Leon Fontaine - Grow Up
The story is told of a young pastor starting in a small town his first charge. And he was going through learning about church. He found out that there was a farmer just on the edge of town. Maybe quarter of a mile, half a mile out, who really didn't come to church much but little bit. He just decided to kind of visit him. So he just went for a nice walk on a summer's day and as he got close to the yard, he looked at all the buildings. They were beautiful red with white trim. Then he noticed the fences beautifully white painted and horses running around.
As he walked by the pens with different animals. They were built beautifully, looked after so well. He looked out in the fields and saw a beautiful straight lines as they had been seeded. And he was just, his mouth hanged open at the gorgeous, beautiful farm in every area of farming that was there. The farmer walked up to him and this is the pastor's first chance to meet him. He looked out over all at this man had and he said to him as he met, "Hey, I'm the new pastor in town and wow! I just want to say, my, my, has God blessed you". And this senior man a vet at business and leadership and all that he was doing there on his career. He looked at this young pastor and he says, "Well, pastor, you should had seen this place when God had it all to Himself".
I want to talk to you today about growing up and building a life. We sit around waiting for miracles and that wasn't what this young pastor meant. But that older businessman, he understood that the favour and the blessing of God that is upon our lives. It requires you and God to come together and build something truly magnificent. As a teenager, my mom and dad used to take me to conferences. I remember going to different cities where they would pack out these auditoriums, hockey rings, basketball places, up to sides right into the rafters would be packed out with thousands and thousands of people and all that was happening was a faith conference. All that was going on was teaching the Word of God speaker after speaker.
There was no entertainment. There might be a little bit of worship. But I distinctly remember in my teens a hunger in the areas and the churches that we knew across America and Canada. It was palpable. It was exciting. Everybody would sit there with their Bibles and a notepad. You were either underlining and circling in your Bible or you were taking down fresh notes and the excitement of the revelation of God's Word. The hunger for God's Word reminded me of that Psalm where King David talks about as the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after you. We've got to recognize that you need to teach your children what Jesus has done for your life. We have moved from a dependence on God's Word and His Spirit over towards just the five senses and knowledge.
So many believers put science first as the be all and the end all and then try to show how God's Word make sense with science rather than recognize the incredible power and authority of God's Word. And how science keeps learning and growing and confirming God's Word. We need to recognize. You know, a generation can walk in the blessing of the first generation for a while. There'll be a prosperity and a healing and a peace and a joy in the home that transcends into your children for a bit. But if they don't have the hunger that you had, the thirst that you had to dive into the Word of God and to know Him, to, you know, Jesus said, "If you abide in Me and My words abide in you".
I'm not talking about seven steps to this and four steps to that and how to figure out how to make it so simple even your kid can get it in five minutes. He won't. This is a relationship for the rest of your life this hunger, not for the historical Jesus but for the risen Lord. If we're going to build a life, we must learn the Word of God to build with faith, with words of faith, with the armour of faith, with the sword of the Spirit and the spoken word. Faith in His stunning abilities that moves on the inside of you and I and causes us to build rich amazing families, rich amazing health, rich amazing emotions, thinking, to renew our minds, make our bodies living sacrifices. We must get back to this hunger for God's Word.
In Colossians 2:9-10, it says that you have a full and true life in Christ. Be filled with Him. The ruler of everything, all power, all authority is in Jesus. We've got to get focused on Him. If Peter can just focus on Jesus and then step out of a boat and walk on the water. And then change his focus to the storm and immediately sink. And then Jesus grabs His hand. His focus goes back on Jesus and he walks on the water with Jesus back to the boat. It shows us the tremendous importance of focusing on Jesus. The living Word. The written Word. The relationship that we can have with Him. You know, opposing thoughts, doubt, misbeliefs. People get focused what their five senses which are so limited what they see, feel, hear, taste, touch.
And you have to understand that the reasoning of your carnal sense dominated mind. It's at war with faith. It's at war with a heart filled with the beliefs of God that rises up and takes dominion over the world that you live in. Financial, mental, emotional, relational, etcetera, protection, all of these things. We've got to understand that if we do not take a hold of the Word of God and immerse ourselves in it as our very life. That ahead of you, you will not make it without God's Word. Oh, you might have some half-baked life and some half-baked marriage with some half-baked kids, living a boring ordinary life. But you're not walking out the very thing that God has for you. He needs you. He needs you to live so far above the world's standards that you make them jealous.
The very word blessed. It means happy, fortunate. It's where we get our root word fortune, and to be envied. By who? By the world who needs to know a God that loves them. Not the religious craziness that is taught for some pulpits and television networks. We need to learn that we walk by faith. We live by faith, not by our senses. Yes, we need to learn to work in this world and our five senses are beautiful for enjoying and making administrative and management decisions in our everyday lives. But your future and what God has for you. It is by faith that you speak to mountains. It is by faith that we see disease run. It is by faith we access God's ability, His grace, His righteousness. And I pray that something arouses within you.
You know, in the Romans 1:17 in the Amplified Bible, it says here, one of the lines that talks about, it says, "The way of faith arouses you to more faith in more areas of your life". The Bible says the just shall live by faith, by faith the just will obtain life. Zoe life. In Acts 3:16 a stunning miracle takes place. And they're asking the disciples what happened, and they said, "His name, through faith in His name, has made this man whom you see and recognize strong. Yes, this faith which is through and by Him has given this man the perfect soundness of body". Faith is all through the Bible. It is a faith God that spoke the world into existence. A faith Jesus who spoke to storms and dead bodies. It is what we need to understand this Christian life.
This following Jesus is not some kind of religious ritual. It's not some kind of a mystic discipline that we adhere to. It is first of all a relationship with this Jesus. And when you dive into His Word, you begin to relate to who He is legally, and shorty you'll begin to enjoy the fellowship of knowing Him, sensing Him, feeling His love, knowing faith. In Romans 5:1-2, it teaches us that we are made right with God by our faith. That through our faith, that it has brought us into His blessings. In Hebrews 10:38, that we will live by faith. In Hebrews 11, fifteen times it speaks about the heroes of the Old Testament who by faith took on armies, by faith built an ark, by faith they rose up and their generations for thousands of years were blessed because of that faith.
I want to challenge you today, stop living some kind of waiting for God to move. Just like that farmer on the edge of town said to the young pastor. You should had seen this place when God had it to Himself. Together with hope and faith and belief he built and grew, and this thing rose up. Your life needs to be built by faith. This faith in Jesus. And the Bible says literally this faith in His grace which is the free gift of His life, a free gift of His righteousness. If you don't, not only will you never live out the life that you actually have been given. Your children will struggle in this life of faith. Unless it is taught. Unless the passion that you have goes on down to them. You understand that passion is what is moldable.
I remember talking to a young man whose dad never spent a look at good time with him. You can go through this man's life and you just feel sorry for this young man. Dad never talked to him, loved him. The only thing he can remember is his dad taking him to football games. And so this Saskatchewan rough riders, he eats, breathes, and sleeps his one passion. It's the one thing that was passed on. That he was marinated in. That he hangs on to and there is nothing else in his life. Because as parents, as leaders, as adults in our church. If we are passionless. If we don't have zeal for God's house which even Jesus that says, "Zeal for his house had eaten him up". If we don't hang on to this and dive in and enjoy this Jesus. To live this faith life, to speak, to declare. You are never going to walk out.
And so I pray that something within you stops looking at just the historical Jesus and you recognize the risen Lord. This Jesus that I know. This man at the right hand of God who loved me and died for me. He now lives for me forever. He was God's answer to the cry of humanity. He was God coming to our five senses. He was an intrusion into this physical realm. He talked like God. He acted like God. He lived like God. And on the cross, He died like God. He was not a philosopher searching for the truth. He was the truth. He was not a mystic. He was reality. He was not an experiment searching for reality. He was not a reformer. He was the recreator. He was not the visionary. He was the light of the world. Jesus, He never reflected. He never reason. He knew.
He never asked for prayers for Himself. He never sought the help of man. He was never in a hurry. He was never afraid. He never showed weakness. He never hesitated. He was always ready. He was sure. There was a sureness in all that He did or said. He had no sense of sin or need of forgiveness. He never sought or looked after or needed advice. He knew why He came. He knew from where He came. He knew who He was. He knew the Father. He knew about heaven. He knew where He was going. He knew man. He knew Satan. He had no sense of lack. He had no sense of limitations.
When you look at Him when He was arrested, and He went to the cross. He had no sense of fear. He had no anger. He had no sense of disappointment, no sense of being defeated or being forsaken. He had no sense of need of human sympathy. He didn't shrink from pain or brutal treatment. He was master when they arrested Him. He was the master at the trial. He ruled the seen and the unseen while He was on the cross. He was Almighty yet a man. When you look at Him after the resurrection, He had no sense of revenge. He was loved. He was a revelation of a new kind of love. There was no dramatics. He said, "Go, tell Peter". That littley weakest one. He died a lamb. He rose the Lord. He acted like God. He spoke like God. His resurrection had all the simplicity of God. He was God. His words are spirit and life.
Jesus knew the value and authority of His own words. And He dare to say, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life". He knew that His words were living things. He knew that His words that they would have life and death. Your words would have life and death in Him. Remember how He spoke to the barren fig tree and it died from the roots up. You know that He spoke to the widow son and he became alive instantly. The word we know by the name of Jesus. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. This is the Word that brought eternal life to us. This word is the faith building word. The grace revealing word. The word of assurance. This word is our testimony. It's the word of faith which we preach. We abide in His Word and we are His disciples. We know the truth and the truth makes us free. We abide in the Word. We live in it.
Our home is in the Word. We abide in the Word and we abide in Him. We declare our rights and they come into being. When you look at God's Word, the Word is of God. It's out breathings of God. The mind of God. The will of God. It is God's speaking. It's a part of God Himself. It is a living thing. It abides forever. I watch over my word to perform it, He says. No word from God is void of power. God and His word are one. The Word can live in my heart. I'm going to obey it. I will do it. I will enjoy it. We should have this faith in the written Word. All the mighty achievements rocked by men of God, had been accomplished by faith in the written Word. He was Word made flesh. Jesus spoke the Word. He was the Word.
Now, it's my faith in the living Word, the written Word. It is that Word in my lips. That heals the sick. That breaks the power of demons over men. I hold it in my hand. I have it in my heart. I have it in my lips. I live it. It lives in me. The Word is our healing. It's our strength. It is the bread of life to us. It is the strength. The very ability of God to us. The Word is our confession. The Word is our light and our salvation. The Word is my rest, my pillow. The Word gives me quietness in the midst of confusion. It gives me victory in the midst of defeat. It gives me joy where desolation reign. The Word on my lips becomes the living, life-saving soul-inspiring voice of God.
We've got to understand God's Word on our lips. First, it's the Word in your heart, then it's the Word in your lips. Jesus knew what His Father's word would do on His lips. Peter and John knew what the Word would do on their lips. It's the Word that goes forth out of my mouth. That cannot return unto him void. This creative word on the lips of Jesus is the creator of the word on your lips. Faith is daring to speak His word to the sick, to the demon possessed and setting them free. Real prayer is taking His word into the throne room and letting His word speaks through your lips to Him on the throne, in the throne calling His attention to His very own promises.
The written Word is God's testimony about Himself, about His Son, about His family. It's also a testimony about His old enemy that had sought to destroy the very object of His affection, man. When you look at God's Word, there's some facts to understand. The Word is God speaking to me. It is a revelation to the confess... and remember confession precedes possession. There's no possession without action.
Faith requires acting on the Word. Acting on the Word is your confession. There is no believing that does not result in confessing. Confessing God's Word is faith expressing itself. Your continued conversation locate you. I know where you are. I know what you are when I hear you talk. Let's look at our words. We are in our words. They are born in us. They are part of us. We live in them. They live in others. We know each other by our words. Our words are ourselves. Words are given to express ourselves. The Bible is born of God. He gave birth to it. He gave life to His own Word. He is in it. It is a part of Him. We know God by His Word. He has expressed Himself in it. God lives in His Word and on our lips. He sets Jesus free to heal, save, and bless.
Jesus is the Word. He lives in the Word. The Word lives in us. The Word's Lordship is over us. We know the Father through the Word. We know Jesus by His words. Get a new picture of Jesus and the Word and live in this. Abide in Him. It's kind of arrogance when we as believers, "Yeah, I know the Bible". It's not in the knowledge. It's in the getting it to work. Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, My words abide in you". You can ask whatever you want and it's going to keep happening. You don't need a formula. You don't need five steps. You need to make a decision today, to know this risen Saviour. You need to make a decision today that the Word is the most precious thing going. That countries over the years have given their lives for one page ripped out of the Bible passed from church to church in a hostile land.
We better appreciate and never take for granted this Jesus who gave Himself for me. And if you want a life that is beyond anything you can imagine, ask, or think or dream. Then just make God's Word a priority. Make spending time with Jesus for His Word comes alive and it just bubbles out of you because faith is easy. Labour to enter the rest. And I'm telling you everything in your life changes. You may need to hear this message over and over and let the Word just saturate you and shower you and give you a bath. And just get in your heart and water the Word of God you've got there. And let's get up and let's go live a life so far beyond anything this world has seen. They can't ignore Jesus or His Word anymore.