Leon Fontaine - Deep Courage
I'm going to title my message today, Deep Courage. Deep courage. We live in a time right now that, I speak with people across the nation, around the world, statisticians, think tanks, pastors. And so, it's stunning how quickly people can give up hope. People can become so depressed, so down, so negative. That there's just this foreboding feeling that comes over them, they're anxious. And, what's interesting is, people think that, their anxious foreboding thinking is reality. And it's not. You see, I want to show you a, an easy but potent, powerful process, that you must be doing. I want to show you where courage comes from. Not just a courage from a mind that is reasoning things out.
But did you know that there are two kinds of life on this planet? There is the physical world's life. Life in the cells, trees, nature, the five senses gathering data, and deciding and figuring out things. But there's also a life called in the Bible, zoe life. That is not natural life. That is the life that comes from God. And it's the supernatural life of God. The Bible teaches us, that we as born-again believers, have that life. But so many do not know how to release that life. They don't know how to walk through times of crisis with a deep courage. That, we would even call a faith that gets up and takes the future. That they need for their children, their grandchildren, and what is ahead of us. We've got to understand that according to the Bible, there is a part of you that is very little understood. I don't, when I travel, I travel the world speaking at conferences, and consulting with denominations. And the teaching of the heart, I don't mean your physical beating heart.
But there is a part of you, your spiritual heart, where your deepest beliefs are. Those deepest beliefs are connected to your identity. Any belief you have, that is connected to your identity, who you are, is the most powerful belief that you have. You can believe a lot of things. But any belief that is connected to your identity, who you are, what you can do, those beliefs control your future. To such an extent, that I call it your autopilot. Now an autopilot on a plane, you know, the pilot is not up there holding the yoke and controlling for every little wind that blows them off course. The computer, you dial in where you're going. We're going to go to Calgary, we're going to go to Vancouver, we're going to go to, you know, and you just put it in there. And literally you can sit there and just relax. You can just, that plane will just self adjust for every wind. Everything that goes on. It just keeps selfing adjusting. And it goes to where the autopilot says it goes. You have an autopilot that you didn't program.
Now that's a rip-off. Can you imagine, you're getting on a flight and who gets to program it? Uh, we haven't decided. Some 12-year-old. Actually, who programmed your autopilot, is your upbringing. Parents, grandparents, teachers. Things that happened to you that you made judgments about. Whether you were hurt, maybe you were you know, abused by someone. And it creates identity beliefs. These identity beliefs will literally determine whether or not your life goes in this direction, or that direction. But as children grow up, they can experience different things and have a very negative set of beliefs around their identity.
Now as they look at problems, the future, whatever. Viruses, governments, things being taken, they have this negative, negative foreboding feeling that the world might call depression or anxiety, or there's so many new words coming out every day for our emotional health. But what happens is, your experience becomes your reality. Let me say that again. Your experience becomes your reality. One person walks through something, and their experience says we're going to win. Man it's exciting times. Let's go do great things. Someone else walks through and goes, we're going to die. It's all over. Don't even try to be positive to me, I'm a realist and I know, so don't you look at me and tell me, I'm going to tell you right now. You know that they're, and you just see the fear and the stuff oozing off of them. Their experience becomes their reality. And this is crucial.
The Bible is very clear. That, if you have a deceived heart, a deceitful heart. That you'll find no good around you. There are some people whose hearts are deceitful, and the word there in the Hebrew means crooked. Now your heart is this deeper area of believing that is attached to your identity. And it's crooked. In other words, as you try to think through and reason things out, rather than courageously making wise choices, it's crooked and it just kind of goes here and it bends there and it's not, and yet a righteous heart in the book of Proverbs when you go into the Hebrew, literally means a straight heart. The wisdom of God flows straight through. You make easy decisions. You know, you sense, and you're guided by God, and these decisions you make lead to blessing and favour, why? Because of the guidance of God. These decisions are made at the heart level. People who only use reasoning, they only try to figure things out with their head. They don't know why they can't seem to find peace. They're trying hard, you can see them, he's gritting his teeth and, everything's going to be okay. Yeah. Mhmm. And he's just barely controlling his behaviour. Barely controlling his mood.
See, that to me, is not freedom. There is a courage. There is a sense of God, that is so deep, that you can look at what goes on around you and go hm. My God fail me? Never. Oh, my life begin to go downhill? Never. Oh, my career ending? You can't end the favour of God on me. A door closes there, they open a better one over here. He only gets better. But this ability to look and to see God's goodness and God's favour, is determined by the condition of your heart. Not the condition of your head, although there's a part to there in renewing your mind with the Word. It's the condition of your heart. Your heart interprets everything.
Now let's talk about this for a minute. Your eyes, your eyes don't actually see things. Your eyes simply absorb light. Then we know, that your brain creates images from the light that comes through your eyes. And even these images that are created by your brain, that's not where perception is. It's the heart. This spiritual heart, that is the very vessel of perception. How you perceive something, is all determined by the heart. So it's crucial that we understand this. Otherwise, you will simply use your five senses, and be limited to this realm. So your brain creates images, your eyes receive light, but your heart is interpreting your life, and it's prophesying your future. One person is horribly upset, worried, freaked out, stressed out. Trying to figure out a way to just, to bring down the anxiety which I agree, before it literally causes them to get so sick they can't even live, which is happen all over. The Bible says that fear undealt with that gets into the heart, it says your physical heart will fail you. Your real, your spiritual heart will fail you. You just start to fail. We need to understand, how to reprogram if you want to use that word, the autopilot of your heart.
How, can we get rid of this pessimistic, negative, look at everything? And bring this optimism, this sense of victory, this ability to be guided through whatever everyone else is freaking out with. Did you know that nowhere in the Bible did God's people have the advantage? Either the giant was bigger, the army was you know, small, it was always a problem. And yet God's people, when they went to Him, they always won. Goliath was two, three times the size of David, David took him out. But as long as those soldiers stood there and listened to him blah blah blah blah, I'm going to kill you, I'm going to take you, I'm going to imprison you, I'm going to steal your wives, your kids, going to kill all your boy, whatever, every day, and the story about David and Goliath, and David, he hadn't been marinating in the giant's accusations. He'd been spending time with God, and his heart was protected.
Listen to me. You must protect your heart. Your heart according to Proverbs 4:18-24, is protected three ways. You watch what comes in the ear gate, you are cautious what comes in the eye gate, and you're cautious what you say. Those three things are in that chapter. When things get planted in your heart, and it takes root, the Bible says in Mark 4 you get more of what you've got. When you have poverty, you get more of it. When you have fear, you get more of it. When you're so anxious you can't keep your brains together, you're getting more anxiety. Why? Because the heart is not biased. It grows, it amplifies whatever comes into it. It's like the microphone I've got right now. You know, I can just speak nice things and say, I'm not going to point at anybody. You know, you're beautiful, you're wonderful, you're amazing, you're a gift from God, designed by God, made in heaven, and the microphone will say that. Or I can say you're a jerk. You're a lying, stealing, yellow-bellied, sap sucker. And the microphone will do that too. Negative or positive.
Your heart is exactly the same. Your heart does not decide what it grows and releases. Your mind must determine the gateway of what comes into your heart. And so it's crucial. It's crucial that you understand that the Word of God is potent. That it is the teaching, it is what you'll need to spend time with. Because as you spend time in God's Word, as a believer, God's Word begins to tell you who you are. Now listen to me. Any promise in the Bible. Anything that you read in the Bible that you don't connect to your identity, it doesn't really connect. Did you know that just studying the Bible for its doctrinal value, usually makes people confused? That often makes people drift away from God? Did you know that in North America, we have more seminaries, Bible schools, churches, denominations, than the world has ever seen before? And we have an absolute lack of the miraculous and the power of God. What is with that? Because head knowledge of the Bible, does not produce the presence of God. It is heart. It's heart knowledge of God that does that.
Now. When I realized that I could begin to meditate and connect to God, and that His Word wasn't just, see I used to think that reading the Bible gave me favour with God. That's, kind of, I don't know how I got that but that's what I really believed. Better read my Bible to make God happy. Then I realized something else. Meditating in the Word, actually began to change the way I saw myself. The way I saw God. What I could do. Anything that I'm working on in my life, I have found that if things are happening, I need to deal with some identity beliefs. I don't need healing, I'm the healed. You know what I mean? I don't need to scream at demons or beg with God. It's been given to me. I'm a possessor of His life. I am, I'm not trying to become what I'm not. I am. I am in the family. I am a child of God. And when you begin to "I am", "I am". And it begins to change the way you see the world.
The story is told in the Bible of God going to Joshua when Moses died. Try to replace a leader like Moses. I mean, he is like the man. And he dies. God says Joshua, les Lord? Get up. Get up. Every place your feet are going to trod, or in other words, every place, everything you fight for you will get. As I was with Moses, I'm going to be with you, He says. And then He says, get into My Word, and then you will make your way prosperous.
Woah, woah, Leon, I thought God makes our way prosperous. He did that for us already. But He's saying to Joshua, and you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. What's He talking about? The ways of your heart are determining the ways outside of your life. People think that prayer is about God changing the external, but it's not. That's secondary. The prayer and the spending time in the Word and declaring and prophesying the promises of God, it changes your heart. And healing is stunning. I mean, joy unspeakable, peace, prosperity, blessing. You literally, it begins to flow from your heart. While others are still trying to reanalyze and figure out the Greek and the Hebrew and the syntax here and nah nah nah, well I think this and I believe that and good for you. I'm just getting to know Jesus. And I'm finding out what His Word says about me.
Michala, my youngest daughter, I tell this story often. When she was in kindergarten, at night time Sal and I would kind of walk amongst our bedrooms and spend time with the kids. That's when they talk the best because they don't want to go to sleep so they'll talk forever if you let them. And, I could hear her crying when I went into her room. So here she is, just laying in her bed, little feet, knees kind of curled up and she's, tears coming down her cheek and eugh. I said, Kayla, what's wrong? Nothing. I said what do you mean nothing? Tell daddy. So I gave her a big hug, and she wrapped me up and she cried and, then she wiped away and I said just tell daddy. What's going on? A little boy at kindergarten said I'm ugly. You know, right away I've got to squelch my anger. Just thought for a minute and said God, children are so powerful, so precious. Let me say the right things.
So I just stopped for a minute and then I said, Michala what does your daddy, me, say about you? I just waited. Sometimes it's good to be quiet. Just waited, and she's thinking. She wipes the tears away. She says, you say I'm beautiful. Okay. I said, who's smarter? Your dad, or that little boy you met in kindergarten? I just was quiet, just let her think. Little thought processor coming together and she sits up in the bed and she goes, you are. I'm beautiful and I'm smart, too. Now. Here's the problem with life. Here's the problem with life. We've allowed all of the people in the sandbox to determine who we are. Your teacher. Your parents, your grandparents, you know, whatever you've gone through. The hurts, the heartaches. Maybe you were abused, maybe you lost things that just affected your heart. And made you look at yourself differently. And, we don't realize that, well what does God think about me?
And if daddy and a five-year-old little girl can, if dad's got more smarts than who she's doing life with, maybe all the people you're doing life with got to stop looking at what they think about you and how they treat you, and where they think you're going, and it's about time to say I need to spend a little bit of time with God in His Word and understand who I am. He told Joshua, do that and you will make your way prosperous. What way? The way of the heart is absolutely crucial. If you don't spend time in the Word, from the perspective of finding out who you are, you will live out a life that you can't change. Because you can't override your heart with behaviour. You can change your behaviour for a while, and we're glad that you do that. But when you just change your behaviour, you've given in.
And it's awful to have this consuming desire and addiction for something, and you've just got to control it every morning, every night, every day. And you've got to do everything you can to control your behaviour. Christianity is not the controlling of behaviour. Christianity is an inside life. Jesus said the kingdom of God is within you. And when you begin to see who you are and God's Word begins to impact you here, the presence and the power of God, the life of God, begins to flow into your heart, your mind, your desires. And effortlessly, you begin to live the life of your dreams. Oh Leon don't say effortlessly. Effortlessly! Jesus said it. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. But welcome to hell. Welcome to hell if you're going to spend the rest of your life, having to control your behaviour with just your willpower. Yes, put your willpower to work. But when you recognize that the heart is powerful. And the presence of God within you as a born-again believer, it flows from this heart.
Proverbs 2:10 says when wisdom enters your heart, well Leon what about the head? Oh we want the head, too, but the heart's the most important. When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you. Understanding will keep you to deliver you from the way of evil. I don't care what kind of evil, sickness, disease, calamity, sudden death, people trying to kill you, hate, doesn't matter what kind of evil. When your heart begins to absorb the Word of God as to who you are, something takes place.
In Proverbs 3:3 it says, write the Word of God on the tablet of your heart. What? Did you know what the pen is? The Bible says the pen is your tongue. Another words, what are you speaking over your life? That's why it's so powerful to begin to speak God's Word. Because the Bible says Jesus is the high priest of your confession. Why is that important? Because when you begin to declare I'm a child of God, and I walk in health because Jesus is within me. God's Word says, and you begin to speak His Word, Jesus is the high priest. He takes your words before the Father, and He says I bled and died for this man, Leon. And every word that comes out of his mouth is his because I've qualified him to receive the promises he's speaking.
And if you do not speak the Word of God, and your tongue is not the pen of a ready writer, writing on the tablets of your heart, then you are giving in to all the ways that the world has trained your heart, and who you are. Well I've got news for you. I was nowhere near the top of my class in their eyes. I was nowhere near the favourite guy. I mean, I was a preacher's kid so I was beaten up, called down, laughed about, joked about. I mean, I couldn't get my self-worth from my classmates or I'd be a real disaster today. And you learn to go, I know who I am because God made me. But until you, the Bible says in Proverbs 6:21. Bind God's Word upon your heart, tie it around your neck. When you roam, it will lead you. When you sleep, it will protect you. And when you awake, it will speak to you and guide you. What will? The Word of God.