Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Frankie Mazzapica » Frankie Mazzapica - This Is Only A Test

Frankie Mazzapica - This Is Only A Test

  • Watch
  • Audio
  • Donate
  • Shop
    Frankie Mazzapica - This Is Only A Test

Thank you for tuning in today, my name is Frankie Mazzapica. The title of today's message is "This is Only A Test," "This is Only A Test". How many people have been watching TV, and then all of a sudden, the National Broadcast System is like, "Beep," right in the middle of your show? And all of a sudden, a voice comes on and it says this... Come on, let me hear you, "This is only a test". In other words, we know we are interrupting the regular program, but don't freak out, this is only a test. And I wanna tell you, the theme of the entire service is whatever you are going through right now that is burdensome, I wanna tell you that this is only a test. Some tests are a breeze. "You're like, If this is as bad as it gets, I can do this. This is not a problem".

But then there's other tests that Paul refers to. It's in 2 Timothy chapter 4, verse 7 where he says this, "I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith". See, the good fight is oftentimes a long fight. It just keeps going, but you keep fighting because there's so much on the line. There's so much. There's a lot of consequences if you quit. People are watching, things are in the balance, and I wanna talk to you today about a guy named Daniel, because what he shows us is that there's always a test before the promotion. And I know that sounds like something you would tweet, or an Instagram, something or another, but it really is true. And the more you study the scriptures, the more you find out that it's true, and if it was true in their life, it's true in our life.

And so, let's tackle this. It's in Daniel chapter 6, verse 3 where it says, "And Daniel proved". He proved that his ability was greater than those who were administrators in the kingdom. It was greater than those who were high officials. And because Daniel showed great strength and great ability, the king, King Darius, planned on promoting him to be over the entire empire. God arranged that. The Bible says in Proverbs chapter 21, verse 1 that just like water turns in the hand of a man, so does God turn the hearts of kings. And I'm doing this because all of us have looked over a sink, and turned on the water before, and the water comes straight down, but sometimes we want it to go to the left or we wanted to go to the right, and so we put our hand in the water, and we just kind of turn it around.

As easy as it is for a man, a woman, any one of us to do that, is as easy as it is for God to look at anyone with influence and turn their heart around. And so, the Lord directed the king. He arranged for the heart of the king to look at Daniel with great favor. And so, here Daniel is about to receive a promotion that God has arranged, but before God would allow that to happen, Daniel had to take one more test, and the test was coming from two different directions. This is my first point, this is the first direction. It was coming from people. The second, my second point, it was coming from an evil spirit, and then the third point I want to talk about is how God sends relief. He sends opportunities. He sends new seasons through the most surprising people in the most surprising ways.

And so, let's just unpack the first area where we are tested, tested by people. Daniel was tested by the administrators and the high rulers in the kingdom, because they were jealous of Daniel. And we, too, are tested with people who annoy us, people who seem to enjoy making our life difficult. Sometimes you wanna look at them and say, "Are you having fun? Do you enjoy being a stress in my life"? You wanna say to 'em, "Do you wake up every morning excited to find me, so that you can ruin my day"? These people are sent to test you. They're testing you. I used to have a neighbor, I don't know what got into his mind, I just heard my wife laugh on the front row. She knows exactly who I'm talking about. This guy couldn't stand me. He was about 170 years old, and as I would drive down the road, he would flip me off from the moment he could see me until the moment... and I would think to myself, "You enjoy this. I can see on your face, you enjoy this".

He was vexing me. Thank God, God moved him to another place. Do you know how hard it was when he was loading that U-Haul for me to just stand out there and be like... "Bye"? You how hard that was? But I was being tested. You know, these people who test us, if we treat them the way they're treating us, that is the one person that God cannot use you to touch. You have vacated your influence in their life. God wants to set their heart on fire for him, but God's gonna have to send someone else, because you have given up your influence so that you could give them a piece of their mind and act like them. These people are sent to test you. This is what these administrators were doing to Daniel.

Daniel had to back up and say this is only a test. I want us to do the same thing. When someone comes into our life, just back up and say this is only a test. And if God ever opens the door for me to be able to share my passion for God with you, I'm not gonna give up my influence because you are luring me to fail my test. The second area is when there are spirits, evil spirits, that test you. See, the devil is afraid of you. Evil spirits are afraid of you. Spirits come to you to pull down your self-image. To make you think not much of yourself. To rehearse your weaknesses and your mistakes. To cause you to look in the mirror and not like what you see. To have your expectation of the future to be pulled down. This is the work of the enemy, and he will send people and put you in environments to get you and to get me to relax. To take our armor off and just relax.

What do I mean by that? We're a Christian over here, we're a Christian over here, we're a Christian over here, but there's always this one person where you feel like, oh, I can just be me, and I can drink more than I normally do, and I can go here more than I normally do. This is the one person where I can just talk any way I want to. You know, these are the moments where the enemy is winning, because the spirit within you, God is in your life stirring like this powerful tornado, spitting things out that don't belong, and grabbing things that do belong. And the Bible says in Philippians chapter 2, verse 13 that he is working in you. While you're sleeping he's working in you. He's pumping through your veins. He is working in you to give you the desire and the power. My goodness, I could preach on that. Might be a better sermon than what I'm preaching right now. The power to do what pleases him. There's a boom, boom, boom, boom, it's working in you.

But in another person who doesn't worship the Lord, something else is working in them, and you're looking at them, and they're looking at you, and it's a turf war. And the spirit of the enemy is like put down your armor, drop your sword, lay down your shield, relax. This is the one person, this is the one area, and wouldn't it be true if you find that person more often than you find the other people? More often than you find the Godly people that lift you up and encourage you? Because this is a safe person. I wanna tell you, the people that pull you away from righteousness, they're not your friend, they're your enemy. They are your enemy. You wanna find yourself around people who remind you who God has called you to be. You need to find those people, hang out with those people, email those people, text those people, call those people, and hear someone say, "Hey, you might be in a battle right now, but this is only a test. Hang on, girlfriend, this season is gonna change".

Come on, put your hands together for that. It's gonna change. If you say, "I wish I had a friend like that," well, we all know the answer to that. When you are a friend like that, you get a friend like that... I had a couple of friends of mine, they attended this church, and they had a leadership position within our church, and it was a significant leadership position, and they went to a health specialist, and the health specialist really helped them a great deal. And I heard about it, and I thought, "I wanna go to that health specialist too. What's their number? I need to go talk to them". And so, on the way there, I had this thought. I don't know who this person is, I'm gonna invite them to church. It was the only thing on my mind. I get there, I find out my health is good, I'm good to go, and here I go.

I say, "Where do you go to church"? Which is always the first thing I say every time I invite someone to church. If they say they go to this church and it sounds like a Christian church, I go, "That's awesome," but if they say, "I don't go to church," I'm like, "Here we go". You sent me here for this moment right now, and so I'm feeling the excitement. I'm like, "Play it cool," play it cool, play it cool. Then I say, "You ought to come to our church. The pastor is really good looking. You ought to come to our church".

And so, this health specialist, they were very curious, and I said you know, my friends, I'm just gonna call 'em Jack and Jill. You know, Jack and Jill, they go to our church, too, and the specialist said, "Really"? And you know, my heart just broke, because Jack and Jill were worshipers here, but they were quiet over here. They had the opportunity to make the invitation, but they lived quietly, and so the Lord had to send someone else. Do you know that that health specialist, she attends our church now? She's a prayer partner now. She shows up to Tuesday night prayer now. She's one of the most powerful people in our church. And I think to myself, "Whoo, that was close".

See, the enemy wants to do with you and I what the administrators in the kingdom did with Daniel. They tried to get him to stop worshiping in public, in fact, not to worship in private, and if he did, he would have to worship King Darius only. But Daniel had this pattern of opening the doors of his house, like, swinging doors, he'd open it up, he would worship God, and everyone would see him. I have thought to myself, "Daniel, you could have had both," right? You know the end of the story, they threw him in the lions' den. If you just would have stopped opening the doors, you could have prayed, worshiped all day long, and not put yourself at risk of dying.

Come on, you can have both. Stop worshiping in front of doors. Go to the bathroom and worship. Go lay in the kitchen. Go to the guest bedroom. Crawl up in the attic. There's other places to worship other than right where everyone can see you. I think if I said that to Daniel, I believe he would say something like this back. "Frankie, when I worship and I seek God in front of everyone, that's my testimony. This is how God uses me. And Frankie, you want me to be quiet and do this in secret? I'd rather die. I'd rather die".

Now, there's different personalities in this room. There are charismatic personalities. I would probably say I'm one of them, but do you know I fight the same anxiety as someone who's shy when it comes to talking about God? I share the same thing. When I was on my way to the health physician, I was psyching myself up. I was, like, hitting the steel, yeah, we're gonna do this. Oh, yeah, we're gonna do this. And then I walked into the office and I was like, I don't know if we're gonna do this. It's a challenge for all of us. When I was a youth pastor, oh, my goodness, I could talk to any student who walked through the doors, but the cool ones, I'm like, okay, I'm older, I'm an adult, they just got their driver's license, my goodness. When those teenagers come walking in, and they got their hat down, and it's flat, and it's like, oh, my goodness, this is scary. You know, that scariness never leaves, but our testimony is the most powerful thing we have. We don't have anything more powerful than that.

You know, every single day, or almost every single day, I go over the scriptures that I've committed to memory. I go over them over and over and over again, so that when I'm here, if a thought comes to my mind that wasn't prepared, I'm ready to go. But do you know when I talk to people, I don't come out with those scriptures, I lead with my testimony. Can I just tell you why I go to church? Can I just tell you why I... can I tell you what God did? It's my testimony. And the temptation not to share it is a test. It's a test. It's the spirit of darkness saying don't do it, don't do it, don't do it. Live in secret, it's okay. You're still going to heaven, my God. It's a test. These people who vex us, it's a test. These moments where we're supposed to live in secret, it's a test.

Now, here Daniel has passed both tests. He's looked at the people that have been vexing him, that have been challenging him, that has made his life terrible. He's looked at this spirit that's trying to keep him and his faith quiet. He's passed that test, he's passed this test, and now he's saying, "Alright, God, how in the world are you gonna save me"? And just like you and I, we come up with some really good options that God could do that would make everything so much easier. I think you can live for God and worship God for 15 minutes and figure out that he really doesn't look to us for suggestions. In fact, I can't think of one time where I've gone to the Lord and said, "You know what? If you would just do this, my problems would go away," and then him respond, going, "Oh, I didn't even think of that. Angels, do what you do. Do exactly what he said".

Never, never. What God does is exactly what he did with Daniel. I believe that Daniel said, "God, these people who are after me, would you just knock them on the head"? Like, would you just change their heart? King Darius, can you just change his heart and just say, hey, the rule, or the law that I put in place because these administrators counseled me to do it, I take it back. But he couldn't, because he already put his signet ring on the law, and so when he put his signet ring on the law, he couldn't take it back. But he knew he got fooled, and so the Bible says that he was upset when Daniel had to be thrown into the lions' den. Now, the Bible doesn't say that they walked him into the lions' den, the Bible says that they threw him into the lions' den. And I had always imagined that somebody was grabbing him by the belt and the back of his collar, like a "Tom and Jerry" kind of thing, one, two, three. That's not how it happened. Once again, my imagination helps me not at all.

So, I did a little bit of study on this lions' den. What they do is they cut a circle, and they make a cave down in those rocks, and they take whoever they're throwing into the lions den, they push them, they drag them and push them into the hole. Now, just falling from the top of the hole down to the bottom of the den is enough to severely injure you, however that's just the beginning of the problems. You know, you push them in, and here are these wild beasts. Now, you know when you go to the zoo, and you stare at a lion, and you're like, "Will you please stand up"? Like, they just lay there. You're like, "Stand up," and when they stand up, you're like, "Oh, my goodness, they're standing up. Look, is walking, it's walking, look, look, look, it's walking". And then what's the next hope? "Will you please find something to roar about? I wanna hear you roar".

I wanna see those two-inch... can you believe that? Up to three inches of fangs. You're like, just go for it. I've heard about it, I've read about it, I've watched "National Geographic" on it. Roar, baby, I wanna hear it. Those roars can cause your bones to shake. He's in a cave. Do you have any idea how quickly he crawled to the wall the moment he fell to the ground? And here these lions start screaming, and the Bible says that he received help from the most surprising place. In 2 Corinthians 1, verse 11, it says the very moment you pray for someone, they begin to receive hope. The very moment you pray for your children, the very moment, they begin to receive help. It doesn't say, I think I said hope, I meant to say help. The very moment you pray for your husband, the very moment you pray for your wife, the very moment you call on God on your own behalf, the Bible says the moment you prayed, they, people receive help. Paul said the very moment you prayed, we received help.

So, where did this... who prayed? Obviously, Daniel prayed when he's getting thrown down the cistern, "God, help"! King Darius that night, fasted all night long, and prayed all night long. He ran to the cistern the next morning, kicked the rock out from over the hole, "Are you okay"? "I'm good, those lions became my pets. Somebody take a picture of me". Help came from the guy he least suspected. He knew he was in a test with people. He knew he was in a test with the spirits. He knew he was in a test in the lions' dead. He said this is only a test, this is only a test, this is only a test. And God sent help from the most surprising place, and I wanna tell you this morning, as you live your life, this is only a test. This is only a test. This is only a test. And you and I will be amazed on how God sends help. Do you receive that? Come on, put your hands together.
Are you Human?:*