Leon Fontaine - Plug In To Get Power
Years ago, when I was first started pastoring with my father in Selkirk, Manitoba. Our church was small. It's a different church than this one. And so I was an ordained pastor with him and working as youth pastor and assistant pastor and I had to supply our own income. So I became a paramedic and for seven years while I was working there with them in the church, I simply would go to work and then a lot of evenings and a lot of other times I'd be working with dad with the church.
I went on a call one time that kind of changed my world. I was one of those typical guys who thought I had it all together. I mean, when it came to the things that you see in this line of work. If anyone here is an emergency rescue or any form of emergency work, whether you're in the emergency room of a hospital, firefighter, ambulance, police. You're gonna see things that are gonna shake you up. You're gonna see things that bother you. And I was one of these guys I was convinced that nothing would ever bother me. I'm cool. I'm fine. I'm tough. I'm strong. I got God. I'm a Christian. I'm a believer. Everything's gonna be cool and I was. I mean, God gave me an ability to handle things.
One day, I went to a call where a mom had a number of kids in a car accident and one wasn't strapped in went through the window and got really banged up. Just a little girl, a few years old. And so I remember the scene very clearly. I could go by sicken on it, but we literally scope her up raising for the hospital, only surgery was gonna save her in the damage that was done in her little body. And the mom begging us as we left, please, please, please. But we lost her on the way.
And so I remember doing my run sheets and filling everything out and having to talk with the mom there. She knew who I was. And so I got through my day. You know, when you're doing stuff in the middle of your stress, you're okay while you're doing stuff. It's the quiet times that will eat you alive. So I got home, parked my car, walked into our place. Sal, we had two daughters at that time, one or two. And she asked me, "Hey, how's your day"? And have you ever had an emotion rise up you couldn't stop? Not a blessed hope. I'm telling you. I was so embarrassed. I cried like a little girl. I mean, it came out of me. I am shocked. I can't stop it. It comes from deep down in here and I wouldn't even talk to her.
I walked right past her and the bedroom closed. I don't want her to even see me like this because I had her convinced, I was cool, macho, together, in control, nothing would ever bother me. I didn't want her to see this. But then she walked in. You know, it's embarrassing when you snotting all over the comforter on your bed and crying. And she's saying, "What's happening? What's happening"? You can't even stop it. Shocked me. I couldn't believe an emotion could rise up deep down inside that you couldn't stop.
And I found out that we can go through life at times and if we do not learn to pull our strength from Christ. I'll show you verse in a moment. Where talks, where Jesus said that if you abide in Me and I in you, then you'll ask what you will, and it shall be done. Another verse says that you cannot get results on your own or bear fruit. That if you cut off the branch from the tree, then it is lifeless. And you will never bear fruit or get results. Whether results are relational, work, physical. It doesn't matter what kind of results. You know, anything you want in life. If you are disconnected from, the Bible says from Jesus who is the trunk. We are the branches, or He calls it the vine and the branches. And that the Bible says you can bear much fruit. And it's God's will that you bear much fruit or it's God's will that you get incredible results in every area of your life. But you will not, unless you are connected to the vine.
So that sap flowing through the tree is flowing into the branch. But if you're on your own, you're never gonna be able to do that. It was one of those times when I realized I was out of control. I realized I could not contain my emotions. I realized that there's something more I've got to learn here, and I learned to get a hold of God. You know, sometimes you can succeed and do well and think you got it all well. But I promise you, there'll be a time when you will come to the end of your emotional and physical and mental ability to handle in life. Just the very success of life is gonna put pressure on you. The apostle Paul said that he was succeeding in putting churches in all the cities. I mean, people coming to Jesus as such a rate that he reached the then known world. But he says one time, it's the cares of the churches that I carry every day.
Leon, you just cast that care on the Lord. Oh, he's one who taught us that. He knew that. But there still is the very success. I mean, you want to be a successful single once you were married. And you need to know that if you are disconnected from Christ even as a Christian. You can get disconnected from Him. And when you do, you will feel. And I've felt like this at times in my life. I remember the year 1999. I was in my late 30s pastoring this church. It was exploding into thousands and we had bought this property. We needed a property and we needed, I had to raise seven million or more. And so we just jumped in to it. Announced it all. Started the building program to raise funds.
And as we're going one day, you're sitting there and all of a sudden, the reality of what in the world have I started. Like, I can't even count that high seven million. Have you ever tried from one and up? It's a long way. At seven, am I crazy? Who in the world is gonna give me seven million dollars to prioritize? And we've already started. We've already launched, and it was like this pressure. Who do you think you are? Why do think God's gonna do it for you? You're never, you're not smart and it was just all this self-condemnation was coming. And I remember just feeling this overwhelming fear and pressure and having to get into God's Word and get back to a place of peace or getting connected to the vine. Where Jesus said, I am the vine. You are the branches. You better stay connected to me if you want to see results.
I can give you many other stories of times when life went through something. Like a barrage of attacks on my reputation and stories and lies and things that will go on that you go, "Woo, woo, what"? And so in those times you've got to learn. The apostle Paul says this amazing scripture. It's number seven to the CG operator but it's 2 Corinthians 12:10. He says this, "So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities, and distresses". This guy is crazy. What a stupid thing to say. He says I'm well pleased. What do you mean you're pleased? Like, bring your own. Then he says, "For when I am weak in human strength, then am I truly strong, able, powerful in divine strength".
If you do not learn to connect with Jesus who is God's Word. And when you read God's Word, you've got to recognize it's not just the Bible as a book. It's a relationship. If you do not learn to connect so that you are abiding in Him, that His presence is flowing. And you'll know when His presence is flowing in your life because this ability to go to new places to handle bigger things. It's, and then when you don't have it, you know you don't have it. You know today, I look back and I kind of laugh at how, thinking it was hard to raise seven because now we've got multiple organizations, from schools to churches to television and languages. And everyone of them need millions of dollars and if anything dries up, we're in crisis. And there always seemed to be some crisis here or there or something more that we've got to do.
If you ever disconnect, oh, my! Is it ever easy for emotions like fear? Fear is at the root of all negative emotions. It might come out as envy. It might come out as pride. It might come out as whatever. But fear is at its very root and you cannot disconnect. If you are a believer and you've given your life to Christ, you're a fool if you think you can get away without God's Word, without being a part of His church, without getting I love Sunday mornings. Now, I don't love it in all churches. I've been to a few others. But in a church like here where there's love, acceptance, forgiveness, God's Word building you up, telling you who you are, what you can do, what God has for you. You don't understand how much that penetrates into your heart, into your mind. And you don't even realize the strength that rises up within you and then it helps you during the week to stay connected.
The Bible calls it abiding. Living in relationship with Christ, not just giving Him Sunday, not just giving Him Tuesday night and Sunday, not just giving Him Sunday. But this living with Him and abiding with Jesus brings an incredible strength. So if you ever feel emotions that you cannot control, you're disconnected. Oh, how do you know that? I'm just telling you from the lots of experience doing a lot of stuff. Going through a lot of attacks. Going through periods where if Jesus don't show up, I'm sunk as sunk can be. I'll tell you right now that I know, that when I cannot control my emotions. When I cannot control the fear. When things are going on inside of me that are bizarre and you just, ahhh. You are disconnected.
And it doesn't matter what you do on the outside, who you see, what kind of counseling, what kind of drugs, or whatever you're doing, have at it. But I'm telling you right now, you'd better find as a believer a place of connection with Jesus because He is our strength. He is this ability. Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world. So you can say, "I'm a Christian now so I'm connected". Well, you are going to heaven if you die and Christ is on the inside of you, His presence, His Spirit. But the Bible teaches in Romans chapter 5 that the carnal mind is against the spirit, things of the spirit. This carnal mind, this, you're trying to figure everything out. And I like the mind. I'm always renewing my mind studying and reading and learning and learning management and systems and structures and people.
I love all that. God gave us a mind for a reason. But I must never disconnect from His presence because that is what gives me a peace that passes understanding. You just try and run something. You just try and get through a period without peace and I promise you, man, your guts will be in a knot. I promise you your health will suffer. You are not designed to go through the kind of fear and stress that this world will heap on you if you do not learn to stay connected to Christ. If you abide in Me and My words abide in you. You'll ask what you will, and it shall be done. When you understand everyday and every moment of everyday to have an awareness of His presence, of His goodness, of His love, of His strength, of His joy.
And you better know God's Word because if you don't, then the lies that come against you are gonna take you out. Which is why in Ephesians 6:10 is an astounding piece of scripture because it shows you how to make it through these periods of absolute insanity when you think everything is going wrong, when nothing seems to be going right. When you wonder if you're gonna make it through. If you wonder if you're crazy. What is wrong with me? Or where is God? Etcetera. In Ephesians 6:10, it says, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might". He's telling us here that this very phrase, I could preach on for hours because the way it is put together, he is not saying that you have to find it. He's not saying that he's gonna provide it. He's saying you've already got it because he says be it. If I tell somebody, be a man. I'm speaking to a man. He is a man. He's got the outdoor plumbing and everything else. He needs to be a man. Be a man. Okay?
So when God says be strong, He's telling you something that you can do, but you're not gonna be able to do it on your own. You do it connected to Christ every day. Everything you just do. Every relationship, your marriage, being a husband, being a wife, being a friend, being in business. Whatever it is, you must stay connected because the force and the flow and the strength of God that comes into your life gives you a peace and a joy that you can imagine. But then it goes on to say not only you can be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might, but you have an armour. The apostle Paul is looking at an armour. And he talks about things like and for times let me just blast through this. He talks about take on the whole armour of God. Not a little bit, put on the whole armour.
Why does he say the whole armour? Because some people are walking around in one piece. It's like going to battle in your Fruit of the Loom or your Gucci underwear. It's like, are you kidding me? In coming! Boom! Oh, oh, oh. Well, put the armour on. The armour is the same armour Jesus wore and he teaches us that in Isaiah. That Jesus wore an armour. This armour and he says put it all on. So what do you mean put it on? Well, each piece of the armour that is listed in these verses is a revelation of the truth and to not have that revelation of the truth is to not be wearing it. And that means that any attack in that area will take you out. You'll continually, by that I mean, every day a thought in this area of a piece of armour you don't have on will take you out.
Let's move on. So be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we don't wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, okay, he's mentioning different layers of demons. He's mentioning that there's a spirit world here. He's mentioning that we're not in heaven yet. So what do you do? Put the armour on. And he doesn't say that we have to figure all these fantastical different ways of intercessory prayer. No, he just says put the armour. Why? When you're wearing a piece of armour, do you have to do anything when the bullet comes at you if it's a bullet stopping vest? No, the vest stops it for you.
And here's what the pieces that it says. It says take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth. Truth. Jesus said I am the way, the truth. He doesn't say that Jesus is a truth. And that this religion has a truth and that religion has a truth. He very clearly said I am the way, the truth, and the life. And no man comes to the Father except through Me. He wiped out every other way to Jesus. I know that we want to say, "Well, you know, come on! Don't be so exclusive". Truth is exclusive. All truth is. All truth is exclusive. If I say, "Well, gravity says don't you jump off the building because you'll always kill yourself from four stories up". Why you just can say that like you had the truth? Okay, why you say that to me?
Gravity is a truth. It is going to work. Yeah, but I mean, it can't be the only truth. Listen to me. So people get so upset when a Christian will share Jesus and begin to show the exclusivity. There is no way to God. Jesus came to end all religions. So truth. And truth isn't a whole bunch of formulas. Truth is a person. Jesus said I am the truth. So when you look at Jesus who came to this earth in a human body and took on a human body and that is God with us. And Jesus says when you see Me, you've seen the Father. Then you are looking at truth. You are looking at truth or the original norm. You are looking at what God intended. You are looking at how God is. You're looking at how God handles things. He is the truth. You need to know this truth. To not know the truth about Jesus, is the enemy he's gonna attack your brain in these areas of truth.
Then it goes on to take on with the other pieces. Put on the breastplate of righteousness. Do you know what righteousness is? It means to be in right standing with God. So that you can qualify for every blessing, every protection, everything. But righteousness so many people think they have to be good to get God's righteousness. Which then becomes self-righteousness because your good works, you think get you righteous. But righteousness is a gift Romans 5 says. So until you understand righteousness, you're not even wearing the breastplate.
Can you imagine going into battle with your helmet on, nothing from here to here. You got your waist. You got your feet. You got everything going on and this thing wide. Where do you think the enemy's gonna shoot? He's not shot at your head. It's well covered. He shot at your chest. And he'll always harass you in the area of your righteousness. Are you good enough? And he'll nail you with condemnation from the deeds of your past and the failures of your past and the sins of your past. That's all he's got to do because you aren't wearing the armour. How do I stop this Leon? Get the armour on! Then it goes on to say, and you must have your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
Do you know that most people don't know the word gospel even means? Oh, it means good news. I'm going to heaven. It's so much bigger than that. When you understand the good news of the gospel, which means what did Jesus do on the cross, from the cross, from His death, His burial, His resurrection, to seated at the right hand of the Father. If you don't know what this has done for you, then you don't even know how to keep peace. Until you understand the gospel, you will not keep peace in your life, in any area. But when you know the gospel, peace is something you'll never let go of. Peace is something you can stay in your entire life. Do you even understand the gospel? But then it goes on, it says, take the shield of faith. You know, when thoughts and lies and junk begin to hit your head, arrow after arrow. It's what you believe that stops all the lies. What do you believe?
Shield of faith. It's not even a problem. Why? Well, you know, if I was to say to you, like, something like God is just a liar. You know what you believe already puts that lie out. That lie is not even effective. But it will attack something in you that you're having a hard time believing. Then it goes on to say the helmet of salvation. The word salvation or sozo in the Greek. It does not mean save from hell alone. It means save from hell, save from the curse of the law, save from spiritual death, and all that it entails. And to not know that is to go through things in life and it's literally you will be in a panic as thoughts and things and the pressures of life push at you and you're trying to believe God for a miracle and it's not happening. It's God's not delaying it. God's not withholding it. Or couldn't just God be waiting for a better time?
The Bible says today is the day of salvation. And the word salvation means save from all the curse of the law. So it's always today. God is not holding back on us sucker. Just learn a little bit first. No, that's bunch of religious lies. Then it goes on to talk about the sword of the Spirit. Well, the sword is only the offensive weapon. When you go into battle and you got all your armour and no sword. What are you doing? Nothing. Always on the defensive, defensive, defensive. But if you've got a sword, you pull this baby out. They're gonna get a taste of some hard steel.
What is a believer's sword? What begins to make your way through the stuff of life? It's the Word of God praying always. Pray the Word. Speak the Word. That's the sword of the Spirit. It goes on to talk about all these things and what I want to say to you is this, you need to stay connected to Him and Holy Spirit's job will be to lead you into all truth. His job will be this peace that passes understanding. This joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. This patience that in the middle of whatever is going down, you just know when the smoke clears, I will be standing because I'm wearing His armour and my source is Him and I'm not moving. I'm going forward.