Leon Fontaine - Changing the Heart of a Nation
I want to talk to you today about changing the heart of a nation. Changing the heart of a nation. According to the Word of God, every individual person in this room has an autopilot. This autopilot is on the inside of you. It is talked about all through the Word. And that the beliefs, that have to do with your identity, have been planted and formed in what the Bible calls your heart. You will live out this identity the rest of your life. You can fight for change, but you'll never see lasting or real change until you change the beliefs of your heart. Some people think it's like the subconscious. You can kind of compare it. Subconscious simply is attached to memories that hurt or help. The heart is much greater, much more powerful. It is, it is subconscious level, it is below your conscious thinking. But according to the Word, you have been taught and shown a very quick and easy way to change the beliefs of your heart, and how you see yourself in relationship to God, to the future, et cetera.
Likewise, I would say nations have a heart. We find over and over again, cities, provinces, entire nations change because somebody stands up and people begin to gather around and stand for freedom, stand for righteousness. Instead of tyranny. And so, I want to talk to you a little bit today about this thing, of the heart. I believe that, it's easy to change a nation. Say well, that's a really naïve statement, pastor. Well actually I didn't make it, Jesus said it. He said my yolk is easy and my burden is light, and I'm going to build my church and hell's not going to stop it. You know, persistence is more powerful than genius. Everybody wants a genius, everybody wants a new leader in healthcare, figure this out. New leader in politics, figure this out. I want that, and I'm praying for that too. I love geniuses. But persistence is more powerful. You study history, and you study whoever is persistent. Whatever group of people are persistent. Who begins to plan and never give up and never quit, that it's persistence that begins to change the heart of a nation.
You see, when you look at the church of Jesus Christ, it's amazing to me how quickly people give up on the miraculous. I mean, the Old Testament is filled with miracles. The New Testament is filled with miracles. The New Covenant that was written in the blood of Jesus who died for us, from the cross to the throne, is full of miracles. But then we have people who are so smart they go, hmm. A miracle. Right. And the Bible says thinking themselves wise, they became fools. Without the miraculous, the supernatural within Christianity, we'll never attract our youth to religion. Oh we have a way to live, this is another religion, this is a way to be disciplined, and this is a way to figure this out, to, we are Christians. No, no. Every emerging generation is attracted to the miraculous. They're attracted to the power of God. And so, where churches have begin to back away from the miracle-working Jesus. And He's left, and then they push the miracle-working believers out, all you've got's religion.
All religion does is try to help you manage behaviour, and that's giving up. Because the heart can be absolutely changed by the powerful Word of God according to Hebrews 4:12. And many other portions of scripture. Let me talk to you about three groups of people. First group of people I notice, in the world and in Christianity, they, they're dominated by the physical. They're governed by their passions, their appetites. Their physical desires. It's all they live for, it's all they want, it's all they're after. That's the first group of people. The second group of people are dominated by their mind. They've, they want to reason everything out, they think understanding something is the key to everything. And so they live in this purely intellectual development.
And the problem with that is it makes them dangerous, because the development of the mind is going to cause, is the development of ego, it's the development of self-centeredness, it's the development of selfishness, which is why we have such a hard time having leaders in politics, and in every other area, business, and large corporations who no longer care about others. It's all about the mighty buck. They live their mind, their mind-dominated. The third group of people, are those whom are led and dominated by their spirit, by the spirit of God in their spirit. These are the great spiritual leaders of the church today, and should be all of us. Here is where you can walk in the strength and in the power of God. God has designed the human being, to be led by the spirit of God, their conscience, the Word of God, the Holy Spirit within their spirit. Then their mind comes along and serves that conscience, that morality, that, that presence of God. That spirit of God within you, the systems and structures and all that you need with your five senses that feed your mind, et cetera. And then you've got a body.
You're supposed to renew your mind, make your body a living sacrifice, but your spirit man is to be in lead position. We're to be governed by the things of God. Every great country on the planet, that has brought freedom, came from Judeo-Christian principles in its inception. And, I love that because the countries that used the Word of God for their legal system, they see equality with men and women. They see to protect their children. To protect your property, to protect what you make and earn. That your freedoms come from God, not the government. And the government's job is to fight and keep your freedoms that are given to you by God. The battle through the ages in the church, and for the church, has been between the intellect of just using the systems and the principles of the Bible, which are beautiful and brilliant, and leaving out the supernatural power of God. Miracles are something we talk about often. That we read about almost every Sunday.
We have, we have, we have services to pray for people and to see miracles in health, but the miracles that God does, read the Old Testament, have to do with saving cities. Saving nations. Raising up men and women, and doing incredible things with so few that He made Gideon say no to tens of thousands to take 300, and go take out an entire nation of soldiers. We need to get back to the supernatural power of God. The entire plan of salvation, 1 Corinthians 1:9, one of the most important things it says, God is faithful by whom you were called into the fellowship of Jesus Christ our Lord. Did you know that when you give your life to Christ, it is the fellowship that is unbelievably amazing, I get to spend time with Jesus. I get to absorb His peace, His joy, His strength. How do I do that? By spending time in His Word.
We can't ignore the responsibility of taking the message of Jesus to the world. Whenever that becomes second or third, you are now in your own mental zone of trying to change. And you can't change a country by just putting in a leader for very long. You can't change a country by just, you know, fighting and winning one law. The only way to change a nation, and get it progressing in the right direction, is the Gospel going to the masses. It's reaching out our arms of love, and loving people. People are in crisis, people don't know Christ. People are stressed out. The amount of depression and anxiety and things that are going on is huge. And, the church isn't shouldn't just be one of the ones fighting something in a, in a only mental way. We have the Gospel. We have something that will heal you and touch you, and bring you a peace so powerful that it can't be taken away, Jesus said.
There's a joy, so unspeakable and full of glory that you can be dancing in the face of a dragon, walking through the valley of the shadow of death, and a merry heart still doeth good like a medicine. And He still prepares a table before you in the presence of enemies. What's making you give up? What's making you say, well, going to move to Timbuktu and get forty acres, six hours out of the city and oh really, so who's going to fight for your kids and your grandkids? They're not going to stay on that farm forty hours of the, they're not going to stay in Timbuk-nine, and try to hide from what's going on. We're here, and this is my nation. This is your nation. We need to bring the beautiful, power of Jesus to this nation. Most of us have been trained in religion to, look at our weaknesses and to look at our failings like Gideon when an angel appears and goes mighty man of valor! And he goes. Oh, I'm, my father's house is the lowest in the country and, I'm the lowest in my father's house.
You think you've got an identity crisis? Try Gideon. He knows that his family is the lowest. How do you come to grips or how do you even believe that my family's the lowest in the whole country. And then I'm the lowest in my, in my family! You, you're the snake's belly, just walking through all the mud. He's a mighty man of valor, and he rises up, and God brings strategies, God is attracted to movement. He stands up, and he begins to move forward. We've got to understand that as long as you keep, your eyes on your weaknesses, and on our, what we don't have. You're never going to get in. Into what God's got for you. In Hebrews 10:38-39, listen to this. But my righteous shall live by faith. What is faith? It's what you can't see. It's what you want, and you don't have the tools to get it. But faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. You get up, and you declare it and believe it. That's living by faith, and then God flows through and He mixes His supernatural ability with whatever stuff you've got.
If all you've got is a rod, He'll part the sea with a rod. If you've got an entire company, He'll take that company and do something good. If you've got an entire province and you're the leader of a province, He'll ignite that, God works with what He's given. He says, my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back. My soul will have no pleasure in him. Verse 39, but if we are not of them that shrink back unto destruction, we are of them that have faith to the saving of the soul. You will not keep your mind and your emotions stable without faith. Because every crisis will put you in an anxious mode. And if that anxiety is left, it will reprogram your heart, and you will walk in constant depression. You can medicate it, you can learn methods to minimize it, they're all fine. But nothing like the incredible power of God that will go in like a scalpel and remove the wrong beliefs and instead put in the Word of God that says get up.
God can do anything through some... the world has yet to see what God can do through one woman. Through one man who will just get up and say God, here I am. Use me. He didn't ask you to figure out something that, that generations can't figure out from structures and systems and governments and business, and no. He just says stand up and let me work through you. How hard can that be? You see, He has no pleasure in those who shrink back. It's interesting to me because it says in verse 39, if you shrink back, very picturesque those words. If you shrink back, it says you will shrink back into destruction. It's taken me through some big problems over my years as a leader. It's just recognizing I can't shrink back. God doesn't like people that shrink back. And if I shrink back, I lose something somewhere. I lose the future, I lose what He's built, I lose what He's given us.
The church of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God has taken ground and taken ground, and taken ground over hundreds of years. We've got entire countries with freedom of religion. We've got countries with freedom and justice for all. And we're doing the best we can. We may not have a justice country, but we've got at least law, which is the best you can do until you get to heaven. I'm not backing down. I'm excited as ever. Ahead of us, is one of the greatest futures. God's on the move, He's just looking for someone to do it through. And we're going to say God, use us. Help us to raise up brilliant leaders and our next generation so they have an understanding of being led by their spirit first, then their mind and their intellect and their brilliant intelligences that might have to do with creativity or business or education or politics or church. But, we the church must rise up. And we must speak.
Someone said to me well Leon, like, religion and politics don't mix. A lot of us have been raised with these clichés. Are you, that doesn't even make sense. I'll tell you what happens. Religion and politics don't mix, when it's from politics to religion. But. But, real relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way to raise up leaders who will do whawt Jesus said in John 10:10, or verses one to ten, where He says a good shepherd lays down his life for their sheep. Where do you find leaders like that? You're not going to find it from people who are only mentally listening because that increases ego. That increases selfishness. But where someone gets up daily, picks up their cross and follows Jesus, and dies to self and the presence of Holy Spirit works within them. Those kinds of kids and leaders and those we raise up in our schools and our churches and all the giftedness that is upon them. Help them get them in the right seats, out there. That is where we have an amazing win.
Now listen to me really closely. Generations of heroes and fighters, and healers, and leaders, and, they die. And, they move on. And we admire when they're gone, the legislation that they put together and what they did to teach and we admire the heroes of the past. But, every, every generation they're dying off and we need new ones to rise up. We've got to pass the batons in education to people who will fight for freedom instead of the craziness trying to come into our schools. We're going to fight for what the general country feels, rather than allow all the specialty groups to finance legislation and education that's against everything we believe for, but we should probably be quiet. We need. It's like when I was in grade five. Grade five, they did two things. They gave us a Gideon Bible, and the other thing I remember is In Flanders Fields.
Talked about in Flanders fields, the poppies grow, beneath the crosses row on row that mark our places in the sky, the lark so bravely singing flies. Scarce heard amidst the guns below, we are the dead. Short time ago they lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow. Loved and were loved, and now we lie in Flanders fields. Then it talks about to you, with failing hands we throw the torch. The baton. Let it be yours now, to hold it high. We stand up for rights. We get involved in political process. We write letters, we phone. We get out, we do everything we legally can, to say in this democratic system, we want to see righteous government. But then we've got to raise up leaders in healthcare. We've got to raise up leaders in education. The church of Jesus Christ needs to stand up and be counted and let your voice be heard. One of reason and love. Wisdom cries aloud in the streets, one verse says, and another one says, justice has fallen in the streets.
When God speaks to Joshua, He tells him something interesting. He says Moses my servant is dead, so arise Joshua, take his place. Get over this Jordan, and all the people here. Take them to the land which I'm giving them. Then He says, every place upon which the sole of your foot shall tread, I have given it to you as I have promised Moses. Now people have used this verse to say, whatever you want in God, you just have to go fight for it. Okay, that's kind of true. But the next verse says, here's what you're going to fight for. From the wilderness, and this Lebanon, to the great river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Mediterranean Sea on the west, this is your territory. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life as I was with Moses I will be with you. I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong, confident of good courage, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong, very courageous, that may you may do according to all of my law, my Moses my servant commanded you. Don't turn to the right, don't turn to the left. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. Meditate on it day and night. That you may observe to do what's written in it. For then, you will make your way prosperous. And then, you will have success.
There's something here that's very powerful. God said it's yours, I've given it to you. You kind of go, You didn't give it to me, I've got to fight for it. They didn't just walk into it. They had to fight for it. And today, you need to know something. In the New Covenant, it says fight in Timothy, the good fight of faith. Keep this aggressive faith that says, continue to Bible study and pray and raise your kids and get involved, and be the salt and the light of society. And love people, and reach out to people and be the body of Jesus, His hands and His feet in this world. Because if we do, Jesus said, the gates of hell won't prevail against us. Against us doing what? Oh, just surviving in a little room of 15 people with the lights down and the shades drawn, and we're just trying to survive. No, no. I'm not going to survive, I'm going to thrive. I'm not here to just barely get by, I'm here to take over. We have choices to make. You shrink back, you lose.
Well I thought I could just shrink back, stay out of the radar, and everything's going to be okay. Sorry. Speak up, get involved, use wisdom, pray. Find, God will guide you in the strategies that you can do. To whom much is given, much is required. What have you got? I don't know. But whatever you have, whatever talents, finances, you've got a mouth you can speak, you've got relationships. We are to use them for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to challenge you today. Don't let fear in. There are so many different derivatives of fear. Fear comes from someone's always grumbling, it's just fear-based. If you're anxious, it's fear-based. Depressed, fear-based. Worried, that's fear-based. Fear has torment. The only way to clean it out, isn't just to say I bind you! It's to plant the incredible, powerful, stunning Word of God in your heart. And then it begins to grow.
Bible says a merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Didn't say a merry mind. Didn't say merry situations. It didn't say, merry, you could be in the middle of a storm but a merry heart, we do the heart work, it does good like a medicine. He'll prepare a table before you in the very presence of your enemies. And if death is freaking everybody out, it's just a shadow for you because He takes you through the valley of the shadow of death. What's the shadow of death? It's not even the real thing. There's my shadow. I mean, you can punch it, you can stomp it, it's just a shadow. Let's get back to faith. Jesus said, go make this earth a footstool for me. He said you're the head and not the tail. He said, that you are above and not beneath. He said the light would grow brighter and brighter.
Who's the light? The church. That means the church has to grow stronger and stronger for the light to grow brighter and brighter. If we are the preservation, we're not a light hid under a bushel. We're the, we're like a city on a hill. We're the nation of God, walking in love, walking in wisdom. We're not giving into deception, we're not giving into liars and false things. There's a brilliance upon God's presence upon it, let's get up in this build with trawl in one hand and the sword of the spirit in the other hand. And let's watch Jesus do miracles in your life, and in His church in our nation.