Leon Fontaine - In The Presence of My Enemies
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. So I'm going to lack nothing. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures and He leads me beside the still waters. So He brings me calm, strength, rest, and quietness. He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. So He brings me strength and He leads me in right paths for His kingdom purpose, His reputation. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
So even when I walk through a dark valley, I sense Your presence and I receive Your protection. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over. So I enjoy Your blessings in the middle of enemies all around me. I am continually being refreshed and blessed. There's a flow that comes my way that even I can't contain. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. So good things, love, and loyalty pursue me all my life and I will live with Father God forever.
This 23rd Psalm under the inspiration of Holy Spirit is showing us a stunning look at our lives. Today, I want to talk about, and I entitled my message, "In the Presence of My Enemies". Someone asked me one time, "Would you pray that the devil stops harassing me"? And I said, "Really? You want to die". No! No, no, no. I'm just tired of the enemy. You know, he's always after me. Well, that's only going to stop when you get to heaven. And so we have to understand that while we're on this planet, we always have an enemy. The devil would like to divide us up by language and country and the color of our skin and all of our different beliefs. But the fact is there are only two kingdoms. The kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. And we have to understand this otherwise, I mean, the question is, who is my enemy?
Well, John 10:10 says the thief comes to steal, to kill, to destroy. Jesus said, "I am come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly". When you don't have a life that is abundant and fulfilling and full of joy and laughter and peace, then God's not behind that. The enemy is behind that. Everything that kills, steals, and destroys. That's the thief. That's the kingdom of darkness. In Ephesians 6:12 it says, "For we do not 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". Here it's saying our enemy is not people.
Now, if someone is attacking you and you've got to defend yourself. Well, of course, you treat them like an enemy. You're not going to just stand there and go, "Oh, he's not my enemy". While he shoots your kid or takes a baseball bat to you. So I'm not a pacifist that just goes, "Oh, I guess whatever will be, will be". No way! When Peter was talking to Jesus on the second time they were going out, he said, "Hey, we got two swords as we go on our journey". Said, "Good". Jesus goes, "Good. That's enough". But when you look at people as the enemy, you've got to remember that there is always something behind the anger, the attack.
There's always something behind this attack against you personally or against us as a city, a country, our way of life, etcetera. And when you recognize that if you just deal with the people that are being used to hurt you in business, family, etcetera. That he'll just find someone else who's not in control of their emotions and beliefs, and he'll use them as well. So when the Bible says He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Do you know how phenomenal that promise is? Most people in the presence of their enemies are behind the tree. They are eating some kind of a snack bar while they're running for their life. They are living in this defensive posture with the wagons circled. But the Bible is saying here that when you know your God, when you begin to rise up in faith, that He prepares a table for you when it comes to the blessing of God.
What that means is publicly. What that means is the favor of God is so real that you're not cowering behind the fence. You're not hiding behind the tree. You're sitting at a table with the overflowing food and things to drink and nourishment. And a table means laughter and friendships. A table means family and all the blessing of God. In the midst of whatever is going on in your life. Don't let the enemy get you afraid and circling the wagons so that you are like the world so full of fear. That the more you watch the news, and by the way, just so you know the news is never accurate because it never tells the whole truth. It tells the piece they want you to have because the more scared they can make you, the more they'll get you to watch them.
And then we need more and more laws to control us. Recognize that we do not live in fear, but that God prepares a table in the very presence of our enemies. The very presence of what everybody is freaking out by. You go on laughing and enjoying the life that God has prepared for you and I. So the enemy is not people. There is something behind it. So it says here in Ephesians 6, we do not wrestle with flesh and blood. But there is a spirit force behind it all.
In Galatians 3:13, it says here that Christ has redeemed us from the curse that the law brought into our lives when we disobeyed it. You see, there's a thief who's always trying to steal your freedom, steal your peace, steal the blessing of the Lord on your life. And we're not wrestling with people. Now, we have to deal with people. If someone comes against you and sues you'll be dealing with that person. If someone comes after your property with a knife, you better deal with that person. But recognize that while you're dealing with things or people or things that are coming at you in your personal life. That you need to be addressing the spirit force that is behind it and we're going to talk about that in just a minute. Here it talks about the curse.
Now, you need to see the curse as the enemy. Now, what is the curse? Well, according to Deuteronomy 28 or after verse 15, it list 50 verses approximately of curses. And the reason you need to read them is because you never welcome them. Sickness is a curse. It is an enemy. Poverty is a curse. It is an enemy. Mental illness is a curse. It's an enemy. Nobody wants it. We all deal with these things. That we don't accept them as this is the wonderful blessing God has given to me. No! We accept the people. Absolutely, because we're all working on something. But we've got to recognize that if you could find it written under the list of curses, that you must treat it like an enemy, not the person, not your family member. But what it is it's trying to steal their joy, steal their ability to rise up in the giftedness God has placed within them.
We live in a fallen world and too many Christians are accepting things that are written down under the curse of the law, and Jesus has redeemed us from that curse. So who is our enemy? Let me help you out. This is not a thesis on doctrine, but I want to help you. Our enemy is anything, is the thief. He tries to steal, kill, and destroy. It's not flesh and blood people. You may have to defend yourself against people or organizations. But that is not what is the most powerful thing. It is what is behind it all. It is the spirit force. And we've got to recognize that whenever this curse, any part of the curse begins to push at your life, there ought to be an immediate reaction in you that goes, "No! No way"! And if you don't have yourself equipped that way, then you're going to live your life in a way that just, "Well, this is the way it is. Life gets harder. Life gets worse. I'm getting older. What can I say".
Well, you need to say what the Bible says. So what do we do as believers? Well, once you recognize that what is going on between you and your loved ones that is hurting relationships. They're not the enemy. It's the spirit of the enemy behind it all shooting fiery darts of beliefs and thinking and attacking emotion and trying to remove joy and replace it by anger, trying to remove peace and replace it by an agitation and a self-centeredness and it's a flesh part of us. The Bible says that is here we've always going to deal with it. The Bible says that the flesh in you wars against your recreated spirit. So Holy Spirit is in your human spirit but then you have a flesh.
Now, this flesh is basically the selfish side of you wanting to look after yourself your way and the flesh will always rise up. And so the Bible teaches us that we should have the mind of Christ. Let this mind be in you that it talks about. So what are you going to do? We need to recognize that whatever you're dealing with in your relationships, your health, in your business, in your career, in your country, in etcetera. That if it's not life-giving, that behind it all, somewhere you are going to find that there is a spirit force at work. Now, what do we do in our lives? Well, we need a weapon. We need a weapon that doesn't just work against flesh and blood because that's only a small part of what we need to deal with. We need a weapon that deals with spirit forces.
And so when you go into Ephesians 6 where it talks about that we are struggling with principalities, with powers, rulers. It is talking about the spirit realm. So many people will laugh about that in the world as though that's not a big deal. But what they don't understand is what's behind it all. There are people right now who want good government, and I want good government from country to country, but good government doesn't last. If you just put in a leader or you put in a system of government, but you don't change the hearts of the people. Then they'll be another leader coming along and laws will change that will try to bring tyranny in.
So how do we deal with this in our personal lives, in our business lives, in our country, in our world. We need to understand the sword of the Spirit. The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God praying. It is the most stunning thing given to believers but so few do it. The Bible says the fervent prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available, dynamic in its working. So if we are not going to pray the Word. If we are not going to declare God's Word, then you are going to find you will continually fighting things in your everyday life like relationship issues and business issues, career issues, city issues, government issues, country issues. I mean, money issues. The list just goes on. And instead of dealing with this with a sense of victory that overcomes. You're continually being pushed back and it's like the enemy will try to entangle you.
So you need to understand that although there's certain amount of authority in this world, there are governments over Russia that have authority, a government over Canada has a certain amount of authority. But did you know that in the realm of the two kingdoms. The kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light that it is human beings who know Christ and who speak His Word that must take the authority that is in us as human beings because God gave it to us. And the authority that is in God's Word that Jesus won for us on the cross and we must enforce it. If there is no enforcing of authority, there is no real authority. That is why at some point parents forget that as your child grows up that when they're a certain size and they're a certain age, you don't have any power anymore. You have no authority.
How do you enforce that authority? You can't. And so as a Christian, you need to understand that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God praying always. Now, that doesn't mean that when you pray God's Word, you're screaming at the devil like so many of the military "people". No, what you're doing is you as the authority of your life and your future have linked up with Jesus Christ. He's on the inside of you but you still need to declare your future. You need to prophesy your future. So that means getting up and saying that my future will be filled with blessing and favor. That no weapon formed against me will prosper. That my youth will be renewed like the eagles. That my children will be taught of the Lord. That my children will always be rescued. That my seed, meaning every generation will be rescued by Him.
As you begin to declare the Word of God with faith, and with Jesus Christ on the inside, you instantly transform from a person who can only deal with physical enemies to a person who is now in authority to deal with the spirit that is behind it all. That is the thief. That is the dark side, by that I mean the kingdom of darkness who will never stop. So should we be worried? No. We should rise up and declare. Because when you decide to declare God's Word over your family, your marriage, your health, etcetera. Then you begin to see that the shield of faith works. That the breastplate of righteousness bounces off every lie of the enemy. That the helmet of salvation stops every clubbing on the head.
There's nothing the enemy can do once you declare in faith the Word of God, believe it and don't stop daily declaring whose you are, who you are, where you're going, what your purpose in life is. And when you do that, your children will learn this and at the young age they'll know who they are. And as we raise up our children, we need to raise them up in the areas that we can influence our countries. We need to raise them up in governments and health care and military. We need to raise them up in education, the arts, entertainment, in business, in the media. The church of Jesus Christ and all the giftedness that is in us and our kids and our grandkids needs to rise up and influence all of these areas. So that we see Jesus coming to these areas of our lives.
If you're watching from another life-giving church, plug in, tithe, give to that church, roll up your sleeves, figure out how you can help out in any way possible because the only hope, you really think a vaccine's going to change things? You're really thinking a new government's going to change things? You really think? Listen to me. I want all that we can do. But I'll tell you right now. If we do not come against what is behind anything that will steal your freedom, anything that will kill your body, anything that will separate grandparents from grandchildren, anything that will separate, you name it. That is not God behind that. The spirit force behind it all is the kingdom of darkness, and we need to be speaking the Word of God.
So go back and take Psalm 23 and recognize that you can say out loud, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. So I will lack nothing. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. So He brings me calm, strength, rest, and quietness. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. So He brings me strength and leads me in right paths for His kingdom purposes. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You're with me, Your rod and Your staff comforts me. So even when I walk through a dark valley, I sense Your presence and I receive Your protection. Thou preparest a table before me in the very presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over.
So I enjoy Your blessings in the middle of enemies all around me. I am continually being refreshed and blessings flow my way more than I can even contain. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I'm going to dwell in the house of the Lord forever. So good things, love, and loyalty pursue me all my life and I'll live with God forever. You know, many people they're always waiting to see what evil's going to be follow them.
I've got news for you. I'm not worried about evil tracking me down because the goodness of God tracks me down. I'm not worrying, the Bible says that the wicked flee with no one pursuing them but they're always afraid. The cops are going to get me. Well, something's going to get me. Some are afraid disease is going to get me. Some are afraid they're going to lose, that they'll divorce. They're always wondering what's pursuing them. When the other shoe going to drop? When are my chickens going to come home to roost?
Take this 23rd Psalm and pray it. And then pray in your own words like I just did and declare, "This is my life. This is who my God is to me". And if you don't know where to start, start with the 23rd Psalm. Pray it every day, until this become so real that you know that it's the loyalty of God. The love of God. His goodness, it's chasing me down. Behind every trees is not a Boogeyman. It's the presence of God. Behind every mountain is an army of angels on my behalf. Behind everything the enemy meant for harm, God turns it around for good. Start to declare the Word. That is praying the Word. That is how Jesus dealt with the enemy and it is how you need to start today.