Leon Fontaine - Be Stressed or Be Bigger
We live in a world, I'm gonna title this message first of all, you're either going to be stressed or you're gonna be bigger. And I want you to take a look at this. It sounds like it's crazy but I wanna show you something in the Word because we live in a generation that when our lives begin to be stressed, we begin to back off. When our lives begin to be stressed, we start cancelling things in our life. It might be, you know, church. A lot of people as soon as their life gets too busy, they stop going to church.
You know our family changed to sleeping time together. I'm going: Lady, are you crazy? Like, your kids need to be taught the Word. You need to get the Word of God on the inside of you, at the church is where you get a chance to be with the family of God, being planted in the house of God is crucial. But they'll just start, volunteering goes. If they're stressed out financially, their giving stops. We tend to take out the spiritually crucial parts of our life first. And then we'll even start backing off of our jobs, our careers because we're stressed, we're maxed. And we just feel like, "Okay, we just gotta take it easy now". But actually, the opposite is true.
Now in the first service, I did the first part of this. I'm gonna do a three-part series today on the stress of your life and why people interpret it wrong and why they do wrong things and they choke their life off. Life is almost, it can be compared to a standard three on the three. When I got my license, I started on a Strato Chief, Pontiac Strato Chief, three on the three. Clutch in, first gear, second gear, third gear, fourth. Oh, third gear. There's only three gears. But when that engine is at its most stressed is when it's about to shift gears and go twice as fast at half the RPMs. So you're in the car. You're in first gear. The car is going, RPM is going higher. And you know that the pistons are going crazy under there and if you do not shift gear, things gonna breakdown, smokes gonna come up from the hood.
That engine is designed to go way faster. In fact, you're in first gear and you're convinced these motors convinced it cannot go any faster. But something amazing takes place. The clutch goes in, you pull into second and it goes and at, it's going twice as fast. Until second gear's going and it's just rpming out and you're going, "Ah, I'm so stressed this is as fast it can go. I can't handle the RPM. This is crazy. Then as soon as the clutch in, third gear and you're going three, four, five times faster than you were in first gear. When you live in life and things are stressed, then you're maxed, and you don't think you can handle another thing be careful because you start quitting and backing out, you'll miss destiny. You'll miss the call of God on your life. Do not think you have to back off and quit because there are unlimited gears.
In the first service, I unpacked a little bit about how do you handle stress. And instead of backing off and just maintaining, you begin to go through the gear shift. And so I wanna encourage you this, get a hold that first service after this service. I wanna go straight into our second session about the Christian life getting bigger. For some reason Christianity in our world almost has people thinking that if you're Christian, you just kind of stay dumb till He comes. You just stay poor. We're just kind of the salt of the earth. We're just down-home good people. You know we're not CEO's or presidents or prime ministers or members of parliament. And it's all wrong. The very definition of faith requires you to think bigger and to live bigger. And every season of life, every gear you're in requires you to go to another gear just the very definition of the Christian life.
But the enemy of soul, Satan, who has no power but has to trick you into using your power against yourself has got to convince you. I'm maxed. I'm stressed. I don't think I can go anymore. I can't go any further. This is it for me. No, it's not true. When you were two years old tying, you know, trying to button up your shirt, you were stressed. Then you turned four you had to tie your shoes. That was stressful. Then you had to leave mama and go to Grade-One, that was stressful. I mean, life is nothing but max stress feelings. And in every chapter, in every area of life there is a clutch in, gas off for a second where you put them into third and you go into a whole another chapter of life.
Hebrews 11:6 is where I wanna start with the second session, it says, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him". Without faith it is impossible to please God. Okay, so I have to please God with faith. But give me another verse. 2 Corinthians 5:7, as Christians we walk, we live by faith not by sight. In life, faith according to Hebrews 11:1, is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. So if in life, I'm down here at this level and things are going well and I'm just happy here. I go, "I'm content". But the word content didn't mean Paul stop sharing his faith, stop planting churches, stop preaching the gospel. I've reached five. I'm good. No, no, no. Content was more of a heart aspect than it was a driven to succeed aspect.
So if you are at this level in life and you say, "Okay, faith says go for what you don't see at. Faith says hope for something beyond where you are". The only way to please God with our lives is to continue to move upwards. So all of a sudden, I'm going forward and I get to another level and this is exciting I've never had a relationship where my finances or my career at this level. My relationship with God. Everybody said a new level. This is amazing. But if you stay here, you'll find you stop pleasing God. I don't mean, God is hard to please. I mean, He knows how you're made. And now that you've arrived with what you are hoping for, you're supposed to hope for more.
"Leon, when are we ever satisfied"? Well, we're content but we're never satisfied, and I'll show you why. But in life all of a sudden, you're at this level you're doing good. But the Bible says faith is the substance of things hoped for. I'm hoping for another bigger level in every area of my, up another level. Oh, this is awesome! I've never been to do this. This is incredible. I'm up here. This is amazing! And I'm enjoying this level for a while and all of a sudden, the presence of God will just push you. Come on! Go for more. Business, relationships, God, church. Come on! Just keep going. See, you're designed that whenever you sit still, you get in trouble. You have got a drive in you to continue to grow and to get bigger. So now I meet this level, I just can't imagine doing more.
"So, Leon, I don't need any more money". Good you're the perfect person to bless because you won't just keep spending more on you. "Well, Leon, I'm already making this much". Good! Take it further up and let's go reach the world for Christ. Let's finance more languages. Plant more churches. Buy bigger campuses. You're the perfect person to get bigger in business. So God's not against bigger. In fact, it's the opposite. The very nature of a believer which is faith, without faith, without this push to continue to grow. You're gonna find that it's hard to please God. It's not that God is not pleased. It's that your life will get into trouble. An idle mind is a devil's workshop.
And how many of you are at a place in life where you're pretty good where you are and so, but you're content. You don't have that passion to go. There's no adventure with where you are. But if I'm gonna go up another level, I'm gonna risk some stuff. Don't stay where you are. I'd rather fail chasing a dream than succeed staying plateau. So I turn with my life and I go, "I'm going for another level and I add works to my faith. I'm believing God for something I've never done before and I'm up there and I do it again". There are no end of the gears that you can shift in to as you continue to grow. But the enemy's trick is to get you to feel stressed, maxed or your set point for those who work out, your set point is reached, and you just can't imagine you've had a ceiling.
There are no ceilings. There are no ceilings. God's not the one holding you back. But if the enemy can get you feel stress, max. "Oh, this is just too much. I can't imagine go any further than this and don't listen to the lies of the enemy. In Ephesians 3:20, listen to this, "Now to Him by the consequence of the action of His power that is at work within us, is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare to ask or think infinitely beyond our highest prayers, our highest desires, our highest thoughts, our highest hopes, our highest dreams". Everything about God is He has made you to never stop growing for eternity. Forget 70 years, eternity. You've hit 60 and you think, "Oh, retirement's 65. You know, this is the only gift I got. I found the whole two gifts I've got".
You have an incredible amount of gifts that will take you forever to determine you're designed to live forever. You've been made to rise and go. And when religion begins to teach you, "Just be happy. Just be satisfied. Stay where you are". This is the Amplified in Ephesians 3:20, it says, this exceedingly, abundantly has a purpose, is to carry out God's purpose. Business people who are sitting here right now thinking, "Well, you know, Leon it's not so much the money. It's the love of the"... Of course, it is. Of course, it is.
"Leon, I like making money. Is that a sin"? Are you kidding me? That's not even in the Bible that it's wrong. The Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil. People without it love it more than often people with it. It's the love of money. But then, what about a guy who is amazing at playing the piano? I just hate playing piano but I'm best one at it. No. He loves playing the piano which is why he's so good at it. And if you hear you like, I love chess. It's not because you get beaten by everybody. Why do you love chess? Because you beat everybody. Why do you love something? Because you're good at it.
So for business people going, "Well, you know, I mean, our bills are paid and we're going good holidays. I just don't want to, you know, I just need to be satisfied". No. Be content with who you are in Christ. But if you've given a business, something on the inside of you to raise up organizations. The presence of God is on you for that and there's no end to where God can take you. You just got to remember stop being selfish with it and do it for His purposes. And if you don't do it for His purposes, you'll find that wherever you are it will cost you something. There's not this ability from God to go to that next level.
And so I wanna challenge you, you know, make sure that you're plugged in to a local church, planted in the house of the Lord. Make sure you're volunteering. Make sure you're giving, tithing, so that as you continue to prosper this selfish side of all of us which has to be crucified every day. I crucify. The Bible says in Romans chapter 12, it does, make your body a living sacrifice. That's like, that's just doesn't make sense. It's like saying that, you know, a living sacrifice means you kill it. You sacrifice it. But you're a living sacrifice. We've gotta die to self. But God's called us to move on.
And I want you to know everybody here. I don't care how stress you are, how bad things are going. I don't care if your marriage is driving you nuts and you can't handle another month with this person. Guess what! The rest of your married life there's just gonna be new things to argue about and to talk about and go to a whole new level. Marriage is not just about someone that you can marry, that can look after me. No, a marriage first of all isn't for love. "So you're saying marry someone you don't love"! No, I'm not saying that. But I'm saying the Bible says seek first the kingdom of God. Your marriages purpose first is to help God's kingdom advance. Which is helping get rid of the little baby in you and the self-centered narcissistic you and learn to love.
A marriage is one of the most amazing places to learn to die to self and to love. And so you're always gonna be, you know, conflict about this or talking through this. Marriage is not like tiptoe to the tulips and, you know, one person said to me, "I've been married 15 years, we haven't had a fight yet". Oh, really. I said, "Your marriage is the one that just disappears overnight because somebody is sucking up to the other one, putting up with something if you don't have some good old fights". I'm not talking physical. I mean, learn to fight fair. Learn to deal with yourself. I mean, the last fight Sally and I had, she came crawling back on her hands and knees. And she said, "Come out from underneath that bed and fight like a man".
The enlargement of your life is a God thing. Getting better at relationships is a God thing. Financing more money is a God thing. Building greater friendship is a God thing. Knowing God better is a God thing. Having a greater relationship circle, getting planted in local church. God wants to advance your life. Let me show you how to increase your capacity. In Matthew 25:14-23, I'm going to tell you the story quickly. The Bible says this is how the kingdom of heaven works. First line of verse 14, For the kingdom of heaven is like this and then it tells a story of a master who gets his three servants together. He's going on a long trip. And it says he gives one guy five bags of gold. Now, one bag of gold takes a labor about 20 years to earn. And he gives one guy five bags. He gives another guy two bags and he gives the third guy one bag.
Now you say, "Well, why does the guy with five get five and the guy with two get two and the guy. No, the Bible says they were each given an amount of money that match their ability. Okay? So, then it says, he went away and when he came, the servants to task. The guy with five said, "Master, I took the five and here's five more. Here's ten". The guy with two said, "Here's the two you gave me, and I made two more buying and trading". And the guy with one walks up with his head kind of hanging down. And here's his excuses, "Oh, I knew you were a hard man and so I didn't wanna lose it. And I knew you can have whatever you want whenever you want. You can reap and sow without even planting". So which is not what this is even about. So here's your bag of gold. The master took it and said, "You slothful, lazy employee". He says, "Why didn't you just go put in the bank so there's some kind of increase"?
Now, the guy with the one bag of gold in Jesus story didn't lose it. He maintained it. Christians are so into maintenance ministry. Wealth is going okay. Let's not rock the boat and go for more. We're fine. We're satisfied. We're happy. It's not about you. Your life needs to get bigger so that you could reach out and have more friends. So that you could reach out and finance greater things. So that your marriage goes to a new level and becomes a great example for the people around you to say, "How did you guys do it? Because I know you didn't marry an easy woman. How did you guys do it? I know you did not marry a guy that was easy. How did you do it"? Like, it is our lives as they get bigger. I don't mean selfishly narcissistic. Everything's about me. I mean this bigness that keeps coming.
So when you get stress, when things push at you, when you think it's time to quit. You're maxed. You're stressed. Don't quit. That's the enemy's trick. Instead, you learn to shift gears. In every shifting of gears is a mental shifting. It's a mental shifting. And as you get to know God's Word, you'll be amazed at how your life changes. Now, when the master came to his three staff, it says he gave them each a certain amount of resource. But the resource that was given to them was according to their ability. Two guys increased it, one guy plateaued it. Let me give you a formula. Their ability plus the resource plus their faith which is acting on what you believe determines their capacity.
You see, your capacity is the ability to handle more, less stress. And in business we see it all the time. We see it everywhere in life. That, you know, that this little three years old maxed out just have to tie his shoes and put his coat on. He's frustrated, the tears coming down his face. He's at capacity. But as he continues to grow and learn, capacity's gonna increase to that little guy can run an entire country. When he hit his 40's and 50's, he's learned a few things. So you have an ability. You're gonna find that resources will always match your ability. But then what your faith, your action does with the resources and your ability actually increases your capacity.
Example, the guy with five, had the capacity of five. He had an ability of five. The master gave him five. He took the five, went out and worked it in trading until he had ten. Well, the actual working of the five gave him a new capacity of? You're so quiet. Ten! He's got a new capacity. Why? He took the resources. He took his existing ability and he labored and believed God and acted on his faith. And together, he took what God had given him and he took it to a whole new level. He's capacity is at a new level. And when the master comes back he goes, "Wow, you've been faithful in little. I'm gonna give you cities to run. I'm gonna give you this much". Why? Because he had increased his capacity.
As a believer we're not here to just read to read, pray for power, and cry prayers. Please help me, God. Please help me. No. God is here to strengthen you, to help you build your capacity. Help you to rise up so that you can continue to handle more, do more. The kingdom needs to advance. I want Christian businessmen and women at the helms of businesses that are shaping our nation. I want Christian politicians at the helm and the seats of power who have know God that can help shape this. We need Christian professors teaching our kids in universities. Like, just pick it. We need people rising up who have a sense of bigger. I pray that God touches you today and helps you realize you are a gift. And that the kingdom of God advances when men and women take their place, believe God and continue to rise up.
You might not know where you're going. You might just be stressed out. You might not know where that next step is. But to know that God has more for you. That it's never ending. That there's never a stop. Your relationships will keep growing, makes sure the one with God is first. Then Jesus said I will build my church. Make sure you're planted in the house of God. Don't be switching around. No, find the place that is life-giving with a leader that you can tie into and begin to roll up your sleeves and volunteer. Give. Plug in. This is where I'm planting. And then generations of your family can be something about building advancing the kingdom of God.
But today, I just want to get this one thought through religious mindsets, you are made for more. And when you're stressed out and don't think you can handle anymore, you're gonna go a billion times further. And there's a whole lot of gear shifting yet ahead of you. And you will do a hundred times more than you're doing right now, with more peace, more joy, more ability to administrate and manage, more capacity than you've ever seen. Trust God. Keep going. Don't stay where you are. How do you wanna stay in that frustrated, stressed out, 10.000 RPM, engines going, and there's no shift in sight. Listen to God. Watch what He does because this adventure called life was made by God to be exceedingly abundantly above all you ask or think.