Leon Fontaine - Taking Ownership of Your Life
The most major issue as a believer now is the fight for your mind. That you need to renew your mind. You need to allow, John 8:32 says, "And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you absolutely free". God's Word is powerful. But it is no good unless you believe it, unless you not only have a relationship with Jesus which is crucial. But you learn, you get to know His Word. There's a battle that is on right now for you mind, a battle that is on. And he tries to get his thoughts, he tries to get his ideas into the minds of people to turn it against you. We live in a world today where, man, it's brutal out there.
How many people are struggling with their thought life? And when you struggle with wrong thoughts, you will struggle with wrong emotions. You'll have wrong relationships. You won't know how to fix things in your world. You will think you're right because your belief system which is your BS, "belief system". Your belief system says you are right and its pride against God. But when we submit our minds to the Word of God, did you know you can have the mind of Christ? The Bible literally teaches us that you can have His thoughts, His feelings, His emotions. And I love that because so many of us, you know, many Christians have got to a place in their lives where they've gone through some stuff.
Now that you've gone through it, you think, "Well, now I'm a little more realistic". No, you're a little more doubtful. God's Word doesn't change. God's Word is true. God's Word will show you what truth is, but if you don't feed your mind on God's Word and today, we live in a generation that wants to serve Jesus to be like magic. Pray a prayer, use this verse and it's like a magic hex. And man, all of a sudden, you're free, you're fine, everything's fine. But the Word of God, there needs to be literally work involved of studying His Word. Getting it into your mind, and what it will do for your mind is incredible. It will make your mind strong. You know, it would be a noble thought to start thinking for yourself really. Most of us think what others tell us, even about other people. I'm shocked today. How many people will hear a rumor about somebody and change their opinion about that person for a rumor.
I made a decision years ago, I don't care what people tell me about you. I'll settle my own mind on you when I talk to you. And I'm not judging you and labelling you because some person told me a stupid rumor, or some person told me this is what they think about you. Why don't you think for yourself? Stop everybody else out there make you think and feel the way you think and feel. And the same is true for the Word of God. Why do you swallow everything some preacher says on TV? Or something you've been taught, or something you feed yourself because you've gone through a hard time and now you're an expert, you know things. Nah, because I went through this. Listen, going through hard times doesn't make you an expert on the Bible. In fact, it shouldn't change the Word of God. God's Word should change your experiences. But experiences shouldn't change the Word of God.
Often, as pastors in counselling times, we have someone sit down who's going through a rough time. And you feel for them and you begin to counsel them with the Word of God and you'll say, "Well, God's Word says". And they go, "I know that. But let me tell you my experience". But we don't care about your experience when it comes to doctrine. The doctrine of the Word is there. We care about your experience for helping one another, for encouraging one another, for crying with one another, for believing with one another, for celebrating with one another. But God's Word doesn't change because it didn't seem to work for you. Okay? God's not withholding anything. He's freely given you and I. And what's amazing is, is got to do with this.
Let me show you an incredible verse in the Bible that kind of freaks people out but let's look at it properly. 2 Timothy 2:26, it says, He's talking here as a bunch of verse, but I want to give you this one. "That they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will". He's literally saying here that there are some people who have been captured by the devil and then he does the devil's will. "Oh, what's going on here, Leon"? He's talking about thoughts and beliefs. When you think a certain way, it will defeat you, to think another way can set you free. The Bible says in Romans 12:2, that if you want God's perfect will in your life, renew your mind. It says, "Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God".
It doesn't say pray more. It doesn't say scream at demons more. It says renew your mind. What God has done through Jesus on the cross is so powerful, so complete, but only believe. This is the key and all of us have had our minds steeped in thoughts and beliefs that are not accurate. You have thoughts about yourself that are wrong. Absolutely wrong. You're better than that, bigger than that. There's more than you can do. The world has a way, certain cultures have a way of, in causing us to demean ourselves and think we're being humbled. But, you know, a lot, I was thinking the other day. I thought, you know, us Christians think for some reasons that we have to have, when renewing your mind means you gotta everything together before your life can ever succeed.
Let me ask you how many pots smoking, alcoholic musicians or multi-millionaires playing concert halls all around the world. They haven't got their mind renewed. How many models are out there who got lower self-esteem than anybody else on the planet, but they're out there succeeding and making millions of dollars. Like, we tend to look at ourselves and think if we don't get all of this doctrine figured out and all of my issues figured out, how can God use me? Listen, when you get into God's Word, and you realize you're special. Jesus died for you. That He's blessed you. That He's upon you. That He wants to raise you up with an amazing marriage and home. He wants your mind to be clear. He wants you to know what it is to know joy and peace.
I've often said 25, 30 years ago, I was, when I was being trained to be a paramedic that an instructor told us that modern science was going to solve most of the diseases that are out there. And that we wouldn't need hospital rooms like we need today. He said that in 25 to 30 years science is gonna find cures. We'll find hospitals less needed. And today you look around it's, are you kidding me? It's ten times, a hundred times worse. You can't even get into a hospital to see a doctor. You can have a broken arm and wait hours. And then if you do get into emergency, you're sitting in a hallway somewhere. And if they do need to admit you, there's no rooms to admit you. And there's new diseases coming all the time, new viruses all the time. Like, are you kidding me? It's like with all the knowledge and science and all the things we've learned. It's like sickness and disease is exploding and one of the things that is exploding the most is problems with the mind, stress.
Some of the weird crimes you see when you read, hear the news about people just killing others for no reason and massive, what moms do their kids. The things that you wouldn't even think about in the years past. And you're looking at a person whose mind has been broken down. The enemy wants to break your mind down. He wants to make you think things that are wrong and limit your thinking. That you know, if he can control your thinking about topics like money, he'll keep you poor. Sexuality, he'll try to get you off into tangents that are wrong and just destroy you. He'll mess with your heart. I mean, he'll mess with you about relationship. He'll make you judgmental and suspicious and jealous to destroy your marriage. He'll put thoughts into your mind about people around you, until they feel weird around you because you got my thoughts about them. Like your mind is never at peace. When's the last time you look right into the eyes of someone? And you just saw peace and strength.
So often, I'll meet people and I just look them in the eye, just talk with them and in a matter of few sentences you can sense how fragile they are. You can sense that they can't handle one more stressful item, or you'll meet men who've learned to be stoic and put the ice face on. And women often think that men aren't emotional. That we don't have feelings because we don't show them. Men can run deeper than women when it comes to emotions and feelings. We're just been trained in a stupid culture to never show them. That we must remain strong and so it goes inside and so we hurt quietly. We deal with issues on our own. Why do we allow all this misinformation? Why do our relationships struggle like they do? Why are people so suspicious? Why are there so many problems? One of the hugest reason according to Romans 12 is that if you want God's perfect will for your life, you must renew your mind with the Word.
I told the man with the huge problem one time, he and I were talking, and he says, I said, "Man, the Word says this. You gotta renew your mind in the Word". And here's what he said to me, "Oh, I did that". I said, "Excuse me"? Oh, 1997. Yeah, I renewed my mind. I said, "Renewing of the mind is not a onetime thing that you do. It is something you must do regularly". New temptation will attack your mind. New fears will come against your mind. New situations will rise up in life that you'll need to dive into the Word and renew. In my life, I know the Bible well. I think I've been reading it for 35 years, preaching from it, but anytime something new rises up in my life. I find I dive back into the Word and just reading and absorbing God's Word makes my mind strong. It puts it at peace when there's no other reason for peace. When things might be going crazy in some area of my world and I need God's help. And it's not coming through yet and it might need a few more weeks or a few more months or another year. What do you do? When things haven't yet come through, you can rest in peace. But only if your mind is renewed in the Word of God.
Today, I wanna challenge you, because I'm noticing even amongst believers this incredible amount. They're just so many people who you can just see that they don't know how to get up in the morning to be at peace, to have an expectation that today's gonna be good and I'm looking towards the future with a joy. Somebody goes, "It's not easy anymore, Leon. Because I've gone through a few storms". Well, welcome to life. Sometimes the younger generations, they can think the world owes them. The world doesn't owe you nothing and it's not looking after you. The world is not gonna look after you. Life is not gonna look after you. You gonna need to rise up and use God's Word and renew your mind and trust that everything you need is in Christ and He is in you. It doesn't matter what comes up against you. You can walk in strength. You can walk in peace. You can walk in a complete joy. And if there's something that rises up that hurts, God will help you with strength to bear that, to walk through and to win on the other side.
If you do not renew your mind with God's Word daily, there will rise up situations in your life that almost give you a nervous breakdown. Things will rise up and, you know, sometimes it's not this one big issue. It's this constant, I call it this low-grade hum of stress and fear. And it's kind of just goes, and it never stops. It always seems to be there. This nervous fearful, what's gonna happen, what's gonna go wrong. We even got Murphy's Law now that if things go really good, you're gonna think, "What's gonna go wrong. Things going too good, something's gonna go wrong". We have scrappy thinking even when we're winning. As a believer I want you to trust that God's Word will help you.
The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:12, Fight! Fight what? Devils? No, you won't fight devils. He's a defeated foe. Fight the good fight of faith. Which is the fight for the right beliefs. What do you believe in? What do you actually believe in about your marriage? What do you believe about your spouse? What do you believe about the future? What do you think about things? And your thinking can totally leave you defeated. Now, you think at a rate of 1.300 words a minute. So when you're thinking stinks, it is literally. See, I'm speaking right now at about 150 words a minute. Can you imagine adding a thousand more words into that 60 seconds? But that's how fast your brain thinks. And if you've got wrong thinking, if you've got flawed logic, and your thinking is just, "I'm stupid. I'm dumb. It's not gonna workout. My mate is not gonna make it. My marriage is not gonna make it. There's no way that I'm gonna be-," Your brain is just going -, You can't shut it off when you go to bed. You go to bed.
Do you know how many people who need help sleeping today? 80% of the population according to doctors aren't even getting enough sleep and most of them struggle because they can't find peace. They can't just, "Get on that bed and have a great sleep. I'm gonna wake up and life. God's gonna guide me. Even if there's problem, I'm gonna make it through". God's Word will clothe your mind with peace and with joy and it will see you through. In Ephesians 6:10 and on, it talks about a trick of the devil. It says, he will shoot thoughts into your head. The Bible calls them fiery darts. Here's what it says. It says, when a fiery dart comes at your thought life. You got a choice. The shield of faith will stop that arrow and put out the flame. But it's called the shield of faith. Faith is what you believe.
So when a lie get shot into your head, you're not gonna make it, your marriage is never gonna make it. That person just doesn't think well of you. All this crazy thinking that blows to our minds. What you believe rises up and just stops that arrow and it just drops smoldering to your feet and you walk in what you want to believe. You have a choice, just let whatever thought comes into your mind be or begin to discipline your mind. You can literally discipline your mind. The Bible says when a thought comes into your mind, in 2 Corinthians 10:3 and on, it says there that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to pulling down theories, arguments. It says you can pull down all the wrong thinking. You can pull it down. The Bible says take thoughts captive.
When's the last time you took a thought captive? Or when a thought comes to your mind, you gonna go, "Oh, a new thought. That must be me". No, a lot of the new thoughts in your head are stupid. A lot of new thoughts in your head, you gotta take them captive. You need to understand something. There are thoughts going through your head that when you first start, you won't be able to get them to shut up and go away. You won't be able to take them captive. But you gotta practice. You gotta start now and replace all the stinking thinking that we've picked up in our lives and begin to put God's Word in there. Because until you renew your mind, you can't walk in great faith. Because all the wrong thinking will hurt you. In James 1:26, it says that when thoughts coming to your mind and you don't deal with them, you'll begin to talk them. And when you talk them, you can just deceive your own heart.
I've met people who are self-deceived. You can talk with them and they start to talk. You gonna go, "What the heck are you talking about"? You kind of go, "Dude, that's crazy. Hey, dude. Listen to yourself. Hey, dude! That's stupid! That's really, really bad! Don't think that way. Don't talk that way". And they don't realize that the end of wrong thinking is wrong feeling, wrong acting, and it will destroy you. Your mind is beautiful and precious. God gave you this mind. He gave you this freewill. But it's got to take God's Word and it's got to get God's Word in your mind. Renew your mind, it will serve you well. You'll get up in the morning and fear will push at you and boredom will push at you and stupid stuff will push at you and you just -, God's Word says and that shield of faith will stop it.
You get up having a great morning. You'll walk into work and fearful things are being said over here and stuffs coming at you over there. And you watch the news and it's got bad news about this and all that. And your body is doing that, and your marriage is doing this, and your kids are doing and you just, "Ahh"! But when you've got God's Word in your mind and it renews your mind. It gives you a peace. The Bible literally says we can have the mind of Christ. And when it talks about the mind of Christ in the Amplified it says, His feelings, His purposes, His ability. Have you ever asked yourself, how peaceful is my mind?
You've got to keep your mind every day washing with the water of the Word. And when you do, you'll know the purposes of God. You'll know what to believe God for. You'll know what to do. You'll sense His joy. You'll sense peace. We can either be like the world, talk like the world, act like the world, listen to the world's logic, feed ourselves with the world's logic, or we can make a decision that I'm gonna walk as Christ walked. I'm gonna live like Christ lived. I'm gonna have His mind, His emotion, His purposes. And I'm gonna allow His presence to flow into my body, my mind. I'm gonna allow it to flow into my marriage, my relationships.
Depression is on the rise. They say that 80% of the people in this room at some point are gonna have a period of strong depression. Mood disorders are on the rise. Everyone's an expert but no one seems to be able to stop it. Everyone who identify, you can Google and find great big articles about it and we got a hospital. They're the experts on this and they're experts on that. If we got so many experts, then why is this problem exploding? Why is it in our Grade-One, Grade-Two kids who say I'm depressed? Because they don't know what they're talking about. Yes, we can have depression that comes from chemical imbalances in the brain, post-partum depression, brain tumors. Doctors will tell you that even the toxic load of chemicals can begin to do this. You know, when life pushes at you, but, but, but.
In our church we've got doctors, psychologist, psychiatrist, naturopath. And when I talk to them all, one of the things they all agree on, what that person believes has a huge part to play in what they walked through. What they believed deep down inside. If they believed life sucks and then you die. If they believed our families had this for generation. It's inherited, like all this stuff. If you believe these things, it begins to take ownership. But when you find a person -, When the Dr. Caroline Leaf was with us a number of times. She's one of the leading brain scientist, and she says they can now study the brain. And when someone's brain has got God beliefs, positive beliefs, a peace and a joy. They can study their brain and know that when someone's brain is all wired in negative beliefs, everything causes fear, jealousy, anger, judgmental, low self-worth. You are always expecting the worse.
When this belief system is within you, they now can, they look at the brain and they can see the pathways. You see, you've got a brain which is your physical organ. You've also got a mind. Your mind is that you that's in there. Did you know, that they know your mind affects your brain. Your mind, your believing, your thinking, your talking, affects the chemicals of the brain. It affects the growth, the development of the brain. And even if you've got a lot of negativity and a lot of junk in there, did you know that your brain is so plastic, meaning malleable that it will change. They often thought the brain was unchangeable, whatever is, is.
Now, they're finding out and she shares with us and her books talk about it as well. That your mind is totally capable of beginning to have new thoughts and those new thoughts will restructure your brain, restructure and bring healing to the chemicals in your brain. It will begin to bring hope to your life. God's Word is not crazy, it's not, some of them, "Well, you know, the Bible's 2.000 years old so it's a little behind the times". Oh, really? When they were saying the world was flat for a century or centuries, the Bible was saying all along it was round. When they find things in science, you can often go to the Bible and it said it all along.
Psychology, the one of the greatest psychology books in the planet is the Bible. Which will show you how to handle your mind, your emotions, your thinking, your subconscious areas. It's brilliant. I'm challenging you, fall in love with God's Word all over again. Recognize, you don't need God to show up in heaven and do a miracle. You just need to renew your mind with the Word and things in your life that have been going off in the wrong way will begin to center. You'll find an ability to control the emotions by controlling the mind, by renewing it with God's powerful word. And then you could enjoy your relationships, enjoy God, enjoy life, enjoy what is ahead of you. That's how He has designed you.