Leon Fontaine - Control Your Thought Life
So many people never seemed to be able walked in the peace and the blessing consistently. There seemed to be these landmines that they stepped on during conversations or somewhere in their lives every time they began to succeed in a relationship, in their career. Every time an evening begins to go well, if something is brought up or a certain trigger is touch, a thought, bam! begins to hit their mind. And when you watch their face, you can just see the mood has now changed. You can see them wrestling on the inside with something and they are unable to go on from that point with the same joy, with that same just bubbling laughter. Something has changed.
And if you do not deal with those things, they will continually be the flies and the ointment of your life. They will continually be the things that come in and upset the applecart of everything that you try to do. They'll just rip good conversations, good days, relationships, business opportunities. Everything that you try to establish in life as bless and God's favor is on it. But it's not that God's favor is withheld. So many Christians have a teaching of the presence of God showed up, the presence of God left. Oh, the presence of God did this and then I just felt it leaved. No, His presence never leaves. Your thought life is what changes. Your emotional makeup is what changes. This deep-seated feelings at the heart level are what change. And so you, the Bible says you magnify God.
Now, that doesn't mean you make God bigger. It means you make God bigger to you. Okay? When you make God bigger to you, you walk in a faith that you walk in a sense of strength. You walk in something that is powerful for your life. But when you allow controlling thoughts and we'll talk about hollow or what? And when these controlling thoughts come, it just seems like the day changes, the week changes, relationships change. And so people can live lonely their entire lives because there are controlling thoughts that end every relationship or friendship they try to establish is just gone. Relationships, marriages never seem to go pass a certain point because that same controlling thought will come at times when you're ready to move to new places in that relationship. That controlling thought comes in and you don't know how to get past it. You can talk all you want. You can get all the counseling you want. But that controlling thought owns you and you never seemed to be able to get past it. God's Word has an answer. Then we've got habitual thinking.
Now, these are people who they never seemed to get even some happiness out. They're habitually, constantly, continually stuck in emotion, or they're constantly stuck in a feeling. If somebody can walk in constant depression, then you can walk in constant happiness. If someone can walk in constant defeat, then you can walk in constant victory. If someone can walk in a constant negativity and a sarcastic, analytical, critical way of living, then someone can walk in a positive looking for the best while not ignoring the problems way of living. But so few Christians will do the work. No, Leon, we don't have to work. Salvation is free. You're right. Entrance into the kingdom of God is free. To give your life to Jesus and to be a part of His family salvation is free. You have been qualified Jesus wanted for you.
But then there are so many verses that say study to show yourself approved unto God. That say things that work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. It's not talking about getting entrance into God's kingdom. It's not talking about you have to earn this salvation. But it is talking about if you want to walk in the kingdom. Now, we've talked a little bit about the fact that when Jesus walked the planet His preaching was always that the kingdom of God was near. That's what He preached about the kingdom. When John the Baptist was here, he preached that the kingdom of God was coming. It was nigh. Jesus preached that it was near. In the New Testament, Paul in the epistles begins to preach that it is here, not near, not about to, but here. And Jesus in recognizing that you and I can't control the people around us. You can't control others. He said the kingdom is within you.
There's a powerful way to live, emotionally, purposefully, with feelings, and strength, and peace, and joy, and to win and to succeed in life because all the promises have been given to us. But you can't use it to dominate anybody, not your spouse, not people who work for you. And so this kingdom, this kingdom you must learn the principles of the kingdom. If you do not learn the principles of the kingdom, you will not be able to work the kingdom. You will not be able to live in and enjoy the kingdom.
Now, listen to this because a lot of people miss this one. Some of the things Jesus says are before the cross and they change through the cross. I don't have time to teach that but let me give you one example. When you read the teachings of Jesus, it feels like you have to earn and that you have to do something to win salvation. One of the things that He's taught in the gospels is that if you do not forgive another, you will not be forgiven. But that was before Jesus died. Once He died on the cross was everybody forgiven? Yes, and now that same promise taught in the epistles says forgive others as Christ has forgiven you. That's an example of you've got to take something that is taught through the cross.
And there are teachings that Jesus taught to the Jews and to the, before the cross. That you can't just look at that and go, "Well, you can't go to heaven. If you don't forgive, you can't go to heaven". It's not what it's saying. And when you read the Bible in context, you begin to understand this continuum of this truth is vital but now it is operated indifferently after Jesus has died forgiving you, the curse is dealt with. There is no anger from God. No displeasure from God. He is pleased because He sees you with the life of Jesus in you.
Now, this habitual thinking or, and the reason I've used these two terms is because there are people here that your life seems to be good until one certain thought. Bam! It could be a jealous thought. Now, many people don't know what that emotion or that feeling or that belief system is. And so if you can track it, if you can't just get into the Word and it pushes out all of the misbeliefs, all of the non-truths. And if you do not do that work of renewing your mind, planting God's Word in your heart, you will live as a victim to that thought for the rest of your life. For the rest of your life you will feel contain and you will develop a doctrine that, it's just harder for me or this is just I've got the best. I need to learn to be content where I am.
Now the word "content" doesn't mean that you don't continue to grow. Can you imagine a five-year old saying, "Mom and dad, I'm content where I am at five. I don't need to go to school. I'm content". Yeah, I don't need to keep growing anymore, developing anymore skills. I'm just content at age five with what I know and do. You would laugh at that as ridiculous. And God laughs at you and I as ridiculous when we develop our own doctrines that say, "I just got to learn to be content where I am". When He says the life that He's giving you is so phenomenal that it is innumerable in quantity and it is literally untouchable in quality. But we think that contentment is applied there but it's not.
In 2 Corinthians 10, it talks about the weapons of our warfare, and it says that they're not carnal but that they are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Now, it says that the weapons of our warfare. You and I have weapons. Now, these weapons are not about dealing with demon spirits. They're not. And when the church began to teach that 20 years ago, they were in such error. And people would have moments of freedom and they would have seasons or periods of freedom. But because they thought that to grow in God's blessing, that the weapons of our warfare was to bind devils. That how long does the devil stay bound if that was true? 24 hours, 28 hours, as if he stayed bound forever once you speak to him. You know that's not true. Christians developed all these crazy doctrines. In 2 Corinthians 10:3.4.5, and 6, it is talking about the weapons of pulling down thoughts, theories, imaginations, strongholds, things that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God.
Now, so, if the weapons that we have today, and you can't find too many places that talk about weapons in the New Testament. If the weapon that's been given to you is to deal with your own thought life. Then how powerful is your thought life? If the weapon that's been given to you is to destroy the speculations, to destroy theories and reasonings. Then if you do not have a renewed mind, you are in a battle in your life and you are weaponless. You are standing there in your Fruit of the Loom in the midst of an arrow attack wondering why everything sticks and you're struggling so much in life because the area of weaponry is your mind. Other verses in the Bible say the same thing.
In Timothy 1:7, it says there that I have not a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. A sound mind. In the Amplified it says a discipline nature. In other words, if you and I are going to live out the promises and the blessing of God. If you want to stop having this controlling thought that eats you up. Whether it's a thought of jealousy. Whether it's a thought of judgment. One of the worst things, I sat down with a brilliant man the other day we're talking about the Bible. He was struggling as a new Christian. We end up talking about judgments and how that one of the things that destroys relationships and faith is when you make a judgment. You make an assumption about people and what they're like on the inside, like what drives them. Why do they act like that? Why did they do this to you?
That when you make a judgment and you practice making judgment your entire life. That you live in a constant state of pain, not pain that all of us have to deal with. Like we all have to deal with certain kinds of pain. But it's a level of suffering that goes on and on and on that is needless. It's not needed. But it's because you draw conclusions on the people around you. Your spouse, your kids, your boss at work. Every new person that you meet, you will form a judgment. And we literally have been trained in our life, in our world to make judgments on people and think that were deep spiritually. I've had people talked to me.
Yeah, you know, so and so in our church over there. Well, I just want you to know that in my prayer time that as I seek God that there's just say... And they go on judging this person. Okay, just a minute. Stop right there. Stop right there. Where do you apply the verse thou shall not judge? Do not judge that you be not judge. Do not criticize that you be not cri... Where do you place that in your life"? Well, I just know. Mind your own business. Mind your own business. If you are in leadership, God will guide you into things. And even then, you don't need to know their heart, their intentions, or their motives. You just need to know their track record, or you've got a sense on the inside. Don't use that person. Or you know, let that per... But he's not going to give you this introspective look at their heart, their motives, their intentions. It says only God knows the heart of an individual.
And so people who constantly judge others and we've all been trained that way will not know why their relationships they do not seem to prosper. And every time they get into an argument it comes down to their judgment of that person. And so we must learn to renew our mind. Now, the word to renew your mind doesn't mean you eventually get there and stay there. Like I can't say, "Yeah, I've been teaching the Word for 40 years and about the fifth year I got my mind renewed. It's been renewed ever since". No. The renewed mind is a mind that is being renewed every day. It's being renewed. Your feeding the Word to it and God's Word according to Hebrews 4:12 begins to go down and it begins to deal with the deepest thoughts and the intentions of the heart. Cleaning it up. Helping you to obey the Word and to be cautious in your judgments, in your thinking, to back away from judging people, to back away from the anger and the stuff that goes with this judgment because you begin to deceive your own heart.
Let me give you a really great verse. 1 Corinthians 2:16 says, "For who has known or understood the mind the counsels and purposes of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge"? Listen to this, "But we, this is the Amplified, we have the mind of Christ the Messiah". And it says here, we hold the thoughts, the feelings, and the purposes of Jesus' heart. What? You can live in the feelings of Jesus. You can live in the purposes of Jesus. You can live in the thoughts of Jesus. How do you do that? Well, who's in you? Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit's in you holding all the feelings, the thoughts, the purposes of Christ. Now also, you are a flesh person.
In Romans 5 says the flesh wars against the spirit. It doesn't say the devil. Now, don't get me wrong. There's a place of understanding the devil but we give him way too much credit. It doesn't say the devil wars against the spirit. It says your flesh as a Christian, wars against the spirit. And the only way to get your flesh just the selfish desires that come from you. And the way to get them out is to renew your mind with the Word until your heart gets established in grace. And as your heart get established in the thinking and the purposes of God's Word. You begin to rise up in a powerful ability to keep your mind strong. Often, I get asked about my mind. People will say to me though like, how do you stay in peace? How do you, you're a business person, how do you run multiple things, you know, and stay at peace? How do you deal with all the stuff that goes and just stay in peace and this faith?
And they think that it's a strength that I have. But it's not a strength that I have. It's the strength that Jesus has, and I make sure that I stay in Him. When I stop staying in Him, you ought to see me. Okay? When I stop living my life through Him, in Him. Then you're on your own strength, your own feelings, you own beliefs and life can become really bad. Now, in this verse in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, it gives us different words there about what it means to pull down strongholds. It says the weapons you've been given are mighty in God to the pulling down of strongholds. And it uses words like theories.
You know what theory is? It's something you keep working on through your experiences and you develop your own theory. Like a person who has a lot of sickness in his dad's home then in his home. He can't seem to get healing to work. So he develops his own theory that it's not always God's will to heal. That's a theory. That's your theory. That's your hypothesis. That you've looked for evidence and all the evidence you've gathered in your home, your dad's home, in your home, is that healing hasn't happened. Therefore, healing can't be God's will. That's a theory. The Bible says the God's Word has to pull down and destroy your theories. There are men here that have certain attitudes towards women. And you think because the Bible says submit in one obscure verse that's taken out of context. That your better, smarter, further, higher. That you have more, oh, you know, decision-making than a woman.
And you're so wrong and it's destroying your daughters, your wife, and your ability to work with half the human race. And you think because that you know. You don't know. Until that theories destroyed, you're not father properly. You're not husband properly because you've got beliefs that are inaccurate according to the Word of God. I thought I just take a shoot at that ladies. It's time for a good applause right there. We need to really understand this relationship with Jesus. God's Word is so potent, so powerful, so amazing that you can't stay out of it. If you stay out of God's Word, you're gonna starve. Your mind is gonna begin to slowly or quickly regain control in the old thinking habits.
And then you think, "Well, I guess this is just the way. It always was". No, it's not. The Bible teaches us in Hebrews 11:1 and 2, that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. The word "evidence" is an amazing word. If you are a detective here, and your job is to, you have, there has been a murder and you did not witness it. You did not see it. You were not there. Therefore, you don't have firsthand knowledge of it, but you must gather evidence and prove who killed this person. This evidence is crucial. It's gotta have timeline. It's gotta have motive. It's gotta have where you are. All these things have to come together in a chronological way and in certain ways. And there's some great detectives out there to do it. So he's gathering evidence.
Now, you gather evidence every day and you need to be aware of the evidence gathering process that goes on in your mind. If you're fairly new to this church or even if you're not. You are continually gathering evidence. Do I fit in here? Is this for me? Is this where God wants me? And you'll gather evidence because someone didn't wave at you. Pastor Leon didn't nod at you. And as you gather evidence, your life goes through a series of decisions all the time because you are not constant. God has emotions but He doesn't make decisions by them. Let me say that again. God is an emotional God. He has emotions but He makes decisions based on His character. Lucky for you and me.
Now, as you begin to live your life and develop a marriage, develop finances, grow. That the enemy will try to tempt you. Yes. But your flesh will continually try to gather negative evidence to establish within you that this is the way he's now acting. This is what's going on and it's not true. You are gathering evidence that brings fear and it brings negativity and it brings something on the inside of you that's wrong.
Now, if you gather evidence and this person is coming against you, then God also has to deal with it. But I'm talking about a mindset of people who everyday of their lives, they are gathering evidence. And they can grab the most obscure evidence. You wore the same shirt that we wore on that horrible fight four years ago and it was a sign to me that God was saying. Oh, jeepers. You may as well smoke sweet grass and then do something else because you are not hearing from God. You are not reading or gathering evidence at all. And I take back the smoking pot but, okay? Like grow up. Like we live our lives and we are continually gathering evidence and establishing our judgments. And those judgments will haunt you and destroy everything in your life. So where do we go for evidence? We go to the Word of God.