Leon Fontaine - Caught Between
Hey! Welcome everybody. It is so good to have you with me today. We have got a message. I am probably going to do it in two-parts. But we've got a message that you need to hear because it is one of the problems in the Christian world that causes all of your faith and the miraculous power of God and the favor of God in your life. It shuts it all down if you don't understand. And so the teaching I'm going to do as we walk through the Word of God. I want you to sit down, listen to this over and over and make sure that you are inoculated from making this or having this area cost you.
You know, as I travel around, it's amazing to me. The body of Christ, and, you know, how so few seemed to be walking out this incredible favor of God. The miracles, the promises, the things that He has for you and I. And so we've got to get to some of the reasoning behind that. And so this message today part 1 of I believe a two-part message is going to help you to begin to change. And it's going to be a little work, but we need to get to work. And you can't walk in the power and the blessing of God without studying His Word, planting it in your heart, changing the way you talk. This whole process of faith. There's a story in the Bible it is very enlightening. Now, the Old Testament the Bible says there's types and shadows.
Now, when you see something's shadow, that's not the real thing, but it is a shadow of the real thing. And so often in the Old Testament there were types and shadows of the life to come with Jesus. What would it be like to be a born-again, spirit-filled child of the King after Jesus died on the cross, rose again, ascended into heaven. I mean, a lot of the Old Testament is predicting it and giving us shadows, a look and learning. So one of the things that is a crucial story is the prophet Elijah. During the time of Elijah was a prophet. Baal worship was everywhere. It was a wicked, horrible, religion. But the people had moved. The people of Israel had moved towards worshipping. It was idolatry.
And so Elijah, I mean, prompted by God he gathered them all together. I mean, 450 of the prophets of this horrible religion. This wicked idolatrous religion. And the people gathered, and he looked at them and he said, and I'm going to read to you from 1 Kings 18:21, "And Elijah came to all the people, and he said, 'How long halt you between two opinions?'" Now, in the King James it says, "Halt you". Another words, when you got two opposite opinions, it halts you. It stops you. And then he said, "If the Lord be God, follow him. But if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word". Why? Because he's dead on the money. He's got a whole bunch of people who want the blessing from both sides. So just in case Baal can help me with what I want. I want to go there. And just in case if God can help me, I'd better be careful. I'm going to go there. And they're riding the fence.
There are two opinions. I always tell people that when you ride the fence, it's barbwire. I remember as a young guy and if I tried to jump this barbwire fence. And I kind of did the scissoring. You know, when you do high jump, you can kind of do the back flop or you can do the scissoring. You run at the bar on a high jump and you simply curl over. So I tried that scissor jump and right on, I bounced up and down hooked into the barbwire right between my legs. One leg on one side in this pasture and one leg on the other side in the other pasture. And I'm telling you the pain. I couldn't get off. My feet were off the ground. It was awful. That's the way life is when you are caught between two opinions. And today, many people, "Oh, that's not me". Just a minute. Let's do some diagnostics. Let's get into the Word of God. And if you will listen, allow Holy Spirit to work on the inside of you. There's an interesting verse in the Bible in James 4:1-8.
And before I get into that, I want to preface by saying, this is so serious. That as I take you through the Word of God, that the New Testament, the new covenant has a lot to say. That when people have two opinions. They're not completely sure. If you say, "Are you one hundred percent sure that the Word, the promises of God"? Well, you know, as best as I can be. Sorry, that's not faith. And so two opinions. But you know and then you have a second opinion. Many times the two opinions that you have fight against each other. Well, they'll always fight against each other. The Bible says and we'll go through it, to be double-minded is a horrible place. Your relationships aren't going to work. Your finances. I mean, your own mind, your health. When people have two opinions, it halts them. It stops them from walking out an incredible life that God has for them.
And what's sad is that the pride of many believers is they'll start to listen a message like this. They smile say, "Oh, I'm not double-minded. Don't tell me that". Or I'm not hoping between two opinions. And they don't realize that this pride, they'll never allow the Word of God to judge them. What do you mean judge them? I mean, it's, when you listen to the Word of God, it will help you renew your mind, diagnose what to do, what you think. It will move aside your own limited look at yourself from what you think is wrong. The Word of God has an ability to help you discern between what is going on in your own life, how do I cure this, how do I walk out what I really want to do. So you need to listen to this closely, allow the Spirit of God and the Word of God to work on the inside of you.
In James 4:1-8, and he's talking here to believers. And he says, "From whence comes the wars and the fightings amongst you"? This is within your friendship, your family, your business. It says, "Come they not from your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not. You kill, and desire to have you cannot obtain. You fight. You war. You have not, because you ask not. And when you ask, you don't receive it, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it on your lusts". Then he says, "You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God. Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do you not think that the scripture says in vain, the Spirit that dwells in us lusts to envy"? All right.
Now, then as we look at this, it is telling us that to be carnally minded, to look at your own ability, to look at your own reasoning, to be in the flesh. Or to look at it from your own strength, to your own self-centered ability to try to change things without God. That is going to destroy you. You can be born-again believer, going to heaven if you die. But living like hell on this planet. So verse 6 of this says, "But He gives more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. Submit yourself therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you double minded".
All right. You have to understand, that when it comes to believing on God whatever is not of faith is sin. And so here he's saying that when God resist the proud, He's not looking at a confident person and then going, "Well, you're too confident". No, no, no. It's what your confidence is in. If you have lost confidence in God or never had it or in His Word. Then you are sure you can look after yourself better. So you don't have time to read the Word. You don't have time to pray. You don't have time to get into a church and be a part of a life-giving church. This pride is rampant through the church's pastors who have a heart after God and raising up and teaching the Word and not feeding candy to an already diabetic crowd. They will labor and help raise up the church of Jesus Christ and people are just too busy.
One guy would tell me one time he say, "Why ask you"? Here's a message I want you to ask me about. Yeah, I don't have time to listen to it. So, you know, if I can just get accessed to you once in a while and ask you the question. He thinks that when he has an answer to his question, that his life is going to go good. But you see, his pride is saying that what he works at during the day is more important than spending time with God. That's like a guy who wants to raise great kids without being with them. That's like a person who wants a great marriage but won't look after or spend time with their husband or with their wife. This arro, it's an arrogant thought. That they should just look after you although you don't pour time into them, or with kids. That, you know, they're going to work. Everything's going to work out. No. This arrogant pride that just says, "Well, you know, I don't have time to read the Word frankly". And you go, "So you think more clients, more phone calls, more of what you're doing in your own ability is going to serve you better than spending time in the Word and let it renew your mind, plant in your heart and Jesus promised you phenomenal harvest of supernatural help in your everyday life".
See, that's pride. You could be the most shy person right now. You could be the most humble person right now. That is never acting arrogant around anybody else. But if you don't spend time in the Word. If you don't spend time with God, then you're proud. Because you literally believe that your own ability will give you, it's worth more to do what you need to do in your day than to spend time with God in your day. That's proud. And you can't access God's grace. He resist the proud. That doesn't mean that He's just looking around and, oh, nail them, nail them, turn my power off. It means you can't access the grace of God without being obedient to the Word. This beautiful incredible grace which is God's unearned favor and which is His ability.
What is that unearned favor? It's God's ability in your life. For you to not be a part of His church that He's building. Get into a local church. Plug into God's Word. You know, make sure you spend time in prayer. Why are we doing that? Because besides holding down jobs, developing our skills, laboring with our hands, our mind, our body. Yes, but first of all, we seek first the kingdom. We want the favor of God on our life. We want to make sure that we know Him, spend time with Him. Because when we spend time with Him, incredible things happen. When you don't do this, you are double-minded. You have two opinions. They might have been serving Baal or Jehovah. Which one is it? You. You serve yourself or you are trying to, you know, you've got God and you. But you spend more time with you trying to solve your problems than partnering with God.
And Holy Spirit, He's your helper. He's going to show you things to come. I mean, He is going to literally bring all things to your remembrance as you spend time with Him. He is the most astounding helper anyone could have to raise kids, do a marriage, make money, get healed, renew your mind. Holy Spirit, and you're not going to spend time in the Word or in prayer. Well, I tell you right now. Welcome to hell. Because you will feel like you're living in hell because you can't get anything to work. Everything seems cap, from your marriage to your raising your kids, to your career, to whatever else and your mind and your emotions. You see, God's Word and His Spirit, they anchor your emotions and your believing and your thinking. So that you begin to radiate this wonderful peace and joy of the Lord into you, your spouse, your family. And it helps them, and it helps your job and all that you do.
So remember as we look at the first promise of God, James 4:1-8. That when you don't have this passionate looking and moving towards God, that then you have a double-mindedness. You have two opinions. You've been told and you know you need God. You've been told and you know you need His Word. You've been told and you know that the presence of God is needed in your everyday life. And it's all here available for you but you are over here in the flesh or in your selfish mind, in your own. To be carnally-minded is death, Romans 8 says and many other places. To be carnally minded is death. You are not going to be able to bring the kind of life that you want into your world without the grace of God. And humility is not believing that you are lower than everybody else.
If I could give you the simplest easiest way to stay humble. It's to put God first because you know you need Him. In every area there's nothing greater than God. None of your abilities. None of your thinking time. Even your everything. And so get this right. And then it says you've got to purify your heart, you double-minded. When you are double-minded, it has an effect on your heart. Now, the heart is your autopilot. Your heart as you go through all the Word of God, your heart is determining your future. Jesus does an amazing teaching in Mark 4 and so many other places. But in Mark 4, He shows us that this whole parable of sowing and reaping is about your heart, okay? So that as you meditate on God's Word, speak out loud the Word of God. That the Word of God gets planted in your heart. And then as you continue to stay steadfast, the Word of God rises up and it causes this powerful force called faith.
So many Christians that I speak, now I have been teaching the Word of God for 40 years. I mean, as a youth pastor and on in my late teens and just, and what's amazing to me is in all that time you tried to struggle to get people to use their faith, but they actually have never walked into faith and stay there. They've kind of touched on it. Here and there got the odd miracle somebody else prayed for them. But most of the body of Christ that I have met, and I have known in a lot of places. They've tend to stay in human faith. Many of the teachers of old called it mental assent. You agree with your mind, but you have not done the process of faith to see the faith of Jesus. That incredible faith rise up on the inside of you. And so you've got to purify your heart. You've got to begin to renew your mind with the Word Romans 12 says. And as you stay in the Word every day, spend some time every day in His Word, asking Holy Spirit to help you. Focus on the promises of God, what Jesus did.
Now, the most important thing you can do is recognize that the cross of Jesus Christ. What He did on the cross? He took your sins. Everything past, present, and future. One sacrifice for all. It's a done deal. And He took the curse. There is no curse. No curse. Jesus took it. All right? Now, people say, "Well, does that mean that I'm not under the curse even when I sin"? That's correct. Now, there might be something others do to you because you're doing stupid things. Like you keep running red lights with your car. And when someone hits you, that's not God visiting you with a curse. It's just a response on this physical world. Go ahead and punch anybody you want to down the street and someone's going to break your jaw and your teeth and put you in the hospital for months on end.
You go, "What happen"? No, no, no. On this planet, there are natural things. And so God's Word will guide you even through that. But this curse. This spiritual hellish curse that is in there. Jesus took it. So that when you fail, make a mistake. The enemy can't just visit you with a curse and thinks he's got the right to do it. Jesus took that curse. Now, if you do not believe the Word of God, you give the enemy opportunity. Example: If I leave my house open, the doors open, or I park my car somewhere and I don't lock the doors. And so people come and steal from my car. Okay? Or from my house. You say, "Well, they didn't have the right". No, they don't have the right. They have the opportunity.
So the Bible says don't give him opportunities. So how do we do that? By being obedient to the Word. By studying the Word. By renewing our mind, so that our mind is always meditating in a certain way and it begins to connect at the heart level. It's interesting to me that so many people think the devil is very powerful. In many of the cases that I have talked with people or worked with people over the years. It is their double-mindedness. It is their choosing to not dive into the Word and change the way they think.
Now, if you're a believer and you are not spending time with God. Then it's not that you have to work harder. It's that you're not accessing the incredible favor of God that Jesus won at the cross. And so you need to make sure that you marinate in God's Word because there are old beliefs, religious beliefs, beliefs about yourself, beliefs about the devil, beliefs about God, beliefs about other people, that have been placed there by your upbringing. And so when it says purify your hearts, it means get God's Word in there. God's Word will choke out all of your insecurity, your low self-worth. It will choke out all of the things that control you. The beliefs about addiction, beliefs about sexuality, about sex, everything. Things you've done. The guilt. The condemnation. It is God's Word as you meditate that comes in and it begins to just literally clean and purify your heart.
In verse 6 it says that He gives more grace. Did you know that whatever you need in life, the ability of God and the favor of God will flow there. Everything you need. And God's ability which comes to you as a favor. That's what grace is. That it comes to you and Jesus has qualified you for that. Jesus has given you a gift of righteousness. Meaning, you don't need to make yourself right with God every day by every little thing that you've got to do. Jesus if you've accepted Him, He makes you right with God as a gift. Romans, it teaches us Romans 5:17. And so we've got to believe that. This is a faith. See, we are believers. We must believe.
So many people see the Bible and they're working so hard to please God. No, you've missed the whole boat. It's about getting into God's Word. If you're going to labor somewhere. labor to enter the rest. labor to see this new covenant of grace. Which you simply have to know and believe what Jesus has done. So the greatest things you can learn. What did Jesus do on the cross? What did He do when He died in your place? What did He do when He went to hell and suffered spiritual death? For all of us took the curse. What happened when He rose again? And you and I are seated with Him now in heavenly places. That He exchanged this wonderful life He had for the sinful curse life that we had.
The cross is, so many people don't understand it. But as you dive into God's Word, you're going to discover and you will be so fast and on to go, "No! I'm not going to be caught between two opinions. I'm going to stay anchored to God to see what Jesus has done. I'm going to stay daily to understand my rights and privileges because of Jesus and what He has done. I'm going to live a life". And as you do that, you begin to push away this other opinion. This double-mindedness. And each day you renew your mind with the Word. You plant God's Word in your heart. And your, if you say, "Why? I just can't. I'm just so fearful and worried. I went back and forth". That's because the Word of God is of no value to you sitting in a book.
It's got to be in your mind and in your heart. It's got to be in your mouth. Start reading the Word and speaking out loud what the Word of God promises you. It's a part of the process of faith. And your heart will change and in no time there's a confidence and a focusing on God. My opinion is as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. That God's Word will never fail me. God's Word is alive and it's mine. And oh, I'm going to develop skills and management skills. And I'm going to keep myself healthy and eat right and exercise right. I'm going to learn to be mannerly and all the things the skills that I need to this everyday world. But my number one confidence, what I seek first is the kingdom of God, His righteousness. So all these things can be added to me.