Leon Fontaine - A Purpose for Prosperity
There's a story in the Bible that really incapsulate what I'm talking about today and it's about a man named King Asa. King Asa, whichever you wanna pronounce it. He was a great king. Now, God's king, the Israel had been split into two countries at the time of this story. One was called Israel, it had ten other tribes and the other one was called Judah and it had two of the tribes as Asa was over Judah. And Israel was attacking them and building a city to come against them and destroy them, wipe them out. And the Bible says this king was a godly king and he thought of an amazing plan. He hired the Syrians to attack them and while the Syrians were attacking the other country, he can go in and destroy the city that was being built to choke off all trade and to choke off all the prosperity and literally to annihilate them, wipe them out.
It worked really well. The Syrians came in and just harassed Israel. The country Judah prospered. And then a prophet of God came to the king and told him that God had a different plan. And that He wasn't real happy with what he was doing. But you're thinking, "Hello! That was great idea". Rather than lost of all his warriors, rather than have all these widows in his country from fallen soldiers. He just got one enemy Syria to go against another enemy Israel and that's the smartest you can get going. And so because he had a pact with Syria, him and Syria were now in cahoots. And so the prophet came and in this long story the prophet of God basically said, "God had planned on giving you not only Israel but Syria. Now, for years and years and years you will have multiple wars 'cause you did this in your own thinking, in your own strategy. And because of that and you did not seek God's wisdom first, he says, where you could have a phenomenal kingdom with incredible blessing. Now all you've got is one little victory and a whole lot of more battles in your future".
And herein lies the problem with Christians today, with your own wisdom, with your own ability, with the wisdom that you have, the skills that you have, you can go ahead and succeed to a certain degree. But the Bible very clearly says in Ephesians chapter 3 that God has a plan that is exceedingly, abundantly, above everything you ask, everything you think, everything you dream, anything you can imagine. Those are His plans for you. But people instead don't like doing it God's way. They wanna do it their way. To do it God's way is to begin to trust in Him. It's to begin to do things that go against success in our way of thinking. So let's grab another scripture. In James 4:6-7, here's what it says James 4:6-7, "But He, God gives more grace".
Grace is a favor that is unearned. It's just grace is God's ability. It's Holy Spirit, but He's empowering you to do things you haven't earned. You haven't earned them by skill level and you haven't earned them in any way morally. You haven't earned them by God's point systems. Grace is a favor. And the Bible says He gives more grace. Therefore, He says: "God resists the proud and He gives grace, incredible favor to the humble". All right. Let's stop right there. What is humility and what is pride? Now, if you've got a good posture, my grandpa always taught me, you know, stomach in, chest out, shoulders back, walk like a man. Now, when people walk like that though everyone thinks, "I think he's proud". They think pride is a posture. So bad posture is humility. That's crazy.
So what is pride? What is humility? Humility is a God dependence first. Humility is a seeking God first. Humility is doing God's way first. Humility is simple. It's trusting Him rather than your own self strength, your own energy, your own wisdom. Now, you need to use all of those but only secondary to submitting to God. When you submit to God in everything that you do, as a dad you go to Him first, as a mom you want His wisdom first. When you go to finances, when you go to career. What you're gonna do with your life? You go there first. So He gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit to God because when you submit to God, God first, you get incredible favor. Resist the devil and he will flee.
Too many Christians are resisting the devil but never submitting to God. Most Christians they find it harder to submit to God than they do to resist the devil. They'll scream at the devil all day long. We got people who teach intercessory prayer and demonic warfare and kingdom battle lines in this side of the river. They got it so messed up. They haven't got a clue about the new covenant that God has given us. And so we need to submit to God. In this submission to God His grace is incredible, favor gets on our lives. And then the devil just goes, "Hopeless! All I see is a huge cloud of favor around that guy. I can't penetrate the favor for family. The favor for finances. The favor for health. The favor for wisdom. The favor for joy. The favor for peace, favor with people, favor with his enemies, favor with the government, favor with other businesses".
There's not a pleasant thing he can do so he just runs. But if you don't submit to God first, you'll mess with that little sucker all day and all night. You'll never see. It will just be a pain. He hasn't got power but he's just a pain in the butt. And he'll be able to just harass you enough to keep you focus on misbeliefs, to keep you focus on lies. There are number of creeds that had been formed over the centuries. A creed is a statement of what you believed in the Word of God. And so there's a nice Sin Creed. There's an Apostle's Creed. They're beautiful things that have been formed to simplify the entire Bible into a paragraph. Now, remember when you simplify to an entire paragraph, there's a ton of stuff attached there. And the problem with the creeds when study them, is how little they acknowledge Jesus and accent Jesus and bring up Jesus.
And so I like, this is how I like it, a Canadian author put it together this way. If you want to shrink down life today as a believer, a follower of Christ into something that you could say and then flesh out everywhere. It would look like this. Jesus is God with us. Come down to show us God's love, to save us from sin, to set up God's kingdom, to shutdown religion, so we can share in God's life. Ain't that good? Jesus is God with us. Come to show us God's love, to save us from sin, to set up God's kingdom, to shutdown religion, so we can share in God's life. Let's go through real quick because it's a great foundation. Jesus is God. And sometimes people get, I don't get this messed up. But there's way, my Bible doesn't really say that Jesus is God. It's all everywhere. Everywhere. I think he was just a good man. Well, He couldn't be. He's either God or He is a weirdo.
See, I like the things Jesus taught. No, if Jesus was wrong about saying that He was God and that Him and God are one. If He's wrong about that? That major an issue. He's probably wrong about a whole lot of other stuff. So you either got to take it uncompromisingly what Jesus' says is true because the statements He makes that He's the only way, He's the truth, He's the life, no man gets to God except through Him. The things He said, and the lists goes on. He is a weirdo off the charts. You can't, He can't be just a good man, a prophet, or a leader. He is either the Son of God or the craziest lunatic that ever walked out of religion. You can't go both ways. Okay? Jesus is God. And when He came to the planet, He came to show us what God looks like, what God always has been like, and what God always will be like. Jesus is God with us. We call that Emmanuel. He came to show us God's love.
Have you ever wonder anytime you read doctrine in the Bible and you can't quite figure it out? Always ask yourself, would Jesus do this, be like this? And it will help you to get doctrinally correct. Because Jesus is a revelation of God, an exact duplicate, an exact representation the Bible says. If you want to know what God looks like, look at Jesus. When they said, "Then show us God and that's enough". Jesus said, "I'm here". You know the rich young ruler came to Jesus and he said, "Good teacher, what must I do to be saved"? And Jesus said, "No one's good but God. Sell all that you have and give to the poor". Do you why that story is in the Bible? Because he wouldn't call Jesus, Lord. He wouldn't call Jesus, God. He called Jesus a good teacher or he called Him, the term that he used there depending which translation the Bible you read, isn't the term for God. It's a term for a master, a teacher, like that. But he wouldn't call Him.
And so when Jesus, why you're calling me good teacher? Only God is good. That's what he's saying, "I'm good. I'm God". But the guy would not go there. He would not accept Jesus as God like so many religions today. And so Jesus told him, go sell all you have give it to the poor. And he went away sorrowful because money had his heart. Then the disciples got around Jesus, "Well then, who can be saved"? They were Jews. They weren't poor. And how we get this so messed up? When we read the Bible and think the God against your success. He's against the success of your marriage, the success of your health, the success of your emotions, the success of your family. He's against you succeeding all these areas. Hold it. Why we always hate the word success? Listen, successful words are all through the Bible. Everywhere. And until you deal with this, you will struggle in every other area of life.
Now, the Bible teaches us that Matthew 6:24-34, it says here, "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon". Now the word mammon is literally deceitful riches. It's making money your God. Now, nobody here would ever admit that. So let's remove the word God. Let's remove the word idolatry. Let's remove the word love. And let's look at the word we would use today. If you value your money more than God, you have the love of money. If you value your money more than God's Word, more than God's system, more than God's ways. If you do what you do because of your money, more than what God ask you to do. You are a servant to money. The Bible says whoever you obey, to him you are a servant.
So here it's saying you can't serve money and God. It says you can't serve God and mammon, deceitful riches, money, possessions, or whatever is trusted in. Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy, anxious, and worried about your life, what you gonna eat, what you gonna drink, what you gonna put on your body, your clothes, what's the new styles, how much does it cost, what you shall put on. Is not life greater in quality than food, and the body far above and more excellent than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap. They don't work, and they don't have to go plant the seeds to have seeds for lunch. They don't do anything, and they go out there and they eat seeds.
Do you ever say, "Oh, we have a starvation of birds. There's fourth, four million birds' dead all over Canada". I've never heard of that. If He can look after birds, and they don't work for it. They don't toil. They don't plant it. They don't harvest it. He looks after the birds and it goes on to sharing these beautiful examples. Let's keep reading. Look at the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure to his stature or to the span of his life? And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the valley, the field and learn thoroughly how they grow. They don't toil nor spin.
In other words, they don't take wool and spin it to create clothes and then dye it with beautiful colors. And you can't find anything more gorgeous than to go in a really well-done garden and see this incredibly array of colors and smells and textures and leaves that just blow your mind at how beautifully God clothes the flowers of the field. Then He says, "Yet I tell you, Solomon in all his magnificence, his excellence, his dignity, and grace wasn't arrayed, wasn't clothed like just the flowers. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith"?
Can we just stop there? This seems petty to some Christians, but I get tired of messing with them all the time. And if it's in the Bible, I'm gonna teach on it. All right. How beautiful are the flowers? Incredible. How well feed are the birds? They're singing and happy every day. You hear him chirping out your window, nothing more fun and happy than a bunch of birds chirping and making their noise. They're beautiful, flying around. They're not worried. They're not anxious. God provides for them. And then He says, how much more will He do it for you? So if you've got a problem with succeeding, being blessed, prospering, having nice clothes, being able to succeed in life, pay for your kids' university, take them on a holiday further than just your backyard and a pop tent.
If you want to enjoy this world He's created, then you have to change your belief systems. Okay? You gotta recognize, God did not design you put a bunch of gorgeous beaches and then go, "But you can't have them. It's for the sinners". God didn't create beautiful recipes and ingredients and spices that He already knew is there and say, "Listen, there's incredible chefs out there that can make food that will just make your eyeballs get this big. But that's for those who don't follow Christ, for the rest of you it's MacDonald's". Like really? Is that the kind of God we served? Now, nowhere in the Bible does it say that. But yet religion, religion will say that every time. Oh, they have no problem after they knock prosperity asking for an offering.
I don't know how they're gonna get an offering from a bunch of poor people that will ever help them reach out to the kingdom of God. God told me years ago that as I taught the Word, He would surround me with men and women who are phenomenal business leaders. Who would go out and recognize the power of money, make it in huge amount and do it God's way and then funnel into the kingdom because that's what the purpose of money is. The purpose of money is not to get bored with your car and get another one, bored with your house and get two, bored with your house and get a cabin. You get bored and get fourth apartment and a fifth condo and a sixth condo. Then one in this city. I just don't know what to do with my money, so I just keep spending it on me.
Now, that's wrong. The Bible says you seek first the kingdom of God. There's a purpose to prosperity and the purpose of prosperity is to help others. The Bible says especially the household of faith. But people today, they'll come to church and just treat the offering as though, "Who wants to give an offering like it goes to the pastor". Oh, as if it does. The government doesn't even allow that. Okay? I don't even have signing authority on the money in this church. It goes before a board and great CFO's and people are trained in money. But people just wanna look for an excuse not to give. Until you understand God system and seek the kingdom first. You will always, you almost had to get to a place like this where you go, "Fed up". I'm fed up with the rat race of barely getting by, banging my head against the wall, trying to get ahead, one step forward two-steps back, two steps forward one step back.
And if you think money is the only thing I'm talking about. You're wrong. I've got a ton of people in my world who have money and they're so not successful with their mind, their emotions, their family, their home, their health, their friends. Success is not money. Money is just a skill. Money is just a tool. Money follows. If money is not following you and coming into your world. There's something wrong in how you're looking at the kingdom. Because Jesus came and one of the four things I showed you to establish a kingdom. So if you continue down this God looks after flowers. God looks after birds. And He's gonna look after you better than the flowers and better than the birds. It all comes down to this statement. And here is where 96% of the Christians in our church don't believe this. I'll show you how I know that.
So 96% of the Christians don't follow this. Here's what it says, "But seek at, aim, strive after first of all His kingdom and His righteousness which is His way of doing things, His way of being right". And then all these things taught about in this chapter taken together will flow into your world. I made a decision at 12 years of age. I would seek first the kingdom for health, first the kingdom. For prosperity I would seek first the kingdom. And when you go first, like now if I ever get sick or things push against me my first thought isn't Advil, doctors, or hospitals. That's my second thought. I haven't a problem with them. I'm just gonna go to God first because vast majority of the time I deal with it there and I get a healing. I get a miracle. And if I don't, I'm gonna go see my friends who attend here, who are doctors and nurses and surgeons and herbalist and chiropractor.
There's different discipline. I have no problem stating and saying, "Oh, what I wanna do"? I don't have a problem getting help. The devil didn't give all this knowledge to us to straighten up spines and massage muscles and get herbs and help you up. Really? No. So all of this stuff if it's correct, is a God thing. But I'm gonna seek God first. Everything that goes wrong with my body I pray about. And even it goes wrong in my marriage or in a relationship, I just use God's wisdom, pray for them and use what He says to make that relationship work. I have no problem going for counseling. If I need to go see a professional counselor, I will do it in a second. I have no problem with that. But I'm not going their first. I'm seeking the kingdom first.
Now, the same is true for finances. In finances what we do is we create a budget or most don't create a budget. We just look at our money, then go, ahh. And I can't afford to give any work. We gotta hang on to it. And we don't give to God, so we immediately shutdown the most crucial part of seeking the kingdom in the area of career and finances. Which is the purpose of your career was to get you into the world where you can be an example of God's love. Where you can show how that He dealt with sin. Where they can show, see the kingdom of God at work in you and where they'll be attracted. And then when you come to a life-giving church like this, it is your giving that causes us to be able to go and reach cities, to reach countries. It's amazing to me how many people who watch a church begin to prosper. And then in some point they'd rather be a big fish in a little pond, go help another church that's starting up because there I could be recognized more or others wanna go find a church that's gonna look after them better. They got bigger gymnasiums, better schools, better this. And they lose the focus on it.
If you seek first the kingdom, then what church are you called to, what pastor are you called to is actually what you look at, not the building, not the denomination. What pastor is feeding me, equipping me, and then leading me and showing me how to be a warrior for Christ, like a king's kid to rise up and go do great things for God. So to seek first the kingdom of God is to seek first His way of doing it, and to seek first how to be right, righteous. You are righteous because of Jesus. It's not enough to just be righteous and not do it the right way. And so as we continue in this series talking about success in life, success in career, and every area. But I'm gonna focus on career and finance. You'll find that the one thing you have to do is you have to die to the fear of lack.