Frankie Mazzapica - Identifying God's Open Doors
Thank you for tuning in today, my name's Frankie Mazzapica. The title of the message is "Identifying God's Open Doors" and we're gonna dive right into it and this is how we're gonna do it. We're gonna talk about the scripture that the entire message was birthed out of. It's in Revelation chapter 3, verse 8, and this is what the Lord says to you. He says, I know everything you do. I know everything you've done, I know everything about you, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. And then it goes on to say, I know that you have little strength, but you have kept my word and you have not denied me.
I have three major points for you, the first major point is whenever we can tell that the Lord has opened a door for us. There are certain earmarks, there's certain things that you can identify and you can clearly see, when God is opening up a door for you and we're gonna talk about that. The second major point is this wonder: am I opening up this door? Am I causing this opportunity to open up or is God opening up the door? We're gonna talk about how to decipher that. And then the third major point is how to make sure we don't miss God's opportunities. And so we're gonna dive into that, those are my three major points, but I wanna pull a couple things out of that verse because I don't have the time to preach every single part of the verse that came alive to me while I was studying.
So we're gonna take just a quick sidebar for those other sermons that I almost preach, where he says this, I know everything you do. So I don't want you to think too much about it, but think back on all the parts of your life, and I'm telling you, I have those same parts where it wasn't your best hour. You weren't making the best decisions, in those seasons you will not tell anybody about, the Lord says this, I've seen those seasons. I know everything about you, and he looks back and when you look back and you say, you know what, I made some good decisions back there. That was one of my finest moments.
The Lord says this, I see your rough patches, I see the decisions that you regret, I see the high moments of your life where you made great decisions. I look at all of it, I know everything you've done and I'm still opening up a door of opportunity before you. He goes on to say this: he says, I'm gonna open up a door even though I know that you're weak. And the reason for that is because you have obeyed me. Now, some of you in this room say, well, I haven't done very good obeying him. The Bible says in John chapter 6, verse 44, he says this, no man, no woman comes to me, this is Jesus talking. No one comes to me, unless the father who sent me draws them unto me. You have to... God gives you a desire to come to the house of God. He gives you a desire to love Jesus, He buries that into your heart.
What's so funny about that is even when we decide, I'm not going to church anymore. God's always in the back of your mind. He won't leave you, He keeps pulling you, He keeps drawing you, He keeps compelling you, and look where you're at right now. You are listening to the word of God. He knows that you love him, come on. He knows that you love Him. When God looks at you, he can see your deepest desires. He can see that you love Him more than anything else in the world. He knows that about you, and because of that, the Holy Spirit draws you to the Lord. Because of that, God continues to open up doors of opportunity before you. He knows you're weak, but he's still opening up doors because He loves you, you're his prized possession, don't you love God for that?
Come on. So let me just jump into the first point: earmarks. Ways you can tell God's opening up a door for me. I don't know what door it is, but I can tell that he's opening up a door because I see the earmarks. There's certain things that you can tell around you. The first thing is when God begins to shift your relationships. There's relationships that you may have had for years and all of a sudden for no apparent reason at all, it's just like, wow, this is... I didn't see this coming, where they begin to drift out of your life. I grew up playing basketball and I was the kid, you know, we didn't have video games or screens and all that kind of stuff, and so we actually went outside and played. Does anybody remember that? Do you remember that? Yeah, it's a pastime, you know, it's like the kids nowadays are like, well, what did you do?
We played and so I was a kid who played basketball and I had a friend that we played basketball and we grew up through middle school through high school, even after high school, we played basketball. We're very close and I don't know how, and I still don't know why these close friends begin to drift out of my life for the strangest reasons. Some of them were as simple as we just moved to another city. But even though I moved to another city, some of these friends I stayed close to, even though I moved. But what I've noticed is that, out of nowhere, some of the closest friends just kind of leave. Sometimes they get mad at me for doing the smallest littlest thing.
In Daniel chapter 2, verse 21, the Bible says that God starts and stops seasons, where he looks at you and he says, okay, you've been in this season long enough. It's been a hard season, it's been a long season, it's been a difficult season, but now I'm gonna shift your relationships because I'm the one who controls the seasons and I'm moving you to a new season. Another way you know that God is changing seasons is when the things that used to excite you no longer do.
I remember early on in my ministry, I was a youth pastor. I would jump in front of a train for these teenagers. I loved these kids and then out of nowhere, nine years later, I just started craving another ministry. I started seeing myself be a pastor and all of a sudden my affection towards the teenagers was not quite as knit, not that I didn't love 'em, but I could feel what I once was passionate about is starting to drift. Those moments are very, very scary, but this is how God starts changing the seasons and starts to open doors. A third way is when all of a sudden you start feeling compelled to pray. And it's almost, it's kind of crazy because a few weeks earlier, prayer never crossed your mind, and now all of a sudden you're thinking about the Lord more, you're compelled to talk to Him, you're compelled to worship, you're compelled to start listening to preachers and listening to worship music.
There's something that seems to be pulling you in that direction. This is when the Lord starts saying, hey, I've got an open door for you and everything's gonna start shifting, including your desire for me. This is how you know God is doing something. You don't know what the open door is. Sometimes you don't realize that there's an open door until you've already walked through it, you walk through and you're like, oh my goodness, I didn't... I wasn't even... oh my goodness. But point number two is when you are unsure on whether or not you're kicking the door open or whether or not God is opening the door.
I have told God if there's a door that you don't want me to walk through, if I'm kicking open the door, if I'm making my own opportunity, you're gonna have to make it impossible for me to take another step forward because I know me, I will go the wrong direction as sure as I'm standing here today. I will kick the door open and say God is with me, I'll drop the God card, God told me. I remember I had a business idea and it was, it just, it seemed incredible. I was like, why don't more people do this? I'm about to be rich. So I told my wife, I got an idea, I'm gonna buy a whole bunch of tools, drills, screwdrivers, saws, levelers, all these tools that everybody needs in their house.
And I actually was so sure that this was gonna work that I arranged for an 18-wheeler, a semi-truck, to come all the way from California, right to a mini-storage so that I could unload these tools. I put them on little pallets and wrap them up in plastic. I sent them off down the street to Houston, somewhere in Houston, to have people bid on them because I was so sure that this bidding war for each pallet was gonna make me so much money. I thought I'm... all I had to do was sell 20 pallets and I had like 80 of them. All I gotta do is sell 20, I cover my cost, The rest is profit. I had those 80 pallets for about 100 years. I didn't just lose my money, I lost more than my money.
I was thousands of dollars in debt, we didn't even have thousands of dollars to start this business. I came back to my wife and she was like, well, how did it go? I promised her, we're gonna be rich. I said back to her how much I lost and I can't tell you because I don't need the laughter. When I told her how much we lost it had a comma in the number, just let me tell you that. Lost so much money, I looked back on that and I was like, that wasn't a God idea, that was my idea. And sometimes, let me say it this way, when you don't get what you want, you get experience instead. Are you with me?
And so when you're kicking a door open you know you are because your anxiety is higher than how often you pray. You're worrying more than you're praying. When you're praying more than you're worrying, it seems like doors just begin to open. See in the opposite way, when God, you think it's God, but you're kicking the door down, there's other earmarks where God is opening up the door and it's obvious. When it's obvious, something begins to happen that you could not have arranged, it's beyond your imagination. You would have tried to arrange it if you could have imagined it. I remember my wife and I early in our marriage, we've been married for 20 years, my wife's going straight to heaven for that.
But anyway, we tried to buy a house, early in our marriage, and I would walk around the block freaking out. I didn't know if we could afford it, but I was saying, devil, get behind me, devil, I was worried, I was afraid, I was scared. Thankfully it fell through, the deal fell through. There's a song out there somewhere, thank God for the unanswered prayers. I wasn't even praying. I just knew, God's in this thing and we didn't get it. But then just a few months later, God opened up a door for us to buy the house 75% off. We bought it for 25% of the value. It was so insane that the bank wouldn't even give us a loan for the 25%. They said we don't know what's going on here, but something hokey is happening.
We had to go, I had to go to a friend of mine who was kind of high up in the banking world and I was like, look and he said, if I didn't have a relationship with God, I wouldn't sign this either. I could not have imagined that, my wife could not have imagined that, it was beyond our imagination. I remember when I was 22, I think I was 22, yeah, something like that, I was up in Rockford, Illinois, I had moved out of my house at 19 to go to Bible college up there. I made $51 a week and man, you can stretch $51 when that's all you got, I tell you, all of a sudden when you find out that 99 cent hamburger at Wendy's is halfway good, you buy a lot of those things. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, I shouldn't say halfway good, I still love those things. But anyway, anyway, I'm chasing rabbits now. But I remember the pastor's wife went to go speak at a conference up in Vancouver, Canada.
Now we lived in Chicago. She went to go speak at this big conference and this young girl started driving her around. This was the girl that was hosting her. When the pastor's wife came back, she said, Frankie, if I heard the Lord correctly, he told me this one's for Frankie. I said something very anointed back. Red rover, red rover, bring that girl right over there, there's only one way to find out. She came walking in, I saw her from a distance and I wrote down, I was in church, and I pulled out a tithe and offering envelope and I wrote on the back of it, I'm gonna marry that girl. As soon as I saw her, I knew it. I walked up to her after the service and introduced myself. I said hi, my name is Frankie, other people know me is Don Juan DeMarco. I'm the greatest lovers ever lived.
No, I didn't say that, I didn't want my first words to be a lie. But anyway, we ended up getting married two years later, I proposed a year and a half later. We got married and we're still married today. I could not have imagined that the Lord would look at the entire country of the United States and realize that no woman was gonna say yes to me. He said, we're going to go to another country altogether. I could not have imagined that that's how God would operate. You see, when God begins to open doors, there's minimal effort on your part. It brings it right to you. See, David was anointed to be king at a very young boy. He never pursued the crown, in fact, he honored King Saul so much that he actually went in the opposite direction because he knew the king was mad at him, he didn't look at the king and say that crown is mine and I'm gonna fight for it.
He actually honored the king so much that he ran and hid in caves just to honor him because he knew the king did not like him. He had opportunities to kill the king and say this crown is mine. What ended up happening is King Saul got killed on the battlefield, someone picked up his crown, brought it to David and said, I believe this belongs to you. He could have never imagined that that's how he was gonna become king. When God opens up a door for you, you're not anxiously trying and fretting and pushing and not praying at the same time as you're pushing. When God opens up a door for you, it's something you could have never imagined, and He brings you the opportunity.
Does anyone love God for that? Let me summarize, even though I'm not done. The first point is to notice when God is about to open up a door, he begins to shift things in your life. Whenever you need to know whether or not it's you, or whether or not it's God opening up the door, the blessing seem to come to you. You're not chasing it, it's coming your way. And let me say this real quickly, when God's blessings are coming your way, and you begin to realize that blessings are coming to you, the most difficult part of accepting blessings is trying to figure out which one to pick at this time. You see, blessings come to all of us and we need to know, is this a promise from God for later or is this something I'm supposed to walk in now? These things and this knowing and this discernment comes from prayer.
Let me jump into that, this a good springboard to the third point. How do you make sure you don't miss the will of God? I know you're like me, you want to end your life knowing that what God has called you to do, you have done. That you didn't walk away from an open door to pursue your own desires, that the plan that God had for you before you were born, you completed that plan, you completed that assignment.
How do you make sure you walk through those doors? I'll say this, as an illustration, when somebody is ahead of you and they're walking into a restaurant, they're walking into a building, even though they're ahead of you, it's a kind person so they open the door for themselves and then they open it for you. They hold the door open, you didn't open your own door, you didn't ask that person to open up the door, you didn't beg and fret and use your personality and say, you know, it'd be really cool if you leave the door open for me. It was the kindness of that person's heart to open the door.
Now you're standing there, you see the door open in front of you. How do you make sure you actually walk through the door? What do you do? You're not gonna get it wrong, it's not a trick question. If you want to walk through a door, what do you do? You walk forward, you walk forward. Some of you didn't want to answer the question because no, no, no, it's too easy and I don't know if I even trust the guy, I'll let somebody else answer the question first. No you walk, you walk forward. When God has an open door for you and you can kind of feel it in your spirit, you're not pushing it, the opportunity is coming to you, you feel compelled to pray, you're recognizing that the shifting around you is taking place, and all you have to do is walk forward.
What are the practical ways to actually walk forward? There's two things: number one, in Philippians chapter 3, verse 13, Paul talks about the practical way to walk forward. He says this, forget what is behind. He's saying, don't think about your past mistakes. Don't even think about the great things that you have done. Don't think about anything. Don't think about anything that has happened yesterday.
You see, the enemy will use the mistakes in the past to try to slow you down from moving forward. Likewise, he will try to remind you of all the good things you've ever done to try to fill your heart with pride and slow you down at that spot as well. But what the Bible is saying, forget the past. This is how we move forward, forget the past, and look ahead at what is lying before you and press on to the goal so that you can take hold of God's heavenly prize, which is God calling you through Jesus Christ.
So what are we saying here? Forget the past, keep your eyes locked on the future, don't think about yesterday, and then here's the second one: To walk forward, in Psalms 34, verse 1, it says this, I will bless the Lord at all times. His praises will always be on my lips. You're in your car, I love you. I love you, You're great, You're mighty. You're walking down a hallway, I love you, I love you, You're great and mighty. When you are praising God, you are pursuing God. Do you hear me say that? When you're praising Him, you're pursuing Him. Come on, put your hands together for that.