Frankie Mazzapica - Revival In The Valley
Thank you for tuning in today, my name is Frankie Mazzapica. The title is "Revival In the Valley", Revival In the Valley. Does this sound like this is going to help anybody? There are times when you are in the valley, and you know when you're there. The valley are the times when you feel discouraged. The valley are the moments when you feel a sense of loss, loss of a hope, loss of a dream, where you're fighting for your health, you're fighting for your marriage, you're fighting for your children, you're working hard, but there's less money coming in than what's going out, life is a grind.
That's how you know when your life is in the valley seasons. The mountaintop seasons, everybody knows what those are like. It's when things are going good, it feels like you're getting all green lights when you drive, you hear birds, you notice the brush of leaves when the wind blows. This is the time when life is good. I called a friend of mine the other day, his name is Jerry. I called him up, and I said, "What's going on? How you doing"? And he said back to me, he goes, "Man, it's good to be Jerry". I was like, well, it sounds like you're doing well. It's good to be Jerry, you know. And I thought to myself, man, I'm gonna say that the next time I'm, like, really feeling good. A lot of days went by, but somebody asked me, "Hey, how you doing"? I said, "Man, it's good to be Frankie today".
That felt good. Why don't you just practice that? Say your name. I know it seems elementary, but it feels good to say it. Just say, "It's good to be," and then say your name. One, two, three. One more time, one, two, three. Man, that's the mountaintop. But, you know, the Lord spoke to a prophet in the Old Testament, and his name was Ezekiel. And we read about this moment in Ezekiel chapter 37, verse 1, and this is what it says. Ezekiel says, "The LORD took hold of me". Man, please. "He took hold of me, and the Spirit of the LORD carried me". Now, that is more than my brain can even fathom. Did you know that in Ephesians chapter 3, verse 20 it says this to you. We're not talking about Elijah right now, to you. "To him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than you can ask or think".
You know, when I pray, I come before the Lord with all kinds of requests. The idea that you're always asking for things, that's what God wants you to do. But when I ask for things, I always ask for the things that are on my mind, the things that concern me, but then I say, God, there are things available that I don't know that are available. There are opportunities, there are experiences that are available that I would ask for them if I could imagine them. So, Lord, I'm asking for those things. And so, I hope you do the same. But anyway, Elijah was taken up by the Holy Spirit, he was carried by the Holy Spirit. And he brought him to a valley of bones. When he was in the valley, he saw that the bones, he took them, and the Lord took him and walked him around among the bones. These bones were scattered, they were scattered on the valley floor, and they were everywhere.
Now, watch how he describes these bones, that they were dried out. And then the Lord said to Elijah, he says, "Do you think that I can cause all these bones," as far as he could see were bones in the valley, he goes, "Do you think I can cause these bones to become living people again"? And Elijah was not in the mood to say something that he didn't believe. He was gonna be truthful, he was gonna be honest, and he says this. "I don't know". He says, "Only you know. You're the sovereign God. Only you know".
Have you ever been there before? I believe God can do it, but I don't know if he's gonna do it. Can we be real? I know we're in church. But can we be honest? He says, "Only you know". And then the Lord says back to him, he says this. He goes, "I am going to breathe life into them," and then he goes on to say with these bones, imagine these, just bones everywhere. He says, "I am going to put flesh on them, and I am gonna give them muscles". It actually says muscles. "I am going to give them muscles, and then I'm gonna cover them with skin, and I'm gonna breathe my breath into them". That's the second time he said that within five verses. "I'm gonna breathe my breath into them, and they will live again". Doesn't that sound good even before I unpack it? Come on, that's the Word of the Lord.
So, I have three major points for you. The first point is that they got lost, because the Lord was talking to Ezekiel about the children of Israel. And the children of Israel, number one, they got lost. Number two, they died. And then number three, they were revived. And so, I want us to keep in mind as we unpack this verse that God is not speaking to his enemies, he's speaking to his children, people like you, people like myself, his children. And the first thing that we need to notice is that the Bible says that he took hold of Ezekiel, and the Spirit of the Lord carried him to the valley, which means somewhere along the line, the children got lost. They just started drifting. They left the place that God wanted them to be. They got distracted, they started drifting, and before they knew it they were in a place that they never planned on being.
Once they got out there, they realized that they were lost. Mankind has a propensity of drifting, but God has a habit of chasing. Has he ever chased you before? Think about that. Think about the seasons in your life. Think about those seasons. Maybe you were in high school, maybe you're in college, you're in the 20s, 30s, 40s, think about those seasons where you didn't do it on purpose, but it was like a fish seeing a sparkling hook. You just kinda went after the sparkle, but you didn't see the hook. Once you got hooked, you were stuck. The only thing you could do is just mumble to God, oh God, I'm gonna need you. I'm gonna need you.
Now, look at you today. Those memories are a long time ago. He came chasing you. You drifted, he came chasing you. God chases you. He doesn't watch you get fooled and caught by the hook and chased off. You didn't wake up one day and say, "You know what I feel like? I feel like drifting. I feel like getting caught in a bad situation. That's what I feel like doing". You didn't do that. You saw something that was appealing, in the honesty of your heart you went for it, and you got tricked, you got hooked, and you said, "Oh God, I don't know how I got here". I'll tell you, I was on a boat with a friend of mine, my kids, and his kids, and there were some friends on there of our kids, and it was getting late. I had been on this lake many times, and I wanted to cruise around a little bit more, and my buddy, his name is John, he said, "You know what? If we keep cruising around, it's gonna get dark. And if it gets dark, we're not gonna be able to find our way back to the truck, the trailer on the truck to put the boat up".
And I looked at him, and I said, "Don't worry about it. I've been on this lake many times. You can blindfold me, and I know my way around this lake. You chill, you relax, you enjoy yourself. You're in good hands. I'm the captain of this boat. Everything's gonna be all right". Yeah, you guys are already ahead of me, aren't you? So, we're cruising around, we're having fun, the kids are playing, everybody's laughing, sun goes down, you can't see anything but stars in the air. And I said, "Don't worry about it. All I gotta do is keep that lighthouse on my right. That's it. It'll take us right back to our truck". I kept the lighthouse on my right. I was so proud that I knew what I was doing. I floored that thing. We were just skipping on the water. Voom, voom, voom, voom, voom. I'm keeping the lighthouse on my right. Unbeknownst to me, I was supposed to be going straight with the right lighthouse on my right, but I was taking a curve down a different part of the lake, but the lighthouse was still on my right.
So, I'm curving around, still got the lighthouse on my right, and then I see the bridge, the bridge that I was looking for with all the lights of the cars zipping by. I'm getting closer to the bridge, I think it's the bridge that's right next to our truck, but it was a different bridge. I knew it was a different bridge, because I saw a big Shell sign on a gas station, and I was like, I've never seen that Shell sign before. And if you've ever driven a boat, this is the worst feeling you can ever have, where all of a sudden the propeller under the boat begins to drag on the dirt. The first thing you gotta do is throw yourself in neutral or turn off the boat, because if that propeller keeps going, it's gonna break. You get stuck out in that water in the middle of the night, you're in deep, deep trouble.
So, I turn off the engine, and I looked at everybody and said, "It's okay. Don't worry about it". Have any of you ever said a bold faced lie before? Don't worry about it. It's all right. In your head you're going, Oh dear Lord. It's okay. I can't turn on the boat, the propeller is buried, and I don't know where I'm at. So I said, I said, "Hey, look, I'm gonna get out in the water, and I'm gonna lift the boat and just kinda bump it around until I can find deeper water, and everything's gonna be okay". And the water was about, you know, this deep. Have you ever been in a lake or in an ocean in the middle of the night? You imagine an octopus who's gonna come up and swallow you up. In a lake there are no sharks, but you start imagining that a shark is gonna take your whole leg off. You get in there, it's in the middle of the night, I am scared. Kids are looking at me, I'm like, "It's okay".
I start moving the boat, moving the boat, moving the boat, and all of a sudden it gets deep, the propeller, I can feel, I kept moving it, no, we don't want to go that way, so now we're going this way, we're going this way, we're just probably... it's crazy how a 12,000 pound boat can be lifted up in the water. It's probably a sermon in there, but if I chase that rabbit, I'll never get back. So, I started lifting it, lifting it, lifting it. Finally, I just pushed it out, and obviously, you know the end of the story. I'm here. No shark got me. Big old octopus didn't pull me down.
I saw a movie or a book or something... yeah, it was a movie. "1,000 Leagues Under the Sea," anybody remember that? Oh my goodness, I thought for sure I was gonna get pulled down and I was gonna find the Titanic, I promise. In a lake. Anyway, I don't know how I got out there, but I drifted out there. I drifted, and it wasn't fun. But worse yet, it's scary when you drift from the presence of God. And you know, you know, nobody has to tell you, you know you're not where you're supposed to be.
Point number two, these children of God, the the Israelites, they died in the valley. They never got out. They died there. They knew they drifted, they couldn't feel the presence of God anymore. They knew they drifted, because they weren't worshiping God anymore. They knew they drifted, because they weren't going to the Tabernacle of the Lord anymore. They knew they drifted, because their heart was, like, seared with a hot iron. Their conscience didn't lead them anymore. They had no hunger for God anymore. They had drifted, they're in a valley, and they're not crawling their way out. You see, you and I know that when you're in a valley, you start crying out to God like you never have before.
Have you ever noticed that you cry out to God in the valley more than you do on the mountaintop? When you're on the mountaintop, you're too busy listening to birds chirp and loving life. Man, it's good to be Jerry. You know, but it's in the valley is when you start crying out. I can't help but to wonder... this isn't in the Bible, just doesn't hurt to wonder. I can't help but to wonder if we end up in the valley just because that's when we are closest to the Lord. He knows you're going to cry out in the valley much louder than when you're going to cry out in the mountaintop. He knows that when you're in the valley, you're going to cling on to him. He knows that on the mountaintop sometimes we forget about him.
So, they're in the valley, they could sense that they weren't as close as they used to be, but they never shook themselves, they never stirred themselves, said, God, I'm in trouble. No, no, no, they didn't, they died out there. Their faith died out there. This was a spiritual dream. They died out there, and every one of us are tempted to die in the valley of faith. Let me give you an example. Over the past four years, every time we pray for healing, people get healed. Not everybody we pray for gets healed, but every single Sunday people get healed. The first time that ever happened was ten years ago. It was a one off. I didn't know what to do with it. I just, crazy, I know this sounds crazy, I stopped praying for healing after that. I thought it was a one off, and I didn't know that it was God's plan for all of us to walk in gifts of the Spirit, gifts that are supernatural, that we cannot explain.
I say all of us, because in John chapter 14, verse 12 it says, "Anyone who believes in me shall do the works that I have done". Anyone. But about ten years ago we were in the high school before we bought this beautiful building, and we were doing a baby dedication, and the mother came up, and she was holding the baby. We prayed for the baby, we dedicated the baby to the Lord, and the mom looked at me, and she said, "Our baby has a broken collarbone. Will you pray for it"? I felt so much pressure because everybody in the crowd could hear the request because she was close to the microphone. I was like, oh Jesus. So, I just said, "Everybody extend your hands. We're gonna pray for the baby".
And I'm just like, thanks for putting us on the spot. I put my two fingers, never forget this, and I was just thinking about the sermon, to be honest with you. I'm gonna pray for the baby, I'm gonna go to the sermon. I lay, zero faith at all. Zero. "In the name of Jesus", sidebar. Anytime Jesus prayed for the sick, it was a commanding prayer. He never said, "Oh Father, will you please"? Never said that. And so, if we're going to pray like Jesus, to see what Jesus did, it needs to be a commanding prayer. And so I said, "In the name of Jesus, collarbone, go back where you belong. Now in Jesus's name".
If you study Jesus's prayers, when people were delivered from demons or healed, he never said more than five words. It was a commanding prayer. If you feel compelled, you can pray longer than that, but I want you to have confidence that when you say the name of Jesus, one word, everything responds to the Creator of God. Come on, do you believe that? So, I laid my hand on the collarbone, said, "In the name of Jesus, bones, go back together again". No faith, not even really thinking about it, but that name of Jesus, the bones responded right under my fingers. I felt the bones go, brrp, and I was, I was praying in Jesus's name, and I went, "Oh my goodness".
I was so shocked, I didn't even say anything. I was like, "Let's give the Lord a big round of..." I didn't even say anything. After the service I went up to the mother, and I was like, "Okay, look, when's the next doctor's appointment"? She said, "It's tomorrow". I said, "You better call me tomorrow". She calls me up, "You're not gonna believe this". I said, "I think I am". But I was so excited, because the thrill of victory, oh my goodness, the first thing I did, I got in my car, I went straight to the hospital, because there was a lady named Lana who was a single mother. She was 41 years old, never touched a cigarette in her life, perfect health, finds out she has stage four lung cancer. She has a daughter, 12 years old, single mom. And I was thinking to myself, if God healed a collarbone, and on the importance scale, collarbone's here, cancer is there. They were going to have a surgery that week, the collarbone, maybe a cast for six to eight weeks. Baby is gonna be fine.
On the importance scale, collarbone, stage four cancer. Like, if he's gonna heal the collarbone, this is gonna be pretty easy. I go to the hospital full of faith, ready to fight every demon in hell. "In the name of Jesus, cancer, come out". Six weeks later, she died. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. See, you're not upset about the prayers that God hasn't answered. You might be upset with the prayer that he didn't answer. I have forgotten the prayers that he hasn't answered, but I haven't forgotten that one. You see, when God doesn't come through the way you want him to come through, you go straight to the valley. You can hardly get out because you really have to say, "The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. Praise be the name of the Lord". Praise be the name of the Lord.
I'll tell you, and you know this, I have clapped just like you clap, and I'm so glad you did. I have clapped that that scripture is true, and it's real, but I'll tell you this, as a preacher for 25 years, it's a lot easier to preach it than it is to live it. When I'm on this stage, I have muscles on my teeth and lightning in my veins. When I walk off this stage, I'm just Frankie again. I might be anointed to preach it, but I got to live it just like everybody else. I gotta live it like everybody else. And I'll tell you, this morning I prayed for two people for healing. The first person started getting healed before they ever came down. They were feeling the heat of God. She was crying. I said, "Can I pray for you"? And she was like, "You can if you want, but I'm already healed". I was like, "Praise Jesus".
I go to the next person, she didn't get healed. What gives? Here's the key. When somebody gets healed, you give the glory to God. When they don't get healed, you leave it with God. When God answers your prayer, you give the glory to God. When he doesn't answer it the way you want him to answer it, you leave it with God. But one thing you don't do is you don't die in the valley of discouragement. You don't die there. You say, "God is faithful. I may not understand, but he's faithful". Come on, do you believe that? He's faithful, he's faithful. And I want to say this too. All of us have experienced the mountain. All of us have experienced the valley. At the end of the day, look where you're at today. You're in the house of God. You're in the house of God, and I honor you, I honor you for that.
Number three, I want to talk about how there was a revival. God breathed his life into them, and they came alive. Sometimes you just feel dead. But I want to tell you, there's another kind of breath than the breath that you're breathing right now. The breath that you're breathing right now is a natural breath. It's your natural lungs. It's oxygen around you. I want to say this, that when God breathes life into you, you find yourself full of anticipation all over again. You feel excited. You may not have all the answers, but there's a peace that passes understanding, and you are excited. You are ready for what God has for you, because you feel his presence flowing through you, and whatever problems you see, whatever problems you're aware of, your backing up and say, "I don't have the answers to those problems, but I know that I'm anointed by God, and I have full anticipation that something's gonna happen".
And that's a revival in the valley. Do you receive that? Come on. If you've ever been healed, physically healed, you will find that people who need to be healed will come to you. How is that happening? And I've never said this before. This is blowing me away as I'm talking to you. God will lead people who need to be healed to you. People, some of you, you were poorer than poor. You were po'. When people come to me and they are fighting financially, before I even pray for them, before I even encourage them, I tell them my story. I want to encourage you to do the same thing, because when you tell your story, when somebody says, "I don't even know if I love God anymore," you tell 'em your story. I used to be there. "I don't even know if I trust God anymore". I used to be there. When you talk about where you used to be, you're actually prophesying on where that person is about to end up being.