Leon Fontaine - Fighting and Warfare - Part 1
Hey, everybody! Great to have you with me. Today's topic can transform your prayer life, transform the way you live. You should be living powerfully with miraculous things and God's ability and peace and joy. I want to help you to get there. I don't care how mature you are in the Word. It's so easy to get off if you're not careful. Today, we're going to talk about fighting and warfare. You know, in my late teens, I had such a desire to serve God. I was training at that time to be a paramedic and seen such heartache and brokenness and things I'd, you know, I tell some stories to family and friends and I'll share the odd story from the pulpit. Some of the stuff that I saw was so brutal, grotesque, sickening that I just couldn't repeat it.
And so I began to want to see God moving in a powerful way. And so there was a couple in our church who just were into intercessory prayer from the perspective of fighting the devil. Oh, with, they would get me together. They indoctrinated me in the Word, you know. And so we would come together to fight the devil, to pull down principalities and powers, to pray against the ruling spirits in every situation. I mean, it just seemed to make sense to me at that time as they took me through the Word, Old Testament and New without any understanding of the cross through the throne. The revelation that is all through the New Testament.
And so nothing really much happened. I mean, I just remember praying for countless hours and hours and getting together night after night and some would see visions and dreams and prophesy things that, you know, that God was going to do, etcetera, etcetera. And, you know, all that really happened was, actually weird things happened and the group kind of got disintegrated. Some, one of them came against the pastor, got sick. Another person got sick and died. Another person went a little bit crazy to be truthfully. I just tell you my story, you know. And then others just thought, "This is not working". After literally a year or two of praying this way for our church, our pastor for what we're going to do. And I remember just backing away not knowing why. Just going, "I can't do this. This is just getting weird and crazy".
So began to dive into the Word and just study the Word of God on this topic. And so I want to show you a couple of thoughts in the next 20 minutes because it's going to revolutionize your life. I began to study the Word from, you know, from the cross, His death, His burial, His resurrection, and then He's seated. He's seated at the righthand of the Father. And so I began at a very young age just in my late teens. I began a completely different kind of warfare. I want to talk to you about it. I want to show you it to you in the Word. And it did not bring me confusion. It did not cause my head to go weird. It didn't cause me to treat people weird or to fight demons and demon hordes in different levels of principalities and tried to figure out things that no longer mattered.
What I did, I began to recognize in the Word. That every time the Bible, and I was going through the King James version because, you know, I just wanted to see. Anytime it mentioned warfare in the New Testament. It was never talking about a war against the devil. There is no war against the devil. But yet everybody that I talked to had all these unique techniques and all these things that they were sure. And they would even tell stories and testimonies that I guess I had have to believe them. But I've got to tell you, nobody who was involved in that prayer group at that time made much advance at all in the kingdom. And when I made incredible advancement and I saw God moved in tremendous ways.
So that as a church, as a pastor, I mean, back then we, I could never help get a church past a couple of hundred. And but then as God began to teach me things. We've seen God, you know, literally. We've seen thousands and tens of thousands come to know Jesus. A church with thousands of people in multi-sites and television channel and schools and impacting and working with denominations and conferencing around the world. And you say, "Well, is it you"? No, it's not me. It's me understanding how to fight the good fight and what is the right fight. Otherwise, you're wasting your time. Now, to fight against the devil is a complete waste of time. And then to war against the devil is not only a waste of time but you begin to build his ability up in your life.
Now, people don't like this, but you need to understand this. The more you war against the devil, whatever system you want to use for that warring tongues, screaming at him all the time, finding him as the very reason for every problem in people's lives. You begin to develop a belief in his power. You know, this people that I was praying with more and more. They had this sense of the incredible power of the demonic world and no one else gets it. This is the secret revelations that God's going to show us, and it just didn't work at all. And then when I found in God's Word, that every time the Bible talks about warring a warfare. It never talk about fighting against the enemy.
So as we look at God's Word, I'm going to go through some Scripture. But let me just help you out with this so that you'll recognize that the Bible teaches us to fight a good fight. It does talk about warring, but it is always talking about something else. It will be talking about for example, fighting the good fight of faith. It's not fighting the devil. Fight the good fight, which means to fight, to stay in faith. If there's going to be something that you're going to be aware and you're going to fight at a drop of a hat. It's to stay in faith and not let doubt and negativity come in. If it was about fighting, it's going to be about you just take your flesh, your, you know, that old, those old habits. That old man that is dead. And you put him off and you put on the good things. You make sure the flesh is dead. You know, that you take the Word of God and plant the Word of God in your heart.
Another words, you take new ground. One of the biggest issues of warfare is to take ground, to take new territory. I want to, now slowdown and prove to you in the Word and give you verses for you to anchor on. Because if you continue to believe that you are warring against the devil, then you are in a place of defeat. You know, shadow boxing is interesting. You know, you can go to the wall and you can pretend you're boxing against a shadow but you're not getting anywhere.
I remember reading about the warfare when Israel was fighting for its independence in the early part of last century. And they would literally build cardboard and plywood tanks in the bluffs or in the hills above an area. And they paint them out and the enemy literally shelled and shelled and shelled and exhausted their supply of artillery and exhausted great time and gave them, the Israelis' time to fight the fight they wanted to fight. They were not fighting properly. The enemy was shelling cardboard and plywood and doing nothing to the Israelis. And I want you to know that when you fight, fight, fight, fight, fight a war against the devil, there's nothing that you're doing because his defeat was completed by Jesus.
So to war against him is to just drain yourself emotionally. It is to begin to believe greater because the more you war against him when nothing changes, you begin to believe, "Wow, he's more powerful than I thought. I better pray an extra hour in warfare against him today". Anyway, I just didn't see anything good coming out of that, and the miracles that where there were sporadic. And I don't believe they were for a moment because of the warfare as much as it was we probably learn to connect in faith the odd time and wonderful things begin to happen. So let's grab some Scriptures and let's figure this out.
In 1 Timothy 1:18-19, it says, "This I charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck". All right. He shows us two things here that we need to do to begin to rise up in victory. It talks about having faith, and it says, having a good conscience. It doesn't say warring the devil into submission. Jesus did that. Jesus defeated him. But having faith and a good conscience. These two things are worth getting into God's Word and putting your energy into there. Growing your faith and then having a good conscience. Because if you do not deal with your conscience, you're going to find that you're going to suffer shipwreck.
You see, your conscience, the Bible talks about that we have a gift of righteousness in Romans 5:17. And that this gift of righteousness which being in right standing with God. It is, when Holy Spirit comes within us, when we get born-again. This beautiful Spirit of God, it wipes out this, this, the word is like doubting and condemnation and guilt for the things of the past. All of us have a past. All of us have done things. All of us have hurt people whether you were a religious, judgmental person who thinks you were so pure or whether you were sinner that tried everything out in the world or some kind of a combination. It doesn't matter. Those things were dealt with with Jesus on the cross.
And so if you do not dive into God's Word and plant it in your heart and know the truth. That truth will set you free from guilt and condemnation. The peace and the joy that comes out of that is stunning. And so here, when it talks about waging a good warfare. It's not talking about warring the devil. It's talking about this warfare of developing faith. And the old you will try to resurrect himself because he's dead. He died with Christ on the cross. And now you're going to put off the flesh. Those desires that the old nature just ramp up into powerful places, addictions and things. This new you has complete power over all of that.
So if you're focused on the devil, then you're not building faith and developing this good conscience. Which are going to shipwreck you, while you're focused on the devil, warring against him. This lack of ability for you to rise up with a great conscience because of Holy Spirit and of faith that rises up with such peace and confidence in Jesus isn't being developed. And this not, this inability or this wrong thing of not developing your faith and this good conscience. You just going to be taken out. It says you're going to be shipwrecked. A shipwreck means that ship is no longer sinking. It is done and hits a rock. It's destroyed and down it goes.
Now, let's go to 1 John 3:18-24. Now, here it's a great portion of Scripture because it shows us victory. And if I don't get done today, we're going to do two-parts on this because I just want, I believe there are so many listening that you know enough Word. That this message is going to go click and something powerful is going to happen on the inside of you. In 1 John 3:18-24, it says, "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth". All right. The love walk is crucial. "And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him".
When you know what you're doing is the way. It's the truth. It's the way. Your heart becomes assured. This heart is that deeper level of thinking. Everything about faith and doubt. Doubt that destroys you is not doubt of the head. It's doubt of the heart. Faith that works is not a mental assent of the head. It is a faith of the heart. So it says that as we learn to walk in love, that our hearts become assured before Him. And then it says, "For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart. He knows all things".
Now, let's talk about this. If you come to God, and you know you're not worthy. And so you know that I've hurt people. I've done bad things. I've robbed, had abortions, been addicted, hurt people. I have lied, stolen. I'm dealing with addictions. The things I did in my marriage, to family, to money. Like, whatever it is, okay? It says here that your heart condemns you. Then it says, "God is greater". What would that mean? Well, that means when you give your life to Christ and you dive into the teachings of what He has done through Jesus. Through the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. There is a revelation here that just whoosh! It just literally God is greater than all of the condemnation and the memories that are even true memories of your past. God's greater than that. And it says here, He knows all things. Stop worrying. He knows everything. He knows more about you than you know about you. He's a very aware. He knows all thing.
Now, the things that He knows about you is that Jesus has given you the gift of righteousness. It is a gift that you are in right standing with Him. Then it says in verse 21, "Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us," It doesn't say your head. If your heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and we do the things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment. That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. All right.
Now, a lot of people use this portion of Scripture and they dive back into, you know, a works righteousness. That I have to earn the power of God. I've got to clean up my life to do that. I've got to make up for the things of the past. Wrong! Let the alarms go off. The Bible says God is greater than our heart. Your efforts can't be greater than your heart. There's nothing you can do to make up for the things of the past to spend the rest of your life trying, okay? So when we look at this, God is greater than our hearts. But it is saying that if you do, do not do the heart work. That your heart will just keep condemning you. You'll never learn to have confidence towards God.
Now, these people as they feel guilty and condemn and addictions keep following them and anger and wrong desires and the old ways they thought they were dead, too, continue to plague them. They're just sure it's the devil. We're going to war against the devil. We're going to come against the devil. And as you go into God's Word, Ephesians 4, Galatians 5, it talks about what you need to focus on, is putting off the old, putting on the new. When it talks about working out your salvation, it doesn't mean working out attacking the devil. Work out your own salvation. Put off the old habits. Put on the new. And as you stay in God's Word and begin to develop God's Word, something phenomenal takes place in your life. Your heart begins to go at peace as you see this remarkable truth. That the cross, that when He died, He died in your place. And that His death, His burial, His resurrection. You now have a new life. The life of God. The very life that God has is now inside of you. And although that the physical worldly truth is, you were a sinner.
Now God is greater than that. And He has done something through Christ that radically changes the old you as dead and the new you is alive as you have faith in Jesus. The Bible says in Galatians 2:20, it talks about, "I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live, yet not I. It is Christ that lives in me. And the life that I now live, I live by the faith in the Son of God". Not faith in my will power. Not faith in my ability to clean up my past. Not faith in my ability to prove to everybody with my own strength I'm a self-made man. No, no, no, no. God is greater than your heart. And this gift of righteousness. That God's grace, His unearned favour requires you to lay down your pride and humbly just say, "I accept Jesus and I accept His grace in my life". God's grace. This unearned favour is His ability.
Many think that faith is the ability of God. But, you know, that's biblically not accurate. And I think it helps some of you faith people who've been raised in faith like I was. That the word "faith" means a trust, a confidence in what Jesus has done. And when you see that, this confidence in Him. Then you begin to release this force. This force that gets released in your life that manifest God's peace. It manifest God's joy. It manifest health, a great mind. It manifests wealth. It manifest influence and power to rise up in cities, in provinces, in states, in countries. This is called grace. God's power, God's ability flowing from your spirit where Jesus is, through your heart which is the tap that controls.
And that's why we have to look at heart issues and we have to understand the process of faith. So that we begin to have trust in God as we realize that a good conscience, a heart that is at peace. It comes from the finished work of Jesus. There are some of you who are watch... I'm going to finish this. This is part one. I'll finish on our next one. But there's so many of you. You still haven't got passed this part of a good conscience. And so you can scream at the devil. You can try to meditate. You can hum all that you want. But until you take the Word and realize that everything that you have done. Everything, every weakness that you have.
Maybe you feel inferior. Maybe you struggled with low self-worth. Maybe you have no confidence that you can rise up and do something. That one of the most powerful keys is that the old you is dead. That you, that you think this is just who I am. No. You are dead. You died with Christ. And this new you. This new you is a part of your spirit. This new you which is Jesus in you. It is a part of your emotional make up. This new you brings a confidence and a courage to rise up and do great things. I don't care what your disguise. I don't care what personality types you've taken. That those are measurements of the mind. Those are measurements of the subconscious even if you want to go to that degree.
But when Christ comes within you, this empowering, and I have seen it through 40 years of ministering. When people will work this process of faith, stop warring against the devil, warring tongues. Intercessory prayer to them is more fighting the devil. And that's not what intercession is. That's not what intercessory prayer is. And we're going to look at some of this as well in the next session, because I want now to dive into what I did as a young man, where they're just became such a peace and a confidence. And the devil, the odd time I will speak to him. But the devil no longer has a place in my belief. I know he's out there. I recognize and we're going to dive into something.
Did you know, that when we do see some Scriptures on the devil, the disciples and Jesus just spoke to him. They will say, "That was it". We don't find this warring the devil in any of the disciples even though they pull out the rare verse in Mark 4. When the Word of God is not, when a hard heart hears God's Word, it says Satan comes immediately to steal the Word. It doesn't say he's coming to do warfare. He can't. He's a defeated foe. And you need to learn to deal with this. He just comes to steal. Well, someone who steals is a coward. If someone is going to steal out of your car, they don't take you on in a big warfare.
When you're not looking, they slip in and steal out of your car. They'll steal out of your house. They'll get on your bank and steal your phone numbers and steal your accounts and steal your email. These are all cowards because they don't have power to build any kind of kingdom on their own or to build wealth or anything. So what do they do? They just steal. He's just a little fallen destroyed by Jesus angel. And the only power that he has is when people begin to believe on him, and he uses your power against you. He uses your believing against you. He uses this fear against you. And so then yes, I see him destroyed people's lives, not though because they didn't war against the devil. But because they didn't know how to work the process of developing faith and a good conscience where mountains move and health and healing and family.
I got to stop there. We're going to continue. You can't miss this second part as I bring to a conclusion this whole new way for you to pray to believe. If you don't know this Jesus I'm talking about. Right now just say, "Dear Jesus, come into my heart. I choose to trust in You. I'm giving You my life. I'm following You the rest of my days. Teach me Your ways and Your principles. In Jesus' name, amen". Welcome to the family of God. Keep watching. Let us know you made this decision for Christ because now you've just start the most amazing journey. And you can become this who you are. It's not trying to become what you're not. We'll show you. Let us know. God bless you.