Leon Fontaine - Purpose! Passion! Pleasure!
I want to talk to you today about your purpose. Your purpose. It's a huge question. It is the thing that makes people live with such passion, or they just live. If you live for pleasures, you'll burn yourself out and you'll become an addict because all pleasures must be controlled even though God designed them to be all good. He designed it. He designed sexuality. He designed prosperity. He designed food. He, all these pleasures, friendship, using your... they're amazing. But if you live for them, then you become an addict and you destroy a lot in your life. So although we say we want rights and privileges. I agree, nationally, governmentally, never back down. But now between you and God, is it our rights and privileges that we're worried about? 'Cause you'll be unhappy in this case. What makes people incredibly passionate, what makes leaders great and never burn out, is purpose. And if you've got strong purpose and you can explain your purpose, then you can go through anything. I often joke around with people about going through some really hard times.
I say, "You remember when you built your house? Or you bought a house with no backyard. And you were out there after work every day putting in a good 8 hours. You're tired. You come home. And you're out there shoveling. You're moving dirt. You're putting in sod. And then you're building the deck, whether it was your first house or whatever. You couldn't afford to do it. You're just working. You're suffering. You've got blisters on your hands. You're waking up so tired. You're taking four shots of coffee. Now you're doing expresso just to be good at work. You're suffering. But you don't experience suffering. You know why? Because your purpose and your dream is higher than the level of pain that you're dealing with. You see a back deck. You see a lawn. You see beautiful flowers and hedges. You see grandkids playing. You see your children playing. You see a fire side. You see you sit in there in the sun getting a tan. You have so much vision. You will hurt and go without sleep and you're suffering. You just don't realize it".
This is what God is talking about when He talks about you and I as His church. And how that, hey, all who, who live God they're going to suffer persecution. That's from people. There's going to be suffering. Meaning we live in a world that's not heaven. There's no suffering in heaven because only principles of heaven are God's principles. They're spiritual principles. But on the planet the reason there's suffering is because there is still this mix of worldly principles and spiritual principles that come together. And so, and we've got two kingdoms. There's only one kingdom in heaven. There are two on the planet. The kingdom of darkness. The kingdom of light. They are at disagreement. There is a war that is on.
And so for you to get up and stand strong for your kids, your church, your family. For you to get up and declare, "We'll walk in health, and we'll walk in healing, and we will walk unencumbered. And we will get up and take", it's going to take you to stop being so wimpy. And me to stop being so wimpy and go, "No. We stand strong in faith and we take what God has given to us". If not, the kingdom of darkness and whatever it influences will walk all over you. And you're going to find that you'll live looking around for, for, for, for pleasures and I just need to... and you didn't live for purpose. And so when it comes to what makes people get up and live, really live. It's not rights and privileges as far as in the kingdom of God. It's duties and responsibilities.
When was the last time you heard about that? Well, I don't know if I like duties and responsibilities. I'll tell you right now, I have the joy and the honour of being with some of the world's greatest leaders in the church, in politics, in business, in the arts, rubbing shoulders and I'm telling you right now that these people are so filled. If they are good leaders, they're filled with a sense of duty. There's something in them that goes, "I will lay down my life for this cause, for people. I'm going to use my gift to help others". And then there's others is for get them ahead, to get them going, to get... and they always burn out. They always find a pleasure that takes them out. And so I want you to understand. Do not look at duty and responsibility. I have a duty and it's to my family. Then I have a duty and it's to the church He's given me. You've got to make a decision. Is it me living for what I want to do? Or can you recognize that duty, responsibility with purpose is the most stunning thing to make a man get up and feel like a man.
It's what makes a woman get up and say, "I handle more of this. I'm a warrior princess because why I do this is for the cause of Christ, not for the little accolades I get, or so that people can see me. Give me a mic". Sorry. Love you. I had to give a little rant before I get into my message. In the Word of God in Romans chapter 8 is a stunning verse that everybody uses but only some can actually get to work. Romans 8:26, and it says, "And the spirit". Oh, let's go, first I go on 28 first and back up. "We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love Him through people that are called according to His purpose". Or in the King James where I memorized was, "And we know that all things work together for good, to them who love God and are called according to his purpose".
Now, I want you to notice that in here it's talking after the cross, and it has a couple of things you need to be aware of. It says loving God and living with purpose. Loving God and living with purpose. This is a unique New Testament promise and God causes all things to work together for good. And it doesn't stop there. To those who love Him. To those who are the called according to his purpose. For people who get off the path of their purpose. They're going to find not that God is hurting them. But Ephesians 2:10, I love it in the Amplified. It brings out the rich Greek word meanings. And it says here that God has prepared or that God has prepared a good life for you. And then it says, "He's prepared this path ahead of time for you".
Living the good life which He has prepared and made ready for you. He knows all your gifts. He knows all your abilities. He also knows all that He's placed within you more than you do. He knows your desires. He knows the passions. He knows everything. He looks at the heart and He sees the entire future. And so it doesn't say there that you have to walk on the path. It says you should. Why? Because He'll never violate your will. Governments might violate your freedom and your will. God never will. He gave it to you. And you get to choose anything you want, anywhere, anytime. He will try to influence you, to love you, to teach you. He'll never manipulate you. He'll never force you. And so this is crucial to understand. Now, there's a path that has been made ready for us to move from here to Banff. If you want to drive to Banff this afternoon and grab lunch, you can be there from here an hour and a half.
Now you can decide. I'm going my own way. I got a 4 by 4. Good for you. So you start out at the church and you refuse to use prepared roads. Well, you're never going to make it. Okay, when you get done driving through people's front yards and someone comes out and, you know, and puts a bat through the windshield. Or if you actually do make it to the edge of town, and you drive to some farmers like cow pastures. He's going to shoot your truck. And, you know, and how you're going to get across rivers, and creeks, and over hills, and thick bush, if you don't take the road that's prepared ahead of time. God's prepared a road for you personally that no one else can walk. The road that you've walked, no one else's walked. The road that I'm going to walk, no one else can walk. It's the road that only we walk. You need to understand, when you team up with God, He knows everything. He knows every storm blowing your way. He knows everything going on nationally, internationally, politically. He knows everything going on with health. He knows it all ahead of time and He's prepared a path. But when you get afraid, frighten, you start doing your own thing. You'll often take you, get off the path.
And I want to really challenge you today. That when it comes to this verse, "If God is for us, no one can defeat us". Did you notice what it says? It doesn't say what should we think about this. What should we believe about this. It says what should we say about this. Get up and use your mouth and say, "God is for me and no one can defeat me. God is on my side. No one 's taking me off course". This is what we are to say when it comes to this verse. Now there's so many beautiful things in this portion but for my message, I just want those two points. The second thing I want to talk about today is you need to run your race. Not pause your race. Not walk your race. Not take a nap in your race. Run the race. Run it. It says to win. In Hebrews 12, it teaches this in verses 1 to 3. And it's talking here about laying aside weights, laying aside sin. I want to say something. It's going to just be like boom! Straight on shot.
Did you know that living in fear for a believer is sin. Go to the first few chapters of Revelation where it says to you and I that it is courage, and you must overcome. Well, I thought God did it all. He does. But your courageous stance in faith is required to see the grace of God flow in our lives. We must believe in His grace. And there's times when you don't see this as quick as you want, that you kind of go, because the Bible says in your patience possess your souls. Meaning there's going to be times it's not going to be as fast as you want. And what you're going to do? You're going to be like king Saul who made a dumb move and it cost his entire family and all their generations the call of God on their lives. And so we need to understand. There are things that, they don't look that bad like but their weights. They will weight you down.
I've watched these young moms, you know, they go to the mall. You know, tuck a kid under their arm and shop for hours. I tuck a grandkid under my arm and I'm tired in 10 minutes. You know, it's a weight. Whether it's 10 pounds, 15 pounds. I know how they do. They stick one hip under there. I'm thinking. But man, they can lock that arm. But it becomes a weight to me and then I go, "Okay, we're going to put him down. I'm going for a coffee". Because you can feel it. Weights are things that you haven't set aside. That you haven't casted on God. Cast your cares on Him, or they'll become weights and then they'll become sins. This is crucial. And they'll impede your running with purpose. They'll slow you down to a stagger, slow you down to a walk. And then you will know I can't do anything here except just lay it down. And so it's crucial that we understand. That in the, in the future that you have ahead of you, don't let things become weights.
The other thing I want to talk about is you're called to be light and you're called to be salt. The Bible uses analogies a lot. Now, to be light, it literally means that wherever you go, there should be something about you that people are attracted to. What's sad is that it hasn't happened in religion. Religion is manmade rules that we inflict on one another. You're coming to my church, I expect you to don't drink, don't chew, and don't dance with those who do, or whatever your list is. That's what we say, "No. We laugh. We love you the way you are. Please, love me the way I am. I accept you the way you are as messed up or as perfect whichever you think you are". And let's just forgive each other because we can't change each other anyway. And so it's crucial that they see in us an illumination of the presence of God. His joy. His acceptance.
Acceptance is one of the most gorgeous, beautiful, amazing things on the planet. People know when they're accepted. You walk into a room, unless you have a problem, because a lot of people do. They have beliefs that I'm just not accepted anywhere. And so it's doesn't matter where they walk into, "Um, these aren't my kind of people". But people are attracted to people who accept them. That's why people love bars. That's why people love drugs and parties 'cause when you're high, you don't care about much. Hey, buddy. Come over here. You're my friend. You're my buddy. You're drunk. But when you all wake up, we'll see. But that little bit of acceptance seems to go a long way. Shouldn't church of Jesus Christ be a place we can walk into? And just smile and accept one another. Hey, I'm on a path. You're on a path. And if he even happens to say, "You have no idea what I've done". You just smile and say, "We got a whole church full of people that you don't know what they've done".
Let's just encourage one another. Let's just keep going. There's a light. That when you give your life to Christ, an illumination. That attraction to, what's different about you? And then there's a salt. We are to be salty. What does that mean? Well, if you eat too much salt, you get thirsty. And salt causes thirst. The Bible says, "As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after you". Did you know that wherever you go, you and your relationship with Jesus should be of such that people just they begin to desire what you've got. They begin to be thirsty for the peace you found. And when we begin to focus on Christ and His Word because our purpose is to know Jesus, okay, and to serve Jesus. When you get those two things going, He'll lead you by name the Bible says in John 10. He's not leading you by grouping. He's leading you by name.
Isn't that amazing? Individual rights are more important than group rights, and it's saying that right here in the Bible. He's not leading you by grouping. He's leading you by individual. We are salt. We are light. And as we get around people, there's something that should be attracting them, not because you're perfect, because they already know you're not. And anyone that acts perfect, they don't want to be around because you're not authentic and you're not real. And they're right. It's the Jesus that we have and that we serve. He's so beautiful. He's so perfect. And as we begin to live that way, people become thirsty for what you've got. They want to know. And then that's when you go, "Well, you know, let me give you my systematic". No, no, no. It's not you. It's the relationship you found with Christ. His grace, which means His favor to you, is first of all His ability that comes to you. And then His grace to love you through whatever you've done, been. And He say, "Come on. Come on, Leon. Get up! Dust off your face. Wipe the goop off and let's have another go". That's God. He's not shooting His wounded. Tough luck, Leon. But that's what religion does to us. It makes us think. That's what God is like.
Another thing I want to you to understand is you need to change your view of yourself. Now, there is a mystery on this planet that most people don't get. And the mystery is everybody seems to have a problem with identity. Everybody seems to not really feel like they're good enough, capable enough to do anything great. I mean, people, he's a legend in his own mind. I know but people who acts superior actually feel inferior. That's why they talk. That's why they brag so much. That's why they talk so much. Because inside they're trying to compensate for the sense of I don't know. A great story in the Bible is Gideon. The Midianites would come and destroy Israel's crops. They would steal their animals every year. So they were barely making money. They were starving. They would hide in caves. They would dig pits and live in pits. So that, as they looked across the land, they could never see houses and prosperity because they would come in and wipe them out.
So one day an angel appears to Gideon in the midst of living in his pit. Gideon, O mighty man of valor. And he goes, "Huh? What are talking about? Where's God. Where's the miracle that's supposed to happen? Why is this happening? Why the Midian come? Why is my family being attacked? What do you mean brave and mighty man"? The angel say, "Well, I want you to go on the strength that you've got". And he goes, "I'm the weakest in my family and my family is the lowest in the nation". You think you've got an identity problem. Nobody here would even say that. That your family is the lowest in the nation. And you, you're the lowest in your family. You can't get any lower than that. That's like really low. Interesting, the angel didn't do anything.
You know, many of you know the story of John the Baptist's dad. And how when an angel appeared to him and he made doubtful words. The angel removed his ability to talk. And nine months later when John the Baptist was born, he was released and had the ability to talk. Because the words of a dad are powerful over their kids. And God couldn't afford to have him say things that would stop his destiny. Why didn't he do it to Gideon? Good Lord. Listen to the guy. Blah, blah, blah. I'll tell you why, because God doesn't look at the outside. God looks at the heart. And Gideon changed his heart and begin to change it immediately. And so God went on a program with him. Gideon say, "Okay, well, if that's true, you know, could you give me a sign". And he said, "I'm going to put the fleece of a lamb out on the ground".
Make the fleece sweat. Make the ground dry. Which is impossible then I know it's You. And God did it. Okay, God. I'm going to put the fleece back out. I want the fleece sweat and the ground dry. And God did it. Say, "Why is God helping him out when He didn't help out John the Baptist dad? Poor dude was like nine months couldn't talk". Because his heart wasn't changing. God is a heart God. And your heart is the auto pilot of your future. It's your deepest beliefs. And He saw something in Gideon. And every time God coached him, his heart would change. He would submit to the Word of God. And I pray that that's you. You know, the Midianites came with so many people. I believe it was like one hundred to two hundred thousand warriors came into the plains. Gideon called the people together and he got thirty thousand people. And God said to him too many here, tell the people who were scared to go home.
So, okay everybody, God, are you sure about this? Yeah, we've got too many warriors here. That's all like two hundred thousand warriors out there. Yeah, thirty thousand's too many. Tell the scared ones to go home. So he said that. Guess how many went home. Two-thirds. Twenty thousand turnaround went home. Are you kidding me? Where's your manhood in all this? He got ten thousand left. God says, "Ah, still too many". What? Take them down to the brook and have them drink and I'll show you who to keep. He takes them all down to the brook the whole, you know, what's left ten thousand guys drinking. He says, "The ones that cup the water and then"... He says, "Those are the ones". And the ones who put their face in the water, he says, send them home. Three hundred guys is all that cup the water and put it up. And Gideon, I'm sure, he must to have been royally having some fear issues.
So God who sees his heart changing. This is a big deal. He says, "You know, you still need help. Take a walk into the middle of their camps, sneak in". So in the middle of the night Gideon sneaks into the camp of the Midianites. And all of a sudden, he hears these two guys talking. One guy says, "I had a dream, a really weird dream". What was it? A very big round loaf rolled into the camp and flatten the tents. What a dumb dream. You think it be like something like a fireball. But a big loaf of bread. Who knows, who cares. And the one sub-Midianite soldier says to the other, "That's Gideon. They're going to take us out". They were afraid of God's people.
Did you know about God puts the fear of you on anyone coming against you. There's a fear on them. That there's no way that he's going to give them faith when coming against you. And so Gideon just felt so strengthen turned around went back. Read the story. It's an amazing story in Judges 6, about God gave him a strategy and three hundred men against a hundred and fifty thousand or more war-trained soldiers. Gone, just like that. Don't worry about your future. Stop worrying about a nation. Do our part and God is with us. And you're going to find that we're going to win. Why? Because there's nothing in the Bible that says the church grows dimmer and dimmer and dimmer and dimmer.
I got to come back and rescue it from this big bad evil world. No. It says that Jesus that, I will build my church and the gates of hell won't prevail against it. Oh, except in your generation. No! The light grows brighter and brighter. The promises of God are in greater effect. I mean, it's, the Bible has nothing to say about the church's look at itself as, "Wow, do you see what's going on around the world? I guess, this is just the way it's going to go". The Bible does not teach that. No end times teaching that's biblical teaches that. It teaches that we'll make his enemies his footstool as the church of Jesus Christ. He comes back for a glorious church. The word glorious means victorious, overcoming, not failing. Change your view of yourself. And get up and recognize that it's not how great you are. It's how great your helper is, God and He is with you.
Well, I pray that God's Word has touched you. If you don't know Jesus as your Saviour, just pray this prayer right now. Just say:
Jesus, I choose to trust in You. Come into my heart, my life. From today and on, I want to learn Your ways and I want to follow Your voice and Your Word. I declare Jesus is my Lord and Saviour. In Jesus' wonderful name, amen.