Frankie Mazzapica - Seasons When Everything Changes
Thank you for tuning in today. My name is Frankie Mazzapica. The title of the message is "Seasons When Everything Changes," seasons when everything changes. Sometimes you're in a season that you want to change so bad that you can't even express it in words. We all know that as long as we're on this earth we're going to face problems, but sometimes you just want new problems. You know what I mean? It's like, "I've been in this season long enough. Just give me something else. I'll take any problem except for this problem. Just get me out of this season".
Here's one of the Scriptures I want to share with you this morning. It's in Daniel chapter 2, verse 11. No, no, no. It's in Daniel 2:21, Daniel 2:21. It says this; that God changes the times and the seasons, that he raises up kings and brings kings down. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those with understanding. Now, there's so many nuggets inside of that verse, but let's just pull the nuggets out of the first few words. He changes the times and the seasons. We're not talking about weather here. We're not talking about it's snowing and then we're in winter next thing you know and a few months later you're in spring. We're not talking about the weather, we're talking about seasons of life. And God is so mighty that he's able to look at you and say, "You have been in that season long enough. It is time to change that season".
God has the ability like a great orchestrator to orchestrate your life. He can look at a person and say, "Okay, you have served your purpose in their life. It is time for you to go". Don't point, just blink two times if I'm talking to you. It's time for that person to go, and God can literally like an orchestrator begin to say, "You're gone. You guys come on in". New relationships, new opportunities, new jobs. God has the ability to do that. One phone call can change your life. One email can change your life. God has the ability to bring new people into your life. He has the ability to look at you and say, "This sickness will be gone right now".
There's nothing in your life that you're facing that is so big that God cannot remove it. I want to emphasize that again. There is no situation in your life that is so tough, so hard, so big that the Lord cannot change it. You may be thinking of a person right now that is just the biggest rascal you know and they drive you absolutely crazy. The Bible says in Ezekiel 36:26 that, "I will remove that heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. I will give you a new heart and a new spirit". Whoever you feel is in your life that is provoking you, antagonizing you and you don't know what to do, you are serving a God that can cause that person to have an about-face and literally become a new person because the Lord just laid his hand upon them.
I want you to be encouraged by that. You may say, "I don't know if God can do that for them". Well, he did it for you. He did it for me. He's done it for millions of people before. You didn't deserve it. I didn't deserve it. All the millions of people that lived before us, they didn't deserve it. And that he can do it for the person that you think is too far gone, too far away. In one moment the Lord can change your season. Do you know that one prayer can change your season? The enemy will do everything he can to keep you from praying. He'll keep you from praying with a variety of ways. He'll say, "If you don't pray an hour, don't pray at all. If you don't sound like Abraham, don't pray at all. Don't pray at all because we know what you did last summer. Don't pray at all because you've been acting like", I'm going to use that word again. It's just the safest adjective I've got right now.
"You've been acting like a rascal last week, yesterday. Even before you got to church today, you were going crazy like a wild person. You have no... just don't even pray". The enemy knows that a short prayer can change the tide in your life. A short prayer, a one-word prayer. You're saying, "Frankie, are you just trying to hype us up"? No. I'm just reminding us what the Scripture says. In Psalms 56:9, it says the very day you call for help the tide of the battle shifts. When you're in a season that you want out of, you don't like it, you're tired, you're exhausted, the minute you open your mouth the season begins to change. Immediately that begins to happen. You can't see it with your own eyes. The only way that you can sense that something is changing is if you close your eyes. It's a phenomenon.
In Philippians chapter 4, verse 6, it says do not worry about anything, pray about everything, and thank him for what he's already done. And then in verse 7 it says and then after you do that, you will experience the peace of God that exceeds anything that you are able to understand. The peace of God exceeds, you think, "I understand, you know, how the sun goes up and how it goes down. I understand how the seasons change, the snow and..." No, no, no. Anything that you can understand, it exceeds that. It blows your mind. It's overwhelming. That's the peace you experience when you close your eyes, you raise your hands, you lift your chin to your Father, you block everything else out, and you say a short prayer. "I need you". Sometimes your prayer is one word. Jesus.
You know, I'll tell you I've been taking Spanish lessons for the last year and a half. I would speak Spanish in front of you to show you how much I learned, but I don't want to discourage myself. But my teacher said whenever you're speaking Spanish, the person that's listening to you if they're fluent they will clearly see that you're learning. And I'm going to just tell you, the conjugation of verbs is. But anyway, it's another topic. But when you're trying to speak Spanish to a person who speaks Spanish, don't forget to use the magic words. Because if you use the magic words, the person you're speaking Spanish to will immediately give you a lot of grace. That immediately, as soon as you use these magic words, the person is all of a sudden going to smile and see that you're trying your best and they're going to be okay with it.
And naturally I said, "Well, please tell me these magic words. I must know these magic words". And so she says there's two that you just need to keep in mind. Just say por favor or lo siento. Please. I'm sorry. Please. I'm sorry. Finish your sentence and say lo siento. As soon as you say these magic words, the person who's fluent in Spanish will go, "You're a gringo. You don't know what you're doing, but I see that you're trying". They will have compassion on you. So learn those words. Can I just tell you, those words are just one word. Please. Sorry. But it changes the entire dynamic of the conversation. All of a sudden there's mountains of mercy, mountains of grace.
One word. One word can change the dynamic of a conversation between me and another human being. One word changes the entire context of the relationship that you're in at that moment. The tide of the battle turns. The moment you say one word, Jesus, the moment you say, "I need you," at that moment there is an angel above your head that's there to defend you and to fight your battles for you. You say, "I don't feel like that's happening. I don't feel like it's happening. I feel like I'm in the same season I was before I said those magic words". Look, close your eyes, lift your chin, raise your hands and allow the physical world to be blocked out and allow your spirit to connect with the Holy Spirit, then you will experience the peace of God. Is this helping anybody in the room?
I've got three major points for you, and it revolves around the Jordan River because I started thinking of myself earlier this week that I can't count the number of times in the Bible where I've read about the Jordan River. So I did a Google search and I started realizing that seasons that people are living change when they go to the Jordan River. Now, it's not like you and I can get in a plane and fly to the Jordan River and all of a sudden all of our problems seem to go away and we go into a new season of our life, which naturally we would have problems in the new season as well. But it's not the significance of the water or then the significance of the location, the significance is built around the obedience that takes place at that river. And so constantly the Lord is sending his children to the Jordan River, that they would have a moment of obedience.
And as I began to study, I started seeing that there were three different people that went to the Jordan River and had a shift in their season. And as I put together those three different lives and I put them into three different seasons, I see that they are actually in a sequential order for us to live in our relationship with God. The first season I'm going to talk about that you experience is when you are wrestling with God, the second season is when you learn where to run when trouble comes, and the very last season is at the Jordan River people die.
And so let me just dive right into the first one. It was Jacob in Genesis chapter 32. I had to remember Magic Johnson. That was my name association. That was his number when he played basketball. But in Genesis chapter 32, I'm telling you, I got to do name association with everything. In Genesis chapter 32, Jacob was wrestling with God. He saw the angel of the Lord appear right in front of him and he literally went into the subconscious mode of believing that he was a UFC fighter and dove after him and grabbed onto him. And as he's grabbing onto him, he's talking to him. Now, I've been beat up a few times. I can't really think of any fights that I got into that I was victorious. It stinks. But I wish I had different stories where I was like Rocky Balboa, you know, but that wasn't the case. It's a stinky feeling when they're talking to you while they got you tied up.
You know, I dove at somebody's legs one time and he grabbed me like this, and I remember distinctly moving my fingers to see if it was my hand or his. And he had me down there and he started talking to me. He's like, "You like that? You like that? You like that"? And so I told him a few things about his mom, but... That's way too much information. But he was talking to me, and this is exactly what Jacob was doing. He grabbed the angel of the Lord and he says, "I'm not going to let you go unless you bless me. I'm not going to let you go until you change my season. I can't continue to live in fear. I can't continue to live with this animosity towards my own family. I can't continue to live like this. I need you to change my season". And he hung onto him all night long as he laid next to the Jordan River.
You know, when you need a season to change you begin to wrestle with God, and the first time you will ever wrestle with God is when you are wrestling on whether or not he even exists. To be able to go from having faith in him to... I'm sorry. From not having faith that he exist to having faith that he does exist. That's the first time you will ever wrestle with God because every person has to come to a place where they know that God exists not because their mommy told them, their father told them, their aunt told them, granny told them. But they had to wrestle with it themselves. They have to. I'm a preacher's kid. I was raised in a preacher's home and there was this season where I had to say, "Is this all an accident? Did the wind just dust up some rocks and here I am"?
I had to wrestle through that. And when you wrestle with God, you don't wrestle with him in your head because you'll wrestle for the rest of your life. You don't wrestle with him with your emotions like, "This stinks. This is stupid. I can't believe this. If you're real, show me". That's it, you have to open your mouth. You have to speak. If you and I meet each other in the lobby today and we just look at each other; not only is it going to be incredibly awkward, it's going to be very unproductive. And in the same way you cannot discover the love and the existence of God by backing up and looking to the heavens going, "Show me fire". You've got to whisper to him and say out loud, "If you're real, help me. If you're real, help me. I'm unbelieving. I don't want to be an unbeliever if you're really there. If you're really there, help me".
And Jacob wrestled all night long. So can I just say, the consequences are so heavy that it is worth wrestling more than one round or one sentence. At least go for it. Give it a season. Give it some months. "God, I'm going to pray for the next 3 months, the next 4 months; and I'm going to pray every day, and I'm going to pray with my whole heart as if you are there even though I'm not sure if you are". And pray. And in effect the end of those 3 months after you have prayed with your whole heart, with passion out loud; if he hasn't confirmed within your heart that he exist, then throw your hands up and walk away. But I can promise you that if you really throw your heart into it, he will reveal himself to you.
You may be saying, if you're a believer in this room, you say, "Frankie, you're really sticking your neck out there because, I don't know, that's kind of risky to tell everybody that". It's really not risky for me because I'm just taking a verse right out of the Bible. Jeremiah 33:3, "Call to me. I will hear you and I will tell you things that you do not know". I want to encourage you. Lift your voice. In 1 Kings chapter 16 and 17, we read about a guy named Elijah. And Elijah was afraid of this king, that the king was going to kill him. And the Lord tells Elijah, "Go across the Jordan River and there I will keep you safe". Everything in life, everything is determined upon who you rely on. If you rely on yourself, you'll be in a season far too long. If you are nervous, you're afraid, you get on your knees.
I remember as a teenager putting my face in my pillow and squeezing my pillow saying, "Dear Lord, I need you. I'm confused. I'm worried. I'm afraid. I need you". At a certain point there's a phase in your relationship with God where you're no longer wrestling on whether or not he exists. Now you're learning on where to run whenever you're feeling the squeeze in life. I'm going to tell you everything relies on who you rely on, and if you rely on yourself you will be disappointed. You will be disappointed. You'll be angry at everybody and they didn't... and nobody did anything. But if you rely on the Lord and say, "I need you to supernaturally help me, and if you don't help me I'm going to slide, I'm going to fall. I don't know where things are going to go".
I'm glad I did spend some time on that second point. The third point is a place where people die. Now, this is at the Jordan River where Elisha is following Elijah. It's in 2 Kings chapter 2. Elisha was following his mentor, and he wanted an anointing on his life. He wanted a mantle to fall onto his life, but he had to follow the rudest mentor on the face of the earth. This mentor was so rude. Over and over and over again he looked at this young man that was hungry for more of God and said, "Stop following me. Stop following me. Leave me alone. Stop following me. Leave me alone".
And Elisha had to eat that over and over again. Elisha had killed all of his pride. He had killed, he burned all of his equipment which he ran his business on. He allowed every part of his life to go to the wayside because he was so hungry for the things of God. I remember when I was in Rockford, Illinois, and I was in an internship, and I was sitting in the sanctuary reading my Bible. I remember I was like 20 years old. And I'm wrestling with God and all of a sudden I came by a Scripture in Acts chapter 20, verse 24 where Paul says this: "However, my life means nothing to me if only to finish the race and to complete the task of testifying of my Lord Jesus Christ".
At some point Paul came before the Lord. He raised his hands and he said, "My life means nothing to me. I am at your service. My whole life, my whole life, nothing means anything to me at all except to serve you. I'm not pursuing this. I'm not pursuing that. This means nothing to me. That means nothing to me, if only to serve you". And can I say that the enemy will cause us to be consumed with things in our life that are temporary so that we can be distracted from the eternal. Do you know that within three generations no one's ever going to remember you again? Aren't you glad you came to church to be encouraged?
You can remember your mother's name, some of you know your grandparent's name; but your great-grammy, that's a coin toss. Great, great. Three generations. Half of the room knows, "Oh, I know her," probably 'cause they're still alive, about 103, and they chase you around. But I don't know my grandmother's name. And let's say some of you are really good 'cause you have a tightknit family and you go, "I know". Well, go up one more generation just to make my point. We're all forgotten. Very, very, very quickly we're all forgotten.
But this is what I've learned as I've studied people in history who have made the biggest difference for the kingdom of God here on this earth and whose name still echoes among us. The people who pay more attention in this world on the world to come make the biggest difference in this world. I think the enemy laughs his head off when he watches people work, work, work because they believe that they had just a little bit more success and they'll be completely secure. A little bit more success. He laughs his head off.
The Bible says in Proverbs chapter 11, verse 24 that the wealth of the rich is their fortified city. They imagine a wall too high to climb. They imagine that if they get just a little bit more money they'll be a fortified city and nothing bad can happen to them. And so they spend their entire life building that fortified city. Can I just tell you, cancer can slip through a brick wall? I can tell you that depression can slip through a brick wall. It doesn't matter how much money you have. If you're wanting to jump off a building and kill yourself, that money means nothing at all. All of us can mention somebody who's rich, somebody who had money to burn and they killed themselves. I'm just telling you that what you're looking for you are not going to find in this world. What you're looking for is in another world, and the enemy looks for you, come on, encourage me.