Leon Fontaine - Winning in the Midst of Temptation
Today, we're gonna talk about, Winning Through Temptation. The enemy is a liar and he has this system that he uses all the time. He doesn't have anything new. It's the same thing he's used for 2.000 years on believers since the cross. And that is, he's continually just tempting you. He doesn't have the power to come in and do stuff to you. He has to turn your beliefs against yourself. He has to get you discourage. So, he is gonna tempt you to quit believing. He's gonna try to tempt you that whatever need or desire that you have in your physical body to meet that desire in a wrong way. He's gonna tempt you to just stay sleepy and tired. He's gonna tempt you to be fearful. He's gonna tempt you to be moody. He's gonna tempt you and all of these areas and every one of them is to move you away from winning, to move you away from succeeding. Because within you is everything that you need, within your recreated human spirit is the presence of God.
Now, we continue to teach here yet, it's amazing how many of us have been brought up in a kind of a Pentecostal teaching that is praying to some God in the Netherlands or way up there like come down and do something but nothing in the New Testament is like that. Peter didn't say to the guy he needed a miracle, "Hey, what God hasn't had, He's gonna give you". What I have, I'm going to give you. So, there is so much power within you, just to flow into your body be healed, just to rise up, and give you peace and joy and strength and deal with temptation. And live the life God's always created you to have. But what we're gonna find out it determines on where you set your mind. Your mind is not the power, your mind is simply the switch that goes to the left or to the right. It goes to your own ability which is called the flesh, the carnal mind or it goes over to God's ability. And very few people who gave their lives to Christ, if you're not taught right you'll just leave the switch over on your own ability, your own thinking.
And when you're there, you'd just get condemned, you fail. You're never able to rise up and do great things for God. But when you leave it over and you have set your mind on the things of the Spirit. There is a power flow that is so incredible that everything you do is easy. Everything you do has an ability from God. So it doesn't tire you out. It doesn't wear you out. But to maintain, for example, to maintain will power to do something requires a huge amount of effort. It's draining beyond belief. So, when you have your mind set on the things of God and you choose to have will power. The power of God works with you. And then, it's amazing what you can do. It's amazing what takes place on the inside of you. And so, if you are a believer and you've given your life to Jesus Christ. But you find yourself in an addiction. Any addiction, pick one. Okay, that means you have set your mind on your own ability.
So, you've been tempted into some form of pleasure. You've been tempted into some form of pain relief. You've been tempted into something. And all it requires, "Leon, you make it sound too easy". That's because religion has made it too difficult. You need 42 conferences, 32 years, 40. Are you kidding me? What God does, He can move quickly. And Jesus said, "My yoke is easy, and My burden is light". Every time we get into some kind of Christian teaching, religious stuff. This is, "Well, you know everyone says it's so easy". It is and when it's not easy you've set your mind on the things of the flesh. Now, you need systems and structures and keys and all this stuff just to get victory. Well, let's take a look at this area. James 1:13, says, "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God', for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he's simply carried away and enticed by his own lust". That simply means strong desire from your physical body, strong desire in this physical world.
So, its own lust. Then when lust is conceived, it gives birth to sin. When sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Now, the word death there just means also means everything that is a part of the death world, a part of the dark kingdom. Depression, unhappiness, sickness, you know, just confusion, moodiness, anger. All of the stuff that you don't find in heaven, okay, will be a part of that world. So, when you come over to this whole area of self-effort, self-desire, trying to figure out on your own, trying to, all of this area. This is where death reigns and you'll just find that everything begins to die when you stay over with your mind set on the things of the flesh. Let's read this verse in Romans 8:5-7, "For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh".
Now, the word flesh simply means your own ability, your own reasoning, your own thinking, etcetera. So, "For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death. Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile towards God, for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so". You know, when you're in the midst of a temptation to be tempted to, "This is not working. Healing is not working. It's not working in marriage". And you begin to doubt, and you begin to get ticked off, unhappy. You begin to reason and it's all, "Where's God in all this"? And you just begin to be over in the mind of the flesh. It is hostile. Anytime you begin to get hostile about the promises of God. "Why things are not happening faster? What's going on"? Anytime you're there. You've got your mind set on the things of the flesh.
One of the great stories in the Bible that helps us immensely is where Peter says to Jesus, "If it's you tell me to come". Because Jesus was walking on the water and they all thought He was a ghost. And the beliefs of those days, if you saw a ghost on the water, it was a premonition you were all gonna die. Okay, those were the crazy beliefs. It's the fisherman's head. So, when they saw this ghost walking on the water, they looked over. And then, is it Jesus? Is it a ghost? And Peter says, "If it's you Lord tell me to come". Jesus says, "Come". Peter steps out of the boat with his eyes on Jesus. A beautiful type of the things of God now that He's died on the cross for you and I. This is literally a story pointing us and showing us, eyes on Jesus, Jesus' ability, Jesus' righteousness, what He's done for you and while He did, the miraculous flow is so incredible. This man walked on top of water.
Okay, walked on top of water. Then it shows that it wasn't Jesus doing this miracle alone. Because once Peter said, his mind on the winds, the waves, and the stuff, fear came right inside of him and as soon as fear came in down he goes. This combination of the power of Jesus from the finished work of the cross with where we set our mind determines whether we are permeated by faith or whether we are permeated by fear. It's not a matter of us ramping it up, ramping it up. I need 43 hours of confession and 72 hours of trying to believe God. I need more faith. I need more faith. You've all been given the measure. So much of what we do comes down to our focus and where we have set our mind. If you've ever meet an emotional person. But that I mean, I don't mean emotional as in they're always so happy. No, I mean, from the negative to the positive. It's yanking back and forth.
And the Bible says in James, a double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways. It means you have not trained your mind to set. The word "set" if you gonna put jello, it's gonna set. And once that jello was set, it's locked in that form. Once you set something in the direction it's set. If you don't set your mind on the things of the Spirit and just learned to lock on there. You'll become double-minded. Now, the reason that is so bad, is you're going to the spirit, to the flesh, to the spirit, to the flesh, to the spirit, to the flesh and it's the most unhappy way to live. Because you literally are giving up and unhappy and hostile and where's God in all this. And then, all of a sudden something just gives you a little lift. Maybe you did your devotion. Maybe you came to Sunday morning service. "Oh, it's just ramp up. I'm gonna go lick the world. Everything's okay now". And then, the next day you wake up in the morning and wah-wah. You have not learned to set your mind, while others are learning to stay in this joy, to stay in this peace, to pull from the resources of Jesus who is in your spirit man. Okay?
This is crucial to you and I. We must learn to set our minds. A born-again believer can set their minds on the things of the flesh. And there is where the enemy will tempt you into condemnation, tempt you into guilt, tempt you to quit, tempt you to give up. If you've ever meet a Christian who is cynical, okay. Cynical about the power of God. Cynical about the blessing of God. If you've ever meet a person who is cynical or just wah-wah. That is a person who is locked in, set on the things of the flesh. So, what makes this so disastrous for them is deep inside of them there is this knowing that all the power of God is within them. But they can't seem to get it to work and the frustration is off the charts. Anyone else that he can walk that out. It bothers them. It bugs them. And so, they're just cynical. And they don't realize that this? All they'd gotta do is come back to the Word of God. And begin to renew your mind with the Word, begin to sense Holy Spirit within you who's here to help you.
You know, 1980s or so was a massive revival of individual people studying the Word. That's back when we had cassettes. I remember people in my Dad's church would literally each of them have their own library to such a degree that a room would be set aside to all of their favorite teachers and all of the sets on the series they would just pick them. It was a stunning revival of you getting in the Word. And out of that came some of the most amazing leaders that are now have risen up and leading churches the world never seen before, leading ministries the world's never seen before. Speaking to people like half a million at a time in the African area. Churches that no one ever dream would come true. Churches of 30.000, 40.000, a hundred thousand, a quarter of a million in one church. And miracles and things that went on as these late leaders came out of the 80s and the 90s, of this love for the Word of God. But the congregation would do the same thing.
Today, because of the way the world has gone, everything, everybody wants just the three keys. "Leon, could you just read the book for me, give me the three top keys. I don't have time to read that". It's what I hear all the time. If you don't learn to set aside some quite time, find a secret place. That secret place literally means you and Jesus. But find the time to enjoy the Word. Find the time to get into God's Word for yourself. You'll still make heaven. But you'll have no ability to set your own mind. Because to have your mind set on the things of the Spirit is to renew your mind with the Word of God. It's to listen to Holy Spirit because it says in John chapter 10, "My sheep know my voice". I have found that when I get out of God's Word my ears dim to the voice of the Holy Spirit and they seem to rise to the voice of the enemy. "What"? Yeah, his accusations, his you're not good enough. You haven't done enough. Things aren't going the way you want.
Are you really gonna believe God? Do you think money's coming in for that? You really think you're going down the church. It's questions, questions, questions. And it's hard because they're all these doubts begin to discourage you, begin to put you down. And so, I have to learn to spend time in God's Word and make sure that I have changed my mind to what God's truth is because John 8:32 says, "If you continue in the Word, you'll know the truth". And this knowing is from the heart. The miraculous only takes place when you know something from the heart. And the only way to get something in your heart is to keep your mind, your mind is the deciding factor. Right now, I can choose to be encourage by looking at somebody who's just drinking in the Word or I can look at someone just, and that's just discourage me. I get to choose who I look at right now. I get to choose who I listen to. I get to choose who I hang out with. I get to choose who my friend is. I get to choose who I spend my tomorrow with. I get to choose what I'm doing tomorrow, here at one of the classes or out with some guy that.
All of your choices need to be set on the things of the Spirit. So that you are literally controlling each day, whether you're with family, whether you're in the job, whether you're on holiday. Wherever you are you must keep your mind set and being nourish by the Word and believing what the Word says. And the second that this flesh rises up or actually the flesh doesn't rise up. You just set your mind on it. For example, we know just in the study of human body that pain is a phenomenon. They actually don't understand everything about pain in the medical world. They understand a lot, they understand more about pain. But pain is an early warning system. And once pain tells you that there's something wrong, you're to deal with it. But the more you focused on the pain the bigger it gets. They know that if you focus on the pain, it gets worse and it gets worse.
Now, there might not be any more nerve-endings involved. There might not be any more damage that's increasing. In fact, it might even be healing up. But the more you focus on the pain, the larger the pain becomes. The more it controls your world. So, some of the best ways to control pain is to give somebody a form. And I'm not a doctor, so forgive me if I'm messing this up. Some form of a sedative just to quiet the mind down. So it's not pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain. 'Cause the mind focus on the pain. It just gives the pain room in your life. The same is true for every temptation. The same is true for every negative thought. A negative thought comes, and my Dad always said this he said, "Leon, you can't stop the birds from flying over your head. But you can sure stop them from making a nest in your hair". He was saying thoughts come and thoughts go. But what you reach out and you grab that thought. You look at it. You look at it. You look at it. You look at it. You look at it. You look at it. It's like Peter, eyes on Jesus, walk on water. The miraculous comes from a mind set on the things of the Spirit. Which is the Word and Holy Spirit.
But then, death where it comes in all of its form, all of its facets. The negative, the down, the depression, the unhappiness. All of this moodiness, anger, hostility. It all comes from your mind set on the flesh or your own ability. The words of a doctor are just data. It's all they are, they're just data. They're just saying, "Sir, you know, we find this in your body". And you go, "Thank you. I'm glad for that test. I'm glad that I know where this physical body is. And then, once you know the data, which is just knowledge. You go to the things of the Spirit. You speak to that or you can command it to leave. You continue to have it tested and to work with your doctors in what you're doing. But your mind is set in the things of the Spirit, believe in the presence of God is renewing your body.
The presence of God is flowing into your body. And as that happens, that's when the spirit, your spirit where Holy Spirit is, just releases the presence of God. But if those words, okay. We've got doctors and all kinds of great medical people on our church. If their words which were meant to just tell you where you are. You grab those words. They'll become a curse. Why? Because they'll dead-end you. They'll limit you. A person who is supposed to be walking in the power and the presence of God, is only walking in the evidence of the present world that the sense knowledge can find. And so, when you live there, and you look and you set your mind on the things of the flesh or this world's limited ability to help you. You're no longer living like a Son of God with access to the Spirit. You're living like just a human being with only access to the things of this world.
And so, to understand His grace, to set your mind on what Jesus did on the cross. And then, get up and walk through what's going on, knowing I'm gonna win. I'm going through, not in my own ability, not because I've got more will power than you but because the mind set on the spirit is life. The mind set on the spirit is life to relationships, life to the mind, life to the physical body, life to the business world, life to all the things you need to create and do for your company, life in every area. So, this ability to just stay in God's Word. I wanna challenge you today, make sure you have a time of growing in the Word of God, marinating in the Word of God, not because you have to take your faith to some higher level. But just because you must learn to stay set. Okay?
You know, years ago, I hope my mom's not here. I remember my mom, as a little guy, you know. And back then, they'd have this big beehive hairdo's that went way up. And women would be doing all this kind of things to keep their hair set. I remember big rollers, big rags, wrapping them in toilet paper when you go to bed. I mean, all the stuff that went on, they try to keep your hair set. So that when you got up the next morning you walked out your hair was set where you want it. The word "set" means stationary, locked on. So, when we talk about our mind set on the things of the spirit. I wanna challenge you, some of you who are going through something right now. And you just feel so uneasy, you just feel. That doesn't mean that God's not going to do it. It just means that your mind, it's the scream of pulling your mind off the things of the spirit into reality. I've got news for you.
The Word of God and the presence of God changes reality. It changes this world while we are not moved by what we see. We don't live by what we see, for the things that we see, or sense are temporary. But the things that are not seen are miraculous, eternal. We must walk our lives out with the things set. Someone says, "Yeah, that's right. That's why I'm not gonna go see the doctor". No, seeing a doctor and getting surgery has nothing to do with the setting of the mind. Some people go for surgery in faith, others go in fear. It's not what you do. It's the setting of the mind that you're in. The focus on the Word each day. The focus on the promises of God each day, as you set your mind on the things of the spirit, how that everything begins to move in that direction.