Leon Fontaine - Listening and Speaking
Good to have you with me today. We are on the second in this message of, "Listen and Speak". And we're talking about hearing from God. It's something that a lot of people have given up on. Now, years ago, people can always make it too crazy. Where they, "The Lord spoke to me and said". And people would say that too often that new Christians would feel for sure that they hadn't become born-again. So whenever I talk about hearing the voice of God, hearing from God. I do not mean in the physical world. I mean that you have physical ears but your spirit man, your heart also has ears. So you have to learn to hear or sense from your heart as well.
And so I've never physically heard an audible voice, but I don't need to because I've developed this ability to hear in the spirit. I've learned to hear what God says. And there's a sensing when something demonic pushes at you, that you can recognize it. And so this ability that we're going to call hearing from God. Again, it's learning to sense and to know things deep on the inside of you. And now, in Isaiah 59:21 gives us an incredible key. It says, "As for Me, this is My covenant or league with them, says the Lord. My Spirit, who is upon you and who writes the law of God inwardly on the heart, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouths of your children, or out of the mouths of your children's children, says the Lord, from henceforth and forever".
Now, I have discovered in my life. I really learned years ago, Sal and I to speak the Word of God, to speak the Word. We find a lot of people coming against stuff like this today. But let me explain what I do. When I speak the Word, I'm not trying to get God to do anything. I'm no trying to earn God's favor. I'm not trying to make God do it. I look at Peter where it says I've already been given all things that pertain to my life and pertain to walking Godly in His presence. And so when I speak the Word, I am simply activating my faith in God's favour, in His grace.
And so people say, "Well, when you speak the Word, you think you're making God do something". No, God's already done something. 2000 years ago Jesus died, took care of the sin question. He provides righteousness. He provides favour. He provides His ability and it comes to us in this beautiful way as a favour, His whole ability. So as I learned to speak God's Word, I am simply putting into work, focusing on my future, prophesying to my future, declaring what Jesus has already done. Because without faith, we can't see this happen. The Bible teaches us very clearly that when it comes to salvation. I mean, the root word is Sozo. Which means saved from hell, sickness, disease. The entire curse of the law. He says believe in your heart, speak with your mouth.
That's why I'm always speaking out loud when I'm alone, declaring what God's Word says and it plants, it does something to me. And as I'm speaking it out, this entire planet has, was created by the Words of God. And as I speak God's Word in faith, believing in His grace, it causes opportunities and healing and protection and everything that we need. So to speak the Word is crucial. Now, we're talking about listening and speaking. Listening and speaking.
Now, the Bible talks about God's presence leading us. In the Old Testament Moses had a pillar of fire and at nighttime wherever that pillar of fire was, he would always stay close to it. It would lead him. During the day, there was cloud. And in the desert the cloud was just a little puff, like a puff of cigarette smoke. No. It stretched from horizon to horizon to protect a couple of million at least, Israelis from the hot desert sun. And then at nighttime, the pillar of fire wasn't a little bit flick that Moses could notice. I believe it was a pillar of fire radiating up in the sky that put heat down in the cold desert evenings. But he learned to follow that.
These are types and shadows or the stories of the Old Testament, they've got to be brought through the cross. Meaning, you know, you can't just take a verse out from the old covenant and make it work that way. Like if, you know, there's some pretty brutal times. But when it goes through the cross, it enters grace.
And so, but I'm going to talk to you today for the next a little bit about learning to sense the voice of God, learning to know His direction. What do I do and practice daily, and what can you learn to do to change your life? Because most people that I run into, I mean, a lot of pastors, a lot of leaders and business people, and people in our church. You know, when we get alone together or they happen to meet me, they'll ask about direction. You know, what do you think about this? And I have no problem talking, I'm always seeking for wisdom, too. I always tell them, that I can't give you direction. I can simply give you knowledge from God's Word that you can meditate on, and then the spirit of God will guide you and lead you.
And so, often, because I'm memorizing the Word and getting God's Word on the inside of me. I will go to a situation and a Bible verse rises up on my spirit. I know that's what I'm going to do. That's what I'm going to do. And so I'm in the middle of a situation where I want to say something and all of a sudden this verse will rise up that says, "A soft answer turns away wrath". And I'll just recognize right away. I want to deal with this harm hardly. You know, just come on. And all I just, no, a soft answer. And there's other times that I do sense to rise up and to take dominion over this and say, "No. We're not doing that. You are not going to get involved in that area". And there's other times even in my prayer, that I just sense quiet and peace and other times something rises up and I'm speaking to mountains, commanding a demonic influence to stop.
And so we need to recognize that the Word of God. Read the Word, meditate on the Word, and it will become memorized. Memorization, if it's a step of meditation is a powerful thing to do. My mom and dad taught me to memorize the Bible. I mean, from a little young, young age. I remember getting a penny a verse when I could, when I first learned to talk, if I'd memorized the Bible. And then as I got older, dad would even pay me more. I memorized whole chapters. There's times something will rise up in me and the Word just comes out of me. I don't even remember when I memorized it because now I meditate. I don't try to memorize. I try to dive into that verse and just own it and eat it and meditate on it. And then the verse comes alive to you.
Why is that important? Well, if you begin to dive in and you begin to believe John 10:2, "My sheep hear My voice and they follow Me. And another voice they will not follow". I believe that. And we get the situations, Sal and I will talk a little bit about it. And we don't have this fear at, "Oh, what if we miss God. Oh, no. What if we miss God". Because there's just such a confidence that we always get His voice. We sense His direction. And this is important. So number one, I would say, if you do not grow and learn the Word. You are extremely limited for God to guide you. Because every situation isn't just where to walk. It might be what to say, what to do, how to answer, what to declare. All of these things come from the Word of God.
Another thing I've noticed about the Bible is that, if you're going in the wrong direction like Jonah and that, I mean, a storm came, and he got thrown off the boat. And then and a big fish swallowed him. And, you know, threw him off where he was supposed to be going. That story is to help us recognize that if you are in the new covenant now, God is not going to hurt you, okay? But if you're going in the wrong direction, okay. You could be heading into storms. You could be heading into bad situations, and God wants you going that way. What are you doing going that way? God has prepared a path ahead of time for you. It says in Ephesians 2:10 in the Amplified, "Prepared a path ahead of time for you that you should walk in it".
Another words, the direction that you should be going, He knows how to get around the attacks. He knows how to get around the quicksand, the barbwire. You know, where's the worse storm? Where's the safest place to be? He will guide you in all those areas. And so when you don't feel good on the inside. Like Jonah did not feel good about the direction he was going. I mean, it was stormy. It was people. It was up and down in that ship. I mean, until finally everybody was looking at him, blaming him. He admitted it. Your life just doesn't go the way you are believing and sensing. There's not a peace of God.
And so the Bible has a verse that says let peace be the umpire of your heart. And so when you feel unhappy with the direction. I don't like the word unhappy, but it help people to understand. You don't feel good about it. You just feel in your stomach, in you gut. That, ugh, I don't feel good about this. Pay attention to it. If I could go back and live my life over again. I'd listen to my gut more. You know, don't hire that person. Don't pick that direction. Don't, you know, buy this. And so recognize that when you're moving in a direction and you don't feel good. You have time to stop. Often, I'll take off in a direction knowing like a plane on a runway. It's shooting down the runway and there's a certain point on that runway where you cannot stop. There's not enough room left to stop.
And so to pass this point means you must take off. But in life, you can go down certain directions and check things out knowing I can still abandon, or abort take off. I don't have to make the decisions. I can check it out, walk down that runway a little further and check things out. But now, if I know this is it, then I can keep putting the power to it. This plane, and then it just picks up and goes. But I'm very conscious when I'm taking new directions, trying to do new things with my life of what I feel in here.
Some of you single people recognize it's very dangerous when you're dating someone because your brain literally begins to want someone so bad that you need to have wisdom around you. Listen to, you know, Godly counsel whether it's your parents, your friends, your pastors, your leaders. Find someone who's got their head on straight because there are certain times our head can get off. That's one of them. Another one of them is if you allow the love of money into your life. It literally destroys your ability to get guidance from God because you're continually doing what is good for you financially. But God could be leading you in a direction that has no apparent financial reward, but He wants you to go in that direction. And then you find out something you could never see around the corner. That it's a powerful direction for God to look after you through your needs and finances. So learn to sense this gut feeling when it comes to picking direction.
Another thing to recognize is that when you are going in a direction. You've got to make a decision. And as you go there, you feel strength. You feel strong. You just feel confident. You feel sure. That's the presence of God guiding you as well. It's like, it's an easy thing to believe and it's God's direction. So when you begin to recognize, that David said, "My strength cometh from the Lord". Well, God's not going to give you supernatural strength to use to disobey Him. He's not going to give you supernatural strength to use to go in the opposite direction He needs you. So it doesn't mean He's going to make you sick at all. It just means that David talks about my strength is in You. And as you find and sense and know the direction of God. There's a strength that rises up in you. That even if there's an obstacle, it's not stopping you. And that strength is a sense of direction that you can know the direction and the voice of God as we're talking about.
Another thing that I tell our people all the time, is you'll be listening at church and a certain message just makes you come unglued. I mean, in a good way. You hear this message and it's all of a sudden, it might be weeks, months, or years of agonizing over something, not really going anywhere with something. And now, listen to that message everyday for the next two weeks. Listen to it over and over and plant whatever truths were in there that you needed to hear. Plant them deep in your heart. This is the mistake that many Christians do. They listen to it and they sense the wisdom, the revelation. They sense God is speaking to me through this message and then they don't listen to it again. They're too lazy.
Listen, laziness is why so many Christians miss God and they don't stay on point. They don't stay on direction. And they get caught up on all sorts of worldly stuff whether it's gossip and talking and coming against leadership. And oh, it's just crazy. And these are people who don't spend with God. I had to laugh. You know, my dad was a great example for me. If we're hanging around other preachers or we'd be hanging around other people. And they would start to talk about things, gossip about people. You know whether it's someone in the church we were visiting or whether, He would always say, "You know, sir". And he would just try to gently change the subject. He's a very gentleman in many of these things.
And if he couldn't, he just, "You know what, we got to get going. Leon, we got to get going. You guys have a great day". And he would not be a part of things that he sensed there was a demonic purpose. And all gossip has a demonic purpose. All talking about others. All eroding confidence in people with their leadership, with pastors, etcetera, has a demonic purpose. And he was very aware of that. And so we better recognize that as well. That, you know, when you begin to feel yuck, back away and learn to stay filled with the presence of God.
There's time I'd be flying in somewhere to speak. And before I go to speak, I'm talking with someone and it's just all this nonsense, and who's doing who, and what's happening over here, did you hear about this. And by the time I went up, I was just so wah-wah. That I remember at times I'd say, "You know what, you just find me a room. I need a green room". And I want to be a part of worship and praise, but I just need to spend a half an hour to burn the chaff from the wheat, to burn off the dross of these words because their words carried something. They carried bitterness. They carried unforgiveness. They carried this, you know, this insecurity.
And now I'm going to clean that out because I don't want to preach the Word of God from that sacred desk with this in me. I would just clean it up by praying in the Spirit, meditating with God, speaking the Word, taking the message, and repreaching it even, and quickly in 5 or 10 minutes. So I can get focused back unto what I want to do. So whenever you hear a message from God whether it's this one. Listen to them over and over and over. And it will plant itself in your heart. In Mark 4 shows us the process of planting God's Word in our heart and growing. Your heart is a womb. Just like a woman has a womb to bring forth children. Every human being male and female has a spiritual womb called the heart. And when you plant God's Word in there, it helps the Word grow and then it comes into your life. It manifested in your physical life.
All right, another thought that I'll share with you when it comes to this is understanding. That as you go into God's Word, often just spending time in God's Word, you'll get direction easily. Like to be quite frank, there's not too many times I don't know what God's will is. I mean, I walk into an intersection. I just know which way to turn, which way to go. Or coming to a situation and which person to hire or train. I'll just know. I come to a situation and others will agonize over it. And it's like Christians have been taught that to get God's will is hard. I have, some people would get away for 40 days. And they say, when I ask them, "Why are you getting away"? Oh, I need direction from God. And I don't agree with that. I've never had to go away for 40 days to get the direction from God.
Now, I wouldn't mind getting away for 40 days and hanging out with God, getting to know Him better. But direction? That is literally easy. God directs my path. He literally leads me with His voice. He directs my feet like a mountain goat going up a mountain side. I mean, all of the things. I mean, He protects my rear. He's my rearguard. He's in front of me creating a path. He's holding back, like, there's so many verses that say it's easy to get direction from God. But when you believe it's hard, it is.
I was chatting with the staff member who went to a conference. And at this conference the bus would take them to the mall to shop for a while. And then what happened was the bus didn't show up at the time to take them back to their hotel rooms and to go into the great room for the conference, which is starting probably at 7, and maybe it was 5:30 or 6. And so she told me, this lady as she was walking through the mall. She saw all these people standing in a circle holding hands. And she recognized them from the conference. And she walked up, as she's walking closer, she heard them asking God for direction to get back to their hotel. And she says, "As I'm walking by them, I'm not going to get involved in that prayer".
She just walked out where the cabs were, grabbed the cab, paid the 7 bucks and said I want to go to this hotel and in this end. And we complicate hearing and sensing and knowing God. And so even as you learn the Word of God and you begin to realize, He's designed it to be simple. He's designed it to be easy. He will lead you even through your desires which is the common way. When I spend time with God, and I desire to move in a direction. I desire to speak about something. I desire to go purchase this for the church. I desire to start this new ministry. Those desires, the Bible says delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. And so as you spend time with God, prayer, marinating, laughing, enjoying Him in His Word. You can trust your desires.
Now, I was taught the opposite by some preachers years ago. That, oh, God's will is hard. You're going to just buckle down and do it even though... I find the opposite. Everything that I sense God's will, I'm moving in that direction. Even if it's hard and I have to labour and believe for big things, the joy, because delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. I want to just challenge you today with this message and this message we just got done. That you can hear from God. And you need to learn to listen and speak. Speak the promises of God's Word every day and you'll be amazed how your life just begins to move in proper directions. Listen for God every day, by meditating in His Word looking for revelation. Letting Holy Spirit speak to you, and then you're always taking in.
I love the verse we shared last time where we can hear from the mouth of God not from just a written collection of wisdom, but God is speaking. And more and more you will live a life where you say, "Oh, man. I have a verse here. I've got to take this verse". I'll tell people the verse that I just read, and they'll go, "Oh, cool, cool". They don't get it. Why? Because Holy Spirit was speaking to me through that verse. And they're gonna have to get it that way as well. When you spend time with Him, Holy Spirit will show you things to come and He will lead you into all truth. For you all direction, doctrine. All that you need. Treasure these times with Holy Spirit. God bless you. We'll see you again soon.