we in this world". What? As Jesus was, so are we in this world. If you wanna know how to act, how to condition yourself, how to live, how to treat people, how to handle situations.
You study the life of Jesus. Because the Old Testament, you know, God's people there, they took all of God's instructions. And they just made it religious and prideful and arrogant. And finally, God realize, I need to send my Son to come down in human form. He gave up all His power and authority as a Son of God and He became a human. So He could show the human race what God is like. He's not this angry mad killing machine. Everything about God is love. And even was in the Old Testament. That's another teaching. We haven't time to get it today. So when we understand as Jesus is right now, so are we. Jesus has authority over everything. He is love. He walks in peace. And the Bible says there is no fear in love. But perfect love cast out fear because fear has torment.
If you don't deal with, by renewing your mind and let God's Word come in and put off all the old attitudes, the old beliefs. You are literally being tormented. That's why you act like you. That's why you are so emotionally up and down. It's because there's a torment that goes with fear. All other beliefs that are not biblical, that are not from God. They have the ability to torment you. They'll make you strive to prove yourself. They'll make you strive towards pleasure. They'll make you move towards addiction. They'll make you treat people wrongly because you've got it all wrong. It says, "He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love Him, because He first loved us". Make sure that you go to God's Word and you understand what Jesus did on the cross, what He did when He died, when He rose again, from the cross to the throne. Recognize that He loves you.
Now, it goes on to say this. It says, "And this commandment we have from Him, that he who loves God, loves his brother also". It's very easy for me to see people who are filled with God, who have gained the knowledge of God. They know Him. Because they put off all the crazy, wrong, brutal behavior and they put on this new man. They are a new man. There's a new owner inside of you. Jesus is in your spirit. But now, you gotta get Him out of your spirit and into your mind to renew it, into your body to subdue it. Make it a living sacrifice, not to try to please God or make Him listen to you or earn miracles. No, no. He's already given you all that. It's just God's grace, His unmerited favor, is the ability of God within you.
You've given your life to Jesus. Watch Him. Work with Him. Get into the Bible. Spend time with Him. And you will begin to put off old thinking, old behaviors, and you'll put on this new you. It's the most wonderful thing you could ever do. There are many believers watching me who actually haven't done that. They've not experienced in their mind and in their body this new life. They read about it. They wish they could, but they never have. God bless you.