Leon Fontaine - Forgotten Faith

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Today, one of the major reasons, before I dive into this teaching. Why so many people struggle with faith, is because they're led by their emotions. Their emotions control them. Now, we have a whole bunch of self-proclaimed experts that will even tell us why. Well, I'm hormonal. Oh, where's that in the Bible? Well, it's, you know, it's just that time. Oh really? So we lose control at this time, according to the Bible? Or, well, you know, this is me. And so my wife, she knows.

Well, I'm just being me when I get home. And I'm angry, you know. And I've go to swear at someone, and she loves me and so this is me, she knew what she was getting in to. Really, that's you? Where does that say that in the Bible? Did you know, that we live in a world that we really are told, let your emotions come free. How do you feel about this? TV, all the psychiatrists and, so how does that make you feel? And, we look at our feelings, looking for a way to understand ourselves. And how do you feel about your marriage? Well I don't know what part of the day you're going to ask me. Feelings are fickle. Feelings go up and down. Feelings are never the same, and the Bible teaches us to never allow that our desires, our feelings, to control our lives. Instead, we must believe the truth.

Jesus said, there's a peace that I give you. It doesn't say you can freak out, flip out, you know, get mad at everybody because you're scared, worried. The Bible, there's a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. And it's in you. Someone said Leon, well, you know, I just feel really cruddy right now. Ain't going to put on a smile and fake it. Actually, if you're a born-again believer, it's not faking it. It's making a decision to not dig deep. When you allow emotions to control you, you are not living with faith. Believing. It's not how I feel, it's what I believe. People say well Leon, then you're not really living real. Oh, your emotions are real, are they? Do you even know where your emotions come from? Most don't. Your emotions just come from what you focus on.

I often use this analogy, if I walk across the front row and I shake everybody's hand except for one person I just walk right past them, then shake the next person's hand, next person's hand. That person now has to control their emotions. Why didn't pastor shake my hand? Does he got a problem with women? Does he have a problem with, um, did I do something wrong? Did I not, no. And you just start thinking. The more you focus on it, the more your emotions begin to control you. Like, he thinks he's something special. Walks right past me when she's shaking. Who does he think he is anyway? And the more you focus on this situation, the more your emotions rise up and take control. It's just, you know, and it could be a completely innocent reason.

Emotions that control us, keep us out of faith. Because the enemy seems to have an ability to push an emotion to see if you'll just run with it, and take off. And the Bible says, that when, it's like, it says God's Word, your tongue is like, take that word and control those emotions. You feel down, you feel up, you feel loving, you feel, you know, no. You feel, all of these feelings, these emotions, the Bible says that we can control. Because He's given us joy. Well I don't have joy. It's in your spirit, learn to get in there.

So as I talk about faith, faith is what it takes to see healing in miracles. Faith is what it takes, financial miracles. Faith is what it takes for you to even believe God for salvation. I was talking in the second service about what it takes to be saved. And Romans 10, it says, the Word of God is neither in your mouth and in your heart. That is the word of faith, which we preach. And if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. Not even a maybe. It's very simple. But it's not just what you believe, well I believe that God heals. That's not going to get you a miracle. Well I believe that God prospers, isn't going to prosper you. Just, Satan believes those things. Faith, there's something about faith that is different, and we've got to understand what it is, how to get it, and then how to release it into our lives.

So that it can change it. Because the victory over whatever you're going through is faith. This is the victory that overcomes anything in the world. It's our faith. So, let's just do three things real quick with the remainder of our time. What is faith? Well, let's go to Hebrews 11:1. Faith, is the substance of things hoped for. Alright. If I was to say to you right now, I'm really hoping for a glass of water. That's not even proper English. You have to hope for what you don't have. I could say I'm hoping for a donut to go with my glass of water, because hoping is something that's future tense. I'm hoping that we can change. Hoping we can pay the bills. So, but faith, is not hope. It says now faith gives, another version of the Bible says faith gives substance to the things you're hoping for.

Are you hoping to pay your bills off, pay your house off? Are you hoping to walk, heal, from the thing that's going on in your hip? Are you hoping to walk with joy and peace and laughter when you've just been struggling with this kind of down, you know, blues-y thing? No, faith, gives substance to what you're hoping for. And faith is the evidence of things you cant' see. So, the greatest hindrance to faith in the Christian world today, is a pseudo-faith called mental ascent. It comes from here, your brain. And it's, anything you see you're going to believe. Thomas, one of the disciples, they said Jesus is alive! He died, we buried Him, we wound Him up with burial spices, did you know He's alive again? Thomas says, you all saw him, yeah! But Thomas didn't see Him. So Thomas says, I'll believe it when I see it. If I can put my fingers of the nail holes in His hands, put my hand in the spear-hole in His side, I'll believe.

Now here's a gross thing that happened. Jesus walks into the room where Thomas is, the second time. Thomas, um, yes Jesus? Come here. Now those big ol' Roman spikes put quite the hole. Put your fingers in the hole. Now, He said that, but I don't think He wanted to do that. But if Jesus says put your finger in the hole in my hand, I think you;'re going to do it. If He lifts His shirt, His robe, and says there ya go, put your hand in the hole in my side. And Thomas, does both. And, then, Jesus looks at him and says, stop being so doubting. He says, you believe because you see. See, that's sense knowledge. Blessed are those who believe without seeing. A absolutely crucial doctrine of the Bible is to believe something. Before you see it. You see, sense knowledge is from the head. For example, if you ask me, is there a table on your stage? Right now, I don't know. But if I turn and look, aha! I see it. Yeah, there's one on the stage.

Now I could engage some of my other senses. I touched it. I'd seen it, and I touched it. I hear it. I see it, I touched it, and I hear it. I can't smell it, that one's out but, I can taste it. So my brain, which is where I believe the table is there. It's my brain with the five senses that tells me what I believe. But that believing is a human believing. Okay? And it's necessary. If I walk on the road and I see a car? Move. Okay? So, the five senses gives us what we believe about what's on the road, and what do I, so and we operate that. Until, what you believe with your five senses goes against the Word of God. Okay, so, mental ascent is where most Christians go. They'll say, oh we're praying and believing. But they really don't believe nothing until they see it. But this thing called faith, it's something that Holy Spirit, when you give your life to Him. That this faith, it comes from the Word.

So faith is not believing because you see it, taste it, feel it, touch it. Now, you, that's not what faith is. That's mental ascent, okay? Now. Faith, is the substance of things hoped for. Your faith, causes the miraculous to take place. And you've got to believe before you see it. Alright? So faith takes hold of what you're believing for, when there's no evidence that it's even going to happen. Because faith is the substance of things hoped for. Hebrews 11:1. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. When I'm believing God for something, I get into the Word. I find, put that Hebrews 11:1 up for me if you would again. I get back into God's Word. And I begin to study His Word. Because faith, is the substance of things hoped for. It's the evidence of things I'm not seeing. Alright? So this is what the definition of faith is.

Second question we've got to ask ourselves, where does faith come from? How do you get faith? Well, if you go to Romans 10:17, this is what it says. It says that, now faith, cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. It says, now faith cometh. Well, why does faith need to come? Because, I've found that I can let go of my faith really quick. Peter's walking on the water. He says, he's in a boat and says Jesus, if that's you walking on the water, tell me to come. Jesus says come. So as soon as you hear the voice of God, see God's Word is what gives us a basis for faith. Where you don't know God's Word you can't have faith. That's how powerful God's Word is.

So Peter, as an example, says to Jesus if that's you, tell me to come. Jesus says come. Now he's got a word from God, from Jesus. He gets out of the boat, he walks on the water. But what does he do? He gets his eyes off of Jesus onto the winds and the waves, and he starts to sink. And immediately help! Jesus! And he gets his eyes back on, Jesus didn't throw him over his shoulder and carry him back to the boat. That's not what the Bible says. Actually, it's silent on that. But I'm quite sure that, he focused back on Jesus, and that faith came back and he walked with Jesus back on the water. So where does faith come from? Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

Let's leave this up there for a minute. This is crucial. To not understand this, is to get caught up in all kinds of Christian science, new age religion. All bunch, this is very, where do you get faith? Faith comes when you begin to hear God's Word. And when it says hear, hearing and hearing by the Word of God. This word hearing, means an understanding. Jesus once said, let him who has ears to hear, let them hear. You see, I had to learn to believe. And I'm not like everyone else. There are times without thinking, I'll get into mental ascent. Well yeah, we're hoping. Yeah, let's pray about that. But, when I begin to say no, let's get focused, and let's get into faith. What does faith do?

And so, if there's something coming up that I've got to deal with, I'll get into the Word, and I'll just feed on God's Word. Meditate on God's Word. And I sense faith coming. Before I walk into hospital rooms, before I walk into board meetings that require millions of dollars. Before I've got to deal with things that I just need God's direction, I need His power. I just take His Word, and I begin to focus on the Bible, His promises. I begin to feed on God's Word. And then I'll speak it out of my mouth. One of the things I love to do is listen to great preachers teach. And as you listen, faith comes by hearing.

There's something about hearing. Even for you. The Bible doesn't say, then, that faith comes by just thinking. Faith has a source. It is God's Word. When someone says well, Leon, would you believe with me for this? I'd right away ask them if I've got time to believe with them, what verse are you standing on? They say well what do you mean? Well, first of all do you even know that that's God's will? Well, yes. Okay, how do you know? Jesus died for me? As soon as I know that they know, what the Word says about it, I know they can be in faith, I'll be in agreement with them. But if some people, I don't know, I'm just hoping and praying. That's not faith. Faith cometh by hearing. And hearing by the Word of God. Which is why, a church that teaches the Word is so crucial.

Why church that understands what Jesus did on the cross, that He died for sin. He took your sin. And He's exchanging His life. When I talk to people who need a miracle, I'll often talk to them. For example. The guy doesn't know Christ and he's, I don't know if God would take me, blah, he talks. I said you know what actually? You're already forgiven. Huh? I said you're already forgiven. What do you mean I'm forgiven? Jesus already paid it. He washed your sins, it says, He dealt with them. But it's not going to benefit you, until you believe on Him. And when you believe on Jesus, this miracle of being a new creation comes into being. People say well Leon, could you pray? I sure hope it's God's will to heal me. Well I have good news. He's already said yes, and He already gave it to you. What? 2 Peter 2:24 says, by whose stripes you were healed. Were? What do you mean were? You were.

2.000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross, Galatians 3:13 says that He became a curse for us, He took the curse of the law, that the blessings might come on our life. He's already giving you healing. These people say well I don't understand why God didn't heal. Actually, it has nothing to do with God anymore. It's us learning to get His Word, to get His Word into us, and then learning to loose our faith. We're all working on this. But if you want to get doctrinally correct, God's not deciding the miracles. What? He's not. He decided all the miracles 2.000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross, took the curse of the law, and He qualifies you and He makes you righteous as a gift, which you have to believe.

Righteousness today is a faith-righteousness. You must believe, I'm righteous, because Jesus gave it to me as a gift by dying on the cross, and I accept that. And when the devil says you can't get a miracle because you did this, you know. No, no, no. I know. So how do we get faith? Faith comes from getting into God's Word. That's why, I can't believe people sometimes. Like, you'll hear a message, and that message will touch you. You say well, I should probably get the CD or get online and watch this, but you know, I'm just too busy to get in line and grab. You should be listening to God's Word every day. Because what it's doing, is faith is coming to you. It's rising up within you. And now, you have an ability to see the miraculous for God's power to get involved in your life.

How do you get faith? Faith cometh by hearing. And hearing by the Word. It doesn't say faith comes by hearing other people. It doesn't say faith comes by other people's stories. No, they can encourage you. Faith comes by knowing the Word, marinating in the Word. You don't get a pickle by dipping a cucumber in vinegar. You get a pickle by marinating that thing. Drop it in there for three months. The same is true for faith. Faith is not, oh I read it, I believe it. No. There's got to be a meditation. When you go into Proverbs 4:23, it says, there it's teaching us that this book of the law should not depart out of your mouth. It's talking about keep it before your eyes. It's life to those that find it, health to all their flesh. Guard your heart with all diligence. Out of it flows the forces of life.

When you begin to focus on the promises of God's Word, and you give your life to Christ, now His Word begins to do something to you called faith. It's different than the world's mental ascent. It's different than the world when they say well you know, I believe. This is a faith that comes from the Word. And according to Mark 11, it says that when you're speaking to the problems in your life, don't doubt in your heart. The word heart there is talking about the faith for the Christian is a spiritual faith. Whereas faith for an everyday person is just a, is a response to what their five senses see. Okay?

Now, do I believe you're sitting in your chair? Yes, because I can see you. And if I didn't have sight, I could go by and touch you and I could find out that way. If you're all talking, and I can't see or touch anybody, I can hear you. We, the, what we believe comes to us through our five senses. But there is a place where Jesus functioned and operated and Paul functioned and operated. And the twelve disciples functioned and operated. And all the church, in the New Testament functioned and operated. Where, they would find it in the Word, the Word says this, and they would begin to believe it. Alright. Let's go to the last one, I'll just touch on this. So how do you turn your faith loose? You know, if you're spending time and finding what God's Word says, and that Jesus makes me righteous, you begin to learn all these incredible truths.

Now how do I turn it loose? Well, Mark 11:22 Jesus shows us how. He says, He says, Jesus answering saying to them, have faith in God. It's okay to have faith in the tow-truck driver to look after your car, to have faith in your doctor to do your blood work, and diagnose. It's okay to have faith in the banker. But, here it's about a whole different thing. This is not about an earthly faith in the things you see, feel, hear, touch. There is a faith that works for the believer. That is a spiritual faith, and it says have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, that whosoever, anybody. Your choice. There's not a select few that can operate in the power of God. It says, whosoever shall say to this mountain, be removed, cast into the sea, shall not doubt in his heart but believe that those things which he sayeth shall come to pass. He shall have whatsoever he sayeth. Wow.

Therefore I say unto you, what things soever you desire, this is Jesus talking. Whatever you desire when you pray, believe that you receive them. That's not future tense, that's in the now or the past. And it says, you shall have them. It doesn't say that God's going to answer your prayers. I've heard more unbelief prayed in prayers than anywhere else. It says, that when you pray. Believe that you have received the answer. Believe you have, not you're going to, believe you have received the answer. And then you shall have it. Faith functions in the now. It's present-tense. So whenever people start praying things like, well we're hoping and praying. No, that's not even faith. That's just mental ascent. Faith says God's Word is my evidence. And it says that Jesus took this disease on his body. So body in Jesus' name, you're healed. And cancer you have no right to be in my body. I declare my body healed in Jesus' name. And as you begin to get God's Word, this is how you speak faith. Faith believes the Word over everything else.

You say, Leon, I don't know if I can do that. Well, if you're a believer, you've already done it. You've given your life to a Jesus you've never seen. You never saw Him die, you never saw Him rise again. You never saw Him touch people, you just read about it in a Bible. But it touched your heart so deeply, that a faith came to you, and you know I'm giving my life to this Jesus Christ. And I'm inviting Him into my heart, and I'm following Him. This faith comes from reading the Word. Even though you can't see him, taste him, feel him, touch him. And because of you, say okay Jesus I give you my life. Come in. There's some days I don't feel saved. Why am I saved? Because the Word says so, and I know the Word is precious, amazing, incredible, uncompromising. And I've got my life banked on this Bible.
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