Leon Fontaine - Changing Our Cities and Nations
Today, I want to talk to you about changing our city. Bringing change to our nation. So many people, listen to constant negative news. They're got the media on, you actually think that because it's the news they know what they're talking about. Leader, we often think well you know, it's on TV, so it's got to be right. And I've got news for you. The media is so controlled by people who want to get their message out, and we as the church need to recognize, that we have the ability to change a city. To change a nation. That's what the Bible says.
And so, if you are listening to the media, to the news, and all the negative stuff that's going on, you are going to be filled with fear. You are never going to get your faith to work. And so today, I want to show you some crucial teaching from the Word of God because you'll find out that God can change a nation with one person. So stop believing all the negative junk that is flowing out of people out there. You know, demonic power, as we talk about the two kingdoms that are on this planet. Yes, we have a kingdom of darkness. And the Bible says that's the evil kingdom.
Now, because Jesus took away the authority of the devil, how did he do that? He took away the, the law that judges you and I. And instead of us being right with God, through our actions, it's because of Jesus' actions that we have a gift of righteousness. So the devil can't condemn us. He has no ability to go before God like he did with Job, and say look at Leon, look at this person. No, he can't do that. Because Jesus took my sin, your sin. Jesus took all the curse of the law. The devil's got nothing left, to use on us. So you need to know, he's been stripped of his authority, of his ability. He tries to get at us through people. And, that is where we need to recognize this.
Now, so many of us, we look at our circumstances, and we believe that unless the circumstances change, we are powerless. We can't do anything. And that is ridiculous. And I want to change, for some of you it might be a little shift in thinking. For others, it's going to be a complete revelation. That circumstances, sometimes don't change. And so we just continue to go on in victory. You don't allow the enemy to deceive you, to make you think you can't do anything. And I want to take you to a well-known portion of scripture that is so misunderstood.
Let's talk about Paul's thorn. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, the apostle Paul is here is talking and he's saying, because of the revelation that Paul had, about Jesus, the cross, His resurrection, the authority, the power, the New Covenant. You know, Paul received that right from Jesus, who talked to him. Took him up into the third heaven, the Bible says, and gave Paul the revelation that the other apostles were in awe of, as he tied it together so beautifully with the Old Testament prophecies to show what Jesus did when He died. Where nobody could see them.
Most people only knew the historical Jesus. And Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John show us where He walked, what cities He was in, where He walked on the water, where He did this miracle. Where He fed the five thousand, and so you know the historical Jesus. But the apostle Paul got by revelation, that when Jesus died, what took place? It's amazing, so he says, because of this vision. Because of the abundance of revelation that God was showing me, there was given me a messenger of Satan. Now, right away, Bible scholars quote-unquote, "well that was blindness. And Paul had a problem with sickness". No, it says it as clear as a bell. This thorn in the flesh was a messenger from Satan, sent it says to buffet me. Lest I be exalted above measure.
Some people think God did this to keep him humble. Baloney. Read the Bible. Whenever Paul would begin to share the great revelations God gave him, he reached whole cities. He reached the then-known world with the Gospel of Jesus. It was the enemy who tried to stop him. Now, how did he stop him? Well, every city that he went to, religious people would get angry and rise up against him. Some of them would try to stone him. One time they killed him. And they raised him back from the dead. Other times, they'd push him out of the cities. They would just try everything they could, to shut down Paul. And they couldn't. But, listen to what happened here.
So Paul, who was a man. He was not God. He did not have infallible wisdom. He was dependent upon Holy Spirit like you and I. And he was growing in his faith. Day by day. So he says to God, he says, I pleaded with God three times. That this messenger would stop harassing me. Or, using people to harass me. You know what God said to him? He said, my grace is sufficient for you. Because my strength, it flows on you in your weakness.
I'd remember in prayer line one time, a lady walking up to me and she started to sob and cry. And I mean, your heart was breaking for this beautiful woman, she's a grandma, a new grandma. And, and I said what would you like prayer for? And I was just touched by her sobbing and what is going on? What has she lost? She goes please, pray that the devil stops bothering me. I said, well, on this planet, we have an enemy. There is no demilitarized zone. He's always going to try. So rather than pray for the devil to disappear which is going to happen one day, I'm going to pray for the power of God, get you to rise up with confidence and courage and get up and go kick devil butt and get some things done.
That's what God is saying to Paul here. He's saying, my grace. What is grace? Well, the word 'grace' today has really lost, the power of what it means in the Bible. You know, your kid is being so bad, oh give him a little grace. But here, the word 'grace' is God's unearned favour to you. What is God's unearned favour to you? His ability. His spirit. I mean, it's God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. That's the power one. He's the one who brings all the miracles in the Old Testament. The spirit of God would come on Samson. He'd pick up a city gate, kill 1600 enemies.
The spirit of God would come on Gideon, he became a new man. The spirit of God would come on Samuel, not one of his words fell to the ground. The spirit of God comes on you and I. This grace, is God's incredible ability that doesn't come to you because you're special, or so good. It comes to you as a gift. When, and He says to Paul, my strength is made perfect in your weakness. So Paul says, I'm boasting now in my weaknesses. And when I see things coming at me, persecutions, distresses, reproaches, infirmities in verse 10, he says I just take pleasure. I'm about to win a battle. I'm about to kick some butt. I'm about to do something, and it says I am strong in God's strength.
So what did God say to Paul? Get up, come on, son. My grace is sufficient for you. And he got up, and he went forth from here, and he took the Gospel to the then-known world. Something rare people have ever been able to duplicate. You, hae the grace of God upon you. If people won't let up and people are backstabbing you at work, and you're bidding on jobs and others are bribing city officials, or whatever's going on and you're going I just can't exist in the way of this world is. Oh, be quiet, you whiner. Get up and declare the grace of God is on me. And I'm going to get up, and I'm going to do business. I'm going to get up and walk in health. I'm going to get up and be different. I'm going to get up with the grace of God on me. And people aren't going to change around you. You're going to change. And the presence of God is going to be there for you. Come on! His grace is upon you.
People think the enemy's got so much power. Listen. He only has an ability to deceive. And even that ability, requires you to not grow in the Word. That requires you to allow yourself to be deceived. In Isaiah 42:6-7, here it's taught, Isaiah is talking about how the Word of God's going to change you. And it says, I am the Lord, I've called you in righteousness, and I'm going to hold your hand. And I'm going to keep you, and give you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, listen to this. To open blind eyes. He's not talking here about physically blind, though he does that. I'm going to bring out prisoners from the prison. Those who sit in darkness, from the prison house. The darkness of misbeliefs, wrong beliefs.
There are people today who, their emotions get so involved on troubles, they sit there and stare at a problem until they're sure it's so big. They make mountains out of mole hills. They stare at little problems that others eat for breakfast, and then you get so overwhelmed, the world's going to hell in a hand basket. There's nothing we can do. Oh, the devil's going to take us over. Oh, the world's coming to an end. Oh, shut up. Get your eyes back on Jesus, come on. Let's just be recognize, that the presence of God is upon us. We are something they better look out for. It's, when you and I wake up, if we know who we are, the devil's going oh no. He's awake now. He's the one who runs in fear, with a church doesn't run in fear. Resist the devil. He flees.
Let's lose our fear. Let's lose this whiny, servant-y, you know well we're going to just do our best until Jesus comes back. What in the, what Jesus do you serve? He's more than a conqueror. He's the overcomer. We are in Christ. We're not going to sit in the darkness of misbeliefs and worry. Why is it that this world is so filled with gloom and doom? Listen and figure out the news for a few minutes a day so you know what's going on, and then get your eyes back on being an overcomer to be born of God, because if the devil can change your focus, he changes your faith.
I don't need to use terms of psychology, because I don't agree with all of psychology. But, the Bible teaches us the word 'vexed', V-E-X-E-D. And it teaches us that people can be vexed when they focus on wrong things. When you focus on something long enough, your imagination always gets involved. But did you know, your imagination can work against you? People's imaginations have built up their problems to such a degree, that they are vexed emotionally. And it means overwhelmed. Believing for craziness. Believing stupid, way beyond possibilities. You're overwhelmed. You're no longer are focusing on truth, or what is reasonable. You are, literally, it's like walking down a black alley, you know, and you've just watched a horror movie, which is a real waste of time.
And in this horror movie, creeps are sliding out of shadows, and big jagged teeth are biting you in the neck and the claws. So as you're walking to your car a block away down a dark alley, all of a sudden you start thinking about this and a full-grown man will break into a dead run because of his imagination. Some people live vexed in the craziness of an undisciplined imagination. They've not renewed their mind, they've not renewed their imagination. And people can live there, and not realize that they begin to believe in these negative things. Job says this.
What I believe, it says, or what I fear, comes upon me. What I dread is sweeping into my life. Why? Because both fear and faith are very powerful forces. And they bring in what you are focused on. Focus is a very powerful force. It brings in faith, or it brings in fear. That is why I'll spend a little bit of time collecting the news, what's going on, so I can appropriately you know, deal with it as a, as a husband, as a man. A father, grandfather, a pastor, a leader. But I'm not about to listen to them as though they're experts. It's a guy in a suit, that's it. And the people who are writing the news, they're not giving you news. They're interpreting the news.
Now, in 2 Timothy, it talks to us here about people can become captive to the enemy, to the dark side. It says this. It says, that people, they need to come to their senses. And escape the snare of the devil. How? By coming to your senses. Which means you're not being sensible. You're focused as though he's got power, as though things are going to get worse. And it says, they've been taken captive by the devil to do his will. How? He can't walk into your life and put you in a headlock and take over your money, your health, or anything. What does he do? He makes your senses, he tries to get you to not understand. And when you don't know truth, you believe crazy stuff. There's a lot of crazy beliefs about how powerful the devil is.
Listen. The devil, as an archangel, was still a servant to the human race. Still a servant to God. The Bible says that in Hebrews 1:14. So, he was so full of pride, there's no way he wanted to serve God, let alone humans. His greatest creation. I mean, the greatest thing he had going for him, was he was an angel. But all angels are servants. Don't get this incredible wow, incredible powerful force. He can only work in people's lives when they don't know truth about who they are, who God is, who Jesus, what He's done, and what Satan is. And so it's always deception. It's always about these things. So, when we look at reaching our cities.
How do we reach our cities? Well first of all, lose your crazy belief, the devils' in control. That people are so listening to him, that we can't stop it. That's ridiculous. In Luke 19:13, it says here that Jesus called, he tells a parable. He called his ten servants together, delivered them ten pounds. And he said go occupy until I come. He didn't say sit on your couch and listen to end-times teaching. He didn't say sit there in the prayerful position waiting for the trumpet to blow to take you out. He said, occupy until I come. This word 'occupy' means carry on doing business. Carry on raising up great families. Carry on becoming leaders and influencers in your city. It means occupy.
You know, what is more than a conqueror? It's one things for an army to go into a country, you know, like years ago in Iraq, and defeat it. You can defeat a country, but can you occupy it successfully? That's the problem for many of the wars that go on. The Bible says here, occupy until I come. It means be the leaders. Rise up as the people with success in business and health care. Families that are strong. Occupying, raising up doctors and leaders and politicians. This is what the church of Jesus Christ is to do.
Now, I don't mind handing out bottles of water in parks. Some churches want to be a blessing, please do that. But if that's the extent of being a blessing to this world, then that's the extent of being salt and light. We've got a problem, because we need gifted politicians, we need gifted doctors, lawyers, we need gifted men and women, who are salt and light in our cities, and in our nation. In Proverbs 11:11, it says by the blessing of the upright, the city is exalted. By what? By the blessing of the upright. That's us. Whoever you work for, they're blessed. Wherever you live, that neighbourhood's blessed. Wherever you do business, it's blessed. You are a blessing. We are a blessing. Now how can we be a bigger blessing? Well first of all, lose your doom and gloom thinking. Lose your anger. Get up, and share the Good News. The Gospel's Good News. It's not bad news.
Let's get up and believe, that we've got the Good News of Jesus. And everywhere you go, share that Good News. Encourage the businessmen around you. The moms that are talking with each other, the fathers. Encourage people in government. If you're in government, help that premiere rise up and think better, and help him and encourage him and believe in him. Don't be on somebody else's team, be on God's team. But be a blessing everywhere you are. Be salt, be light. It says in Proverbs 14:34, that righteousness exalts a nation. Nations should be exalted because of the church of Jesus Christ taking its place, sharing Good News, encouraging everybody around you, in the goodness of God.
Then it says, in Proverbs 14:35, the king's favour is towards a wise servant. When we've got people in leadership like mayors and premieres and prime ministers, and we've got heads of businesses, billionaires and corporations, did you know that wherever believers are working, it is your ability to be wise, to handle people, to solve problems, to put in management systems, to handle the administration of it. To lead. When they begin to see the ability and the wisdom of God on us, and we've got the presence of God upon us, they want you around them. The Bible says that our gift makes way for us and brings us before kings and great men.
In other words, the ability and the blessing of God on you brings you before leaders in business, leaders in politics. And they want you around. We're not going to touch our nation and reach our city by the biggest whiners on the planet, by being negative and upset and just, no. There's of course we're involved in the political process. In fact, I'm telling every one of you, you better be in a political party. Make a decision, go find out what the issues are. And let's get involved. Let's join a political party. Let's have a voice. Let's be salt, and light.
Paul, was continually correcting the church. Almost every letter he wrote, trying to get them to stop being religious, legalistic, and take the Good News of Jesus to a city, to a world, and that's where I'm telling you today. You know, enough of all the negative doom and gloom. Enough of the depression and the unhappiness. Enough of all the talk of, you know, this is just crazy, yes it's crazy. I an take you to, you know, we've had 50 great years since World War II, and you know what? There's always going to be a world.
We're not in heaven yet. There's going to be storms, there's going to be situations, there's going to be viruses. There's going to be inappropriate responses. Then the cure is worse than the cause, yes, yes, yes. But get up, be an overcomer, speak the Word. Let's walk with wisdom. Let's help lead this country. Let's be there for the leaders that are around us. You are amazing. God made you. You've got wisdom. He said we bring the blessing of God to our cities, our provinces, and our nation. Amen?
Father, in Jesus' name I pray. The presence of God upon every person. I pray the church of Jesus Christ would rise up with a smile on our face, sharing the Good News everywhere we go, of how in love Jesus is with the world. That we would bring wisdom to companies, wisdom to healthcare. Wisdom to politics. That we'd stand up and be counted, that we would vote, that we would get involved, that everywhere people would want us around them. Because of the wisdom, and because of the culture of, of overcoming and joy, and this we can do it attitude. I pray this upon our church, and everybody watching.
And if you don't know Jesus Christ today, and you're watching this going man I've never heard this before. You know, I always thought Christianity was a weak religion. No, it's the most powerful thing on the planet. And as you're listening to me, God is caused faith to rise up on the inside of you. That's what you're feeling on the inside. And if you'd like to know this Jesus, just say this right now. Just say:
Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross for me. Come into my heart. Forgive me. I want to be born again, I want a brand-new start. From today and on I'm following You as my Lord and Saviour. In Jesus' name, amen.