Leon Fontaine - Designed to Believe
As a young man, I loved hanging around with my mom and dad, and all of the ministry friends. Pastors, evangelists, prophets, apostles, teachers. I just had the most beautiful ability to watch the five fold ministry at work, a chance to watch the local church. And I noticed an amazing difference between those who were entertaining and had developed skills which is important. But there was a difference between those that the Word of God was working on the inside of them. We should always develop skills and add them to our gifts. If you are, you know, I remember one time I was listening to a couple of these years ago. These were a couple of reporters or not reporters but people who were radio announcers for a football game. And they were talking about the greatest quarterback. The most talented quarterback that ever lived was on the field. And one of the men said to the other guy, he said, "This guy on the field is probably the most gifted quarterback in history". The other guy said, "Nah". He says, "No, I think there's lots of people more gifted. He's the one that added skills to his gift".
There's probably people with just as good as muscle memory. There's those who could have been in just as good a shape. They could have trained their mind to memorize strategically football plays and know how to lead a football team but this man did it. So I'm not opposed to developing skills for public speaking and handling people and managing and administrating and etcetera. I'm all for it. But I noticed a difference in leaders between those who only had skills and I enjoyed them. But then there would be people that there was something different about them. And the only way I can explain it is a verse that we're going to get to in the Bible that says the Word of God was working in them.
I remember a friend of my mom and dad who's gone to be with Jesus I believe. His name was brother Ness, Clarence Ness. And he ran a Bri-Ma-Del Bible Camp and would have me come and speak the odd times. Sal and I would go with our four little girls at the time and we would speak. I remember one time late at night hearing a rifle shooting in the camp. And I bailed out of bed, went running outside and so did brother Ness. We came upon a man with a rifle standing in the middle of the camp firing. I think he was shooting at a sign at that moment. And something of brother Ness was one of those wonderful man of God. He would be talking with you and speaking with you and he did it to me. And all of a sudden he'd say, "Leon," And he begin to speak to me as God begin to show him things, about me to encourage me. You know, a lot of people try to do that. We see them all over YouTube but this man had it.
And, see, he was very gentle. He loved the Word. I would watch him at time when he would pray and he would just weep as the presence of God touched him. And all of a sudden, here he's got this entire campus safety and there's this guy. This crazy guy shooting a rifle in the middle of the camp filled with kids and tents and buildings of, ah. And so I remember him walking over to him and something came over him and, it wasn't the words that he spoke. It was what he radiated as he just said, "Give me the rifle". We didn't know if he was planning on shooting people. We didn't know why he was there. And this guy started to disagree and argue with him and he's holding a rifle. And he walked straight into his face and said, "Give me the rifle". And he just took the rifle out of his hands and then dealt with the situation. And it was, it was, it was this lion-like faith. It wasn't him just being confident or putting something on. It came out of him. And you knew that if this guy didn't do what he said, man, the angels of God would take him out. You just sense the power of God in that situation.
I remember as a young man, we would do street services in the some of the towns we were in. We would go to the worst corner in the town or city where the bars where, the knifings, the fighting, the stuff. And we would pull out a couple guitars and we would just sing and preach and share the gospel. We call them street meetings. And I mean, people would walk out of there, cussing, swearing. I mean, wanting to fight so bad. And I would just see every time, he would just speak and just take that situation and it would just go because of this incredible Word of God working mightily in him, and what was flowing out of him was a power but the power's motive was love. The power's motive wasn't comparison. The power's motive wasn't to be better than that person, to dominate that person. I can't even explain it other than when you learn to get the Word of God working in you that, and I would watch men begin to weep in front of their friends. And they just told their friends they're going to go break the guitars and punch out these men.
I remember one time as I was playing guitar standing beside him. I must've been about 20 or so and ah, we're strumming and all the sudden this guy walks out of the bar. You could see him at the doorway. And I mean, he must have been, he was 6 foot 6 because later I knew he gave his life to Christ. And he just walked straight across the street. Cars are honking. And he walks and he walks right up to me. And ah, when he walked up to me, he literally walked up until I couldn't strum anymore. I'm sitting there playing the guitar strumming up and down. And he just put his, his stomach right against me. And I looked up at him, and dad had always taught me, he said, "God is within you. The Word works. Don't you let fear in". And so I thought, "Okay, God, will You better show up because he's about to pick me up or do something to me". And this guy looks at me and he says, "I like what you're doing". And then he begin to open up, literally tears streaming down this powerful, powerful man, big brick layer. Hands like you wouldn't believe. But he sensed the power. And the power's motive was in the love of God.
Today, I want to talk to you about the Word of God working mightily in you. You know, the Bible says, "Fight! The good fight of faith". And people who don't know their bibles think they're fighting devils, demons, people. Think they're... No! The fight of faith is to fight to stay in the Word, to keep the Word of God working on the inside of you. Other times when I've taught on this, I've talked about the process of faith. Now, when God is trying to show us something and teach us something, you understand He has to ratchet down His vocabulary. He's got to use analogies that you and I understand. When I'm trying to explain something to my 4 or 5-year old grandkids, I have to try to use things they get. I'm trying to bring complex things and answer them in a way, and that is what God has to do every time He talks with us.
And so the Bible is filled with analogies of swords and shields and pearls and seeds and sheep and goats. And why? Because God's trying to communicate to you and I in a way that we'll understand. Now you, you are a powerful being. You're made in the likeness and the image of God. What you believe and what you focus on, which is where you get your believing from, is what you focus on. Um, it affects your future. And so, those who focus on the Word of God can get the Word of God working mightily inside of them, with the help of Holy Spirit, meditating in the Word, confessing the Word of God out loud, and beginning to get the Word working on the inside of them. You know, there's something that the world has recognized and there's many books on it. And it's called the placebo effect. Now, I've done some study on it because it's so fascinating.
Now if you want to, if you've invented a new drug, you have to do trials and on the people who have the disease before you're allowed to take it public. And there's different rules about who you can use. But in order to try a new medication on a group, you have to have a control group. Now, the control group is a group who just get sugar water but don't know it. They get it. No one knows who gets the med and who doesn't. It's, that that no one knows except for the people running the tests. Now without exception, the control group which is not getting the medication to take the disease out, always has a percentage of people who get better. And it's always freak them out. And so doctors and scientists call it the placebo effect. And they kind of make fun of it or some people are kind of laugh and say, "So, man, if you believe it works, it does".
Now, that's actually accurate. You have been designed to believe. And what you believe comes out of you and affects your world to a certain degree. Now, because of that, I was reading an article about a man who had a wicked disease, and he thought he was getting the real drug. But he was a part of the control group getting the sugar water. But he was completely cured. And the growths and the things literally disappeared, all signs disappeared from his body. Then when they told him, "Actually you were a part of the control group". And the disease came back. And then this article says that they told him another time, "We were just, you know, working on some things but no you actually did have the new med that we're trying out on your disease". And again he got better. They literally had moved him to yes, no, yes, no. And when they told him that he was getting the real drug, he believed in this drug and it made him better.
Now this has a minimal effect because it's dealing with that own person's beliefs. Do you understand that when the powerful Word of God begins to work on the inside of you, that this little bit of shallow believing that can affect your own health and your own willpower ratchets up to them an incredible place, where it affects the people around you. It affects countries. God would raise up men and women who would heal multitudes and change an entire country by the very power of God. And so I want you to know that God's Word, you are designed in the likeness and image of God, and you are designed to believe. Now whether you believe in this or not, you have beliefs. These beliefs, the belief you have might be, "I don't believe in believing". Well then by default the Word says that you are controlled as never before by the kingdom of darkness, by this curse of the law that is here on the planet. That if you do not stand up against it with a born again spirit, and a renewed mind, and work the Word of God. That then by default, you will find that whatever goes on here controls you.
Now in Hebrews 4:7, it says, "Today, if you will hear His voice do not harden your heart". What's he saying? Your heart is a deeper beliefs. I'm not talking with your physical heart. I'm talking about your spiritual heart, which the Bible says is this deeper centered part of you. And this deeper centered part of you is where your deepest beliefs are. And it's saying that when you hear God's Word, when you hear God's voice in your life speaking to you. Don't harden your heart. Don't resist. Jesus teaches about that a lot in Mark 4. But He says, "But open your heart and received the Word of God".
And so you are designed to believe. You're designed to live a life that what you believe about your future, what you believe about health and finances and relationships, sexuality, everything. What you believe has a profound effect on you, your body, your mind, your relationships, and even the chances and the opportunities that you get. I was chatting with this, this woman just jokingly and she dated a couple guys who everything they ever did just turned to, to garbage. And I said, "You know," I said, "When you start dating a guy asked him if he's lucky or if he's a Murphy's law guy". And she goes, "What do you mean"? I said, "Because people have beliefs. And if they believe that, you know, life is awful and then you die and I'm just... They can fall in love with you but their entire life's belief system is that nothing goes good, everything goes bad".
I remember this, this missionary in Hong Kong going into a tattoo parlor. And he writes in his memoir that he saw this tattoo which you could apply. And it said, "Born to lose". And he said, "Who in the world," to the proprietor, he says, "Who in the world would put tattoo 'Born to lose' on their skin"? And he said, "Somebody's already got born to lose tattooed in their heart and mind". And he's totally right. You've got a choice as a Christian. Get the Word working in you and it begins to plant and develop the beliefs of God, or welcome to a life of continually fighting, barely getting by, hardly anything seems to work, pray, beg, plead, trying to get prayer to work, and nothing happens. Now, you have to understand that when you begin to read God's Word and study His Word. I call it the process of faith. Getting the Word working in you that the Word reads you. What do I mean by that? Well, it's kind of like your white blood cells.
You know, when you've got white blood cells in your blood, and you do. And ah, and it senses a foreign disease, a foreign body. They attack to kill. Did you know the Word of God in you attacks every wrong belief, every broken heart attitude, everything that belief you've got that's going to hurt your future, your marriage, your kids, your generations. As you begin to meditate on God's Word and get it on the inside of you, the Word reads you. It scans you. It MRI's you. It is ultra-sounding you. It's X-raying the heart beliefs. And then going to work at bringing in the very beliefs of God, the truth. When the Bible talks about truth, it means God's original norm. It means the beliefs of God. You know, the word "Word" to those who want to study a little deeper later. There's different words in the Greek for the word "Word". For example, in the Greek "graphe", where we get our word graph from in English. It means the written word. The word "Rhema" means speaking the Word. Which is what the sword of the spirit is. The sword of the spirit is not graphe, the written Word. The sword of the spirit is Rhema, the spoken Word.
Now, Logos is the very revelation of that Word. Which is why it says in John 1, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God". That the word they uses there is Logos, meaning the very revelation of God. Jesus is the very revelation of God. Now, it says that in Hebrews 4:12, that the Word of God is a living, powerful. It's alive. It's like a two-edged sword piercing to the division of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart. God's Word is literally alive, discerning, cutting off like a scalpel in a surgeon's hand all the diseased tissue, cutting off all the disease to beliefs, cutting off all the diseases memories that are causing you to believe you're a loser, you can never make it. That you're dumb. You're not smart. That your bad luck. That you're cursed. You're the black sheep. I don't know. Whatever beliefs that are in there that are shutting you down. These beliefs from the heart are dominating your life, your heart, is the auto pilot of your future. God's Word begins to go to work. And when God's Word is working on the inside of you, did you know that when you look at Ephesians chapter 6 and it talks about all the armor of the believer. That that is the Word of God working inside of you.
So you know what the breastplate of righteousness. This is the helmet of salvation. That the sword of the spirit. When you talk about the belt of truth, your feet shod for the preparation of the gospel of peace. All of these can only work in your life if the Word of God is working and revealing these truths to you. The Word of God working in you only you can do. You are in charge of your focus. You can focus on your past, focus on your failures, focus on your sins, focus on what people say about you, or you can focus on the Word of God and what the Creator says about you, and what the Creator has designed within you. And you've got to learn the Word of God will show you how to forgive yourself, how to forgive others, how to walk free from the past, and walking to a whole new life where the Word of God is working in you and it never stops working every season that is ahead of you. The Word of God is working inside of you, preparing you, and planting within you this incredible Word of God.
When you meditate in the Word of God and spend time in the Word of God, the very nature of God is alive in this Word. That's why the Word is the Logos. The revelation of God's Word. And you've got to allow God's nature, God's opinion, God's truth, to dominate you, to begin to go to work on the inside of you. You've got to mix faith with what you hear. If you're listening to me right now and you're going, "Well, I don't know if I believe this guy". You know, your choice. But if the Word of God is being spoken, then you've got to receive the Word. You know, Hebrews 4:14, it teaches us to hold fast our confession. Why? Confession can speaking out loud the Word is a part of working the Word, a part of this meditative connecting to God's truth process. And if you're not, whenever I read the Bible, God dealt with me a while ago. He said, "Stop reading the Bible to yourself. Read the Bible out loud. Let your mouth speak it".
Well, it's so comfortable. Put your feet up and come back. You just put the Bible in front, and just sit there and meditate on it. You can do that. But you begin to really put in your heart, speak the Word out loud with your mouth. Then believe that Holy Spirit will personalize everything I read. So how does this verse affect me? That's what I've got to know. The Bible says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Cool. What's the heart picture? What's the vision that Holy Spirit is trying to birth on the inside of me? What is it He needs me to be doing? Is it to speak before children? If that's what you feel you're called to do. Is it to rise up and to bring in millions to finance the gospel? Is it to rise up and beat the sickness? Is it to rise up and to shut down the debilitating fear that stops you from doing what God called you to do?
You need to allow the Holy Spirit to begin to work with you. And as you speak the Word and listen to the Word and connect to God's Word, Holy Spirit begins to speak to you in His language, which is dreams and visions. He'll give you dreams of your future that are successful and overcoming. He'll give you a vision of the things that are ahead of you where you're going to go from victory to victory, from strength to strength. Here in verse 4, it says, "Hold fast our confession".
Now in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, it says, "For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the Word of God". He's talking to the Thessalonians, "Which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe". You've got a choice to make. You go ahead and believe the other experts in your life. And they're, they're experts based on their five senses. Doctors, bankers, coaches, and I, we, they all attend in our church. We're glad they're here. But the Bible teaches us that what we believe about our future, our lives, our destination, our families, our homes, our relationship, our health, our careers. We must first effectively find what the Word says, and get the Word working mightily in you. God's favour, His grace must be believed. And when you believe, which is what God's Word does when it works mightily on the inside of you. It just believes that anywhere I go I'm blessed.
And every person I run into is going to favour me and even my enemies are at peace with me. And if an enemy comes against me, his sword enters his own heart. And if he lays a trap for me, the Bible says he falls into its own trap because no weapon formed against me prospers. When the Word of God goes to work on the inside of you, it begins to cause your world, your life to change. Amen? If you're watching today and you don't know Jesus as your personal Saviour. You're not born again. What does that mean? It's talking about a spiritual birth. All of us are born physically, some, to some mom somewhere. But born again is a choice that you make, to say Jesus come into my heart. And if you'd like to do that right now just say this:
Jesus, You died on the cross in my place. You took my sin so I could be in your family. So come into my heart. I give You my life. I'm following You for the rest of my days. In Jesus' name, amen.