Leon Fontaine - Your Inner Witness
Today, I wanna talk about the most common way. According to the Bible and my experience that God will guide us. He will give us direction. Now, God does give us direction through a lot of amazing ways. He can send an angel. He can give you a dream in the night. He can give you a vision during the day. He can speak to you through someone else like a word of knowledge, a word of wisdom, a prophecy. He can, so there's a number of ways that He can do this, okay. But in the New Testament once you became a born-again believer and Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior and within you is His presence. You are going to be led the majority of the time by something called, the Bible calls the inner witness. And I wanna show you some scriptures. I wanna take you through this.
And so there's this sensing and knowing deep within you that you can't even put words on. You just feel good about something or you don't feel good about. You feel like a red light on something or you get a green light, let's go on something. I remember even getting babysitters for our kids. Sally and I have five wonderful kids, were all grown up. But making decisions with them that you just feel good about something or you wouldn't. In the world even the unsaved, those who do not know Christ as Savior and Lord will talk about it a gut feeling. Showing you that their spirit even though it is not filled with the Spirit of God seems to have a certain amount of sensing that is correct. I have heard and spoken with businessmen who are atheist and not yet believe on Christ. But will tell me they do not make a decision if their gut feels awful and it's a gut feeling which is really interesting. Because the Bible teaches us that the candle of, that the Spirit of, the candle of the Lord is the belly. In other words, in Psalms it teaches us that what brings enlightenment to us is a sensing and a knowing in our belly, not up in our head.
So as I begin to talk about this and show you the scripture, you need to know that there are different voices. Feelings come from your body. Reasoning comes from your mind. Both are cool, but when it comes to the inner witness, it comes from this conscience, this sensing that takes place in the center of your being. Some verses call it the belly, many people have said it's kind of a gut reaction. It's a sensing and a knowing. But I wanna go into the Word because so many people struggle with this and they say, "Well, I've never heard God's voice. I've never had heard direction". And I think your expectations of how you hear from God are a little bit off because of, you know, typical preachers and people who make it sound as if they hear from Him all the time. One of the Old Testament stories is about the prophet who's gonna hear from God and God wasn't in the thunder and the lightning and the storm on the mountain. But it was the still small voice.
And I'm not going into that today. But it's a beautiful thing to look up and see that even in the Old Testament God is preparing us as born-again believers to become aware of His direction. What good is it to have Holy Spirit within us who knows every decision you should make, every word you should speak and not speak, what investments to make, what person to marry. I mean, all of these things Holy Spirit knows. So let's get into how can we get direction. Now, in Romans 9:1, it says, "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit". All right. So, he's talking about his conscience bares witness with Holy Spirit. This is a very interesting verse, showing us that reasoning in the Holy Spirit might not agree, but your conscience as you teach and learn the Word of God it should give you a soft conscience. It should give you a very aware conscience, of sin, what's not sin, of what's right, what's not right, of what God wants. You can really prepare your conscience. This voice of your spirit by knowing the Word, spending time with God, praying in the spirit.
You know, loving and wanting a relationship with God. And your conscience is where you are going to sense and know Holy Spirit guiding you and leading you through situations. I remember being in a restaurant one time. And I was sitting there by myself. It's been a crazy day and it was in the evening. And I just stop for a cup of coffee and some fries. And I'm sitting and just kind of meditating quietly and having some quiet moments. As I got up, at this restaurant you would pay at the teller and then you would at the one end of the room and then the door was at the other end of the room. And so I got up and as I went up to pay, I got this strong feeling. I didn't have words. It was just, "Do not go out that door". And so, I kind of I felt weird. It was just an unusual feeling and this feeling was, and it wasn't word. It was just like a sense of that there's danger at that door. And so I paid and just kind of ignore that thing but as I walked towards the exit of that restaurant, this sense of foreboding not fear, not terror, a sense of foreboding. There's something, do not out that door.
So halfway to the door I stopped, turned around and walked back to the tell and then around the tell you could get into the kitchen. So I walked around the tell where there's no admittance and walked through the kitchen, a couple of people were yelling at me, "What are you doing"? And I just walked right past them and I saw an exit and I walked out that door, walked over to my car, got into my car, and then drove over to the door. At the door were two men standing with their backs against the door on both sides and a knife in the hands of one of those guys. There only was about two of us left in that restaurant that late at night. And I had had by that time probably about ten death threats on my life. Once we go on television there are lots of crazy things that happened. And so I don't know the story. I didn't stop and talk to them. I drove off and left. Inside of me was this incredible thankfulness that Holy Spirit who was within me protected me by guiding me away from that door.
It's interesting, in Hebrews 2:3-4, listen to this, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard them. God also bearing them witness". All right. Notice that word bearing them witness. "Both with signs and wonders, and with diverse miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will"? Now, here we could go into a lot of other areas to talk about but it's like God is bearing witness with people with other things, signs, wonders. I know many people that were believing God for something, and all of a sudden something took place in their life that they knew they sensed inside that was direction from God. And it wasn't just a fleece because I don't believe in fleeces. You know, where the Bible says that one of the men in the Old Testament, he wasn't sure if it was God.
So he took a fleece, the skin of a sheep and put it out and said, "If You're telling me to do this, let the ground be wet and the skin, that fleece dry". Next day, it was so. Well, I wanna make sure. So now, I want the fleece soaking wet and the ground dry. The next day it was so. So lots of people try to be led by God by giving God an ultimatum. If this is You, so and so will call me. If this is Your direction, this will happen. Now, that's a fleece. That is not a New Testament way. I have seen it works sometimes for baby Christians, okay. But you are going to get into great error if you put a fleece out for God. He does not want to lead you anymore by external fleeces. The predominant way and I find it all through the Word of God are these words, bearing witness, Holy Spirit revealing. And so God can yes, approve things to you through signs and wonders, meaning that He'll do miracles. You know, He'll do things that will be a sign to you. But it's not that you're making decision as saying, "Okay, if a dog barks all Canada tonight at midnight outside my window, I know God wants me to do this".
Obviously, I don't wanna do it. I'm really making God do something. You're making a huge error. Let God guide you by His inner witness. There are times He'll even give you signs that you're going in the right direction. Things which people could never know. That it's only to you and inside of you your spirit goes, "Wow, that's a sign post that I'm going in the right direction". However, there are other times when I've sensed God put me, send me in a direction where it is been hard slugging and people up and against it and against me and I came under attacked and everyone's trying to shut me down and even my advisers said, "This is crazy. What are you doing"? But I had a clear sense on the inside and my wife did, too. Because we don't make a move unless we're in agreement that our spirit, Holy Spirit is bearing witness with our spirit because Holy Spirit is in my spirit. And when He bears witness with my spirit, you'll sense it like kind of a conscience. You know, if you do something wrong and you know you've done something wrong, you get this kind of sick feeling in your stomach. You know, and so hear within conscience which is the voice of our spirit is where you'll sense and know things.
1 John 5:5-15, it says, "Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ, not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit". Now, this is, he's talking just about the fact that Jesus came in a human body. I mean and was born on to this planet and He died. So He was a born human and a born again, not born again but He was a human and He also, He was spiritually alive and physically alive. That's a whole another topic. But anyway, "And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth". Okay, let's stop right there. Holy Spirit in you bears witness. Now, when you look up the word "witness", it's a really unique word. It actually can mean murder. It means divine revelation. It means evidence. Something that is evidence to you. That, you know, that God is revealing Himself, showing Himself to you. And the Bible often calls this bearing witness. And it's the Holy Spirit within you who is bearing witness with you.
All right. So because the Spirit is truth. Then it says, "There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit". Isn't that interesting? That instead of saying, "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That here it is saying, "The Father God and the Word, because Jesus the Bible says in John chapter 1, in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. And it goes on showing you that Jesus is the Word. And so if you really want to know how to hear clearer and clearer is there's a few things that we need to do. Number one, make sure that Jesus is your Lord, not just your Savior. Okay? That God, you're giving God the direction of your life. You're submitting to God and saying, "You know, You've got my money, my marriage, my home, my mind, every decision, my life. I submit myself to the Lordship of Jesus. And then you need to learn the Word.
So God's Word is what gives you His principles. And if you don't know the principles of God's Word, you know, you can think maybe you're receiving direction from Holy Spirit. People have come up to me and said, "Pastor, you know, I really sense God telling me to do this". And I'll say, "Well, I'm sorry there's a verse that forbids that". There is? And if they would have known the Word, God's direction is first His Word. You must know His Word and live and obey His Word. In fact, if you really want to know God's will for your life, it's obey the Word. Because the Word is an incredible way to be led by the Holy Spirit in every situation, walk in love, you know, and etcetera, etcetera. Forgive. But then once you know the Word, it says, and the Holy Spirit. So there are three that bear record in heaven. And it says, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, these three agree in one.
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of His Son. All right. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself. He that believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record that God gave, that hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. Okay. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe in the name of the Son of God. Okay. This is a beautiful portion of scripture because it is basically saying that when you believe on Jesus and you trust Him as your Savior and Lord, He comes into your heart.
All right. Your spirit man, this inner man and Holy Spirit is there. And that often people can maybe say, "This is crazy. This goes against norm". I know people who have picked up and bought pieces of property that were just ridiculous to buy. What a waste of money. When that piece was way better. But all of a sudden, something happened in the outbounds of the city and that piece of land instantly went up to incredible wealth. No one could have known, except that God guided him in this area of business and prosperity. I know of many people who have a sense to pray right now over their child. And that morning would pray, and they'd come home and say, "Yeah, mom. I had a really crazy thing happened to me on the way home". And they'll talk about a close call and the mom will say, "Yeah, you know, that's interesting because today at 10 o'clock God had me just think about you and a sense of urgency and I just spoke the Word over you". And this child will tell of a miracle. I can share with you story after story after story.
When Sally and I, you know, we knew that God was leading us to become the senior pastors of a church. And a number of places wanted us even without our knowing voted on us. And I think two churches had unanimous decisions that you guys are our next pastors and then told us. Well, I haven't even let my name stand and twice I had to say I'm so sorry. But, you know, we don't feel it. And Sally and I would, if we look at signs, we go, "Wow, when is person ever get unanimous decision from the entire membership of a church, I know". And other times people would call us and say, "You should be doing this". But we were never moved by the signs outside of us and around us. We always first will take our time and say, "How do you sense and feel about this"? A huge decision we had to make in the last couple of weeks took place. Sal and I just took two weeks and just chatted and talked and holidaying and laughing. How are you feeling? How do you?
And deep within us, we both had the same witness. We both had the same sensing. We could sense Holy Spirit giving us this calm and this peace about the decision, so we said yes. Now, there are other times we went to make decisions and we get this ump, just this like red light on the inside. The sense of don't do this. Now, if you do not spend time in prayer, your desire to have things, to be successful, to see an opportunity and think every opportunity is God. And you'll make huge mistakes and they can take you away off track. So do, especially when the enemy can kind of sense something big coming your way. He will give you something that's good but not God. All good opportunities are not God opportunities. All good things not, it doesn't mean that's what the decision for your life. We've even made decisions that didn't look good, but we had a sensing on the inside and the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit.
In Romans 8:12-17, there's a verse here that says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God". So if you wanna live like a Son of God directed and empowered and filled with miracles and great decisions. You are gonna have to make a decision and that decision is, God I'm following you. Jesus said my sheep in John chapter 10, that my sheep know my voice and another voice they will not follow. He says there, I lead them by name. So Holy Spirit, this Spirit of Christ that is on the inside of you will lead you so specifically. That He knows your name, your destiny, your future, what is good for your electrical business, what's good for your raising you as mom raising your kids.
I remember one time just I always praying over each of my children and when they were small. I always share certain stories because they give a good picture of a teaching. But I was praying for one child that was specifically just kind of in my face when I would come home and just being bad and putting on a show and harder to handle. And so as I was praying over each child I just stopped on her. I just praying for her. All of a sudden, I just sense on the inside that she needed to see me laugh. That she needed to have fun with me. And I would have to say that in that period of my life there's so much going on. That as a young man probably bearing that load too much and walking into the house not as free as I thought I was. And that she was watching me, and she was perceptive and that she wanted to see me laugh. So she would do things that were disobedient or, you know, throw food at me across the table or bugged me, interrupt me and just or do, at first I thought it was a disciplinary issue. And God just spoke to me and said, that you know right now she's sensitive, at the age that she is. You're just too serious and she needs to laugh. That's all it was.
So I remember going home that evening and as we're getting ready to eat. This certain daughter she began to bug me and tease me and just a little bit disruptive and rather than just, "Come on now"! And just trying to be just settle things down, I scoped her up and twirl her around. She gave a little squeal. Throw her on the floor gently and began to tickle her and kiss her on both cheeks. And it was just bam! And something just changed her. That night was peaceful and wonderful and Holy Spirit can lead you to parent. Holy Spirit can lead you to even knowing what to say. Oftentimes with five kids were all grown up now, they would ask me a question. And often that's not the question. There's something going on in their heart and I would look at them and I would sense to talk about something else or go in a different direction.
You see, Jesus never answered the question. He always answered people's questions according to their heart. As a parent you can have that. There are times I would sit on the side of their bed at night time and just feel like teaching them about something, talking to them about a verse and finding out down the road how time on the spot that was, how perfect that was as a teenager, as a child, that this protected them from some of the things their friends were saying or doing and going on. Oh, I am so in love with Jesus and I'm so excited about fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit every day. Learning His Word every day so that literally, you know, it's just like my sensitivity to God is like my ears are two great big satellite antennas that are just listening for Him and for His guidance.
And I don't believe like some guy you don't have to pray hours and hours every day to hear from God. I don't believe that. I believe just a regular tuning in with Him, asking Him to help make me sensitive, spending time and meditating in God's Word. Enjoying a prayer time with God. And then just practicing listening to what I'm sensing on the inside. Did you know that you can even practice hearing from God? And that is things like if all of a sudden someone comes to your mind, a friend. Phone them up right there and just say, "You know, I was just thinking about you. How are you doing"? Everything is fine. How you doing? Maybe it's nothing. But if all of a sudden they go, "I can't believe you're calling me. You know right now, I gotta make this decision". I say, "Well, I just sense that I should call you". And as you begin to practice listening to God in the little things, you will be able to because as you fulfill your destiny, as you grow in your influence for God and rise up in your destiny. It is crucial that you are able to get direction from Holy Spirit.