Frankie Mazzapica - A Review of Rescues
Thank you for tuning in today, my name is Frankie Mazzapica. The title of the message is "A Review of Rescues". "A Review of Rescues". So the whole premise of the message this morning, is to remind you how many things the Lord has brought you through, to remind you of all the seasons that he's brought you through, because oftentimes, we pray for God to get us out of a season, and he does it in such a divine way that we don't even realize that we're leaving that bad season because we've got other troubles that we're trying to face. But if we review what God has done, it will give us the faith that he will do it again. There we go, encourage me. Come on, encourage me, help me out.
In Revelation chapter 19 verse 10, it says, "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy". One of the quickest ways that we can ignite a miracle in our life, is to remember the miracles we've already experienced. And so I'm gonna unpack those thoughts, and it's my desire that the Holy Spirit would just strengthen your spirit, strengthen your soul, today. So look at the person next to you and say, "This message is not for me, it's for you," go ahead. "It's not for me, it's for you". Let me share a verse with you, it's in Psalms 116, and we're gonna go over the first four verses in chapter 116 in the book of Psalms. It reads like this: "I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy".
I don't know about you, but I have asked the Lord for a lot of mercy in my life. He says, "I love the Lord because he hears my voice and he hears my prayers for mercy. Because he bends down to listen". I love that, I shared this last week. One of my kids was sick, it was my oldest Preslee, and she was laying in her bed. And I went up there around 10 or 11 o'clock, and I knew she was sick. The lights were down, and I went over to find out how she was doing. And so I walked over to her bed and I bent down and I said, "Hey Pres, how are you doing"?
See when you speak to the Lord, that's how he responds, he bends down to listen. Preslee didn't have the strength to say, "Hey, I'm doing great". She just kind of whispered it. She's like, "I feel sick, Daddy, I don't feel good". See, in that moment when she said, "I feel sick, I don't feel good," the thought of saying, "Did you treat your little sister well earlier today, were you good to your brother? I heard you smarted off to your mother," these things did not cross my mind, the only thing I cared about is I wanted to hear her voice. Do you know when you whisper to the Lord, he bends down to hear your voice? And he's not even thinking, it's not even crossing his mind, the sins that are in our past. It's not even crossing his mind. He's bending down to listen to your voice.
And so verse number 2 says, "Because he bends down to hear my voice, as long as I have breath I will pray". And then he goes into verse 3 and verse 4 and that's where we're gonna pull our message out of today. I think there's four verses that we're gonna pull it out in verses 3 and 4... I'm sorry, four sentences. It reads like this in verse number 3, it says, the ropes, "Death wrapped me with its ropes". Death wrapped me. It says, it goes on to say, "The torment of the grave overwhelmed me".
It overtook me and then he says this, he's very transparent. "All I saw was trouble and sorrow". And then here's the last thing in verse number 4, it says this, he goes, "So I called to the Lord". Is my favorite, my favorite word. "Please help me". Have you ever prayed a prayer and that's your entire prayer? Right, like there is no introduction, there is no sweet closing. You don't sound like Moses, it's just straight up, unadulterated, passioned and pleading. "Please help me". Are you with me? Say, "Yes". Come on are you with me? Say, "Yes".
The first point... I've got four points. The first point is when the Psalmist he says, "Death wrapped me with its ropes". When I read that verse, I had to stand up in my office and walk back and forth because, in 1 Timothy chapter 3, verse 16 says that all Scripture is inspired by God. And so I wanted to know, I wanted to know, why did God want that there? And so I started thinking about being wrapped up and it dawned on me that if someone wraps me up with ropes, there's another end of that, there's a loose end over here. And the reason why there's a loose end is the person who wrapped you up with ropes can pull you wherever they want you, wherever they wanna go. They can drag you whether you wanna go there or not. If you're up and they're low, they can pull you down.
And it dawned on me that there's oftentimes you are not the prisoner. You have done nothing wrong. You have done nothing to bring this upon yourself. But there's someone else that is making your life hell. They're making your life hell, there's nothing you brought upon yourself. And if that person would just somehow get saved, somehow your life would just be so much better. If that's the one thing that happened this year, your life would get better. It's that one neighbor. I used to have a neighbor, he did not like me. But you know what, if I weren't me, I probably... never mind. But he did not like me, there is something about me he didn't like.
And I would always think to myself, "If you knew me better, you wouldn't like me more than you already do". But every time I came to my house, I'm driving down the road, he would see me and flip me off, like flip me off. I was in my early thirties. He was in his late one hundreds. And he would flip me off and shake it at the same time. I would think to myself, "Self, take your belt off, go whip him". And then it dawned on me, he's not the one with the problem. I'm the one with the problem, I've become so fragile that a neighbor can take me down to a place I don't wanna go.
So I had to build myself up. "Frankie, Frankie, Frankie, Jesus loves you and come on, come on, shake yourself together". But nevertheless, it was bothering me. He could pull me to a place emotionally. I could be driving home and I'm in a great mood. I get down on my own street, this is where I live and he starts, he's dragging me around, pulling me around. I don't know if you've ever been there, but I hate that. I'm the victim. There's a lot of times where I've said something, I've done something and you know, I walked into it. I didn't even do anything. Not that I remember anyway. But you're being dragged around, pulled around. Let me go to the next verse where it says this: "The torment of the grave overtook me".
Now, this is the second point, we're not talking about people pulling you anymore. We're not talking about people treating you bad anymore, now we're talking about torment, torment. This is, I don't know if you've ever felt this before, but when you can tell that what you are fighting is not a person, it's not flesh and blood, it's Ephesians 6:12, it's not flesh and blood. You can tell there's a demon messing with you. You can tell there's a demon tormenting your family. You can tell. You know you're not gonna get along with your husband and or your wife all the time, but this is different.
There's a spirit trying to divide you. There's a spirit, all of us fussing and argue with our kids. It's frustrating when there are only two. But you can tell, you can tell when there's a spirit in the air. I tell you I have felt an evil spirit like I can feel the shirt on my back twice. And if you ever feel that, you will never ever, ever forget it. It is the scariest feeling that you can possibly feel.
Now it boggles my theology, because hell is referred to as a lake of fire. Hell is referred to as a place where there's only fire, and so I don't have the theology to support this, but let me say this, there's theology in what I'm about to say. It was the first time that I was in an environment where the Holy Spirit was not. You see, you can ignore the Lord all you want to, but you know that you are one glance away from feeling his presence again. You know, you're just one glance and that's the funny thing. We are prone to wander, but Jesus is prone to chase. And so we know that the Holy Spirit is just one thought away. Have you ever been there?
Come on, wave at me, he's one thought away. But in that moment, that was the first time I had ever experienced, there was no Holy Spirit and all I felt was evil. And the thought that I thought, I had two quick thoughts was, "I do not belong here". I do not belong here, and my next thought was, "I'm never getting out". I do not belong here and I knew I was never gonna get out. You know, the people that are in hell right now, they are thinking to themself, "I don't belong here". Hell was made for demons. Hell was made for evil spirits. It was not made for human beings. Human beings choose to go there. When you ignore Jesus and you don't surrender your life to him, when you decide not to surrender your life, you are choosing to go there.
I feel so bad, I feel so bad for people who acknowledge, I know there's a God. Oh yeah, I know there's Jesus, especially on Christmas when we start trading presents. But they have a secret life that nobody knows about and they know that their heart is not for God. They know that, they know it deep down in here. And these people will be in a place and they will say to themselves, "I'm never getting out of here". You see, you can fool people, but you can't fool God. You cannot and you're gonna spend forever somewhere.
Do you know that the devil knows more Scriptures than all of us? Do you know that the devil believes in God? Do you know that the devil believes in Jesus? Just believing in God and believing in Jesus does not get you a reservation in heaven, I'm sorry to say that. It's the people who surrender their life to the Lord, it's the people who say, I'm not living for me, as much as I love to do these things, I know you don't love it and I will choose to sacrifice my own desires, because I know that you don't like it. That's a huge step but it's these people that the Lord says, I see how you're living on earth, and therefore you will live with me for eternity.
Let me just go point number three. I think you guys got the point of number two, but just in summary, point number one is being wrapped with ropes by death. That's when someone's pulling you. Point number two is when you have the torment of the grave, that's a spiritual battle. It's not a battle against a person. And I know some of you are like, there is no, it's all flesh. I know the Scripture, work with me. Number three, he says this: "All I could see was problems. All I could see was trouble and sorrow".
Now, I have a friend of mine, his name is Randy, and Randy was going to go deep into the forest with his friend. Now his friend was like Tarzan, he was like born in the woods. Like he's born there, he's been there, he goes out there for weeks and doesn't come back. Like it's just his shtick. And so Randy went with him and they were gonna ride horses and they were just gonna go deep and camp or whatever. Well, Randy's friend, my friend Randy, my friend is Randy. Randy, his friend, said, "Look, I'll ride the horse, I want you to ride my mule".
Now, I found this out when Randy was telling me this story that when you go deep into the woods, a mule is like a Cadillac. And the reason why, is mules are very sure footed, and they're stronger. And so when you're on a mule, it's stronger, it's more surefooted. But as they were going deeper into the woods, my friend Randy was following, I'll just call him his guide even though they were friends. He's following his guide and all of a sudden the mule locks up. And you've said to people or heard people say, "Stubborn as a mule". The reason why I say stubborn as a mule is when a mule decides it's not moving, it's not moving. You can whip that thing all you want to, you can kick it, you can feed it apples, it's not moving. And so my friend Randy says to the guide, he says, "Look, the mule's not moving". And the guide turns around and he says, "He smells a bear. Let's get out of here".
Turns around, gets out of here. Now the guy, the mule was his, and so they say that a horse or a mule is closer than a dog and its master. I don't know if that's true, I've never had a mule but nevertheless, the owner of the mule, he knew what the mule was feeling. When I heard that story, what came to my mind was, that mule was born and raised on a ranch. He's probably never even seen a bear before. How all of a sudden does he smell a bear and know it's a bear? I don't know, but I do know when I walk into a room, I've never seen a devil and I've never seen an evil spirit, but I know it when I feel it. Have you ever been there before? I know it when I feel it. I've never seen it, but I know it when I feel it.
You know, this last point is, all I could see was trouble and sorrow. All of you have gone to an eye doctor where they look into your eyes and they shut the rooms off and they take that little flashlight and they put it in your eye and they're like, keep your eye open. And I'm like, you're shining a flashlight in my eye and you're trying to keep it, it's kind of like, just bear with me, I have ADD; don't pray for me, I love it. But it's kind of like when you go to the dentist and they have their whole arm inside of your mouth and they're asking you questions. It's like... And then they get that hook and they start stabbing you in the mouth, you start bleeding and they're like, "Well, you're not flossing enough".
You're stabbing me with a hook, that I floss... you're... kay alright, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. So the eye doctor... I'm so proud of myself that I made my way back home. But the eye doctor, the eye doctor shines a light into people's eyes and one of the things that they look for, is they look at the veins in the eyes. They look and they can tell that if there's unhealthy veins in the eyes, that means that your heart, your cardiovascular system is in a lot of trouble. You can look into someone's eyes and you can tell the condition of the heart. It was Shakespeare who said that "The eyes are the window to the soul".
You can see it, and so when he said, I see only trouble, I see only sorrows, when you are wrapped up by ropes and there's a person dragging you, when you can only experience torment, and that's the only thing you can see. But the very last verse and what we talked about this morning was verse number 4, whenever he says this: "And so I called on the Lord," is my favorite words of the entire four versus. "Please help me". Please help me. Now, what's troubling, is that it says, "And so I called on the Lord". That means it was a response to what had happened. And I can't help but to think you were wrapped by ropes, you were being dragged around by people, you could sense that there was an evil spirit doing something... all you could... and then, and then you pray.
"And so I prayed". I am guilty of this. I am as guilty as this psalmist, where I've gone through seasons where the Lord is not my first option. He's my last resort. I just walk through hell and then I get about halfway through and I'm like, "Lord, please". What I wish I would've done is at the first gust of evil wind, at the first blow of trouble, at the first one, not when I'm like all the way down, at the first sense of trouble, "Lord please, Lord please". Do you know in Psalms 56:9, it says this: "The very day you call for help, the tide of the battle turns". The very day, come on put your... the day. I don't want my day where I call for help to be after I'm already down the spiral of depression and discouragement. I want my first day to be on the first day where I realize I'm out of control. I'm not in control of this relationship, this relationship is dictating my life. That, at that first moment, please help me. I need you.
Do you know that the most powerful prayers that you can pray are the short prayers that are full with passion and fervency? They're the short prayers. If you pray for an hour and a half, two hours, you will find that your prayer time will be filled with short sentences. "I love you, I need you, I need your mercy". It's the short prayers that touch the heart of God. Don't get me wrong, the long prayers, the songs, the worship, but there's something about the desperation of a person who can only get a few words out of their mouth. They can only get.
I wanna close with this last verse. It's in Isaiah chapter 61, verse 1, where it says this: "And the Spirit of the Lord was upon me to bring the good news to the poor, to comfort the broken hearted, and to proclaim that the prisoners and the captives will be set free". The prisoners are those that have done something wrong. You have brought this on yourself. The captives have done nothing wrong. They are the victim, they were walking down the straight and narrow, and a wolf jumped out and grabbed them by the leg. But whether you brought it on yourself or whether you are the victim, the Lord says to both of you, "You will be set free. I've brought you out of trouble before, I'll do it again". Can you put your hands together? Come on.