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Frankie Mazzapica - The Night Is Almost Over

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    Frankie Mazzapica - The Night Is Almost Over

Thank you for tuning in today, my name is Frankie Mazzapica. The title of the message is "The Night is Almost Over," The Night is Almost Over. As a working definition, the night are those seasons of discouragement. The night are the seasons where you feel like you are underachieving. The night is the seasons where you were hoping your trajectory was going to be sharper. The night is the season where you imagined your life at this point would be more delightful and happier. These are the night seasons. Paul talks about these night seasons in Romans chapter 13, verse 12. He says this, "The night is almost over". This is where I'm getting the message from. The night is almost over. The day of salvation is almost here. The moon is going down, the sun is coming up. He says this, "The day of salvation will soon be here".

And so then he says this, "Remove like dirty clothes your dark deeds, and put on the shiny armor of righteous living". This is the Apostle Paul, the one who wrote more than half of the New Testament, saying the night is almost over. David, our beloved, the one who struck down Goliath, he talks about the night seasons, too, in Psalms chapter 23 verse 4 where it reads, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear because your rod and your staff, they comfort me". John talks about the same exact thing in John chapter 1 verse 1 through 4. It reads like this, and when I say the Word, I'm talking about Jesus. "In the beginning was the Word," Jesus. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God". He was in the beginning with God, and he is God. "Everything that was made was made through him".

There was a partnership between he and the Father. God created, but he moved it through Jesus. It was God's idea, but his power moved through the Son, and the Son created it, so everything that was made was made through him, so that nothing was made that was made. In Jesus was life, and that life was the light of man. Now, watch this, "And that light pierced the darkness, and the darkness could not comprehend it". All of the spirits, or all of the discouraging thoughts, there is a light that pierces through that, and all the discouragement, all the fear, all the confusion, it cannot comprehend how all of a sudden, it's getting parted. Can't comprehend it. I want to tell you that the night is almost over. If you're in a night season, the night, just take my word for it, the night, encourage me this morning, come on, the night is almost over.

I've got three major points for you. The first one is, is that we're led into the night. The second one is how we live in the night, and the third one is the promise as we're in the night. The first one is being led into the night. How would you feel if I told you that these night seasons that you're in have been assigned by God to you? God has led you into the night. In Daniel chapter 2, verse 21, it says this, that God changes the times and the seasons, and so he has arranged for the night season, and he has brought you into it. I know that doesn't sound very encouraging, but just bear with me. We just gotta be real just for a few minutes, and then I'll share the promises with you.

But in Exodus chapter 7, verse 16, it says that the Lord delivered Israel, and he says I want you to come into the wilderness where you will worship me. I want to bring you to this season, this dry season, because that's where you will worship me. You worship the Lord different when you're desperate. You learn how to worship when you're desperate. When you're on the mountaintop, it's very easy to forget how good God is to you, but when you are saved from a season, oh my goodness, that affection is so high. You learn how to pray in the dark seasons. You're led there. When I was younger, my father would always walk out of the house and go for these long walks. I remember we lived in this apartment, it was a small apartment, it had three bedrooms, one for my brother and I, we shared a bedroom, and then the baby, they always get their own bedroom, and then my mom and dad had a bedroom.

But I always remember hearing the door crack, you know, that squeaking sound. And every time I heard it, I'd run down the hall, and I'd say, "Dad, can I come"? And he'd always do the same thing, I'll never forget it. He'd look at me and he'd go, "Let's go". We'd walk out, and I don't know how I knew this at ten years old, I don't know how I knew this, but I knew that as I walked with him, my job was to stay quiet and just to listen. And he would talk about so many things, he would talk about our family, he would talk about his dreams, he would talk about his hopes, he would talk about his disappointments, and just as a ten year old, I'd just walk with him. But there was once, there was a certain time where I never asked if I could come walk with him because I knew I shouldn't be there.

It was always at night, and I knew what my dad was doing. He was grabbing the door knob of the front door, and he was lifting up on it so it wouldn't crack, and he'd turn the knob, and he'd pull it out. It was always at night. He thought I couldn't hear, him but I could. And I'd go up to the window, and I take my fingers to the Venetian blinds, and I'd lift it up, and I'd take a peek, and every time I would see my dad with his hands raised, walking down the street. I've been married for 21 years, our first house was in Rockford, Illinois, and I'd walk out in the middle of the night, I could hear the snow crunching under my boots, and I'd raise my hands just like my dad, and I would say, "This is all I know how to do".

This is all I know how to do. I remember when we moved to Houston, I haven't seen a drop of snow since, but I remember when we moved to Houston, we lived in this small duplex, and I would walk out in the middle of the night, and raise my hands. And we moved to the Woodlands, and I remember telling the Lord, every single house I've ever lived in, I remember walking the block and raising my hands. And we moved out in the country where I live right now, and I raise my hands and I heard this clack, clack, clack, and all of a sudden, I saw a herd of deer running past me, and I thought these dumb-dumbs will run in front of a car, they'll come stomping on me, so now I gotta be super, super careful. But nevertheless, it's during the dark seasons you know how to pray like that. How many of you, you know, you know you have another gear in your car? You pray a certain way, but when it gets desperate, you got this other gear that you go to.

The other thing I want to talk about is not just being led, but how you live when you're there. Okay, I get it, I'm not happy about it, but I get it. The Lord is leading me there. How do I navigate this? I can't just sit there and grit my teeth and be upset about it. How do I navigate this? I got a couple of Scriptures I want to share with you. It's in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 where it's my kids and I, it's our favorite Scripture. It says, "Never, ever stop praying". But then two verses later it says this, "Do not quench the Holy Spirit". And so, praying and quenching go together. When you pray, the Spirit of the Lord can move through you in the night, and I don't want you to underestimate that word of encouragement to a person. Because to encourage means to inject courage. The Lord is using you even though you're in the night.

There's something about the eyes, when someone looks into your eyes. You may be in the night season, but they can tell that you're still praying, and they just like being around you. Your prayer, it's like a hose, where if you were to quench a hose, water can't get through it. This is how we live when we're in these seasons. In Ephesians chapter 4, verse 30, it says this, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit". Even though we are in these seasons, it's so hard. It says, "Don't grieve the Holy Spirit". Don't hurt the Holy Spirit. You know how when certain people call you, and you see their name on caller ID, and you just hit decline? Come on, be honest with it, decline. I used to have somebody in my phone, their name was "Do Not Answer". And I'd forget who that was, I can't remember who this is, but I know if I answer the phone, I'm gonna just, oh my goodness, decline.

As a parent, there's one call you never, ever decline, and that's when the school your children attends calls. It doesn't matter where you are, what you're doing, accept, hello, and your heart starts racing. I remember my daughter, she's a senior in high school now, this was when she was in the second grade. I got a phone call around 4:00-4:30, she gets out of school at, like, 3:15. I was like why is the school calling me? And the teacher said, "Are you coming to get your daughter"? Sweat started beading up on this bald head. I got so hot. My heart started racing. I had a bowling ball in my stomach. I jumped up, I got in the car. From my office to her school was 30 minutes, I got there in 17. I was going over curbs, I was passing people, I was speeding.

I was so afraid, not because my little girl was gonna get mad at me, not because she would not want to be my daughter anymore, not that she would strike me and hit me, not that she would punish me. I was so afraid that I had hurt her, that I had disappointed her. I imagined her sitting on that curb without her dad. When I pulled up, I ran out of the car, and I picked her up with her little curly hair in a bow this big. I picked her up, and I said, "Presley, Daddy messed up, and I'm so sorry". And she said in her little, squeaky voice, "Daddy, it's okay. I was playing with the teacher". I was afraid that I hurt her. I was afraid that I grieved her. When we're going through these dark seasons, you have options. You can withdraw from the Lord. You can live in such a way where you remember that the house of God was important to you. Where there once was a time where being in the house of the Lord was important to you.

Raising your kids in the house of the Lord was important to you. Raising your hands when you worshiped was important to you. Praying when you close your eyes on the pillow was important to you. But you chose to just drift because you're in the night season. That's always an option, but the other option is to say I'm not getting out of this unless you help me, because everything you depend on determines who you depend on. C.S. Lewis said this, "Everyone is as close to God as they want to be". To say to the Lord in these seasons I'm not doing good, but I wanna know have I grieved you? Have I said anything that has hurt you? Have I done anything that has hurt you? And then you just wait for the Holy Spirit to bring it to mind, and what you will notice is even though you are in that shadow of death, you will feel an intimacy with the Holy Spirit at that moment, and that's how we live when we're there.

So, the first point is being led into the Spirit, the second point is how we live in the Spirit, but then I want to talk about a promise that is attached to these seasons. Because in Exodus chapter 3, verse 8, the Lord said this. "I will rescue my children from the Egyptians, and I will lead them to a land of milk and honey". He's saying if you can make it, I got a promise for you. I have a blessing for you, if you can make it. There's so many Scriptures in the Bible where there's a promise attached to that little word, "if". Let me illustrate. In 2 Chronicles chapter 7, verse 14, it says this. "If my people pray and seek my face," if they pray and seek my face, "And turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, I will forgive them of their sin, and I will heal their land".

"If my people pray". You know, of all the people that Moses led through the wilderness, there was 250,000 that turned, 250,000 withdrew. What was the consequences of that? The world, the earth opened up, and swallowed all 250,000. They turned away, they did not receive the blessing, because they couldn't get through the season. There's a fascinating Scripture in 2 Timothy chapter 4, verse 7, where Paul says this, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith".

To fight the good fight, you have to go in knowing that there are some fights that are long fights. There are some fights that are over in a few days, in a few weeks, but there's other fights that go on for months, there's other fights that go on for years, there's other fights that go on for several years. There's some fights you can get out of unscathed, then there's other fights where you'll never be the same again, a piece of your heart died, some fights. He says this, "I have fought the good fight, I finished the race," the race? Who you're racing against? We know Galatians 1:10 says do not compare yourself to others, so who you racing against? You're racing against time. You're gonna die one day, and you gotta get your assignment over before you die.

He's racing against time, but yet he's fighting a battle that some of them, he doesn't know if he's ever gonna get out of. He's fighting the good fight, he's racing against time, but through it all he's keeping the faith, and what was the reward for that? He says that he was one of the few that saw the forth heaven. I didn't even know there were four. He saw Jesus. He missed out. While Jesus was walking the earth, he was out acting a fool, and so Jesus caught him up. He met with him in the desert of Arabia and caught him up. This is why he says in Galatians 1:12, he says nobody taught me the revelation I received, I received it directly from Jesus Christ. The Lord knows how to look at you and say I'm gonna catch you up. I'm gonna catch you up.

Come on, encourage me. If you agree with me, put your hands together. I'm gonna catch you up if you pray, if you stay close. I want to honor you, because every single one of us is believing for a miracle. That's the common denominator between all of us. All of us is believing for a miracle, and you're here while you're believing. You're listening to the Word of God while you're believing for a miracle. You are the person that says yes to the if, that's you. I'm the one talking to you, but you're the one fighting, and you're the one making the right decision. I want to tell you that because of that, the night is almost over, and there's a promise waiting for you. Did you know, and there we go, if you agree, come on.

What these Scriptures are saying is if we, if the children of Israel could have gotten through that season without being a casualty, the only people that are casualties are people who quit. If you can get through that season, through a dry season, through a dark season, and you don't quit, there is a promise waiting for you. And you know what I love about that promises is he doesn't tell us what it is. This is the promise that he says in Ephesians 3, verse 20. It says, "To him who is able," not he will, able. "To him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, more than you can ask, seek, or imagine". Why am I emphasizing able? Because it still circles back to if. If you lean on him, if you refuse to quit, if you dig your heels on in the ground, if you have that white-knuckle anointing where you're squeezing so hard your knuckles are turning white, if you're gritting your teeth and you know it that some seasons, Pastor Jim's told me this, I love it, some seasons just getting through it, you won.

In those seasons there's a promise attached to getting through it. You say what promise? It's more than what you can ask, think, or imagine. The last verse I want to share with you, now this verse has carried me through, I believe it will carry you through, too. It's in Isaiah chapter 49, verse 6, where God is talking to Jesus. Jesus came out of heaven, he put skin on to share the gospel with the Jews, to bring back those of Israel God has kept to himself. And he looks at Jesus, and he says this, "It is too small of a thing". It's too small. The plan is too small. "It is too small of a thing for you to bring back those of Israel I have kept to myself and to restore the house of Jacob". Just you reaching the Jews, it's just too small of an assignment.

I know that you thought that that's what you're assignment was all about, but actually this is the Father talking to Jesus, it's actually too small. Instead, this is what the Bible says. "I will make you a light unto the Gentiles so that my salvation will go to the end of the earth". If you're not a Jew in this room, that verse was for you. That verse was for you. All the Gentiles clap your hands. All jokes aside, I'm 44 years old. All the hopes, all the dreams, all the desires that I've had, all those things are too small of a thing. And when I look back on the 25 years, the things that have blown my mind, that I didn't even know to ask for, has happened. And I back up and I go, the future has things in it that I cannot imagine. The best prayer you can pray is to say yes, God, I need you to get me out of this situation, but even more than that, I want the things that I don't even know to ask for. Are you with me today? Come on, put your hands together for that.
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