Leon Fontaine - Come Boldly
I want to talk today about the believer. If you've made the decision to follow Christ, did you know that it is a choice to be bold. It is a choice to be courageous. In Proverbs 28:1 it says, "The wicked run when nothing is even chasing them, but the righteous, now they're as bold as a lion". So many Christians are running from their lives the way God wants them to be thinking they've got some curse on them, their family. I don't know how many people will say kind of, "Well, you know, I just feel like I'm cursed, or our family just seems cursed, or we can't seem to get ahead financially. We just seem cursed".
And you look at them and realize this belief is chasing them away from the prosperity that God has called them to. Some people are running from things like, "Oh, I just, that God's going to get me for what I've done in my past". And they think they're going to be punished. They think there's an angry God out there and so they're running from them. They don't even get out to church or dive into the Word because they feel so guilty about things they've done. They feel like God doesn't want them. And so they're running from the stunning blessing that's already been provided by Jesus because they don't understand that righteousness according to Romans is a gift. Romans 5:17 and on, righteousness is a gift. Why can God smile at you and be pleased with you, be excited about you, and just see you as in right standing because Jesus is our righteousness.
When it says the wicked flee with nobody pursuing them. If you ever get back into the things of the flesh, which means you start thinking through your five senses that we talked about the last couple of Sundays. You're going to be defeated. You're going to be so defeated. And there are so many people today who don't understand that boldness, confidence. Now, when I say boldness, it does not mean arrogant, condescending, thinking you're better than anybody else. That is a worldly boldness. You know, the world has this confidence that is so fake and so phony. They'll even say things like fake it till you make it. That might work for a few of them but there's something different about a believer.
You see, as you choose to be bold, the boldness is really there. It's in your spirit. Now, you've got to renew your mind. You've got to get your heart convinced with His Word, but it is the real you. Reminds me of watching a 007 movie. You know, James Bond, when he's sitting there, and he said some kind of a card game that has the world is at stake. And they're bluffing. You know, he doesn't really have much of a hand. Like, I got news for you. If you were playing poker, you would have a royal flush. There is no better hand. You're going to win for sure, guaranteed. That's what it's like to have God's courage. The righteous are bold as a lion because they know they are righteous, not on their own efforts but it comes from Jesus as a gift. And we've got to understand that or you're going to spend the rest of your life running this pathetic life that is nowhere near the confidence, the trust, the boldness, the faith in God's grace which is His ability. You're going to live up this pathetic thing that is so far removed from what you were actually called to.
It says in Ephesians 2:10 that God has created paths for your life ahead of time. That you should walk in them. Those paths are so exciting, so blessed, so prosperous, so purpose-filled. It just filled with destiny. But most kids in churches today, they want to go back into the world because at least there's some fun and passion. And let's get to a party and live it up. I'm just so tired of being around my parents because it's all don't do this, don't do that, don't do this, don't do that. And all there is, is Bible reading, go to church, and wait for Jesus to rescue you. Listen, God created the world. He created the beaches. He created the ability to create planes. He created the ability to create countries. And so it is the believer Jesus says in John 10:10, I am come that you could get a life and then to have it more abundantly.
Are you living the life you desire? Are you living in the relationships you desire? I'll put it this way. Are they the kind of relationships you want? The Bible has a really cool verse. It says come boldly to the throne of grace. I was reading this a little while when I thought, "Oh, Jesus. This is amazing". It doesn't say come boldly to the throne of judgment. Wow, I couldn't do that. It doesn't say come boldly to the throne of punishment. It doesn't say come boldly to the throne of holiness that you'll never be able to live up to. It says come boldly to the throne of grace. That word grace, you may as well read it this way. Come boldly to the throne of favors. That's what it means. Come boldly to the throne of favors. And the biggest favor that God has done for you is that all of His ability is yours as a favor.
The word "grace" literally means undeserved favor. It's how you get it and what it is that you get is His ability. Come boldly to the throne of His ability. Come boldly to the throne of the favors that you need because you can't do it on your own. If we do not look to Jesus, you are going to fail every time. And when we stand before Jesus at the end of this age, He wants to know. Did your life have any eternal impact? Did you share your faith? Did you represent Christ? Where you a person who shared the Gospel? We may as well be on spiritual birth control pills if we're not going to get up and boldly share the Jesus that we love and live the life that makes them jealous.
You know, the word "blessed" actually means happy, fortunate, and to be envied. I often asked, "Hey, are you happy? Are you enjoying your life"? Well, you know. Oh, come on! The righteous are as bold as a lion. Bold to do what? Bold to come to the throne of grace and get His ability to make relationships work. Get His ability to make your finance work. Get His ability that get your mind and emotions under control. This is such an amazing scripture. Oh, the wicked or anybody who is in fear, anybody who doesn't choose faith. They run with nothing pursuing them. Nothing! But the righteous are as bold as a lion. Boldly come to the throne of grace.
There's a verse in the Bible in Galatians 5 and it's talking here about how Christians keep moving back into their own energy and they're back into their own ability, their own strengths. And in Galatians 5:4 it says when you do this, you have fallen from grace. It's a term that people have preached from. They think it means you lose your salvation. No. You don't lose the fact that Jesus is within you and you go to heaven when you die. But grace is God's ability. And if you do not learn to live at the throne of grace and you keep walking away in your own ability, your own worries, your own anxieties, your own self. That it's time to come back boldly to the throne of grace. You need mercy. You need His grace. You need His ability and get back there and stay there.
Fallen from grace means you've fallen from the incredible ability to use His grace, His favor, His ability in every area of your life. Pretty much whenever I really start to struggle too much in some area of my life. I realize I've got into my own ability, my own work. That doesn't mean that I should not develop skills of management, skills of administration, skills in the Word of God, skills to preach, skills as a CEO, skills as a pastor. Oh, I love all those skills because we've got to add some skills. But my trust has to stay in the grace of God. The ability of God that comes to me as a favor. It doesn't come to me because I earned it. It comes as a favor. I'm challenging you today. What kind of a life are you living? Stop! I'm not judging your life. I'm asking you. Could you be real with yourself and say, "Do I enjoy what I'm doing with my life? And is my life filled with purpose"? It's this purpose that Jesus brings us, that gets us up in the morning.
People are looking for a purpose. Man, they're just any kind of crazy thing out there. You have a purpose that far exceeds anything on this planet. Your life, whether you are in business or health care. As a mom, a dad, everything that you do every day is about advancing the kingdom of God. It's about getting the gospel out. You can't just sit around saying, "Well, we're going to have a prayer meeting". Listen, prayer is mainly to get you fired up and believing. Yet it's not just that but that's what it's mainly is. My prayer life...
People say, "Well, you know, how do you pray"? I'm hanging out with God, spending time with God. Making sure that His energy, His ability, His strength, His peace, His joy, His grace, His gifts that are within me. So that everything that I do, I can do with the resources of God flowing from me. And that resource can be to be a husband, to be a pastor, to be a dad, to be a friend, to be a grandpa, to handle finances, to handle people, to deal with storms and problems. It is so incredible that this throne of grace. There are so many times in my life where I'm struggling with something and I'll just remember. I've walked away from God's ability. And this verse rises up and I just run back. God, I'm so sorry. I'm coming to Your throne of grace. I need mercy for this. I need Your ability, Your grace. It's always there. Thank God, it's a throne of grace. The church has a responsibility to its cities, to its nation, not just to pray.
Now, I'm going to say something, and you better quote me right. I think in many cases prayer is just an excuse for wimpy, weak, cowardly people to never share with anybody they know about their Jesus although we have prayer meetings to pray for the nation. What good is it to pray for the nation if the way souls are saved is through sharing the gospel, and the Bible calls it preaching and you're all called to be preachers. So it says, but how can they hear unless someone tells them. And how can someone tell them unless someone is sent. And it just goes to this whole line. Every one of us must be sharing from politics to medicine, to business, wherever you are to represent Christ. Not in an arrogant, preachy way but in a way that lives it and shares it in a bold way that is unashamed.
I love the word unashamed in Romans 1:16 because it says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ". It didn't say, "Don't be ashamed of some of the Christians". It just said no. So don't be ashamed of the gospel because it is the power. What's the power? Somebody with this confident, bold thing that speaks up at a coffee table. Rather than, "Well, I don't really want to turn them off". Listen, if they don't know Jesus, you can't get more off than off. If the light switches off, it's off. Somebody needs to, with intelligence and wisdom in a Spirit Contemporary way stand up for the way of life and then leave it. And as you do, you're going to find that people are supposed to be attracted to the lives that we live as believers. So get up and pursue what God has called you to do.
But here the apostle Paul is saying, he says, "Let your conduct be without covetousness". And he says, "Be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you or forsake you.' So we may boldly say, 'The Lord is my helper. I will not fear. What man can do to me'"? Which is quoting from Psalm 118:6. The apostle Paul is saying the help that I have got, I've got to get up and go do something for Him. This courage that I'm talking about is a choice. This courage is not a feeling. Everybody feels the same push of fear. Everybody feels the same push of uncertainty. Why? Because we are in these physical bodies with a mind that is not renewed totally on a planet where Satan hasn't yet been dealt with. There is a lease on this planet that Adam gave away. When that lease is up, he's done. In the meantime, we need Him. We need to choose courage.
One of my favorite verses about courage is Psalm 27:14, it says, "Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart". Well, I want Him to strengthen my heart so I can be courageous Leon. No, you've got it backwards. You choose courage. You choose to rise up and to be bold, to stand for what is right, to stand for the King of kings, to stand up wherever you are for the marginalized. Like stand up. And then it says, "When you do, you'll just sense the strength rise up in your heart". Because the strength really is there. Someone might say to me as a Christian, "I'm just not strong"! Lie! It's in your spirit. Somebody else might say, "Oh, I'm just so confused". Lie! Your spirit is not confused. Well, you know. I mean, I'm just, I'm just really shy. When shyness destroys your future, it is not your personality. It is something that you need to deal with. The Word is very clear that we need to choose courage.
In 1 Chronicles 19:13, it says, "Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly". Listen to me, courage is not just an internal thing. Courage is seen by how you behave. Do you behave in a valiant way? Do you stand up for truth? Do you look for every opportunity you can to step into a situation and share Jesus as the hope of the future. We must choose courage and behave valiantly, and God will be all over you.
I remember as a young man, my dad and I were talking. I would have been about 16. I would have been 17 and 18. One day, we're talking about being a leader. And he said something to me I never forgot. That's 40 years ago. He said, "Leon, confidence increases the presence of God on your life". Confidence increases the presence of God on my life. I never forgot that. And then I began to recognize it's not a phony confidence. It's not a fake it till you make it confidence. But there is a confidence of boldness, a courage that is in my recreated spirit. That when I choose, which is what you do with your mind. I choose to act valiantly. I choose to do the courageous thing. That is amazing how something rises up within me because all of that is in my spirit.
Joshua, I don't know what was wrong with Joshua. Maybe nothing, but there are more verses telling Joshua to be courageous than any other leader I can find in the Bible. So it makes me wonder. Did that gifted, wonderful leader, that by the way goes down in history as an amazing leader of God's people, if he did not struggle with courage. Over and over He uses this line, it says, "Joshua, have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage". If God says be something. Then you simply are being who you is. You're being who you is.
You know, often when men start talking to each other and we get together. There's times that after you've counseled and you've chatted, and you've tried to help somebody. You just say something like, "Come on! Just be a man"! Why can you say that? Because he is one. Just be who you is. You, you're created in the likeness and the image of Jesus. You are courageous. You are valiant. You are filled with the ability of God. You can run through a troop, leap over a wall. There's nothing that will stand before you all the days of your life. As God was with Moses, He will be with you. We choose courage.
There's a verse I don't like in Revelations 21:8. It starts talking that just says, "But as for you cowards, you contemptible". You, it says, "You cravenly lacking in courage. You cowardly submissive". It means you're submitting to the wrong things. And it goes on talking about, you know, it's this people that get involved that says in magic arts, idolatry. They get involved in witchcraft and all this junk. It says they need the courage to stand up for what is right, what is truth. You know, courage is an incredible thing. Courage, when you choose courage and you begin to act valiantly, it does something to you. We become mentally stronger. It increases our confidence to choose courage and stand up for what is right. We increase our self-esteem. Standing up for what is right increases our feelings and our sense of self-worth. We inspire others when we choose to be courageous. It literally becomes the culture of your team, your business, your family.
Is there a culture in your family? If there isn't one, then they're by accident. But choose a culture of courage, a culture of love, a culture of Christ. We inspire others with our courage. We create better communities, better homes, better workplaces, better schools, when we act out our courage. Courage enhances the moral climate of our cities, our workplaces, our country. It helps increase awareness in others and it starts them into action. We become people of integrity. Without courage, you will never do anything in this world. Courage is one of the most important attributes in your life because without courage, you won't attempt any of the other characteristics. Courage choose, make a decision that there is courage within me.
I don't care if you were raised and trained to be weak. If you were raised and trained to be a loser. I don't care if you tattooed a big halo on your forehead. It's a lie. The Bible says that God's Word be true and every man a liar. You! You are made in the likeness and the image of God. You! You've been washed in the blood of the lamb, forgiven, recreated in your spirit man. And as you just get into His Word and renew your mind, make your body a living sacrifice. He gives you the ability to do that. Why? So we can live lives that makes this world jealous. And then we can share this remarkable, amazing, wonderful Jesus that we have found and fallen in love with. Amen? Amen!