Leon Fontaine - The Rudder of Life
People don't realize the greatest enemy to faith is not doubt. The greatest enemy to faith is not fear. The greatest enemy to faith is mental assent. Oh, good one. Yeah, I knew that. Good reminder. Thanks, pastor. In other words, they agree with it mentally, but they can't get it to work spiritually. They've heard it before, but they've never done what it takes to connect with God's Word and begin to speak it. I don't know if you understand the power of your words on your life and how people around you treat you, how money treats you, how health treats you, how peace treats you, how joy treats you, how success treats you. Everything in your world treats you based on your mouth. The Bible says life and death are in the power of the tongue. The Bible teaches us repeatedly that the words that you speak are so powerful that by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.
And a bunch of people think that's talking about when you get to heaven. As if when you go to heaven, and if you get to live to be 90, God's gonna run through all your words of every month, of every year. Really? No, He's telling you that instantly there's a condemnation. You start speaking word and every word has an effect on you. Both the words that are positive and the words that are negative are affecting your life. Now, I'm not saying that where you are today, it's because of your words. But I'm telling you where you are today can be changed because of your words. Maybe you couldn't control who you were born to. You couldn't control what happened to you when you were a child. You couldn't control the color of your hair, your skin, whether you were born completely healthy or a few problems. Maybe you couldn't control some of those things and you couldn't.
So, but what I'm saying now, is that the Bible teaches us who is going to steer your life. Who's gonna steer your life now? Well, a lot of Christians believed the devil. Devil's blamed for everything. He is to blame. And we talk about him so much he's like this incredibly powerful person. Yet, the Bible says he's powerless and Jesus stripped him of all his power. Or others think you've gotta convinced God. Every prayer is trying to convince God, as though God is in control of the miracles. Why didn't God help me with my business? Why didn't God heal my brother? You always thought it up. That's Old Testament. God's not doing the choosing anymore. He's not? No. God does not decide which prayer to answer here. Let's pretend I'm God. Good thing I'm not.
So you're all praying for something. And I go, "Well, I think bald-headed guys looked cool, give all the bald guys their answers. That's cool. I don't like too tall, so nix all the tall guys. They don't get their answers to prayer. No, God's not going, "They have faith. Not enough faith. Just about there! Not there. You get it. Not you. You? Yes! Not a chance". Really? He's doing seven billion answers to prayer by the whole world that's praying, and He's saying, "Yes. No. Maybe. Yes. No. Maybe. No. No. Yes. Yes. Yes. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe". Not a chance. The New Testament doesn't even teach that. It shocks Christians. I say, "Well, who's gonna steer your life? Who's gonna decide the directions your life goes in? Who's gonna decide what comes your way"? Well, the Bible very clearly teaches that you can, if you'd like.
Now, I wanna talk about the power of every word that comes out of your mouth and the two things that it does. You see, you are to take God's Word and you're to find the promises in God's Word and you are to speak them. And the speaking of God's Word you are creating the boundaries or lifting the boundaries on your life. I'll give you a really simple example. If you just say, "Well, you know, I'm not really that smart like, I didn't really finish Grade-12. And so, you know, I fall asleep when I read the Bible". And so, you know, you've already created the boundaries. So you're not smart, so you can't be blessed. Your walk with Christ isn't gonna grow. Your words are so powerful and with you wanna change anything in your life.
See, some people think God's decided the level of success you're gonna have. You are sixty-thousand-dollar person, twenty-five, two million. You can have five kids. Zippo. You can have three. Where do we get this from? Really? The Bible says God is no respecter of persons. In other words, what He'll do for one, He'll do for another. So we've gotta relooked at our Pentecostal roots, our spirit-filled roots, where we keep praying to God an intercessory prayer. Wow, intercessory prayer was big like about a decade or two ago. And we're gonna intercede the demons out of this side of the river and it gonna release the presence of God. The presence of God was released 2.000 years ago. 2.000 years ago!
It says in Acts 2:17, and it is talking about what the prophet Joel said that in these last days I'm gonna pour my, I have poured my spirit out upon all flesh. Sons, daughters, everyone. God's presence is not not somewhere. In fact, he goes on to say you can't go anywhere where God's presence isn't. You can go to deepest forest. You can go to the bottom of the ocean. You can go to hell. You can't remove God's presence from places. He's everywhere. And so, to think that we'll, we gotta pray God into the situation. That sounds good. We gotta pray God into the situation. Oh, why did God remove Himself from that situation? Is He just voiding your block? Is He just not on main street? Like, where do we get this stuff?
The Bible teaches us, instead of all this other spiritual gobbledygook, to pray the Word. And when you pray the Word, the Word does two things. It first changes the beliefs of your heart. It next moves out of your mouth and it changes the things in your life. People who learned about confession from the faith message years ago. You know, that they try confession, but it didn't work for them. They just stop doing it because, "Oh, I try that. It didn't work". Well, that's because you don't understand there are two steps to confession. The first is you get your heart to believe it.
Now, you say, "Well, pastor, I don't know what my heart believes". I know what your heart believes. You do? Yeah. Your heart believes everything that you've got now. It believes it. It doesn't mean you taught yourself. It could have been your parents teaching you that. It could have been the way you grow up. It could have been the traumas that happened to you. But wherever you are today, whatever you can't do and can do are the beliefs that are there. The Bible clearly says that in Matthew chapter 12 and it's saying to you and I, that if you are in pain, if you are in a good time, if you are in a bad time. That if you wanna steer your life towards health, success, then you gotta break free from the doldrums.
You know, there's this awful place years ago when ships would sail. Where it would be calm you could be stuck on the open ocean for days and sometimes weeks. Where there would be no wind blowing. And you could almost starve if they didn't have enough food and stuff on placed. There's nothing happening. It remains me of some Christians lives, nothing changes. Same old, same old. Yeah, you were that way 10 years. Yeah, same old stuff 10 years ago. Yeah, it's gonna be new year for you of the same old stuff. Yeah, I wish God would hurry up and change stuff. The seconds you say that, it shows me you don't know new covenant.
The Bible says in Peter, God's given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. So how do we pray? Well, we can beg, bug, and plead or we can pray God's Word. And when we pray God's Word, we begin to use the authority that God has given us. And the Bible says in Proverbs 4:19-25, that you begin to change the boundaries, the forces in your life. There's somebody here right now and it's like a force to depression in your life. You wake up and you go to bed and it's just kind of like, yuck. Somebody else is so cynical, they're almost ready to give up on God because nothing seems to work for you. You've tried this, and you've tried that. And you gotta recognize, that until you begin to pray the Word of God, begin to just speak His Word. That is when you begin to take control.
There's an incredible verse I want to show you in James. That we look at, but we sometimes don't dive in deep enough to have it changed us. All right, James chapter 3, and read when you go home verses 2 to 12. Here's what it says here. It says the tongue is like a fire and it's hard to control your tongue going, any area. And you'll find that you want to say negative stuff all the time. How are you? "That's a lousy day". How you feel? "I feel just yuck". There's something about the flesh, the carnal us, that just wants to say negative, wants to complain, wants to murmur. And it's so powerful that when you say these things, you're not just saying what you've got. You're declaring where you're going, because words determined where you go even if words are focused on what you've got. Because the Bible says faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
So your words are declaring your future. And the words that come out of your mouth are attracting some forces into your life, releasing some forces in your life. So if you keep saying what you've got, which is murmuring and complaining. The Bible says that is such as evil to murmur and complain because it ratchets into your life more of what you've got. That is why when you pray the Word of God, your mouth is not a thermometer, your mouth is a thermostat. Do put your hands up of how many men have the battle of the thermostat with their wives. Some people think that if you turn the thermostat up higher it makes it cool down quicker, you know. And then you realized, no, it's thermostatically set. You set it on a number and it just goes to work until it gets there. Your mouth is literally, as you begin to speak, if you don't recognize that your mouth is determining your future. You will live your life like Groundhog Day.
How many saw the movie, "Groundhog Day"? Where this poor guy had to relive one day of his life all the time, over and over and over until he got it right. Well, some people go through life not much changes. What I wanna challenge you is this. If study the words of Jesus, you'll notice He was very careful with what He said. Now, God spoke His power. When you go to Genesis chapter 1 and the Bible doesn't say God slapped His hands and He created light. No, it says the Spirit of God was, Holy Spirit was hovering on the waters and God spoke and then light came into existence.
Now, out of intercession prayer people think that you gotta get the Spirit of God hovering again. And I just showed you, no. And it says in Acts 2:17 that the Spirit of God's been released. The Spirit of God is hovering right now over your body. It's hovering right now over your kids, hovering right now over your job, hovering right now over your mind. But it's the words that you speak that give it the catalyst to do what they do, because God has given you the authority over you. One of the hardest things for a person who stays in their carnal mind to do, is to begin to say what they desire rather than to say where they are. There's something about us as humans. And it says in Romans 8:5 and on, it says, to be carnally minded.
Now, we always think carnal mind means to think about sex. No. The carnal mind just means to be locked into your physical ability. When you keep thinking about your own ability and what you can do. It's death. It will be death to your marriage, death to your health, death to your finances. But to be spiritually minded is life and peace, meaning that you begin to put the principles into place, that God's Word says. And I'm telling you, it will change everything. You begin to lift the boundaries. Some of you might have been praying for years or maybe you've been in the same place in a certain area of your marriage, your health, your finances. Until you begin to speak.
It says in James chapter 3, the tongue is so powerful, that if you put a bit in a huge horse's mouth, that you can control his body wherever you want. Just put a bit in his mouth, control his mouth, his tongue, and you can put that horse anywhere you want. I don't know if you've ever seen this movie when they've got a ship in the ocean. And this ocean is huge and rolling and I mean, the ship could be, I don't know, four, five hundred meters long. I don't know how big they make them now, but they're like incredibly huge. And you see them in the ocean and they're down in the trap of the waves and they looked like a little speck.
You think, "Woo, that's an amazing storm". But the Bible says that it's not the storm that puts that ship where it wants to go. It's that compared to the storm, it's this little rudder at the back of the boat and it determines where it's going. Storms don't decide where you go. Situations don't decide where you go. The Bible says your tongue is the rudder of your life. As clear as can be, the book of James is teaching us, what are you saying about your life?
When I was 18 years old, you teenagers that are here. I got a hold and I began to realize I needed to begin to declare with my mouth what I was gonna live my life like. I began to declare and pray over who I was gonna marry. I began to declare and pray what kind of life I was gonna have. When we got married, Sally and I, we got a hold to the worry and we realized confession was so powerful. And so we'd always try to help each other. You know, if you say something negative, I'll stop you. And if I say negative, you stop me. And we spend a year or two just trying to help each other. Okay, I'm not agreeing on that in Jesus name.
You know, just trying to realize, "Okay, those words are poisoning our lives". And we would agree that our finances are blessed. When we began to have children, we didn't wait for them to be born. We didn't even wait, we began to just speak the word, our children will be healthy, our children will be whole, our children will walk in blessing. I thank you right now. And as they began to grow, began to pray with their marriage. That they're gonna marry somebody that's gonna be a blessing to them and they're gonna serve God. And we began to find promises in the Word that we would speak it.
I remember when she was pregnant we both put our hands on top of that tummy and we just speak right through that kid. You better speak up. You better speak out. You better speak at. 'Cause if you're not, you're gonna go into default. Default you don't want. That's just the typical worldly life. But as a born again believer with Jesus Christ on the inside, you get to pick the future you've got. You might not have been able to pick what's happened in the past when you were a baby, a child, where you were born, what happened to you. But now that you're hearing the truth to God's Word. You can make a decision today. I will not live the way things are going right now. Find a promise in God's Word and begin to declare. Begin to declare it.
I remember at the time when we were living in this little house. I often joke about it. We had to drop your pants and back in because the bathroom was so small. But we'd already began to declare the prosperity was ours and the blessing of God was ours. I remember one time a few years into pastoring. The church was growing large, then we had five children. Zach was born the year we came to Springs. And I was the only pastor until about almost 2.000 people and I was so burnt. I ended up in the hospital twice and they couldn't find anything wrong with me. And, but I knew that inside there was something wrong. That I had worked myself to exhaustion. That I had carrying too much of a load. That I need to figure out how to equip and train and put in systems and structures which we did.
And I remember having to take a hold of God's Word, 'cause when people usually burned out, they're finished. They're just done. And I knew that I was physically burn out. I was laying in that hospital so sick. I remember my dad. He was alive. He walked into that room. He just looked at me and he said, "What's going on"? I said, "I don't know. They can't really tell me if there's anything wrong with me". "What's wrong with you"? I said, and I just told them my symptoms. I'm just so tired. I can hardly lift my hands off this bed. I feel so sick. I don't want food. My head as if there was-, He slapped his palm in the middle of my chest and he just started speaking so loud. I think they heard him down the hall.
As he prayed over me and he just told me. He says, "You, that's the enemy. You get up and refresh to God". I forget all the words, but he just literally ministered to me. And I recognized from that point, I began to speak God's Word. I began to declare. And we began to pray together, declare where this church was going, what we're gonna do. Praying that people were gonna come from the north, the south, the east, the west. Believing together, Sally and I, that the prosperity will be upon our lives, upon the church life. When we wanted the new building, we'd agreed. And as we began, it wasn't just the agreeing as in a onetime prayer. We agree together. Thank You, Jesus. Amen. No, no, no. We'd get up and when I say, "Well, you know, the money is not quite coming in".
I say, "Father, I wanna thank You, right now. The blessing of the Lord is upon this church in the name of Jesus. And no weapon form against us is gonna prosper. And I thank You this church rides upon the high places of the earth. I thank You right now, we're the head and not the tail. I thank You right now". And any promise I could find, I would speak it over. Whenever we would deal with sickness or disease in our home. I would just find God's Word and we would just speak it together. It was funny 'cause our kids grew up like this. When they could hardly talk, they learned this little prayer. Pain go, healing flow. Jesus name, amen. When they could first talk that was their prayer.
I remember one time they get camp, and I think Zachary was two or three and he's boggy in through the kitchen. Now the kitchen had that swinging door when we used to go, I forget which camp we run as a church. And so he's blasting through the kitchen. The swinging door comes open. He goes straight into the door head first, falls on his back and he goes like this, "Pain go, healing flow. Jesus name, amen". Pop rights back up and runs down the hall. They just believed. I remember one time one of the kids fell and got hurt. And so grandpa picks him up and he's kissing. And he loved to hug and kiss his grand, he kissed, trying to kiss it better and the kid says, "No, grandpa. Pray". Our kids can know the Word, know the promises of God, believe for health, believe for healing.
What are you saying with your mouth? Your mouth is the thermometer that is setting the temperature on your life and the enemy wants you to shut up. He wants you to be quiet. He wants you to stop declaring the life that you desire. He wants you to stop disagreeing. When the devil rises up, speak back, speak up, speak out, speak at. Don't be quiet in your prayer time, wherever you are and when you're in public. If someone starts rising up, speak up for God, speak up for His house. Let's not be the silent people who walk around going, "Well, the Lord giveth, then the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. I guess it was his time". Where is that in the Bible? Bible says in Psalm 91 with long life.
Yes, we know all of us have lost things. All of us have failed at some area where we've lost something we've loved. But we're not gonna change our doctrines because we had our failure. We're gonna get up and we're gonna continue to declare the kind of future that's ahead of us. If you don't decide now by beginning to speak what kind of financial future you're gonna have. You're gonna have money wagging you the entire life. If you don't to be determined right now, that we're gonna prosper so much. I'm gonna give God the 90 and live off the 10% highly favored and blessed and prosperous. What do you want for your future financially? "I thought I'd wait and see". Not. If you wait and see, the world's gonna give you what you don't want. Speak up. Speak out. Speak at the problem. Speak at the mountains. Speak at the disease. Speak at the poverty. Speak at the mouths that rise against you. Speak at what the enemy's trying to do. And speak up for people. Speak out. Like, let's take God's Word and begin to declare it.
All through the Word, you'll hear words like prophecy. Did you know, the prophecy in the New Testament is you declaring your future? What kind of marriage you want? "Well, you know". Oh, don't give me that. You're gonna have that kind of marriage that you're speaking about, that you're declaring. The Bible says that you can be so blessed that into your old age you're gonna be blessed, happy, and rejoicing. Knowing God's peace, knowing God's blessing, and for generations, kids, grandkids, great, great, grandkids. "Well, does it say that"? Well, you should know because if you're not reading. You know, you had a rich uncle Barnabas who just died, and they phoned you. "Hey, Leon". Yeah. "Your rich uncle Barnabas just died". Really? I didn't even know I had an uncle Barnabas. "No, billionaire"! No way! Billionaire? "Yeah, you're in the will". Get out! "Yeah, you better read through it. It's only you and the few others. So we'll gonna send you a copy".
So I get this will. Let's say it's three times as thick as the Bible. Do you think I'm gonna read it? You better believe I'm gonna read it. I wanna find out what he left me. Yet, we treat the Bible like something that's trying to withhold us from having fun. Yet, in understanding of the Bible as understanding of the Old Testament and all the failures and what the law is saying. And the understanding of Jesus and His promises, will give you an understanding of your inheritance and who you are. I have good news. The good news is, there is no one standing between you and an amazing future, no one.