Leon Fontaine - Building Your Personality
Everybody here including me. Maybe not everybody, but most people here including me. There're always things you'd like to change about your personality. Someone says to me, "I just wish I was, oh, more social. I just freeze all the time". Someone else say, "You know what, I just wish I could deal with my anger and my jealousy and be kinder". Someone else might say, "You know, I wish I had more courage". Someone else say, "I wish I was more creative". Everybody is always got something that they wish they could change about themselves. And the Bible is unique in teaching us about this, but our problem is, is that we have different language today. Modern psychology is interesting. I value it to a certain degree and then I think it's utter rubbish to a certain degree.
Now, sitting within our ranks as a congregation are psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors. And so they've heard me preached for years. They're not gonna get offended. There is no way that some guy, you know, 70 years ago can put together an understanding of a human being's mind when God created it. Are you with me? And so I love its ability to coordinate and identify problems. I love psychology's ability to even put together and pigeonhole people into different groupings. They are developing new words every year. But I'm shock at Christians adherence to the teaching of psychology as though it is greater than the teaching of the Word.
And whatever you believe in, you magnify. Whatever you magnify, controls you. And so we must see the teachings of the human race that God's wisdom is here. And I'm glad that they can look at things and say, "Listen, you're dealing right now with a mood disorder". Well, what does that mean? Well, they've got all these, you know, signs and symptoms for you to identify it. But they're the first ones to admit, we'll help you control behavior, but we will not see great change, is what they'll say almost every time if they're opened and honest, and we need counselors. We need them as far as that goes for people to get help with. Predominantly the world has an, and psychology has an understanding of the dual human being. Brain and body and then they get all caught there. Whereas the Bible teaches a triunity, a three-part being. Body, soul, and spirit. And even teaches how the three work together.
So today, I'm gonna say some things that might challenge. If you're already offended, well, it's, you're not get anything out of this message. But I want you to understand that the Bible is not an archaic book that doesn't understand human beings or their feelings, their emotions, their psyche. And a lot of the words that had been created by psychology doesn't mean that they're accurate. And if you stay too long focused on that, you are going to begin to walk away from the Word of God. And what the world has embraced with much of the teaching of psychology is a, how could I put it? It's shallow and complicated. What the Bible gives us is simple but deep.
So the study of man and the study of the problems that people have, in their emotions, in their character, in their willpower, doesn't mean it's accurate. I'll give you an example. You know, if you had a Mercedes SUV, four-wheel drive, drive as deep as it could into the jungle. And then get abandon there with the windows down and some ancient tribe that's never really been discovered modernity of the modern world finds it. What would they judge that four-wheel drive as being? They are studying it. It's a hard shell and it's got kind of a rubbery tire and it's got one window that's opened. What is this thing? And as they study it and try to figure out what it is.
If they do not know its original purpose of the creator to build that Mercedes SUV and they have not seen it functioned, then they're gonna think it's a chicken coop. Put your chickens in it. They're gonna think if they can actually crawl through that window, that it's actually a place to rest or to sleep. It's a tent! They have no idea that if you turn the key. If you have the key to it and you turn the key, that this thing would cool you down. This thing could drive a 130 miles an hour. If you're gonna be walking, this thing can actually bring voices and music with all the things that this Mercedes SUV is designed to do. They'll never understand it in the years and years and years and years of studying this Mercedes Benz sitting in the middle of the jungle right beside their tribes. You know, location it will become an idol. It will become, they'll build it up as God, who knows. But until you understand the purpose, and until you understand its function or even get a chance to see it work. You will never be able to explain this thing. And I believe that's what a human being is to other human beings. We can study one another. We've never seen a human being function the way they were originally designed to.
Now, what is the presence of God look like on a human being? What are the miraculous things that human being can do? And how does it function this way, that way, etcetera. The fact that you can diagnose a problem. The fact that you can see an issue doesn't mean that you have the ability to fix it. And here is where God's Word becomes so unique and so powerful. So let's go back on the topic. We're still on topic. What would you change about your personality? And what does the word personality mean? Well, there you go again. That's not a word that you'll find in the Bible but basically what we mean in our language is the outer showing of you. What? What's the outer showing when you're amongst the people of you? And by the way, it's not even accurate anyway. Some of our best comedians today have the most charming wonderful personalities who are so depressed inside. They killed themselves, take their own lives. So what's being presented outward doesn't even mean that that's what they feel like inwardly.
Now, the Bible teaches that. It talks about the inner man and the outer man. It talks about the real you isn't the personality that is being presented. The real you is the inner man of the heart. That as a man thinks in his heart, is who he really is, is how he sees himself. It's how he, etcetera. So when you look at the Word, they're stunning, amazing, phenomenally deep truths. But there's a simplicity to them that really helps you and I. What would you change? Well, here's a startling verse in Galatians 2:20. It says here, "I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me, and the life which I now live in this flesh body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me". Okay? I do not. Let's stop right there. It's still verse 20. So I have been crucified with Christ, it's no longer I who live, but it's Christ who lives in me.
So now it's talking about we're gonna study your mental life but actually your mental life isn't the real you because you were crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live but it is Christ. It is the life of God. The presence of God. The character of God. It is the nature of God. The strength of God. It is God who is alive on the inside of me. And in the Greek the word Zoe is His life is inside of me. I'm not just this poor physical meat and bone body walking through a world of woe with this on-board computer called the mind that is struggling and suffering and self-analyzing and thinking and feeling and messed up. But that's what life is like without Christ. You can suddenly change some behavior but the deepest needs of who you are never seemed to change.
Here it is saying that as a believer and when you give your life to Jesus Christ is actually, originally not a forgiveness of sins. You just died. Ever tried to collect the debt of somebody who's dead? Do you ever try to hold somebody accountable for what they've done to you when they're dead? They're gone. And so death wipes all of that clean. So when a believer comes and gives their life to Christ, they have been crucified, killed. They're dead with Christ. Yet, this flesh body seems to still be alive. But what is now working in this flesh body, this earth suit, is the life of Christ. And the entire teaching of this New Testament is this understanding of how a believer, a born-again believer functions.
And as you go through the functioning of you with Christ in you, it will deal with your fears. It will deal with your personality. It will deal with your values. It will deal with characteristics, character issues, traits. It will deal with everything that you'll need to know to live a life where you live in the God class. I'm tired of boring religious Christians. They don't have a new thought. They're just, they walk around like some religious area of just be good till Jesus comes back. Yet, when you have the life of Christ within you, and the Bible says that you can have the mind of Christ, His feelings, His emotions, what drives Him. You and I can have them. We ought to have the most amazing personalities filled with creativity, filled with courage, leaders rising out of our ranks to lead countries and the best song writers and actors. We ought to have kids and that so full of personality if you want to use that word. So full of life, so full of everything that God has given us.
But we've allowed religion to kind of just bring us down to this judgmental where you just judge one another. All you worry about is how good you can be and thank God that the presence of God within us gives us the ability to live morally. The very word power in Acts 1:8 is literally saying this ability for you to live right and to live righteous doesn't come from your willpower. It comes from the presence of God that is within you assisting your willpower. When you begin to study the Bible and recognize this incredible ability for a believer to live in this place of stunning joy, amazing love, such peace, such patience, and such creativity. All of this beauty has been given to the human race. Why do we get stuck in religion? When you get into religion, religion will depress you. When you get into religion, religion which is this man-made looking for a God trying to please some hardnosed God.
And literally, religion is just everywhere shutting us down when Jesus came to end all religions. He didn't come to start a new one and He came to give you relationship with Him. He'll change who you are. I never forget a friend of mine who was a, we played basketball together. I was the best man at his wedding. Wonderful, wonderful man, so shy. He turned to talk to somebody. And girls, I mean, we were teenagers then, and getting around girls he just turned beet red. He was so embarrassed of himself. I never forget the day he made a decision for Christ and was filled with the Spirit. The confidence that came all over him. It was literally that year, a little later that he met his wife. And when you meet him today, you'd never guess that this shy, backward, unable to communicate or talk, so filled with social fears and inadequacies. That just this feeling of the presence of God and his adherence to the Word of God, massively changed who he was.
When I look around this auditorium today, I know some of your stories BC, before Christ and after Christ. And it's stunning to me who you were before controlled by substances, controlled by fears, controlled by every negative thing that caused your behavior to be of such. That it destroyed family and marriage and your own mind, your own body, and you made a decision for Christ and His presence came within you and all of a sudden, this powerful change that took place. Now, don't stop. What do you mean Leon don't stop? Well, it's not enough that Jesus is in your human spirit. You need to do what's possible and what's necessary to get this incredible life of God in your spirit into your mind. This incredible, it's gotta be a renewing of the mind. The Bible teaches us as a born-again believer, you must put off and put on. That means that as you take a look at some of the things you don't like about yourself.
I am such an arrogant person. Okay, Father, I put off this trust in my own ability and I put on a reliance on Jesus. When you identify and know characteristics or features that you do not like about yourself, then the Bible says put it off. How do you put if off? Well, first of all knowing what it is and declaring that. I put off this fear of being in public and developing relationships and I put on the confidence that Christ brings. Should be a confession that you make with God's Word. This putting off and putting on, He has taught in Ephesians 4:22 and on and Romans 12:1 and on says that you can be transformed. Now, the word "transform" doesn't mean a little bit better.
The word transform is actually the word that we use when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. It's not just a little bit better. He's been crawling his whole life and into the time and living on one little limb of an entire tree maybe, but now as he becomes a butterfly and spins his cocoon, he becomes, this butterfly that can fly and get caught by this wind for miles and miles and miles and has access and full of color and beauty. When you give your life to Christ, stop thinking that all you've become is good. And recognize that you have a life, and that this life will impact your mind, your emotions, your character. That this life that is within you will literally help you to know who you are. And you will begin to understand incredibly deep things the world struggles with. You'll begin to understand it in a moment when you accept Christ as the truth.
Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life. I always make sure that anything I'm studying or learning in any of the sciences or any of the disciplines today that are out there. I always take it over to Christ and say, "Is there anything that Jesus disagrees with this on"? Because I have found that if anything disagrees with what Christ has shown or taught, that I'd be very, very careful and not accept that. But I'm stun how if we're not careful, we can stick to religion. You have the mind of Christ is yours it says in 1 Corinthians 2:16, "For who has known or understood the mind and the counsels and purposes of the Lord so as to guide and instruct and give Him knowledge? But we, we have the mind of Christ, the Messiah and we hold the thoughts, the feelings, and the purposes of His heart".
Do you know what it is to be so stable in your purpose? That you wake up each morning and there's not a question in your mind to rise up. Get into your career. Go raise your family. But who you are in your purpose is rock solid the very purposes of God. You have the mind of Christ. Do you know what it feels like to get up each morning and not wonder and worry about your things gonna be okay and this and that. And you have this trust and this faith in Jesus who is literally, He is the alpha and the omega. The beginning and the end. As you begin to recognize the power of God that is within you. It is supposed to affect your head, your mind, your emotions, your feelings. It is supposed to affect your memory. It's supposed to affect your future, your imagination. It is to take you and make you more like God.
Well, what is God like? Is He this boring, religious figure sitting in heaven? And He's got this big gray beard that just kind of rolls off Him and He sits on there with His mean-looking eyes and He's upset with you. I got news for you. If we're made in the likeness and the image of God, then God's gonna look 30 because He hasn't aged. And by the way, God's gonna look happy because joy comes from Him. And God's gonna be patient with you because that's one of the characteristics of Spirit. God's gonna be so full of imagination and creativity in life. Where do you think Disney got it from? Where do you think architects get these big buildings from? Where do you think people who write movies and do plays that make you laugh and enjoy life.
You know, they might add all the stupid stuff. But where do you think the original creative thing comes from? It doesn't come from the devil. A fallen angel has no creative ability. God, Elohim, the very first time we see God in the book of Genesis. He is the great creative God. And so the church needs to wake up to the fact that you are filled with the Spirit of God. Not to be more religious. Wooo, wooo, wooo. Are you kidding me? I wish we could have a natural look at Jesus laughing and preaching and playing with kids tag to the tree and saying to the disciples, "Leave the kids alone. I want them to come and be with Me". He wasn't going, "And what is your name my son"? My name is Leon. "Leon, it is good to meet you". That's not what Jesus was like and we get all these religious ideas. He was filled with creativity and love and passion and excitement. He was more man than anything.
Like when you understand, Jesus was our look at God. And so today, I got to stop here. But I want you to understand something. Whatever you are dealing with. Whatever you struggle with, and that you don't seem to be able to change. Would you please stop looking within yourself for it as in my ability. The Bible says the flesh. It doesn't say you have two natures. When you get born-again, you only have one nature. But your mind and your body has been trained to give it and to give into it in all of its depression and self-seeking. And the Bible says that the flesh wars against the spirit. And that the flesh wants this, and the spirit wants this.
So you have to learn to crucify the flesh. All that means is I'm dead to that. Keep putting off, putting on. And in the simplicity of renewing of the mind, putting off, putting on, having a relationship with Christ. You begin to rise up and you begin to have the emotions of Jesus. The purposes of Jesus. The mind of Christ. You begin to become more creative. The gifts within you begin to rise up even greater than before. You begin to literally are able to change and grow your marriage, your family, your fatherhood, your motherhood, the business world. Whether you're in politics or whether you're in business.
There's something about you that just keeps growing and flowing. You become more alive, more free, more you, more authentic, etcetera. You become way beyond anything you could have imagined. You could live in this kind of joy. This kind of creativity. This kind of peace. This kind of fulfillment. This kind of waking up every morning feeling so good about yourself. But religion will make you wake up every morning. Oh, no. As you try to use religious things or your own strength to change and it just continues to get complicated. Remember what the world gives us without Christ is shallow and complicated. If you start to feel everything is so complicated. It's the shallow complicated life. What Jesus gives us is simple but deep and profound. Stick to Jesus and watch Him take you to places. You could never mastermind on your own. That you could never change on your own. And Jesus is where we can put our faith and our trust.