Leon Fontaine - Persuading Your Heart
Today, I want to talk to you about a topic that, I just, sometimes you think people understand things until they ask you questions and, and I want to give you a statement: heart faith must be developed. If you do not know how to develop heart faith, you don't have much. Okay? Let's just get really real, and let's dive into the Word today. And I want to show you in God's Word, I want to teach you how to persuade your heart with the Word of God. This is crucial to not do that, is to relegate your life to a plateaued existence. To never even getting close to what God has prepared for you.
And so, this is a big, big, big issue. The Bible teaches us in 1 John that the victory that overcomes the world, is even our faith. It doesn't say your prayer, it says your faith. And it's not talking about a head faith. It's talking about a heart faith. Jesus is very clear in this teaching. As a young man, I remember getting a job in a hospital, and while I was there they had started a paramedic program and opened it up and asked if I wanted to be a part of it, and I began to get on to the streets, and pick up broken people, raped people, killed people, murdered people, dismembered people, accidents, burns. I mean, I was just exposed to the horrific world.
And I remember going home at times just so burdened down with the things I'd smelt, the things I'd seen. The things that I had heard. And I begin to ask God how come I can't begin to see the miraculous flow in the ditches of accidents? The back of an ambulance. And as I begin to dive into the Word, I begin to recognize I had not developed heart faith in my life. Now, I couldn't explain it as well back then, but I figured out a couple principles that I put to work, and it changed my life forever. And in my teens, I begin to understand how to minister to people, to see miracles flow into their bodies, protection in situations where I should have died, and it was exciting. Because I begin to recognize that the future isn't just a, something that I was out of control in. But that I could have victory in every area of life if I would develop my faith in that area.
I remember, you know, in the mornings. And, I would spend time in the Word of God. And, one of the vital truths is to take God's Word and to see the end result in images and to just, day dream. So I would just see myself doing what Jesus did, laying hands on the sick in the hospital. Praying over people in ditches, and laying hands on the dead, and speaking life. People would say well, how come that wasn't working for me? Well, it is the inheritance of all of us that we learn to walk in the ability, the grace, of God. It's an unearned favor to you and I, but God's, this grace that is available to us because of Jesus, His death, His burial, His resurrection, as we believe and learn that, but it's up to us to know and to believe.
And so even when I came here to pastor the church, in 1994 July 17th. As I begin to preach on Sundays and during the week as I came into the office and people wanted to book meetings and get counseling and deal with stuff. I'd always carve out some time every week, and I'd walk into the sanctuary, I'd ask the staff to let nobody in, don't bother me. And, I would just walk around, sometimes I'd sit and sing, or worship God. And then I would believe, I would begin to develop my faith, heart faith, in the area of reaching people. Growing the church. And I would literally. Now when you develop heart faith, and we're going to get into some great points, the language of the heart, the language of Holy Spirit, is not, it's dreams and visions.
Did you know that even when we talk to one another, our words paint pictures? If I said to you, there is a grizzly bear running at me in front of the first line of cars, growling and snow if flying up behind it. You don't see the words with consonants and vowels, the grizzly, G-R-I, you know, Z-Z, no on. You see a grizzly bear, so God's Word must, it allows us to experience the end result before we're there. And that's a huge part of faith. So I would walk the hallways of that little sanctuary, I think it seated 300 people. And, as I would walk, I would take the Word of God and say, "Father, that we're taking the Gospel to the world. We're laying hands on the sick. We're seeing lame walk and blind see. I see people lining up with their cars. I see them lining up at the doors. Father, I see preaching to thousands, I see us preaching to tens of thousands. I see us impacting Canada, we're impacting the world".
And as I would walk around, I would just enjoy, experiencing that end result that I was believing for. And for those who have been here right from the start, what a ride of watching from that little St. Mary's Road building in 479 St Mary's, to just the development as others began to believe with me and Sal and our family, and we began to declare and just do this process of faith, we begin to see God do unprecedented things in Canada. To the place now where this message will go around the world on TV channels in multiple languages, and it's just, what is this? This is God's grace, absolutely. But it requires our faith. Grace is God's part, faith is our part.
Let's talk about it a little bit. When God created this planet, He spoke everything into existence, He created life. But this world that we live in, is interactive. God created the laws of science. God created atoms, the subatomic field, and as these scientists discover something, they think it moves them away from religion and it does, religion is just kind of you know, religion. But, to, the Bible and science, they're totally compatible. And, and if it's not, well then science will have to learn some more and come in to some reality. But, I'm excited by it. When God created this world, He created it so that the attention of mankind, what they believed, would affect the world around them. We live in an interactive world. And, they can call it the subatomic field, they can use different terms that the Bible doesn't use, yet the Bible agrees with all that.
Many people think that to develop faith is that you are getting God to move. No it's not. Faith is not saying God will do something, faith is not saying well, God want. No. Faith is believing that it's done. Faith believes it's a done deal. And your life will change radically as you begin to learn, correctly, the process of faith. It's not the same as the world that says hey we'll just have faith in me. No, no. This faith is a heart faith, not a mental faith. And, so in Hebrews 11:1, it gives us a definition of faith. And I want to read it to you from the Amplified Bible. And for those of you who are, you know, been in the Word all your life and you feel like you're getting a review.
You know, maybe get kind of swallow your pride and say Holy Spirit, I'm going to mix faith with what I hear, I want to learn, I want to grow. Because we tend to listen to messages as a little bit of encouragement, thank you, rather than bring about great change in our lives. Now in the Amplified it says faith, is the assurance, the confirmation, the title deed of the things we hope for. Being the proof of things we don't see, and the conviction of their reality. Faith perceiving as a real fact what is not revealed to the senses. When God created the physical world, He gave you five senses. Seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting. And with those five senses, you perceive this physical world. Judging it. Determining things.
But God didn't just create the physical world, He created a spirit world. And, He's there. Angels are there, fallen angels are there. Because you are a spirit, and you have a physical body, you are literally living in two worlds. The spirit realm and the physical realm, and you can't sense any other realm with your five senses, they are completely limited. So, your heart, I don't mean your physical beating heart, but this heart the Bible talks about is where you perceive and sense what is going on outside of this physical world. And it is, it is an overlay of this physical world where it changes it. When you believe in the Word of God, healing will affect the cells of your body. People will be attracted to the businesses, finances and ideas and creativity, the field around you, your world, begins to change. And it says here, that faith is being fully persuaded.
That's what the definition of faith is in its simplicity. It's fully persuaded, emotionally, your thoughts, imagination, mind, thinking, heart, fully persuaded. And, the full persuasion is you have the title deed. And so you can't believe for things that Jesus hasn't qualified you for. That's why you look at Jesus, what He did on the cross, and you begin to believe all of these promises. Jesus says to a man, He said anything is possible if you'll believe. We have lost that in so much of the church world today. We don't think much differently than the world, in fact the world thinks bigger often than the church. And we have lost this leadership that we should be taking.
There is an unlimited ability within you. It's this God kind of faith, this Jesus and the grace that He has qualified you for that you must believe, and oh man you guys. There's something exciting in here to get you up and believe God over your family, your generations, your marriage, your physical body, your mind, joy, peace. I mean, career. Church. There's so much for us to begin to develop our faith in. Verse 3 of Hebrews 11 in the Amplified says, by faith we understand that the worlds, during the successive ages, were framed. Fashioned. Put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose. Did you know that God knew the future, and He created this world so that your faith in the finished work of Christ, would cause things to happen? He said you'll speak to problems, which is what the mountain represents.
Something stopping you. Something insurmountable. Something you can't get past. He said, and you will speak and things will move. He talks about the words of your mouth. This thing called faith, He's created the world so that what your attention and your faith is on, it would begin to change your world. If you don't believe me, then just talk to some of us who've seen God walk this out. I mean, Springs is a great example of the develop, I remember when they asked me to be the CEO of the Miracle Channel. And, you know what? When I took it on, I did not have faith in that area. And it's not wrong to say that.
I knew that I needed to spend some time persuading my heart to believe that, I learned to believe in church development and school and miracles. But a television station that was bankrupt, that they were shutting down, that all the staff didn't believe it would go anywhere. It was the most negative thing walking down those hallways as we had to change a lot of the staff. And yet, but, I had to literally persuade my heart. And it's what, some of the principles I want to teach you today. It's crucial that we understand that faith is a process, and your heart must be developed. One of the most crucial keys is to know that God loves us. Okay? That's probably one of the most, that's a starting point for all of us. God is in love with you. He only thinks good things about you. He's got great plans for you. He's never in the storm, He's with you against the storm.
Faith works by love. You first of all need to recognize how much God loves you, cares about you. Some will say well how do you know God loves us? Because He sent His Son, and He took your sin, and He died in your place, and He took your punishment, the curse of the law. Went to hell in your place, and He rose again to give you new life. I've got news for you. You know, I would never give up one of my kids for you, sorry. And you wouldn't give up one of your kids for me, either. Now God did, because He's so in love with you. We have to start with that fact. We have to know that faith is of the heart. And, if it's going to change the reality you don't like into the things you desire, if there's a world that there's things you desire from healing to career to family, and you don't like what's going on, you can change it with heart faith, and that's got to be developed. We must get our beliefs, and our speech, in line with God's Word. Those three things, what you believe, what you say, must be in line with God's Word. They must be in harmony to operate in the God kind of faith.
So many people, they say well I'm in faith because they feel a little emotionally up once in a while. But they really haven't worked the process. And they're offended when you tell them sorry that's not heart faith. But what a foolish thing to set ourselves up for failure, if we've never developed heart faith but we're too embarrassed to say, I need to persuade my own heart in this area. And go to work with it, there's nothing wrong with that. To say, oh I'm in faith, when you're not, it's a naivety that it's going to destroy you.
People say well Leon, how do I know I'm in faith? Let me give you some things that will help you. When your heart is persuaded, okay? Your thinking, your feelings, your emotions, they'll be in line with God's Word. I don't mean you won't have attacks and second thoughts that push at you, and you'll have to use the shield of faith, but when your heart is fully persuaded, your thinking is in line with God's Word. These deep feelings that rise up are in line with God's Word. Everything that you fully persuade your heart in, has this passion, this zeal, that rises out of you. And your emotions, they change. Your feelings change. Your thinking changes. So, what are some of the things that we do to that? Well, confessing God's Word is key.
Well, people say well I tried that, it didn't work. Actually, there are two kinds of confessing, or speaking the Word. One, is a persuasion. It is speaking the Word, knowing nothing is going to happen yet in the external world, because I need to persuade my heart first. And so as I speak the Word, and declare His Word as done, and finished, and what Jesus has done for me, those confessions are persuasions. They're persuading my heart, planting the Word in the heart, renewing my mind, speaking the Word of God. And that's a persuasion. And there will come a day that one of the things I believe God for was, when I was a young man, and I had ankle chips in my ankles. When I would go to calls as a paramedic, I'd walk down a certain incline of ditch or a certain step and my ankles would just lock. And the pain was so bad, that I couldn't even move, I couldn't put any weight on it. And I'd sit there and try to wiggle my ankle and try to get it to unlock so I could finish what I was doing.
Well that's a horrible thing to do if you are going to car wrecks or walking into emergency situations. And so, I spoke to it and prayed over it, nothing happened. Nothing happened. And, I kept doing it and nothing happened. And it just started to bug me and finally I thought enough. I need to persuade my heart that my ankles are healed and restored like Jesus paid for 2.000 years ago. And each morning I would rise up and find verses about healing and speaking, and what Jesus bore on the cross, and I'm a brand-new creation and my body a temple of the Holy Spirit. And, I would just speak and declare ankles you are healed. It took three months. Why? I don't know why. But I knew I had to persuade my heart with speaking the Word, meditating. And then, I would see the end result.
In my quiet time, my devotion time in the morning, I would see myself running in basketball, and shooting that basket. I'd see myself out there running up and down ditches going woo hoo! My ankles are healed, it's fine! And I connected with God in my prayer time as I rehearsed the miracles that God had done already for me as I spoke His Word. My relationship with Jesus and prayer and meditation and devotion, and speaking the Word, I knew that I was persuading my heart, and I was excited about the process. Now, I don't know which day it got healed. But I remember one time going down an incline, and to this certain accident, and I begin to be careful, and I realized, my ankles hadn't locked up in days or weeks, I don't even know.
So, at some point, that confession which is a persuasion changed into a fully persuaded, and when I spoke it that morning, woosh. The power of God just removed those bone chips and whatever was going on in there. And my ankles have been healed for 30 years or more since then. So. We need to recognize that confession has two parts. It might take you months. Abraham, it took him years to persuade his heart, and to have a son. To persuade his heart that he would live and be the lineage that the Saviour would come from, and that's a whole 'nother teaching. And so, recognize that this persuading your heart is a crucial process. To speak God's Word to mountains. Sickness, you go in the name of Jesus, my body is healthy and healed.
I'm not trying to persuade God to move. Okay? That's what bugs some of our Baptist friends and others who struggle with this teaching of faith is some take it to an extreme and they think you're commanding God. You're trying to bully, no, no. When you speak in faith the Word of God, God has created this world to obey and to adjust. It doesn't say in Mark 11 for example, that when you speak to mountains, God makes it happen. No, it says that when you speak and you believe in your heart, it just happens. It doesn't even have to be prayed, it's a declaration. Then it goes on teaching about prayer, and how faith has got to be in prayer too. So, confessing God's Word and believing has to be in something that has been a done deal. So when Jesus died on the cross, He qualified you for every promise in the Word of God. You are qualified, you own it, you have the title deed like you do to your car or your house.
And so as you speak the Word of God, God's smiling and excited. He's already done what He's doing. He's already placed within your heart, this ability called faith, to believe. And he's made this world to respond to a heart faith. We just need to start working these processes, and God is so good and so loving and so caring, that His spirit will guide you and teach you and show you as you dive in, and begin to persuade your heart with the Word of God. Now, the Bible says that when you speak and you begin to use this process of faith, if you're in the middle of believing God for something, and it says you must not doubt in your heart.
Now, what is doubt? Some people think if you doubt you just need more faith. No. Doubt is believing in the five senses. The five senses don't see financial change. The five senses don't feel the miracles done. The five senses don't see a change in your marriage, your home. The five senses don't see, you know, and so because of that, they bring this doubt as an opposing thought. What do you do with an opposing thought? Well some people think you've got to fight it. You've go to focus on that doubtful thought and command it to go and do this. Listen to me. You've got to be very careful there. Because what you put your attention on, grows.
I'll give you an example. If you're struggling with donuts, and you say Leon after church every Sunday, after work every day, I just can't help myself, I've got to go to a donut shop, grab a cup of coffee and a donut, and I'm overweight and I'm unhealthy and I'm trying to, well, then what you do is you don't continually focus on the problem, your donut. And donuts, I rebuke you in Jesus' name. And I'm not going to stop and get a donut, and I'm not going to get the one with the pink icing, and the coconut sprinkles. I'm not going to get the, you're so focused on the donut that you just develop your own doubt. Your focus is key. So, you take your, your believing off of what you're five senses don't see or what it, and you get it back into God's Word. And you begin to declare the answer. Feed your faith, and simply starve your doubts. Doubt is an opposing thought. Don't fight doubt, just switch your attention to the Word of God.
Well, if you're watching today and you say Leon, this is exciting, I don't know if I know Jesus. Well, the Bible says you must choose Him. Put your faith in Him. So just pray this with me right now, just say Jesus, thank You for dying in my place. Thank You for qualifying me to be in Your family. Come into my heart, I'm following You for the rest of my days. Teach me in Jesus' name, amen. Welcome to the family of God. It's Jesus who is the doorway. Let us know that you made this decision.