Leon Fontaine - The Power of WHY
You know, the why of our lives is really important. Sometimes we keep doing what we think we should be doing. So what are you doing today? What are you doing tomorrow? What are you doing next week? What are you doing next month? What are you doing here? What you doing there? And the what just keeps us busy and often, we forget to ask ourselves why. And you know, when you think about church, you think about Jesus. You think about God. There's a big why do we do that? Now, you know me, I've got a bit of a side. I've got a bit of an edge today just so you know. Religion sucks. I mean, if church isn't building us up, if church isn't making you feel better about the future, bringing hope, then it's not church because the Gospel means good news. If you ever hear bad news, it's not Gospel. Gospel is good news.
And so, today, as we dive into our topic, I want you to remember the purpose for church is to understand who God is, to understand who you are. To be encouraged. To make sure that you know that there's a whole room full of people here today who want to live their lives that has purpose and meaning. Want to solve problems in relationships and understand some of the things that are stumping them and I believe and I know that God wants to work in our lives. I was on a plane with somebody one time and he was a very cerebral smart guy. He had studied world religions. He was really into science and as we got talking about beliefs and so, he started, he found out I was a Christian. Whenever people ask me, "What do you do"? I never tell them I'm a pastor because it freaks them out. I mean their beer goes behind their backs and the cigarette goes out over here and they try to think if they told me any dirty jokes and so I just tell them I run a television station. That's the truth, too. So it puts them at ease.
So, we started talking about our beliefs and he said "What do you believe"? I said, "You know," I said, "I believe and I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. I struggle with saying Christian sometimes because everyone that says they're a Christian out there can be a real pain. I followed Jesus and yes, I do. I have a blister on belief in the Bible. And he says, "So, really". So like, then I struggle with that. I said what do you mean? So you believe that like, a virgin had Jesus. And I said yeah. So you believe that a guy got like, swallowed by a whale for three days and lives. And I said yeah. And he goes, "Dude, that's a reach". I said, "Let me ask you a question". You think that's major? How do you explain the fact that we know through our telescopes and all these brilliant minds out there that the universe is expanding at the speed of light and that new suns and planets are being made"?
I said, explain that one. I said, nobody can. I said, any of the sciences that study anything on the planet, they don't even know what to think. They'll study one insect like a bee and at first, they said it can't fly. It's not aerodynamic. It's not gonna work. Then where does it's nature come from? How does it know this? How does it do that? I mean, they study atoms. Now, we've got subatomic particles. From subatomic particles, it actually has a world that gets smaller and smaller and smaller beyond belief. I said, "This world is so phenomenal with the miraculous, you got a problem with just a whale swallowing a guy"? And you see him just thinking. And I said, "But you know, instead of examining my faith, what is it you believe"? Well, you know, I'm not really sure.
See, it's easy to attack someone else's beliefs. So let's forget about mine. What's your belief? Well, you know, I really don't know. What's your leaning? What are you thinking when you take a look at the world, a family, the human brain? You know, when you think about each individual animal and how it works and the ecosystem? Where do they all come from? Now you know. I guess I tend to think that the earth got seeded. Well, that's the belief that from somewhere, in another far galaxy that a spaceship came here and put people on the planet. I said, "Dude, for all your degrees, that's crazier than the stuff you think I believe! You got a spaceship coming from another galaxy putting people. Where did that spaceship come from? Where did those people come from? Where did that planet come from? Where did that"?
And so you can see, and any time someone struggles with your beliefs, just ask them what they believe and you can get a chuckle like they get a chuckle on yours. You'll get a chuckle on theirs. And so, the Bible is a phenomenal book. It's one of the books that have stood the rest of time on so many topics. So today, as we look at Holy Spirit, I want you to be very aware as a Christian that you're not designed to live life under the burden that everyone else without Christ lives. His presence is in you to help you in business, to help you in relationships. It's the presence of God on our lives that doesn't make us weird and spiritual. We're all spiritual. We are spirits. It makes us good at what we do. It brings us strength.
The book of Hebrews is about this. There are two agreements with God in the Bible. In the old agreement, it is before the cross of Jesus and he had promises and God looked after His people in the Old Testament. Once Jesus died on the cross, he created by dying for you and I, paying the price for our sins and for having us accepted into God's family, we have a new agreement which is the new covenant or the New Testament. So in Hebrews, it says repeated, like in Hebrews 8:6 that the new agreement that you and I have with God is better than the old agreement and that we've got better promises, it works better.
And so, today, I thought I'm gonna look at a few of the things from the Old Testament as to how God looked after His people so that you can realize it's better in this new agreement. Because a lot of the cerebral Christians that have, you know, doctorates of divinity and they read the Bible frontwards and backwards and they all argue about doctrine. Many of them don't have a relationship with God and we've got to understand that out of relationship is where you learn the most. Would you ever take advice from a single person on your marriage issues? If you do, you're not too smart because anybody could write a book. Go live with somebody for years and make it work.
Now I wanna hear what you're gonna talk about. I read a book about raising kids and it was just, it had some great stuff. They regurgitated a bunch of stuff here and there. Then I found out the person had never had kids. And it just changed my look at things because I thought, "You don't know what it's like to walk the floors night after night with a little three-month-old with a fever. You don't know what it is to help form that little three-year-old's thinking and psyche as they find out they've got a will or that 13-year-old". I said, "Until you've walked these things out and had to take the principles and make them work, you have no ability to really teach and to understand. You can regurgitate principles but the things that really help, that they're not really there.
And so, when we go back into the Old Testament and we see how God worked for His people there, we get a better look at He's gonna do better, further, bigger today in our world. Now, one of the stories I love about the Bible is in 1 Corinthians 10:1-6. It teaches us that the things in the Old Testament, the stories are there to show us how to believe, to show us how to find our way today. And so, in the Old Testament, it talks about miracles of protection. You know, when you read the Exodus which is one of the best-known stories around the world where Moses came in to a ground of slaves and led them out of Egypt into Canaan which was called the Promised Land. It took them 40 years of wandering in the dessert and the miracles that happened like cloud. There was a cloud by day to protect the babies. How would you ever spend 40 years in the dessert with babies and toddlers and seniors and those, the sun would fry you to a crisp. But the Bible says there was a cloud by day. And then there was a pillar of fire by night.
Let's just think about this for a minute. You wanna blow your mind. How big of a cloud would it have to be to protect two million people? Well, that would be the greater Calgary area. I mean, how big is it? And that cloud would have to protect the moms, the parents, the grandparents, the babies, the toddlers from that brutal sun. And then at night time when there's no humidity, you can't hang on to heat so it gets cold in the dessert. And then when it's that cold, what do you do? Where are you gonna find wood for two million people? Okay. Pretty hard thing to do. So the Bible says there was a pillar of fire and that when the cloud or the pillar of fire moved that that would be God leading them and directing them. I'm not talking about a little big flick in front of Moses' tent that would move. I'm talking about a, how do you throw heat onto two million people the size of Calgary? What kind of a radiant pillar of fire would there have to be?
When you begin to look at the miracles in the Bible, they're stunning. When you look at some of the stories like in 2 Samuel 23:9 where it's a story of Eliezer who was a warrior and he was fighting a battle to protect his kids, his home, his family, and the whole army ran and he refused to run. And the incident says that his hand cramped around the sword and he wouldn't quit because he knew that promises of God and he kept fighting and fighting until he won the battle. One guy. We're not talking Arnold Schwarzenegger who could outfight everybody. The Bible says later on in verse 10 of 2 Samuel 23 that God brought a victory through this man. So God protects. God provides. He does it through us. He does it for us. Did you know that the presence of God isn't just to be in church?
We all go to church and we swing from chandeliers. Hallelujah, praise the Lord. And then we go back into the world the way we were before. We've got this all backwards. No. Really, Holy Spirit's job is to work on each of us and to help us in every area. There is a man named Bezalel in the Bible. The Bible says he was filled with the spirit of God. And you know what it did to him? It made him the most brilliant man working in the arts with designing gold and silver, precious gems. He was an artist or renown. It makes wonder what kind of artifacts might be in museums today that are going in awe. It came from there. This man apparently could work with buildings and designs that blew them away. It's the presence of God on our lives that doesn't make us weird and spiritual. We're all spiritual. We are spirits. It makes us good at what we do. It brings us strength. It brings us a sense of career, a sense of skill.
The Bible says that Holy Spirit would work on people for everything. When it comes to leadership in 1 Samuel 16. It takes about King David and his leadership. That this guy was a warrior bar none that men loved following this man because there was a sense of him of get up and God's gonna see us through. Along comes Solomon, his son, and the Bible says the presence of God was on David to lead a nation. It was on Solomon and he took the nation of Israel from this little group of former slaves into something that the whole then-known world was in awe as the wealth and the strength of this country rose because of the leadership and the Bible says God's presence was upon them. If in the Old Testament, God's presence was upon great leaders and families for protection, for healing. If you know the Old Testament even a little, you'll know whether it was David and Goliath protecting their families from a giant. Whether it was the healing of Elisha bringing and Elijah. The miracles of the Old Testament show us God wants to get involved in our lives. In the New Testament, it's a better covenant with better promises and it's all better.
So why has the church backed away from the help that God wants to provide? Why do we have doctrines that are so limiting? Like one of the things that's one of my pet peeves is all the end-times doctrines out there. You know, that the world's gonna end and Jesus is coming back. The rapture says we're all gonna disappear. When Jesus comes back, he's gonna rescue us from this world of woe because the devil's gonna be making it worse and worse. Well, I thought that on the cross, Jesus died for us sins, defeated the enemy so the church of Jesus can rise up and influence nations? And out of the teaching of Christ and being born again that leaders rise up, that love people, that know how to lead, in every area from the arts to politics, etcetera. The church has literally abandoned what we have, what God's called us to, and when you begin to look at the Old Testament and you see all the miracles that take place as God shows His people, "I'm with you".
And these miracles aren't just miracles that are religious. They're miracles of fighting in war. Did you know that there's books that I've read, article after article of unique miracles that took place in World War II as the allies would fight? And for some reason, under crazy odds, they would win. Why? Because people were praying. People cared and He didn't want people being killed like the Nazis and Hitler was doing. And so, the prayers of God's people, miracles happened. When you study history, you'll find miracles and things that, why has the church, why are churches places where you go to get a beating? You go to get whipped? You go to get told you're a sinner. You're good for nothing. Why does God even love you? Repent, you dirty, rotten thing. You're going to hell. And this negative thing that harasses people rather than saying this is where God wants you to live.
This is where God wants your relationships to be. He wants to move through you and for you and find out your skills and your gifts and he wants to be within you and help you and when things attack you, you can rely upon the fact that somehow some way through you or through someone else that there's a confidence that you will make it through. You will see it to the other side. This confidence in God, this ability to recognize that He's on our side. It begins to build a trust in Him. Other than that, most Christians in many denominations just believe the world's gonna get worse and worse and before it gets too bad and going to hell in a hand basket, Jesus is gonna come rescue us. And we got the harlot, the end times, and the anti-Christ and the false prophet and then in all this, I'm going, "Okay, you better reread your Bible because he's coming back for a glorious church without spot or wrinkle".
A church who knows who their God is. A church who's learned to work with Holy Spirit. We need to do life with Holy Spirit. He's here working with us. If you're a believer he's on the inside of you. In closing, I wanna take you to a portion of Scripture in Galatians 5:19-26. And it says here this. I'll read this one to you then we'll talk about it for a few minutes. It says, "Now the worlds of the flesh". When you see the word "flesh" in the Bible, it means, it's not talking about a nature. It's just talking about the desires that this world has and how it goes bad. So the works of the flesh are evident which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissentions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries in the like of which I tell you beforehand, just I told you in times past, those, practice such things won't inherit the kingdom of God but the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
In the new covenant because Jesus died on the cross for you and he took your sin, my sin. Not only do we have Holy Spirit who can work for us in our giftings, through us in our callings, upon us to protect, etcetera. Today, he comes within our human spirit and the Bible says that there's a fruit that grows within your life. It's not a matter of you gaining more will power. It's saying that love, joy, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Let's pick on self-control to show you what I mean. In the old covenant, before Jesus came and remade and gave us his presence, his joy, his power, self-control was a thing of the will. It was of the mind.
If you were a person who had self-control, you had a strong mind and you would control yourself with urges that could destroy you, your family, your marriage, your home. And so, you had to have self-control. It was a fruit of the mind. But the Bible says after you've given your life to Christ that self-control which is just one of the nine things that grows from within that it would be a fruit of your spirit. Now, you'd still need to learn to exert your will but there would be such a strength within you that the fruit of self-control would grow. In other words, the presence of God gives you this self-control. Jesus said, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light".
Many Christians go, "Living the Christian life is so hard". Well then, you are back in self-control from the mind. It's your reasoning. It's your strength. It's your head. But you know, there's two kinds of knowledge. There's sense knowledge which is all the sciences from, and our five senses but then there's revelation knowledge where there's a sensing and a knowing on the inside. That sense knowledge will never prove and it's called revelation knowledge. It's where you find that you love someone. It's where you believe in things that are outside of things science can grab. The presence of God within you begins to bring a joy, it begins to bring a peace, and this peace and this joy is not because your life has been put together. It's because despite the attacks, the messes, the problems that you're working with, there's an inner peace.
That is a fruit. Now fruit grows. You don't see, they'll put up an apple tree and put an apple seed in the ground and all of a sudden the tree goes, bang! There's 10.000 apples. No, it grows. And what grows, it is by renewing your mind in the Word. By fellowshipping with Holy Spirit. A prayer time is not a time of begging, bugging or pleading with God. It's a time of talking with Him.