Frankie Mazzapica - Remain Aggressive
Thank you for tuning in today. My name is Frankie Mazzapica. The title of the message is "Remain Aggressive". Remain Aggressive. Life throws so many issues and problems your direction, and most of them come from hell. I mean, to give you a visual example, it's almost as if hell just pulls out arrows and shoots them in your direction, shoots financial pressure, shoots depression, shoots anxiety, shoots all of these things towards us, shoots 'em, and most scenarios, shooting arguments into families, shooting resentment, shooting unforgiveness, it's like a barrage of arrows that doesn't stop at any point. They just continue every time we wake up, and if we are not careful, we will stay in survival mode.
We are just trying to make it another day. We are just trying to hold our family together with white knuckles. We're sitting there eating vegetables and beans, tryin' to get healthy, and a lot of cases, most of these situations, we have very little hope. We're just trying to make it in this economy. We're just trying to make it. And if we're not careful, we will stay in that state of mind of just trying to make it instead of being ultra-aggressive on pursuing God, worshiping God, and inviting him into our life. And I want to encourage you today to stay aggressive in your pursuit to the Lord. It's been an interesting phenomenon, especially since COVID, when COVID really started building momentum in 2020, it's been a fascinating phenomenon because many of the people that we used to worship with don't come to church anymore. I've got a lot of friends that are senior pastors, and they all say the same thing, "We don't know where our people went".
Now, what's fascinating is when I look out to the crowd today, the sanctuary is full, but most of you I did not know you in 2019. You came after 2020, you came after the high, the peak of the pandemic, and what's interesting is I think about all the people that left, and I don't know where they are. I don't know how they're living. But I would propose to you that the people that are just trying to make it are the same people that stopped bein' aggressive towards pursuing God, worshiping God, keeping their mind's attention and their heart's affection on God. They fell off to the wayside. They're just living life, depending on their own strength. And so, I'm gonna share a scripture with you in just a moment to show you where this message is bein' based from.
My three main points today, number one, is going to be not to give up the weapons that God has given you. I'm sorry, that's point number two, but you're gonna like it. That's point number two, point number one is to not be dependent on your enemy. I know that's crazy, but sometimes we're dependent on people who don't even like us. Have you ever been there? Don't raise your hand. To not be dependent on the enemy, I'll talk about that in a minute, to not be dependent on your own strength. Number two is to not lay down your own weapons. I'll get to that in a minute. And then number three is to retain your mettle. Not mettle like a steel baseball bat, mettle, spelt M-E-T-T-L-E. Your mettle, your courage.
So, let me just dive into the verse that we're spring boarding off of. It's in 1 Samuel chapter 13, verse 19, and this is what it reads. It reads this, "There was no blacksmith in Israel". "There was no blacksmith in Israel because the Philistines would not allow it". So, the children of Israel were God's children, the Philistines were the enemy of the children of Israel. And they're under bondage, so the Philistines would not allow them to have a blacksmith, for they feared that they would make swords and spears for the Hebrews. They were afraid that they would get sick of being in bondage, they would be sick of bein' their slave, and they would attack and break out of that bondage, so they never allowed a blacksmith to be there.
So, when the children of Israel needed to sharpen their plow shares, they needed to sharpen their picks, they needed to sharpen their axes, they needed to sharpen their farm equipment, they would have to go to the Philistines. The Bible says they would have to go to the Philistines and ask if they could use their blacksmith so that they could farm their own land. They were at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to dependency. They were completely dependent on the kindness of their enemy. Sometimes the children of God will hope and pray that the enemy would just stop, just give me a breath, just stop tormenting me. Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. Hoping that there would be some kind of respite, there'd be some type of break, that just give me a break. You're hoping that the enemy would stop. Or you're hoping that your own strength would be there.
My first point is to stop depending on the kindness of the enemy to stop bothering you, because it's never gonna happen. You're never gonna get a break. And do not depend on your own strength to scrap and get you out of this situation, because you don't have the strength. If you did have the strength, you would've already done it. And the fact that sometimes we get stuck in a season that we hate, that we feel inflicted, we feel depressed, we can't get out, if you can't get yourself out, you're not the one to get you out. God has gotta get you out. If he doesn't, there we go, encourage me a little bit. If he doesn't, we're all in trouble. Let me give you an illustration on not being dependent on your own strength or that maybe hell will stop tormenting you. This past week, we, our family, went to Costa Rica. And on the part of Costa Rica that we're at, it's on the south, the southwestern side, so that particular beach that we were at, it doesn't have white sand, it has black sand. It's very pretty, but it's black sand.
And so, when you walk into the water, it's clear as a bathtub water, but it doesn't appear to be clear, because the sand is black, and so when the waves come in, it picks up black sand. And so, you can't see through it, it's black, you can't see your knees if you're in waist deep. It's black. And so, my family was... they weren't with me, they were up in the hotel or whatever, and I had my eight year old, and we were playing in the waves. It was just us, for whatever reason there was nobody else on the beach, and I was about, I don't know, I was waist deep in the ocean, and she was probably chest deep, she's eight years old. And we were playing. I'm holding her hand, and every time a wave would come, we'd watch the wave come, as soon as the wave got close we would turn around and we would just kinda play. We were just playing.
Just wave after wave after wave, and if you were, I don't know, on a ladder, on a 15 foot ladder, what you would see is you would see the wave as far as you can see all the way to the far end, it's like a white line of these waves, it's just like a straight white line. But there's something called a rip current, that that straight white line of waves, there's a break in it. And sometimes it's really wide, sometimes it's narrow, but there's a break in it, and it's called a rip tide. And what happens with the rip tide is that the tide is not coming in, it's pulling out. And then it will go in, and it will go out, but it goes really, really fast. So, the wave goes in, it goes out, it goes in, and goes out, and when it goes in and goes out, it can pull you under the water.
And so, I am chest deep or or waist deep, whatever I was, and all of a sudden a rip tide forms right around, this is, like, four days ago. A riptide forms around my daughter and I. We get pulled back, vwoom. I go underwater, she is under water. Now, I have done a half iron man before, so in a half iron man there's three disciplines. You have to run, you have to ride a bike, you have to swim. So, I know how to swim, but I'm not a strong enough swimmer to save anyone. My daughter, she's eight years old, she's been in swim class for several years. She knows how to swim, but when she's being pulled down, she can't swim. I can't swim. You're being pulled down, you're being pulled back, and so I realize I'm in a rip tide, and I understand that the only way you can get out of a rip tide is to go against your own logic. You're looking at the beach, and you want to swim towards the beach, but you can't get out of a rip tide swimming towards the beach.
The only way you can get out of a rip tide is to defy logic and swim parallel to the sand. And so, if you swim parallel to the sand, you can get out of the riptide, but you have to overcome logic. You wanna go to the sand, you're drowning, you're getting pulled back, you have to overcome that logic, which is very hard to do, because you're fighting for your life. Well, the trouble was I could not do that, because I can't sit there and I have no time to explain to my eight year old, whom I'm hangin' onto her leg to keep her above water, that, hey, sweetheart, we need to swim that way. So, we are going underwater, vwoom, back up, vwoom, underwater, vwoom. We're tryin' to swim, I'm pushing her forward, and I'm swimming, I'm pushing her forward, and I'm swimming. I'm looking at her, she's looking at me, her eyes are big, and I'm telling her, "Kate, we're okay, we're okay".
She's looking at me, and she's like, "Daddy, I don't like this. I don't like this. I want out. I want out". She, God bless her, she didn't lose her mind, but she's saying, "I want out". I look to the shore, and the sand is so far away, because we've been pulled so far out that I thought to myself, I don't know if we can get that far. Kate turns around and looks at me, and I look at her, and I have the thought, I'm about to lose her. We're just being pulled down. I'm holding her leg, and I'm pushing her forward. The wave comes down on her and pulls her down. I still got her leg. I have to let go to grab her waist to pop her back up. It was a fascinating thing, because all of a sudden she says, daddy, I can touch the sand. It's like, Oh God, thank you Jesus.
So I reached down to touch the sand, and we start running, swimming, running, running, swimming, but every time we'd run, we'd get pulled back. We'd run, we'd get pulled back. Obviously, we made it out. That was four days ago. We made it out, and I'm walking on the sand, and now she's breaking. I'm breaking. And she looks at me, and she goes, "When I got pushed down into the sand, all I saw, I opened up my eyes, and all of a sudden I saw this bright light with this turquoise," which is absolutely impossible when you're under with black sand and black sand gettin' pushed up, and I realized, oh Jesus, thank you so much. Thank you so much for saving our life. Thank you so much.
But to re-emphasize my first point, being dependent on your own strength to get you out of a situation that you hate, a situation that you feel tormented by, you don't have the strength to do that. This kind of strength can only come from the Lord. You do not have the strength to do it. So, I want to say, Frankie, you proved to yourself you didn't have the strength or the capability to get you out of that ocean. You proved to yourself you did not have the strength, but also run that in parallel to be, living outside of the ocean, we don't have the strength to figure out this economy. We don't have the strength or the know how to please our families and keep our families together. We do not have that capability, and so we have to stop depending on that.
Number two, we cannot lay the weapons down. That's what I don't... that, that is the... that was the start. When the Philistines took away their blacksmith and the Israelites didn't revolt right then and there, they allowed their weapons to be taken. Now, we already know that because of the first point, we don't have the strength to fight back and to get out of our situation. We've already established that point. But what is our weapon? In 2 Corinthians, and this is the weapon we don't want to lay down, 2 Corinthians chapter 10, verse 4, it says, "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal". They're not logical, they're not physical, they're not emotional, they're not mental.
Stop relying on that. Don't rely on that. The weapons of your warfare begin when your eyes close and your hands raise, and I want to say, don't give up your weapon. Do not give up your weapon. Stay aggressive. It is so easy to allow that rip tide to just pull you back. It is so easy to be in a state of depression, and anger, and resentment, where you start getting mad at the people around you because you don't like your situation, and your emotions say, it's their fault. It's not their fault. You are not wrestling against flesh and blood. You are wrestling against spirits. You're wrestling, this is Ephesians 6:12, you are wrestling against the devil. You are wrestling. And we cannot lay those weapons down.
Let me illustrate this point. I think it was two weeks ago, I had a dream, and it was a fascinating dream to say the least. I had a dream that I was with my family, and we were doing some menial things, I don't know what we were doing, but I was with my family just living a normal life in my dream. But then I went to sleep in my dream. Like, I went to sleep. And it was crazy, 'cause I went to sleep in my dream. But when I was dreaming, this is the funny part, I was the president of the United States. So, after I went to sleep in my dream, I was the president, and in my dream I was in the Oval Office, and I was sitting behind the presidential desk, and I was looking into the camera, and I was gonna do a State of the Union address to the nation in my dream. And it was so real, it was so real.
And people were bringing me my script, and I remember thinking, I don't like a script. I don't like looking at paper while I'm talking. I was thinking this in my dream. And someone came up to me and was like, "Okay, now that you're the president, we're gonna pick out your clothes for you so you don't even have to think about that. The only thing you have to think about is the country. You're that important". Then I woke up from my dream, and I was back with my family. This is all in my dream, if you're tracking me. I was back with my family. And I was just a normal guy with a normal family, and I remember telling my family, "Guys, I have to go back to sleep. I'm the president of the United States. I have to go back to sleep. The country needs me".
And I would go back to sleep, and I was the president, and then I'd wake up, and I was back with my family. I was like, "Guys, look, I gotta go". And so I woke up, and I was just like, "Oh my gosh, that was a crazy dream". A couple days later I got to chewing on it, and I realized that the Lord was showing me something. That when I'm living my life with my family and I'm living it with you and I'm living it in the streets or doin' whatever, I'm just a normal person. I'm really not that important. But when I close my eyes, when I raise my hands, when I allow myself to stop bein' consumed with this world and start paying attention to this supernatural world which controls the natural world, I am very important.
And I have to tell myself, guys, look, I love being your dad, I love being your husband, I'm crazy about my wife, but I'm really important over here, so I gotta go close my eyes and shut the door, because this world needs me. Let me get a little bit more practical. Your courage when your family feels like it is being held together by duct tape and superglue, your courage during that, your courage, how does that courage manifest? When all hell is breaking loose, you're still raising your hands. Your eyes are still on the Lord. It's Psalms 34:1 where it says, "I will bless the Lord at all times. His praises will always be on my lips". In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 it says, "I will never stop praying".
People who stop praying, people who can only pray when times are good, they don't have any mettle. They have a glass chin. They can only handle life when it's good. They're a sailor that can sail a boat on flat waters only, can't handle any waves, can't handle any storms, completely unreliable. The family can't depend on 'em. Hell laughs at 'em. Heaven is calling for them. They have no mettle. They're really good at complaining about the situation and really good at bein' mad about the situation, really good at folding their arms, super good at complaining. They have no mettle. Anyone can complain. It's the first thing our kids did when they were one years old. When they were one minute old, they, "Waa, waa, waa, waa". "What's wrong"? "He needs to eat". "She needs to eat". "The diaper's dirty". They can't do squat, but they can complain. So easy to complain, so easy to be bitter, so easy to be mad, so easy to have this face, this, grr, grr.
It's so easy, it's so easy. These people have no mettle. You have no mettle. And I want to tell you, you are so important. Your prayers turn the tide of every single challenge you have. Every challenge you have, it is a trick of the enemy to get us so consumed about the natural world that we stop being aggressive in our prayer life, we stop bein' aggressive worshiping and praising, and if you say to yourself, I would like to pray, but I just don't know what to pray, I'm not a good prayer, I'm going to help you out right now. The best prayers in this room are the people who say Jesus the most often. In fact, if all you say when you pray is Jesus, and you say it with fervor and passion, you close your eyes, you visualize his face, and you say, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, you will feel the Holy Spirit rise up in you, and all the other prayers will come streaming out of your mouth. Do you receive that today? Come on.