Leon Fontaine - Help, I Need to Make a Decision
I'm going to entitle this message today, "Help, I need to make a decision". One of the most asked questions I get asked as a leader, is how do you know what to do? How do you know what next step to make? In the middle of the storms we have seen over the last 27 years, how did you know which path to take that lead us to victory every time? And so I want to talk about that today. You see, some Christians have Pollyanna thinking. They believe that God is in control of everything. They say that they believe that if it happened, it's God's will. That naive Pollyanna thinking gives them a little bit of peace. But leaves the church horribly crippled and weak as they survive on spiritual birth control pills. We need to understand God's Word and how it works in our lives. We need to understand that.
You know, over the past 27 years as a church we have seen God raise up this ministry in wonderful ways. And how we've been able to look after the poor, the hurting, the marginalized in our city, around the world. We've seen God will help us rise up, raise up TV stations, TV programs in languages around the world, private schools for our children to train them in the way their parents want to see them train. Leadership training in languages around the world. It's amazing how some people get really upset when they see strong churches rising up with a caring heart for people. They've got no problem with one person owning and controlling that kind of influence. But oh, at church it really upsets them.
Now, let's learn a little bit as we go because God does not control people and their decisions. He does not control whether you swear or not. He does not control whether you are abusive or not. You choose the Bible says who you're going to serve. You choose life and death in every situation. You choose to not yield to temptation. And so your choices are crucial. So to blame everything on God as though, if it happened, it was His will, is not biblical. In fact Greek mythology is what crept into Christianity. I don't like what goes on in Christianity because so much of the church today is ineffective and has allowed Greek mythology to creep into our world. Now Greek mythology believes that their Gods are fickle, emotional, angry, impossible to pacify. You never know what you're going to get. And so you've got to plead with them. You've got to, kind of never know what they're going to do, them giving their word doesn't matter. They can change it.
If you study Greek mythology, all of these things are brutally in there and they crept into Christianity. And so people don't believe that you can know what God will do. But Moses knew God's ways and it's very clear in the Word. I've taught at other times. That you can know God's ways. If I say to you I'm going to walk to that tree in 2 minutes, and I'm going to pick a few leaves, and I'm going to drop them off at the gray van over there. And then someone asks you, "What's Leon going to do"? Oh, I have no idea. You never know what Leon's going to do. No, I just gave you my word that I'm going to go pick leaves off that tree and drop them off that van. You know then what I will do in the next 10 minutes. God has given His Word over and over about what He will do it in every situation. Yet naive pastors and Christian, "You'll never know what God's going to do. God's like a box of chocolates. You just never know what you're going to get. He's just smarter and wiser".
Oh, I get that He's smarter and wiser. But what you miss is when He has promised something and when He has given His Word. He is so lit up about His Word. He said, "Heaven and earth will pass away before I'll break My Word. I'll fulfill every comma. I'll cross every T". He's very clear about His will for you and I. We must understand what is God's part and what is our part. He doesn't control people's decisions. But let me give you a little caveat that you'd be very aware of. If you become a weapon against a believer, a follower of Christ who is standing on the promises of protection. God will control the outcome of that decision in your life and the one that is trying to hurt you. It can go very bad for them because no weapon that is formed against you prospers. And if they placed themself as a weapon, things in their life stop prospering because of what they have done.
Life is filled with decisions. Decisions determine your future. Your decisions. They determine the future of your family, your career, your health, your marriage. Where you spend eternity, in heaven or in hell. The thing I want to look at in the remainder of my time, is a stunning skill called focus and attention. It is in your hands to control your focus. Your ability to control your focus, your attention, your meditation, is the key to developing the strength to make good decisions when you are under incredible pressure in the middle of a storm, giants screaming at you. You've got to know how to make the right decision and sometimes you have no time. You've got to make it quickly. I was working 7 years in emergency rescue, in ambulance as a paramedic. We trained so much ahead of time because we knew to step out of that ambulance, to look at a scene of car wrecks and bodies and babies and children. You didn't have time to open your manual and take a look.
I still remember my training. When I drove up on a scene, they had trained it into me. So that in an emergency, all my decisions were done with wisdom. I knew driving up in that unit. Make sure safety is the first thing. Is there downed power lines? Is there a man with a gun running around? Is there a bear, if you're working in abound, that is killing people? Safety first. Protect our people. Then I would make sure that we had enough help. Call the hydro in for the downed lines. Make sure the police are here to deal with the guy with the gun. Is there enough ambulances on the way, or do you jump out of your ambulance? And all these things destroy you as you're trying to help people. I recognize it when I begin to triage all the bodies laying around. How do you triage? We had a system, very quickly, airway, breathing, circulation, and bleeding. Bam! Tag, tag, tag. Who do you save? Who don't you with the limited resources that you have. And then how we package them? How we took them out?
These systems were so trained in us that I can walk on to the scene in the midst of screaming and dying and smells and horrible things. But you've got to clean out of your mind later. And I'd make decision after decision after decision. And all my decisions as the leader or the supervisor of the scene determined whether I maximize survivors or whether people died because of my decisions. I want to help you make decisions in your life, your marriage, parenting, your career, your job. Whether you're in health care. Whether you're in government. Problems always scream for your attention. And it will make you make wrong decisions.
I went to the scene of an accident one time with a rookie that I was training. Stepped out of the ambulance at a horrible sight. As the supervisor on the scene, as I'm quickly triaging and looking for who are the most crucial. There was one person screaming in their car. This rookie took off like a shot and begin to look after a broken bone. It was a bad broken arm, very painful. And he's sitting there how people were dying with flail chests and cranial damage, broken necks, far more crucial. But the screamer got the attention first. We were trained that in a quick decision in a horrible situation. You always went to screamers last because they had an airway. They were breathing and there was enough circulation to make him that conscious. All those signs were determined very quickly. And so you now need to know in your world. That if you make decisions and you the squeaky wheel gets the grease. That screamers take this thing that screams at you that causes you pain. You can jump out of the frying pan into the fire by making wrong decisions. Storms scream for your attention. People around you scream for your attention. Ads, they literally try to control your focus and attention. Social media, their opinions about you scream for your attention.
Proverbs 1:5 says a wise man will hear and he will increase in learning. A man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. If you want to be a person of wisdom, you must know who the wise counsels are to listen to. You know, it's interesting according to the Bible, the crowd's always wrong. And God had to raise up a man or a woman who would listen to Him. And if the crowd would listen to the leader and follow them. They would see the wisdom. They would sense the will of God and get back on track. Proverbs 18:17 says the person who tells one side of the story, it seems right. Until you hear the other side. It's amazing how if it's a situation you have to make a decision on regarding two different stories. The first one that gets to you seems right. But you need to hold your heart. You need to hold your judgment until you hear the other side. The Bible teaches us that one of the most horrible things that will cripple you in making your decisions is the fear of public opinion.
The Bible says that being afraid of public opinion is so brutal. That when you care about, or afraid of the public opinion of you. That you will never fulfill your calling, your career, your giftedness, the desires, the big life, that you, deep inside of you want to fulfill will never be fulfilled, when you have a fear of man, a fear of public opinion. Pat Riley one of the greatest coaches in America said, "If you listen to the stand too much, you'll soon be in them". You need to recognize that yes, we desire to love and walk amongst people, caring for them, honoring them, giving them the freedom to make their decisions whether they are right or wrong from the Bible. They have a right and the freedom to control their own future. Every decision they make has blessings and consequences. And it is their right, unless they're hurting someone else. It's their right to make those decisions.
You will need to learn to focus on God's Word. You will need to learn to focus on His presence. There is something within a human being. That when they magnify and praise God, that brilliance rises up within you. It gets unlocked and your gifts, your abilities in whatever calling that you go to. You begin to problem solve in this physical world. In the area, from sciences to government to kingdom culture. Noah, an amazing man literally was given the diagram and the thinking of a ship that nobody had ever built at that time. And today engineers look at it and marvel. I have a man that I met and spent time with who raised millions of dollars and built a prototype of the ark. And put it out there on acres of property. They can be toured today in America. And people are stunned how could they build this at that time. Because God, when He is focused on and followed, doesn't turn you into a raving lunatic spiritual Christian. He takes the gifts, abilities, and the path that is ahead of you and He helps within you His spirit to open up the creativity, the sciences, the things that you need to know to make wise decisions.
Solomon another man of God built a nation so strong that the entire world was stunned and would travel for months to sit at his feet. The wealth that he produced has never been matched even today. When you look at his ability to create wealth and strength, it was stunning. And when you look at the apostle Paul who took a message with no TV, no transportation, and this message of the resurrected Jesus was taken to the then known world. And that man through his obedience to God and the presence of God on his life, saw followers of Christ literally change the then known world and has a stunning impact today on everything from medicine to government, to countries that have built their country on the foundation of the laws that are written, the Mosaic Laws. Countries can be founded, most countries are founded on some kind of a religious belief. But the ones that were founded on biblical teaching.
The laws, the Ten Commandments that protect women and children and the rights to own property and to make free choices and what you want to do with your life as well as everyone else around you are so incredible. That today people from all over the world who hang on to their religion and their beliefs and don't even agree with ours, still want to be in our country where what they have will be protected. You need to understand something. You as a follower of Christ, need to recognize your focus is absolutely key. Peter walked on the water when he was focused and his attention was on Jesus. He knew there was a storm, wind, waves. But then he got his focus, his attention off of Jesus and he began to look at the storm. In doing so, he began to sink in seconds, turned back to Jesus and cried out for help. Jesus grabbed his hand, "Why did you doubt"? Raised him back up and they walked to the boat. What an incredible look.
Did you know that all through the Bible, Old Testament and New, it shows that your focus is going to determine whether the presence of God rises up within you as faith and God's grace and ability is released into the situation or whether you focus on the storm and fear rises up. In Job 3 says, "Now what you fear befalls you and what you dread comes upon you". Three Hebrew men would not bow to a golden statue. And when told they were being thrown into a fiery furnace. They said, "Oh, king, our God will protect us. And if He doesn't, we're not bowing anyway". What a resolved. They tied those men up and they threw them in the fire. And to the king's incredible amazement, a fourth man appeared in the fire. Now, the soldiers that threw them in were killed. That furnace had been heated seven times hotter. Then the ropes that were around their hands broke off. And those three Hebrew children were walking and talking with this fourth man that appeared to look like the son of God. The king pulled them out. The ropes were gone. But the Bible says in record that there was no smell of smoke on their hair or on their clothes.
Esther a young beautiful woman allowed herself to stand and have six-month preparation for a beauty pageant to become the queen. As the story goes on, there was a plan by a wicked man in the king's government to take out the entire Jewish race. She had to go to him. But you never go to a king in those days uninvited. If he didn't put his scepter out, you would be killed. It was a great way for kings in those days to get a divorce and then take another woman. She talked to her uncle Mordechai and he said, "How do you not know that you have been prepared for such a time as this"? And in doing so, literally she risked her life and saved a nation. At times in storms, if you're sick in pain, if you've lost loved ones, and your confused and broken of heart. If something is going on in your life, you need to understand and have an ability and developed this ability to turn to God. It doesn't mean you ignore the problem. It doesn't mean you don't strategize, talk to counselors, work things out. It means that your first, your first seeking is the kingdom of God. And they teach us to magnify God, to worship God, to sing to God.
And that this focus would cause faith to rise up. It says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. History tells us that kings and presidents and prime ministers that changed the course of the world as evil men and women rose up to control our planet. That they would often turn to the Word of God. Generals fighting battles that determine the future of mankind would sit in their tents with the Bible open as they prepared for another battle and had to make decisions that cost lives, as man made the ultimate sacrifice because their women and children and families and homes needed to be protected. The decisions that you make will determine your future. Business people, it's the decisions that you make that determine your career. Government, health care, it's the decisions you make that are determining the future of millions of people. And as we set aside our human pride in thinking we are smart enough to do it and we turn to God and ask for His wisdom and His strength. He unlocks within you an ability to know, to understand.
You have a spirit of wisdom, an ability to gain knowledge, an ability to recognize truth, and what is not truth amongst your advisors. What is wisdom and what is not. And there are times there is no way to know but to have a deep caring for the people around you and who you serve rather than your future career, etcetera. Today, I believe that you can make decisions that will change your life. Habakkuk 3:19 says, "The Lord God is my strength. He will make my feet like mountain goats, and He will help me to walk on my high places". Sal and I were in the mountains with our family. We were enjoying a stroll around this path. A huge herd of mountain goats appeared right in front of us as we came around the corner. It was so beautiful, right from the little ones to the big one with the great big horns. Something scared them, probably us. And they begin to run at a cliff that rose straight up in front of us. And we thought, "What are they doing"? And then they ran straight up the cliff from the youngest goats to the oldest.
And this is years ago, and it just surprised me. It made me wonder, how did they do that? And as I looked it up, I found out that these animals, there are some animals on the planet, the Bible calls them hinds or deer or mountain goats. That when they run up a cliff, their front could be on perched on a wee little ledge. And as a jump for the next one, the back foot lands exactly to the millimeter where the front foot was, which gives them an ability. A man would crawl up there with his fingertips and take hours and he would do it in 30 seconds running up a cliff. And it says for you and I, that God will not only strengthen you, but in your future in how you walk out your life. You can run up the cliffs and the obstacles that others might take never be able to, because He prepares your feet like mountain goat's feet.
The Bible says, "The footsteps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord". I saw that verse years ago and it just made me excited to know, that whatever He has called us to do. He will guide us in uncertain times. He will strengthen us when there is no strength. He'll give us peace when everyone is screaming fear. He'll give us joy when everyone's trying to make us feel guilty and ashamed. The enemy is trying to stop God's Word from growing within you. It says in Mark 4, as Jesus is teaching the process of faith which determines how much of God's ability comes into your life. It shows us that Satan comes immediately to steal the Word that you're meditating on. If you are not developing a meditation in God's Word and attending of a church that will train you and equip you in the Word. He doesn't care about you. He doesn't care anything about you.
But the second you start meditating in the Word, growing in the Word, planting the Word in your heart and allowing God to open up the gifts, the abilities, the wisdom that you need for your future. He's going to be all over you. He's not that powerful. He'll just try to get your attention off the Word. Your attention off the church. He'll try to psycho you out because something will offend you as you stop going to services or reading the Word or being around people that can help you of like precious faith. Remember this, Satan, he knows that it's the Word that he cannot stop. So when you get the Word in you, he knows that your endeavors, your marriage, your career, your health, your finances, your future, and your generations will be unstoppable when the process of God's Word planted in your heart continues and it's practice day after day, month after month, year after year.
I pray that you keep following and learning and growing. If you don't know Christ as your Saviour, pray this powerful prayer that only you can pray for yourself right now. It goes like this. Just say:
Jesus, I choose to trust You. I'm going to follow You. I choose to make You my Lord, my Saviour. Come into my heart, my life. From today and on, I'm following You. Teach me Your ways, in Jesus' name, amen.
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