Leon Fontaine - Do Great Things
As a young man, I became very aware that if I wanted to live my life in an exciting way, I needed to hear the voice of God. I needed for myself to know His direction, to know when He puts something in my spirit. When I talk about the voice of God, I don't mean with my physical ears. But I'm going to talk today about the voice of God and what the Bible says about that in your life. As a kid growing up in a pastors' home, both my mom and my dad. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God spoke to them, not because they were pastors because pastors don't hear the voice of God clearer because we're pastors. We must train and equip our ear to hear, not our physical ear, but I will call it the ear of your heart.
And so many people don't get it. I would watch dad. My father often would say, "I got to go right now. I'll be back". And where are you going? I'm going to so and so's house. And you just knew God has spoken to him. He go there at a certain time and it was God guiding him all the way. He would even at times get a number in his head and then God say, "That house number this, over there knock on the door". And in it would be an emergency, a guy was dying. Prayed with him. God healed him. I've watched my mom and there was times things go on in the house. She knew what was going on in my life. She knew when things were happening that she had to sit one of us kids down and say okay. And she'd guide us away from the enemy tempting us into things as young kids, as young guys.
I knew in watching them that God guided them in ministry, in parenting, in marriage. They would know to pray about certain things. They would even write it down and say, "At this time, God had me praying for you". And they talked to the person we're talking about. I mean, it's exciting to know that God speaks to you and I. And so as a young man, I knew that if I was going to live my life the way God designed it. You see, for you God's got a business life, a family life. He's got a career. He's got a relationship that He wants with you. That isn't just a book with a bunch of rules. It is a book that helps you equip and train your heart so that you could hear the presence of God. You can sense the presence and you can hear the voice, the direction of God.
I've often shared different stories, and certain stories I kept repeating them because they lend themselves good to certain points. But I remember in my late teens being in a restaurant one time by myself after working. And as I was about to walk out the door, I paid. I just sensed it in my stomach, in my heart this gut feeling of, "Oh, don't go out that door". And I just, what's going on? I just kept walking and an even stronger sense of foreboding. "Do not walk out that door", is what I sensed. And I remember literally knowing I can't go out that door of the restaurant. So I went through the kitchen. They got all upset and they're screaming at me. I didn't care. I walked out, got to my car, drove around and sure enough there's two guys standing one on each side of the door and one guy had a knife in his hand. I don't know if it was for me or someone else, but I was the next guy through that door, and I didn't go ask him. I just drove off knowing thank You, God. You guide us. You lead us. You direct us.
There's things that when God gives us direction and He speaks to us. That what was wonderful as He also adds His peace to His voice. And I'm using the word voice for a reason because a voice is something powerful. It's something beautiful. When I walked in to one of my kids houses, their homes and they've got grandkids. When those grandkids hear my voice, I mean, their eyeballs light up. They come running. They want to hug me, sit on my lap, talk about doing something together. I remember whenever I hear my dad's voice or when I hear Sally's voice or one of the voices of my kids. We've all got distinct voices. And when you hear someone's voice, I mean, it just touches you. It's not just to communicate direction. It's also relationship.
Now, there's sometimes kids got to laugh at me. I can be so tired, but I don't want to miss anything. So if there's kids over and we're all hanging out. I mean, I'll go sit in a chair. There's times I'm even nodded off or I'm too tired to talk. But I just love sitting there with the family and hearing all these voices. All these voices filled with communication and love and telling stories and laughing and teasing and mock fighting and whatever else is going on. There's something about a voice that is warm and friendly and exciting and that is God's voice. It brings us direction. But when it brings us direction, it'll also brings peace as you are making that decision. Because some of the things that I've sensed God asked us to do have been things that probably would have freaked me out. And so hearing the voice of God, sensing the voice of God on the inside. It's so important.
And I knew as a young man that if I wanted direction in my life, I needed to train my ear to hear. And the Bible says that often that him that has ears hear. And it was amazing as I had learned before to hear the voice in the direction of God as a paramedic, as a dad, as a husband. That even in business and decisions that are millions of dollars or things going on. That God would never ever stop directing me. He will never stop speaking to my heart. And I want you to know that God is always talking to you. You might not receive.
You know, there's a drone that we use for our shots over here. And this drone is flying around this thing as I'm preaching. And we've got the operator sitting over here on the side and it communicates with that you can't even see a wire. But I can ask the guy with the control, "Could you move the lamp post over there". But the lamp post hasn't had the software downloaded on for him to control it. But it does control that one drone. I mean, you can take it for I think it's like eight kilometers and bring it back. This thing will hover. If it runs out of power, it literally just flies right back to where it's supposed to go and brings right down. It's unbelievable. The things that's been communicated. But the controls which are over here, all the software's in there.
Did you know that all the software, all that is needed for you to hear the voice of God is in you and you're always receiving it. It's just that you need to learn to train your ear to hear. You need to learn to train your heart to focus. And so as a young man, I really wanted to make sure. And as I dove into the Word of God, there was something that really helped me, and I want to talk to you about it and I want to teach you on it. I'm going to be reading to you out of John 1 just a few verses and this is from The Voice Bible. It's a wonderful translation. It says, "In the beginning before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God. This celestial Word remained ever present with the Creator. His speech shaped the entire cosmos. Immersed in the practice of creating, all things that exist were birthed in Him. His breath filled all things with a living, breathing light".
Let's just dive down to verse 16 for time. It says, "Through this man, meaning Jesus, we all receive gifts of grace beyond our imagination. You see, Moses gave us rules to live by, but Jesus the Anointed offered us gifts of grace and truth. God, unseen until now, is revealed in the Voice, God's only Son, straight from the Father's heart". Do you know what's so exciting about being a follower of Christ? One of the verses in the Bible, it says that when we became, give our lives to Christ. It's not like following dumb idols. And it's talking about other religions and idols that people pray and worship to. But it says our God, and the word "dumb" means silent. Our God is not silent. Our God does not speak to pastors. Our God speaks to everyone. He doesn't just speak to bishops and overseers. He speaks to everyone.
And that is the difference today when it comes to you and I following Jesus. Is that it's not just rules that you, if you obey all these, you're going to be blessed. No. There's a living dynamic being God Himself is communicating with you. It says in John 10, my sheep hear my voice. There is a receiving. Just like that drone was receiving instruction and carrying it out. You can receive instruction from God Himself. You can chat and talk with God. It doesn't even have to always be direction. It's amazing how His peace, His joy will touch you, speak to you. We've got to remember that God is active, alive. He's at work within you and I, communicating, talking.
There's times I'll be reading the Bible and something else strike my funny bone and He's guiding me and showing me things and I'll just start to laugh and giggle. And I'm positive He's laughing with me because God's got a sense of humor. Psalm 2 says He laughs. We know that God has emotions. He's not just a robot. But isn't it exciting that He is watching you and He's guiding you. He's always sending or He's always communicating with you. There is nothing that has ever happened to you positive, negative that God hasn't been trying to show you and direct you towards the blessing and away from the heartache and the pain. God is in love with you and I. He cares. But it's a good thing to understand that if you want to train yourself to hear God's voice, to hear His direction, to grow in it.
You need to know what the Word says. Much of the decision making, did you know that you make 2.500 decisions every day. That's what they tell us. Every day 2.500 decisions. Well, then you're also making bigger decisions about career, who you're going to marry, how you're going to handle a marriage problem, a business problem, a lawsuit, someone attacking you. There's a lot of big decisions that we make every day. And we've got to understand that those decisions often when I sense what I should do, the Word of God that I have meditated on and read and studied that's inside of me literally makes most of those decisions.
I can't do this because the Word says that. I can't do this because the Word says that. But yet there's lots of latitude to make decisions that I need God's direction. Which house to buy. Which city, if you get your career. If you have opportunities, where should I go? God will always lead you and guide you. But if you don't know the Word, the enemy has an amazing ability to slip in and he will even use the Word on you like he did on Jesus during the temptation of Jesus. And Jesus would say, "It is written". But then the devil starts quoting verses at Him.
Someone, "Well, Leon, that just confuses me. I just, I'm sorry but I just don't understand the Bible". Okay, I'm going to say something. So, you know, I'm going to hurt somebody but it's okay because I'm going to help you. When I was a kid, I did not understand fractions. I sat through weeks of teaching on fractions in grade school and although it's not my favorite topic. I now understand fractions. I just applied myself. Everything you've learned. You'd have to apply yourself and learn it. Get into God's Word. Get to some of the Bible school courses that we've got here. You know, get also some great books and great teaching. Apply yourself and learn the principles of the Word.
I remember taking English. Oh, man. I mean, what is a participle, and then you got a noun and you got pronouns. You got verbs. You got adverbs. You got clauses. And then you've got to figure all this sentence structure out. And then there's, and understood noun if there is no noun but there's verb leading the sentence and all of these rules. But even though I could just say and go, "I don't understand English. Mom, I don't like English. I don't want to go". I just applied myself and learned. All of us can apply ourselves to the Word. And you're going to be amazed as you apply yourself to learning and reading and studying. That rather than using this demonic excuse of, "I just don't understand the Bible". As though, it sets you free. You don't have to even try. You don't understand it. That is baloney. If you do not, the Bible says, "Study to show yourself approved unto God as workman that needeth not to be ashamed and rightly divide the word of truth".
To not know the Word is to risk your life. To not know God's Word will cost you dearly in marriage, in family, in generations, in decisions that you make because knowing His Word is both instructional and relational. Not only when I study the Word, do I have the wisdom that I can apply but I just sense God. And because I'm always spending time each day which anybody can do, I can sense His peace about something. And I've recognized that when I walk in a certain direction and there's no peace. I need to sit down and rethink what's going on. There's somebody right now listening to me and you're trying to make a decision. And this decision that you're trying to make, you've agonized over.
I want you to understand something. Getting direction from God is not complicated. It's not hard. The very simplest rule I could give on this new journey that you're going to start today, right? Is peace is the umpire of your heart. If you continue down a road that you don't feel good about and you're disturbed on the inside and you don't have a peace. Stop. Sit down. Don't keep advancing. If you're at the folk in the road and you don't know which way to go. Don't just flip a coin. Don't just go, "Well, I guess I'll go marry him anyway". Sit down. Get a hold of God. Yes, talk to people who love you and know you well. But as you do, you will learn that peace is the umpire of your life. When God speaks to us through His Word, it's one of the most beautiful, powerful things you could ever experience and you're experiencing it already. God is always directing. God is always speaking. And when God is giving you direction, there's a peace.
You know, when I was a little guy, I can be in the middle of a situation. But if I heard my dad's voice, I knew everything was going to be okay. There is something about hearing his voice and knowing. When I hear his voice, he's here with me. The things are going to be okay. He'll see me through. And I find the same thing now as a full grown man. That there are, there's a spirit realm. There's so many things I don't know that I can't do, and I rely on Father God as a man, as a warrior for the kingdom, as knight in His service. There's so many things that I still totally depend on. And when I sense His presence and He's okay, this peace and this strength is all over me. And when I make decisions on my own, it's like you're kind of ugh.
And you're trying to get going down this runway and it doesn't feel good. When God's voice is on the inside of you, directing you, leading you. You will know it. And if you are trying to avoid church or avoid study. You've got some good excuses and say, "Well, you know, what you don't know can't hurt you". That is such a baloney. It's what you don't know that is killing you. There are marriages right now. You are one piece of information away from having a phenomenal marriage. There's businesspeople right now. You are one piece of information away, one direction, one principle away from incredible breakthroughs and it's not knowing.
The Bible says in Hosea 4:6, "My people perished for a lack of knowledge". Let's make sure that when it comes to our lives, that we learn the Word. That we learn to sense the peace of God. This relationship with Jesus. So that as you are sitting there reading your Bible and you're walking through business decisions, financial decisions, marriage, etcetera. You know, you singles, the most important thing you will ever do is after giving your life to Jesus is deciding who you're going to spend the rest of your life with or deciding who you're going to spend the rest of your ministry with, because God has called you whether you're in finance or education, etcetera. He's called you to serve Him.
And so these decisions that you teenagers make. Then once you're married, there's decision you make about how to talk and where to go and what to. God will guide you. He'll guide you in His peace. His voice is never turn off. He's always guiding, leading, speaking to you on the inside. And my challenge to you is that it is time. It is time to stop just feeling like, "All I can do is, I'll just pray. If get in trouble, God's going to see me through". That's actually not biblically accurate. The Bible's very clear that if you want to know how to be incredibly successful and fulfilled in life, it's the Word of God.
The Bible says Jesus is the bread of life. You can be standing in a bakery looking at all the most beautiful different loaves of bread from Pumpernickel to rye to white to whatever kind of bread you like, sourdough. But if you don't eat it, it's not going to help you. You could starve to death in a bakery not eating. And Jesus is the bread of life means that your spirit life needs the Word of God. Our relationship with Jesus. And as you grow in that and as you rise up in responsibility, as God begins to direct you, as God begins to lead you up and bless you. You will need this ability to know the voice of God on the inside of you, to know the peace of God, to know the direction of God. The Bible says to train up a child in the way they should go and when they're older, they won't depart from it.
One of the things that Sal and I were so crucial to us is to teach our kids the Word, to get into Sundays school to a life-giving church, to always let them know how good God is. I didn't want them to learn all the crazy doctrines, you know, growing up in the denomination we were in. My mom and dad had great doctrine. But a lot of the pastors around that we would see and meet, and many would have conversations with me. And man, it was just so far off of who God was. And I don't know how people can ever hear or sense God if they don't even believe in the principles in His Word. And so to teach your children at age specific times who God is, who they are, what's ahead of them in life, how God will lead them, be there for them. We've got to do that. And you're going to be amazed how you can give your kids a head start as they understand the content of the Bible. The Spirit of what God is like.
You know, a lot of people think, "Well, you know, I just don't know what God is like". Well, the Bible says in the Old Testament that nobody could see the face of God. But yet in the New Testament, it says Jesus came to earth. God with us. I've learned. I'm far from perfect but you can learn the principles of God. You can learn to let the presence of God dominate the darkness, dominate the confusion. Rise up and be the man of God, the woman of God, the businessperson, the parent that you want to be. Stop giving credos to the enemy. He's a loser. But the Word will turn you into an amazing man and woman of God.