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2021 online sermons » Leon Fontaine » Leon Fontaine - The Empowered Life

Leon Fontaine - The Empowered Life

Leon Fontaine - The Empowered Life

At around 12 years of age, I remember responding to an altar call, by a fiery preacher who was visiting. And, he was talking about being filled with the Spirit, and about having a prayer language, praying in other tongues. Now I knew all about it, because my parents had taught me that. I watched them every day, pray. I watched them be led by the Spirit. I watched them know things that only God could show them. As I remember going forward, and something remarkable happened in my life. I was one of your typical jocks, and as I went through school and traveled with everything from basketball to football to track and field, provinces and other countries. I had opportunity, I mean, to get off the rails like you wouldn't believe. And my personality type for any of you who know me, know I'd have been good at it, too. But something was, there was something that was going on inside of me. I didn't understand at the time until I learned to grow deeper in the Word of God.

And I recognize that often when the most tempting things would come my way as a young man with every hormone, every other young man had. There was this sense inside of me that I could not. The other thing that I, when I look back that I notice was that I had nothing to prove. I felt incensed, like, I was complete. I knew that you know, that I had nothing to prove to them. To my peers. Yet at the same time, I wanted to. I wanted to impress them, I wanted to be the captain of the team, I wanted to be involved. I wanted them to accept me. But there was something in me that would never go beyond I knew what I should not do as far as sin, alcohol, sex, drugs, the things that literally seven of my friends are dead from my youth group of 20, buried all side by side, in a graveyard in our small town where my dad pastored. But, and as I look back now, I'm so thankful for what I want to talk to you about today. The Bible says in John 4, that when you give your life to Jesus Christ, it is like a well of water. Refreshing you. And that as a believer, because you are born again, that you can know as you go to the Word and Holy Spirit, this ongoing refreshing that never stops.

But then Jesus went on in His teaching in John 7, and He begins to prophesy and declare that there would come a day when the presence of God, this Holy Spirit, would come on people. And out of their innermost belly would flow rivers of living water. There's a big difference between a well and a river. My grandpa, in West Rose, he lived just in Battle Lake area. He had an amazing well outside of his place. When we were done riding horses or driving Jeeps or whatever we were doing, you'd get so hot, we'd put our mouth under that and one guy'd start to crank it and you'd have to prime the pump a little bit. And cold water would come out. I mean, we'd put our whole heads. Sometimes we would just get under there, and that cold refreshing water was amazing. But a river is different than a well. When a river is at flood time, nothing's going to stop it.

I remember the, you know, the flood of the century in Winnipeg. It doesn't matter how many military vehicles you saw driving into that city. Wasn't anybody going to stop that river from overflowing. I remember the flood here in Calgary a while ago, and you know, there's nothing they could have done when that thing decided to jump the banks. And yet out of our innermost being could flow rivers, plural, of living water. There is a power. If you were to ask me, what is a follower of Christ look like? What does a born-again believer look like? I would have to tell you, I rarely see one. So are you saying you are? No, I'm not. I'm just saying that in my short life already, I've noticed that we have settled for the amount of work that is going on in missions and evangelism and TV preachers and churches of thousands and tens of thousands, and people who are on social media. People, I mean, the amount of work that's going on today, in Christianity, quote-unquote, and the lack of results in comparison.

When one disciple could walk into a city and turn it upside down. It made me wonder as a young man, and when God called me to the ministry, I took, you know, inside just there, I was rejecting it, rejecting it. And God and I had some conversations where, I'm not doing this unless the same power that I saw in the early church would flow in my life. You know for every mile of truth, there's two miles of ditch. So I'd watch Pentecostal pastors and they think as long as you spoke in tongues, everything was fine. And then I'd watch my Baptist friends, and as long as you knew the words you were fine. But you know the Word without Holy Spirit, you just dry up. And Holy Spirit without the Word, you're going to blow up. But Holy Spirit and the Word, you'll grow up. Grow up into what? Well you know what? A little lion cub is cute.

I remember when Zachary and I were in South Africa and we stopped by some of these places, and you could literally hold little lion cubs and pet them. But they wouldn't let us into the cage with the full grown lions. Because there's a big difference. Between a little cub and a full-grown lion. And I've got news for you. We need to wake up as Ephesians says, to something that there is a power. Holy Spirit has two things that He does in our lives when you are born again. His recreative power. Jesus died for you, He took your sin, and He rose again with new life, and when you believe and ask Him, Holy Spirit comes in and does a tremendous miracle on the inside of you. But now, Jesus said to His disciples, who by the way, they were born again. How do we know? Because Jesus when He rose from the dead, just meeting with them, He breathed on them it says in the book of John, and He says to them, receive Holy Spirit. And they received Him. But He still said you wait until you are indued with power. And so in Acts 1, it talks about this power. And this power when you look at it in the Greek, it's power to live morally.

Isn't that interesting? It's power to, to do miracles. It talks about this power that is intrinsically in you, that you can release. It talks about a power to handle wealth, a power to handle armies. A power to handle crowds of people. As you look at this and you're recognizing that there is nothing ahead of you. That by Holy Spirit's power, that you can't handle. I remember the temptations. I, you know, I remember the vividly the things that would go on as we stayed in hotels and went to parties and the drugs and the women and the stuff that was going on. And yet for some reason, and I am no stronger than any other man. There was something in me as a teenager as we traveled and sports and stuff, that I just knew that there was something different about me. And there's something different about you. But Holy Spirit, He wants to work in you. And He will give you the power to break addictions, to say no. To live your life in a way that the enemy cannot compromise what God has created for you as your pathway.

And I've found a huge difference between being born again, and being indued with power. That there's not a thing that I could chalk up on my personal chart as I'm amazing, other than that I've learned to become reliant on Holy Spirit, and I speak with Him daily, and I move into God's Word. And as we had to buy land and buildings and raise millions and spend millions and make decisions, to touch a country, to touch a world in multiple language and television stations, and the list goes on. There was just no way my brain could handle that. And so whether you're a business person or whether you're a pastor, whether you want to be a mom or a dad. Whether you want the generations of your family to move on in perpetuity, and see to the thousandth generation the blessing of God. Then you need to show them and teach them the power of Holy Spirit. Because only Holy Spirit is going to help you fulfill what God has called you to do in your life.

And other than that, you can have a beautiful attraction to Jesus, to His Word, you could enjoy people, you could enjoy church, you can do to the best of your ability to live right and go to heaven when you die. But there is something about when you read the early church. The book of Acts is a stunning look at what a few men and women could do when they had learned watching Jesus. And by the way Jesus learned to yield to the power of Holy Spirit, and to listen to what God wanted Him to do.

So, we need to understand that you cannot just be born again. You need to be indued with power from on high. In 2 Corinthians 13:4, it says about Jesus. For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He goes on living by the power of God. Woah, woah. What was that? Although Jesus was crucified in weakness, as a human body, a human being. Yet He goes on living by the power of God. And though we, too, are weak in Him as He was humanly weak, yet in dealing with you we shall show ourselves alive and strong, in fellowship with Him by the power of God. I've found that in making business decisions, that I would walk into board rooms, I would deal with people, and I would just sense things and I would do them. I would meet some of the most astute business people, wanting acres of property and things would go down and there was just no way that I was that good of a negotiator, there's no way that I could have masterminded what was going on. Or even run what I presently do. But under the power of Holy Spirit, He'll help you raise your kids. He'll help you build your career. He'll help you do whatever it is in your heart to do. Like, to stay in love with the same woman for your entire life. Rather quiet moment there.

2 Corinthians 13:5 says, examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith. Isn't that an interesting verse? And showing the proper fruits of it. When you look at your life, do you see the fruits, which is the harvesting of your life by the very power of Holy Spirit. Do you see the fruit of the power of God in your life? And it says here, test and prove yourselves. Do you not, do you not yourselves realize and know thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless you are counterfeits, disapproved, on trial, and rejected. You know, I've met a lot of people who go to church. I've met a lot of people who talk about God, know the Bible, can debate it with me and argue with me. But when I talk with them, I don't see this life-changing presence of God about them. And so, I've often said you need to, can I ask you a question? Yes. Are you born again?

Well, I mean, I've been in church all my life. Whoop-dee-do. Well I mean, I mean, I'm a episcopalian, I'm Pentecostal, I'm Baptist. My parents were missionaries. Beautiful. Just because I bark doesn't mean I'm a dog. Just because you sit in a garage doesn't make you a car. Are you born again? By the power of the living God. And you know what? They could not give me a definitive answer. And I said listen. You are literally dealing with all of this because you're not born again. Oh I don't believe that. Well you do whatever you want. But this born again experience is a phenomenal, stunning, and important part of your life. And then you don't stop there. There is a time as you, and when you get born again, that you are to believe, to be indued with power from on high. And that power is for ministry. That power is to live in a way that makes the world look at us and be jealous because to be blessed, alright?

When you look at the Amplified, the word blessed, it brings it out for you. It means prosperous. It means to be envied. It means blessed in all the way the promises of God show us. We are to live our lives on this planet, so that when they look at our marriages, our parenting, at the finances, our businesses, our relationship with God, that they look at us and go. But if we're not careful, we begin to get caught up in this rat race of I've got to learn all these structures and systems so I can be a great CEO. So I can be a great artist. So I can be a great mom and a dad. You go ahead and learn, absolutely, everything you can. But you better be dependent on the power of God. Because He can open a door that no man can shut. And He can shut a door that no man can open. You can be against three countries armies, and one man would go take them out. When you know who your God is. We don't live by the Bible says, by, you know, our own strength. But by the very spirit of God. He says not by might, not by power, but by my spirit. That means your might, your power, will get you to a certain place.

But when you let the spirit of God touch you, and you begin to fellowship with Him. Holy Spirit will teach you the Word, and you'll get to know Him, and this duality, this, this working of I want to know the Word, Holy Spirit. And He keeps teaching you. There are things you do not know. I recognize one time, and lots of times, how proud I could become, by knowing the Word and not recognizing that everything I know. I know everything about the first floor. But there's a second floor and a third floor and a fourth floor. And a fifth season and a sixth season. And nobody here can say we're going to build you a ten-story high-rise, we'll start with floor five. That's impossible, you start with the foundation and you start with floor one. And if you do not build a good floor one, you cannot even build a good floor two. You can't even build a good floor three unless you've got a good foundation. So Holy Spirit's job is to teach you and download and bring revelation. Until God's Word comes alive, and you begin to see it and sense it and know it.

And as you know the Word, you get to know Holy Spirit better. And as you get Holy Spirit better, you get to know the Word better. These two things, they go together. And one does not go without the other. One person said well, I don't have time to study the Word, but I know Holy Spirit. So well. Oh you do? You cannot know Holy Spirit without knowing the Word. And, you cannot know the Word, without knowing Holy Spirit. I listen to people debate the Bible on TV who weren't born again, and it's a boring listen. Because I know every answer to everything they're arguing about, because you can't get it with just a physical mindset. But I can sense and know what God is trying to say because I'm spiritually alive and so are you if you are born again. There is an area of our lives, of being baptized with Holy Spirit. Being filled with Holy Spirit. Where the Bible says this prayer language begins to flow out of you. This heavenly language.

A businessman here in Calgary was reading my column in the paper and so he got a hold of me through a mutual friend and asked to have lunch with me. And I said sure. So we got together for lunch, and as they came to the table and introduced myself, and he shook my hand. Just before we sat down, he looks at me and he goes, can I just ask you one question? Sure. He said, do you, mmm, speak in tongues? And I knew that, I sensed that something had really turned him off. And I said, no. Not the way you've seen it. Oh thank God he said. Let's grab some lunch. And I said but you know, have you noticed how that Tibetan monks can chant and meditate and they'll sit in the middle of a cold creek and keep their body temperature normal. They'll lower their heart rate. They can literally, have you noticed how that there's different forms of meditation and different disciplines and different religions?

And I'm talking to a guy, I'm trying to reach him. This wouldn't fly in most Bible colleges, but it was a good definition for him. And he said yes. I said, those who are born again, have a prayer language. It's a meditative prayer language. And when you pray, Holy Spirit gets all over you. And you know how meditation is trying to get to nirvana or is trying to get to a nothingness in your head? Well, Biblical meditation, it fills your head with the Word of God. The presence of God. And it brings a peace and a joy, that when you get off your "meditative mat" or your yoga mat or whatever it is that different practices will do. When I get up from meditating, that peace and joy, it never leaves me. Whereas others have to go back to find it and only on their meditation mat or in their yoga position or whatever you do. He said, wow. Can I have that?

So we had moved him from, do you do this? To, can I have it? We have to understand that the power of Holy Spirit, God has designed it to be in your life. And without it, you will never fulfill what is ahead of you. You will try through learning, you'll try through discipline, you'll try through all of this that you can with your mind, and your body, and if you do not pray in the spirit, if you do not get into God's Word and spend time with Holy Spirit, you will be so, and you will know it. You will just know that, I just sense there's more and I just can't get there. I just, there's more in me and I just can't do it. I mean. How do you do it and hold your marriage together? How do you hold your marriage and have a sex life? How do you have sex and a marriage and you raise kids, and, and and and. How do you do it? You can't. Sometimes you die to self real quick. And just go Holy Spirit, I need you. I need your peace. And the Bible says this, that when you talk about the Kingdom of God, that it's not meat and drink. It's not physical things. You know, eating and drinking and all the laws that go with it in the Jewish custom. But it is righteousness, peace, and joy. How? In the Holy Spirit.

Now, peace and joy, you know what they are. But you know where people have a hard time experiencing is righteousness? Well Leon, what do you mean by experiencing righteousness? Well, when you get into the Word and Holy Spirit shows you that you are in right-standing with God. Okay. Now, we know that means as a definition. But let me show you what it feels like when you begin to believe it and allow Holy Spirit to help you experience it. It's, when you love someone, maybe it's your spouse. And they look at you and everything is just right between you. And they look at you with such love. And they're just so proud of you. They're not correcting you today, they're just proud of you. They're looking at you with these big eyes that go, without you, I don't know if I want to live. You. And you know what I mean? And what you're feeling is this, you are right with each other today. Well, righteousness means to be in right place with God, in right-standing with God.

So as you learn to get into His Word, it doesn't make you arrogant. It doesn't make you think you're all that. You know, it's none of those things. It literally gives you a joy and a peace, because it gives you a sense of value. One day I was meditating through my life and I thought, God, why didn't I do some of those things? How in the world could I avoid the temptation? And I'm thinking through stories that were just bizarre and so tempting and the thing, how in the world? And I realize that, I already felt special. Whereas other teenage boys my age, didn't even know who they were. I felt special. I felt holy.

Now the word holy, doesn't mean sin-free. It means set apart. I felt set apart. I felt like, I didn't want to blow this. That I didn't want to do this to God. And any time I'd walk into situation that you could just tell was just set up to take me down, man. It was kind of like, something would rise up and now I look back and realize, it was, it was Holy Spirit. We can raise kids, a friend of mine told me that when their girls turn 12, they're putting them all on birth control pills because every parent makes that mistake, and they're going to, they, and I just went woah, well why? Well, look at the temptation. I mean, it's impossible, I could hardly control myself when I was a teenage boy, and that was without the internet. Et cetera, and they went on and on and on.

I said I get it. I said, but I'm going to teach my children the reality of the Word, and Holy Spirit. And rely upon the power of Holy Spirit at a very young age, so that they know that it's not by their might, and it's not by their power, but it's by the spirit of the living God that you can live right, and you can live strong. And you can live with a sense of knowing who you are so peer pressure can't touch you. I mean, money, why would I cheat with money? Anything I need's going to flow anyway. And you begin to look at all these temptations, usually temptations are for something you desire that God wants to meet the right way anyway, so why would you meet it the wrong way? By the power of Holy Spirit, something takes place in your heart, in your life. Holy Spirit will empower you to live the kind of life that can build the local church of Jesus. We've got a nation to reach, we've got a world that needs Christ. And we need to show unity, love. The power of Holy Spirit. And God's going to use you to do great things.

Father, I pray today. That we would not take lightly, Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, you're here on this planet. You are the power source. You are omnipresent. You know everything we need to do in every area of our lives. And not only do you show us, you'll empower us to do it. Guide us here at Springs. And for every individual person that is listening to this message, I pray that they would treasure the Word of God and Holy Spirit. Like that treasure buried in a field, they would sell all just to buy the field and get the treasure. There's nothing we wouldn't give up, to know You. Your Word, Your power.

If you're watching today and you don't know Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord, you need to just to choose Him, believe on Him, just say this. Just say:

Dear Jesus, I give You my life. Thank You for dying on a cross. In my place. Come into my heart, my life. From today and on, I'm following You. By the power of Holy Spirit, in Jesus name, amen. And amen.

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