Leon Fontaine - Restore Your Mind
In Philippians 2:13, it says something that is just remarkable about this whole area of winning through temptation in life because a lot people. Let's read this first, "For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His great pleasure". Growing up in the denomination that we were in, we often had speakers that would come by and they would preach about suffering for Jesus, dying to self. And they would take it too far because the Bible brings those topics out. But they would go like this: If God has called you to Tuktoyaktuk to be a missionary, it doesn't matter what you want, die to what you want. God wants you in Tuktoyaktuk to die to self. And it brought this whole teaching of whatever you really want to do, that's just die to it and then do what God wants you to do.
And it's hard, it's really hard. Don't let anybody tell you any different. Broad is the way that leads to destruction, narrow is the way to Jesus. These are all verses. It's how you interpret them and how you read them in context creates this whole belief system. It's so hard to serve God. It's brutal. It's dying to self. It's always doing what you don't want to do, but you know you have to. What does the verse say? For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to do. You don't have to do what you don't want to do. God changes your desire. God changes what you will to do and His will becomes your will. Which is why it says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He's gonna give you the desires of your heart".
How does that line up with all this suffering and dying and heartache and it's so, and Jesus said, "My yoke is easy, and My burden is light". Where does this all fit in? To the modern Christians, "It's hard but it's worth it. We'll just keep plugging along. Leon, don't say it's easy". It's easy. Either call Jesus a liar or it's easier. My yoke is easy. My burden is light. So, I made a list to some of the things that the enemy is gonna tempt us with and it goes beyond. I mean, he's gonna tempt us any desire that you have in your physical body or in life. He will tempt you to meet that desire a wrong way. So, there's sexual desires but then there's fear. He's gonna tempt you to get into fear. He's gonna tempt you to be lazy because laziness can cost you your marriage, laziness can cost you your company, laziness can cost you everything Proverbs says.
How about moodiness? When you are locked on into the, into your own mind, your own thinking. That is where people are moody and angry. And that's where it's all about your pleasure and that partying spirit. That desire for money. They'll make you cost you your marriage, your home, your family, your health, just to get the money. This desire for popularity. Ah, you know, all of these desires. Yet, God put them there to be love, to get along with society, to rise up and be great for Him. All of these things are fine when you set your mind on the things of God and on the spirit man. But when you set your mind the other way. They will kill you, destroy you, and make your life hell.
So, if you are having one hell of a time serving Jesus. It's time to flip it over to one heaven of a time. Now, that does not mean that we're not gonna go through things in life. It just means this peace and this joy can be with us even through the things that life brings. So, Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you". So, God is at work in you right now and what is that work doing in you, is helping you to will what He wants, to desire what He desires. Would it not, you know, if we're talking about an addiction today and I'm gonna teach you how to beat addiction. But you're never gonna get rid of the desire. So, we get your will power just up a little bit higher than the addiction's power.
Now, there's battles going on. Oh, let's pick on a substance. Let's say that you want this substance whatever that something. You're just addicted to this. And so, will power, will power, will power, will power. That's not freedom to me. That's every second of every day being tempted to something that usually wins over you. So, you'd gotta suck it up and be stronger. The Bible says that God changes our will. You kind of go, "Huh, I no longer desire this addiction. I no longer desire". He changes my desires and then He gives me the power to walk it out.
So, the Christian life if it's not you're desiring what God desires and you're doing what God desires you to do. There's something missing. And it's because we have to understand that when you give your life to Jesus Christ, you are a three-part being. Your spirit man which is inside of you. Anytime we have lost loved ones and we go to funerals. We know, you know pretty quickly that's the beautiful earth suit that we hugged, loved, and touched but the person's not there. They're with Him. So, you are a spirit living in this body. But this body it has its own needs and it has its own desires. And the Bible says you're gonna have to control it. Then, the Bible says you have your mind and your mind has been trained for as many years before you got saved. And even if you were saved as long as you can remember this world has a way of making you think along certain patterns.
And so, you must, Romans 12 says, renew your mind, and as God's Word begins to renew your mind, your mind begins to side with your spirit all the time. Now, coming out of your spirit man which is brand-new. When you give your life to Jesus Christ, everything becomes brand-new. Everything! Old things passed away, behold all things become new in your spirit. Okay, if you're overweight when you got saved. You're overweight after. If you're too skinny when you got saved. You'd be too skinny after. You know, if you're half bald before you got saved. It doesn't change your physical body. Okay, if your mind loves peanuts and hates brussels sprouts. You're gonna love peanuts and hates brussels sprouts after. Everything doesn't change in those areas. Everything changes in the spirit man.
So, within you is this incredible desire to serve God, love God, follow God, to do everything His Word says. All those desires are in you because Jesus is in you. And as He is, so are we in this world. And so, when you begin to not desire things that are good for you, you have and, I can't review very much more. We've set our minds on the things of the carnal mind. The fleshly, your body and you don't have two natures. It's not the nature of God and the nature of the devil and they're fighting each other none stop, bam, bam, bam. No, and if that was the case who would look forward. I mean, I'm 54 and the Bible said that we can have a hundred and twenty years. I'm looking forward to 60, 70 years of this battle between my good nature and my bad nature. No. Why there's hope? It's because the mind can be renewed, and the body can be trained.
And the world can do it in a limited way, but when you learn to tap into where the power of God is in your recreated spirit and learn to allow Holy Spirit to partner with you. He'll show you things to come. He will literally cause peace and joy in your life. You'll begin to desire the things that God desires. So, it is God who's working in you right now. Right now, there's a desire for you to do what's right. If you're a moody person and you just love giving people a piece of your unrenewed mind. Did you know that deep within you, the real you hates that. If you have an addiction that is killing you, hurting your relationships and you think, "I want it so bad". No, actually you don't want it, your body wants it. The real you is the spirit man, he desires peace, joy. And everything that is within God's will is what you desire the real you. But your body which is still has to be sanctified and until you go, you die and go to be with Jesus. This body will have to be made according to Romans 12:1, it'll have to be made a living sacrifice.
Now, a sacrifice where you had an altar, you put an animal on it in the Old Testament. You killed it and it died. Sacrifice means dead. So, a living sacrifice is kind of a, an oxymoron. It's like what do you mean a living sacrifice? You don't kill yourself, but it literally becomes a living sacrifice. So, this is where when it talks about dying to self. It just means the physical desires of the body that say, "You know right now, I just don't like you and I feel like slapping you, but I'm gonna die to that right now and I'm not gonna slap you". That's basically all it saying, is that right now I don't feel like talking to you. But I value you.
So when I call, I would say, "Hey, how are you doing today"? I don't wanna do it because I'm so tired. I'm just trying to make my way back to my car and just get home. It's been a lousy day. I've had a lot of failures. I don't want to talk to anybody". But you just kind of. "Why"? Because the spirit within you loves fellowship. The spirit, who you really are, loves to encourage people, loves to love people. And so, wherever you have set your mind, okay? Those are the desires that you will give preeminence to. The physical body and the desires you have aren't bad. Your body wants to, it wants sleep. It wants to be at peace. Your body has sexual desires. Your body has food desires. You have a desire to be significant and to be liked and to be well-known. All of those are fine, if you meet those needs in a biblical godly way and God outlines that for us in the Word.
And so, the key as a believer is to set our minds on the things of the Spirit and recognize the real you has a desire to walk in God's power, to walk in God's love. One of the things that haunts people who don't know Jesus is they always feel conflicted. They'll go to bed late at night and whenever they have a moment of quietness where deep inside of them begins to rise up. It will be like, "Is this me? Am I feeling fulfilled"? It's like, "What's life all about"? Like, because that's not them. What they're doing isn't them. And although if the noise of life can continue, they'll just continue to look after their flesh, whether it's food, sexuality, being famous, being noticed.
All of these things that can be taken too far and they destroy you, they destroy your relationships, they destroy your mind, they destroy everything about you. But your body is of such it will just take whatever it can get. It needs to be governed. It needs to be made a living sacrifice and a part of that is by renewing your mind with the Word of God. When God's Word begins to come in to you. It does something to you. It's not just a memory that gets involve. You know, if I was gonna read some data. Let's say this is a data on stats. So, 30 percent of people do this, and 40 percent will do that and one or five of this, seven or three will do that, and it just stats. This is just information that can go to my memory bank, okay. It doesn't get into my spirit. It doesn't get into my heart. It goes to my memory bank. But if this is the Word of God, the Bible says the Words that are in the Bible, that they are God breathed and they are Spirit and that they are life.
And as you begin to read God's Word about who you are and who God is, what Jesus did on the cross. These Words have a powerful ability to renew your mind and to drop into your heart where your greatest beliefs about who you are. Your identity is in your heart and your mind needs to be renewed to the fact that you, as you walk around, you are righteous because of Jesus. As you deal with everyday life even in your failures you are righteous because of God. Though the Bible says in Revelation that Satan in Revelation 12:10, it says he is the accuser of the brethren. Now, here's how the enemy of our souls works in your life. You pick any area where you know you're not meet, you're not operating up to the standards you should be or pick anywhere where you regularly fail.
And this is the area that Satan's gonna attack you and what he's gonna attack is that you don't measure up. You're a loser. Get it together, sucker. Who do you think you are? You loser. I mean, he is gonna just harass you as much as he can, that you don't measure up. God's not happy with you. God's not please with you. Who do you think you are asking for His help. The reason this mess is in your life, it's because of you, you, you, you, you, you, you, and he just keeps this barrage coming at you. And the only way to stop this crazy barrage that just messes with your mind is to hold up the shield of faith and then it stops every fiery dart of the enemy. Other than that, you're like this in a battle. You're taking every arrow, bam, bam, bam. But when the shield of faith comes up which is what you believe.
When the truth rises up in your mind and in your heart. No, I am righteous because of Jesus. What took place on the cross protects me if I fall and when I fail. And what happened on the cross empowers me to rise up and be that mom, that dad, that business person that I wanna be. It empowers me to stop addiction. It empowers me to be able to be what God's called me to be. And the way He does it is that in your spirit where Holy Spirit is, all the desires are right, all the desires are good. There's an interesting verse here. We find it in 1 Corinthians 10:13, I wanna, have you take a new look at this verse. It says, "There hath no temptation taking you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you're able, but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it".
So, you know, when I usually see this verse, okay. So, I'm walking down the road and I see the nightclub and I see all the, all that's going on there. I'm tempted to go in and a friend drives by, throws the door open, "Leon, let's go for a coffee". Oh, ho, ho, a way of escape and I jump into his car and God help me to escape that temptation. That's how I saw the verse. And by the way, that does work, too. We all know it, okay. But when it talks about a way of escape, He's not talking about only external things that helped you to skip the temptation. He's talking about Romans 8, where it says the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the things of the Spirit is life. When temptation begins to take you out and you begin to fail. You begin to get into addiction. You begin to get into a life that's just up and down and messy and bad and you're a believer and you're saying, "God! How? I've been praying. It doesn't work. I've been doing this. It doesn't work".
You got to recognize that when you begin to fellowship with Holy Spirit, everything within the real you, your nature has changed and the real you does not desire that. But the enemy wants you to believe that you are your problem, okay? Now, if you, when it comes to sickness, when it comes to addiction, the first step will always be to recognize it. I don't have a problem with that. You know, to deny your problem. How do you deny a problem? Like, how do you speak to a mountain if you're not gonna admit it's there? So, to walk in the power of God, isn't to go, "I'm not sick. I'm not sick. I'm not sick. I ain't sick. You know, I'm not sick". Okay, the test show. How do you speak to the mountain when all you're doing is denying it's there? So, denial is not the way God's called us.
It's actually to notice and to see what's going on and then to speak to it and to let it know and to deny its right to be in my life. You have no right in my life and I am speaking from a place of authority because greater is He who is in me right now, than this sickness, this addiction, this unhappiness, this moodiness, this anger. This junk that is messing with my life. Greater is He who is in me at any of this, as you set your mind on the things of the Spirit, renew your mind to the Word. There's a flow that is in your world that is so peaceful and so full of joy and it brings your life into the miraculous area so easily. He's made a way of escape.
And so, for you and I to really walk and make it through temptation. Recognized, renew your mind. Recognized that the real you, desires the good things of God. The real you is honorable and integrous. The real you is faithful. The real you is just. The real you is in love with God. The real you is not where your failures are. That's the trained old you that can be retrained with the renewing of the mind and your body being made a living sacrifice. For some reason, this is the crowning belief that people need to deal with, because if you don't, "Well, I'm just a drug addict. I'm just an alcoholic. Yeah, it's my cancer". And you begin to own the problems you have rather than your spirit rising up and saying, "Who I am is who God made me to be".
This single thing is one of the greatest issues of walking in a freedom, walking in a power that Jesus died for and it's for you. Every time things get hard, rough, and you're not getting results, come back to your identity. Who are you? I'm a man that Jesus died for. I'm a man who Jesus took my sins and gave me His life. Jesus exchanged His joy for my depression. He exchanged my weakness for His power. Who am I? I'm a man that Jesus died for. I'm a man that God cares about. I'm a man that's highly favored by God. I'm a man the angels of God protect. I'm a man that the peace of God keeps. I'm a man that the healing power of God flows in my body. I'm a man that the joy of the Lord is my strength. I'm a man that the angels watch over, that God's watching over. That all of His blessing and favor is on my life.
You need to believe this truth in the Word of God or even with all of this incredible inheritance, you'll go back to walking again as a mere mortal, mere human rather than allowing God to bring in the super to your natural. Please don't see it as pride. I can think as high of myself as I want as long as I do two things. You've heard me say this before just remember, I can think that I'm incredible. I'm amazing. I'm stupendous. I'm awesome. I'm loved. I can think as high of myself as I want as long as I give God the credit for making me this way and I as deem everybody else greater than me. You do those two things, then just go for it. Just get up, I'm God's favorite. God is in love with me.
You may as well start confessing the truth because it's the truth. His favors on you. His love is on you. He's done all this stuff for you. What was this phony religious humility? And always remember that it's not about you being better than anybody else. In fact, it's deemed everybody greater than you. So you're down here lifting every up because if you think you are hunk and amazing. Well, everybody else must be stupendously amazing because they're greater than you. Now, it's not a matter of me comparing myself to you. It's a matter of me valuing who I am and what God has done in me.