Frankie Mazzapica - Hidden For Half of Your Life
Thank you for tuning in today. My name's Frankie Mazzapica, the title of the message is, "Hidden for Half of your Life", Hidden for Half of your Life. You will have moments after moments throughout your life, where you know that at that particular moment, God was using you, God was speaking through you to lift someone up. When you tell people who you worship and where you worship, you have the assurance that God is using you. When you begin to tell your testimony, you don't have to mention a whole bunch of scriptures, all you have to do is say, hey, this is what God did for me. You will know that God is using you. When you pray for someone, you will know that God is using you. But for the majority of your life, you will wonder to yourself, am I even doing what God has called me to do? Am I even partnering with God or am I wasting my life?
I'm here to tell you, half of your life, you will be hidden by God. Half of your life, you will wonder if God is using you at all. And there is a purpose for that, but before I jump into Isaiah 49, verse 1, which is the foundation of the message today, I wanna just say to you that there's a person in the Bible who more than half of his life was hidden by the shadow of God's hand. Many of you have heard this name before: Jesus. He lived for 33 years and only 10% of his life he had a public ministry.
And so I want you to be encouraged this morning, when you think to yourself, is God even using me, am I burning time? Here we go, Isaiah chapter 49, verse 1. It says this, "Before I was born, the Lord knew me. While I was in my mother's womb, he called my name". This scripture is actually something that you should personalize for yourself. So let me say it again, while you were in your mother's womb, the Lord knew you and he called your name. He said it out loud, he called you. And when God calls a person, it's for two reasons. One, he wants to have a close relationship with you, and second, he wants to partner with you.
Now, he says four things that he's going to do. Number one, I will make your mouth like a sharpened sword, your voice, your tongue, the sword in your mouth, it can speak death. When you insult the person, when you speak down on a person, you're stabbing their confidence, you're stabbing it, you're bringing them down, you got a sword in your mouth. But also, that sword is able to strike down any evil spirit that is causing a person to be discouraged, to be down, to be fearful, to be insecure, to wonder whether or not they are fulfilling God's assignment. Your words can lift them up and put life in their soul and strike down every single enemy that's tormenting them, because you have a tongue that is like a sword.
But then he says this, I will hide you in the shadow of my hand, even though you have a sword in your mouth and you can split demons right down through their skull. You're not like Peter that will swing a knife and just clip his ear, we all know he wasn't aiming for the ear. You can split the head and cause those demons, even though, I'm still going to hide you. Then he says this, I will make you into a polished arrow. I've got plans for you, I'm gonna shoot you over here, I'm gonna shoot you over there, I've got plans for you. And then he says this, even though I got plans for you, even though I'm gonna shoot you like an arrow, I'm gonna hide you in my quiver.
So you get a tongue like a sword, I'm gonna hide you. I'm gonna make you into a arrow, I'm gonna hide you. Half of the time he's using you, the other half of the time he's hiding you. I do not want the enemy to say to you, look, you're inactive, you're a waste, you're not doing anything for God. I want you to know, half of the time he's using you and you're making a difference. You're telling people about God. The other half of the time, you're gonna be standing around going, oh no, am I a total waste? And I wanna talk to you about why half of the time you feel like you're not being used. I wanna tell you that those moments are arranged by God and I wanna tell you why. So, let me just dive into this or I need to say this first, otherwise I'm gonna regret it.
In Daniel chapter 12, verse 3, it talks to the person who is active when they have an opportunity to talk to someone about the Lord and they take it and they take that assignment serious. There's a promise in Daniel 12, verse 3. It says this, the wise among you will be as bright as the heavens, but those of you who lead other people to righteousness, you are gonna shine like the stars in heaven. When you get to heaven, some of you are gonna head hunt people. I wanna talk to David, I wanna talk to Moses, I wanna talk to Mary, I wanna talk to Esther. If I see you talking to those people on the top of a mountain, when I look at you, I will have to turn my face because you are shining like a star and you will for eternity. This is the reward for those whose head is on a swivel, looking for opportunities to invite someone to be in relationship with the Lord.
And so I want to dive into the Garden of Eden because it's there where we see Adam and Eve with the Lord, but yet also working and serving the Lord. They were responsible for naming animals. Adam was anyway, he started off really good: alligator, hippopotamus, elephant, and then he went to sleep and he saw a woman and he's like, Adam, who are you, I need to meet you. The Lord probably said back, Adam get back to doing your job and name these animals. Adam was so excited about talking to Eve, he just wanted to get the job done. Blue bird, black bird, all right, here we go.
Frankie International Version, but he had a job but then watch this, watch this, here we go. The whole message is getting put into this verse right here. In Genesis chapter 3, verse 8, it says that when, "The Lord came walking, when the cool of the breeze was being blown back and forth, they heard the Lord walking in the garden. And the Lord God, the Lord said to them, 'Adam, where are you?'" In the cool breezes, I wanna talk about cool breezes. I wanna talk about hearing God walking in the garden, and then number three, I wanna talk about when he called out, man, where are you?
So, here we go, they're in the Garden and all of a sudden the Lord comes walking through, but they don't see him first, they hear him. They hear him and they begin to feel the cool of the garden. Here in Houston, the humidity is so intense that we really need to get on a plane and go somewhere else to experience the cool breeze. Are you with me, it happens in Houston once a year. If you miss it, you don't get a chance to do it again, it's the following year. But have you ever been in a plane, and you're in the Midwest, the north, you know, I go and visit my wife's family up in Canada, as soon as you're stepping out of the plane and you haven't even put your foot in the airport yet and through the crack, you can feel the cool breeze. Oh my goodness, this is nice.
Have you ever been somewhere where you're standing, and all of a sudden the cool breeze just hits you and all of a sudden you're not thinking about any problem at all. The only thing you're doing is, ah, this is nice. And you think to yourself, I wanna just stay here forever. I can be my best me, if I can just stay here forever. And it's in those moments and then in other moments, obviously, where it's so intense that you think to yourself, I'm so stressed, I'm so worried, I didn't imagine my life being like this, I didn't imagine these problems, I didn't imagine this when I was growing up, this is too heavy. But in that cool breeze, it's like, oh man, you don't even remember that stuff.
And the Lord is saying, look, when we're walking through the garden together, that cool breeze, you can live there and you can stay there and this is why I don't have you busy in your assignment all the time because I know you got problems too, I know you have hopes too, I know you have dreams too. Yes, all those people need to hear about me and I'm gonna use you for that, but half of the time I just want you to be taken care of. Have you ever been thinking to yourself, I'm taking care of everybody, who's taking care of me? The Lord says, look, I got time, so I'm gonna take care of you, but you're gonna feel the cool breeze in my presence and to connect with that presence, what it requires is you can connect that fast.
I'm not using Christian-ese, I'm just saying connect with God, connect with God, and everybody's like, of course, I wanna connect with God, but how do I do that? Here's the thing, you close your eyes and you become aware of his presence. You become aware of his presence, you are connecting with God at that moment. That's when you feel like you are doing what you're born to do, that's when you say, okay, this is what life is all about.
I read about a lady who lost her way and she actually had a before-and-after life experience, she was walking down the road, a car hit her. Bang, dies, on the spot, dies. She goes to heaven and she talks about how the Lord told her, don't worry, I'm giving you another 25 years. Sends her back to earth, she was so excited. She's like I got another 25 years, I'm gonna live to the highest. She went and got plastic surgery, as much plastic surgery as you can get. She got hit by another car. Dies! She stands before the Lord and says, I thought I had 25 years. The Lord said back to her, girl, I didn't even recognize you. All right, so, all right. So, the cool breeze, got it.
Number two, I think number two might be my favorite point of the three. I can't camp on it because I'm running out of time. But it says that when he came in the cool breeze of the evening, he came walking through the garden. You see, that was the time when Adam was done working. He was done with his assignment and the Lord says, now half of your day, we're just... I'm gonna take care of you. It dawned on me, just earlier this week the thought crossed my mind, how awesome was the opportunity to walk in a garden with the Lord? And then it hit me, the Garden of Eden is gone, but if you get into a plane or a helicopter and you look down, you can clearly see that the earth is still a garden. There's trees everywhere, growing up, reaching towards their creator.
Roses growing up, you got grass reaching, everything growing up, up, everything's growing up. Even if you have a puppy, it's growing up, what do you do when you're born? You're growing up, everything is going up to the Lord, but more importantly, the place is a garden and the Lord says, I'm still looking for people that wanna walk with me through the garden. Half of your life, half of your life, you're gonna be working, you're gonna be sleeping, you're gonna be taking care of your own responsibilities, and in the back of your mind, when you say, I don't think I'm doing my assignment, the Lord is saying, I've hid you in my quiver, with my hand, that's gonna be half of your life because we are going to walk together through the garden.
Come on, just say to yourself, walking through the garden. I'm not wasting my time, the Lord wants to walk through the garden and these are the moments where you just talk to him over and over and over again. And if you don't know what to say, just, say, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you. Just say that over and over again, other things will come to your mind but there's nothing more important than that.
So let me jump on to the third point, where he backs up and he said... no, no, I'm gonna regret it if I don't tell this illustration, I keep on wanting to skip my illustrations, but I'm not. So I have a friend of mine, and I grew up with him. He just walked through the door of this church one day, because he didn't believe that I really became a pastor. It's like there's absolutely no way that guy became a pastor. He comes in, we end up going to lunch later on that week and he says, I can tell that you are so passionate about God. How do you get to that place where you're passionate, where you're not cold, you're not ca...how do you get to that place?
And then he says, because I believe that if I were to get to that place, whatever my assignment is, God would be, I'd be making a bigger difference. And I told him, look, two things. I try not to stop praying all day long, either in my head, in my heart, in my mouth, and also have an appointment with him. And for most people, an appointment with God is 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, however long you can stretch yourself. But I told him, I always set my alarm on my phone and I tell myself I'm gonna pray until that alarm goes off. I got everything on silent, you can't text me, you can't call me. I'm just talking to the Lord until that alarm goes off. I keep talking about the alarm goes off, over and over again.
Finally, he stops me. Okay, I got it, I got it, I got it, I got it. You got a phone, you put an alarm on, you don't come out and set an alarm, and I get it. I get it, but what else? And I was like there's really nothing else, there's nothing else. You see, we look for things to ignite us. We worry that we're not being used, but the Lord is more so saying, look, half of your life I just wanna spend some time with you. Half of your life, if not more, Jesus was way more, it was like 90% of the time he was being hid in the shadows. But when he was used, oh my... pew! Can't even wrap our heads around it.
And I wanted to tell my friend, hey, and I did, look, half of your life. You're not wasting your life. Stop letting the enemy tell you you're wasting, you're doing nothing, you're blelelelelele, you're a waste. No, no, no, no, no. You're walking through the garden with the Lord, that's how you're spending your life, come on. In Matthew chapter 6, verse 6, it says this, "When you pray, go alone, by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your father".
Now here we go, watch this, this has to do with your assignment, "And your father who sees everything he will reward you". He will reward you in a way to where you feel his presence in ways that other people who are not paying the price will ever feel it. And number two, his reward is not only his presence, but he begins to open up doors for you, opportunities for you, both financially, physically, healing in your body, relationally. You meet new people who are able to open up new doors. Oftentimes, new opportunities are not presenting themselves because we got the same friends that can't open up any more doors.
And the Lord says, I'm gonna put new people in your life, they're gonna open up doors, you gotta brand new opportunity. So he says, I'm gonna reward you with my presence, but I'm also gonna give you other rewards and he opens up doors of opportunity. You see, there is no other shortcut. I'm telling you, look, here's the deal: half of your life you're walking with the Lord in the garden, he takes care of the rest. If we pursue God, then everything else falls into place. Do you receive that?
Third and final point, the first point was the coolness, the breath, the refreshing point whenever we're connected with God, the breeze. The second point is how God will arrange your life to where he's walking with you in the garden. The third and last point is whenever he came into the garden and he said, where are you? You see, everybody knows the story of eating the fruit off the tree and and how they were ashamed and how they hid from God, but I don't wanna pay attention, that's a little bit too far along in the narrative. I just wanna focus on the fact that when Adam was in the garden, the Lord came walking through, during the cool breeze, and said, "Adam, where are you"?
Anytime the Lord says, where are you, someone is lost. Anytime the Lord says, where are you, he's looking for the person who is lost. Anytime the Lord says to someone, where are you, he's saying you're distracted by something, I've got something way better for you, where are you? Get up next to me, I've got better plans than you have for yourself. Where are you? I just wanna say to you a closing thought, having to do with my wife and I, sometimes we're on a date and she's on the other side of the table and she'll say, I feel far from you, and like a dumb-dumb, the first time and several times she used to say that, I'm looking at her, I'm like, I am 3 ft away from you.
Isn't it embarrassing, man, how it takes us a while to catch up to what our wives are saying, it's embarrassing. And so she's like, it's not that I don't feel close to you, it's just, I don't feel close to you. It means that there seems to be a broken connection, when the Lord came in and says, where are you, it's not like the Lord's going, "Marco"! Adam, "Polo". No, he knew where he was, but he just couldn't understand why they weren't close, there was a disconnection and when I am at the table with my wife, I'm like, okay, okay, Frankie, slow down and let's connect. And that's what the Lord says, slow down, we're in the garden, I want to connect, close your eyes, and you can do this any time you want, become aware of my spirit. Now you can open up your eyes and live your life, but you need that moment to become aware that the presence of God is all around you. Does that help anybody today, come on.