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Frankie Mazzapica - Little Heroes

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    Frankie Mazzapica - Little Heroes

Thank you for tuning in. My name is Frankie Mazzapica. The title of today's message is Little Heroes, Little Heroes. Let me just, first of all, I wanna tell you where the message came from. I was reading some history books that were written in parallel with the Bible, and they describe the Apostle Paul on what he looked like, and what they say is that he was 4 foot 9 inches. He had a hunched back, so his body was crooked. He was bow legged; his nose was crooked. He had a unibrow; optically the only thing he had going for him was that he was bald. That was the only thing. So, when you look at him, there was nothing that would be appealing. He was short. He was little. He ended up writing more than half of the New Testament.

Now, I look around the room, and I don't see anyone who looks like him. I've never seen anyone who did. I forgot one thing; he had red hair; where he did have hair, he had red stringy hair. So he was little in stature, but, I don't know about you. I often feel like I am little, a small contributor at best in the Kingdom of God. Some of you may look at me and just say, "Are you insane? Like, you're preaching right now"? I would say to you, right up here in my head is a war just like you guys fight. We all fight the same battle of feeling like we're insignificant, that we are a little piece of the puzzle. We have a little assignment. We're not big contributors; we're little contributors. And I wanna spend the next few moments dispelling those thoughts because, just like Paul, he is little, but he was a little hero.

You and I cannot change the world. But we're not called to change the world. We're called to change our circle of influence. If you're in high school, you probably don't know every single friend, a person in high school, but you have friends, you have a circle of friends. And then, as far as adults, when I was in high school, I had a circle of friends. And it feels like, as I get older, I lose one at a time. And now my circle of friends is like five or less and, and I'm not sure that those five people consider me one of their friends. But the, in my circle of influence, in your circle of influence, you are called to be a contributor.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 16 verse 9, Paul talks about the opposition that he faced whenever he realized that God had given him an opportunity to serve him and to make an impact in his circle. He says this; he said, "Because a great door of opportunity has opened before me", because, because a great door, "there are many who oppose me". In other words, the people that are opposing him, or the spirits, the evil spirits that are tormenting him, they're there because of the opportunity that he has. In the same way, the people who come against you, the spirits that pull you down and try to make us feel insignificant, the reason why they're there is because you have an assignment to make an impact. I've said this before. There is nothing that you can do on earth that you can not do in heaven. You can worship him in heaven, you can pray in heaven, you can serve him in heaven.

But the one thing that you cannot do in heaven is to make an impact on someone's life, to cause them to love the Lord. The only reason why you and I have breath in our lungs is because he has a door of opportunity before you to affect people's life. Your assignment is still weighty and important. If you didn't have an assignment to affect the people around you, then he would bring you to heaven. Every Christian, every son of God, every daughter of God that has passed away and gone to heaven, it's because their significant assignment has been completed to impact the lives that they had lived with.

And so I wanna talk about three things. Number one, people are waiting for you. Number two, opposition is waiting for you. And then number three, rewards, not just in heaven but here on earth, is waiting for you. Let me talk about the people that are waiting for you. Your friends have problems and issues and troubles that you know nothing about. In the same way, you have troubles, you have problems, you have concerns that nobody else knows anything about. You and I are responsible to develop the kind of relationship that they need to where they feel safe enough to tell you what they're fighting, to tell you what's coming against them, so that you can make an impact in their life. All too often we live in friendships, and we forget that we're supposed to make a contribution that's significant in their life.

Oftentimes people don't know how to make these contributions. And I've been saying this for a few weeks because it was a recent revelation to me. The contribution that you are to make in other people's life is the contribution you wish they would make in your life. That's your contribution. For me, I appreciate it to the highest degree when someone encourages me. The word encourage means to inject strength. And because that is my number one need, because it's my number one desire, I am naturally good at giving what I need myself. What you'll find is there are certain things that you desire that you can't get enough of. You can't get enough time, quality time. You can't get enough of these things. That is exactly where you are assigned to make these contributions. And there are people in your life waiting for these contributions. You're assigned to it.

There's a gentleman in our church named Matt, and I just wanna give him a shout out, his last name is Starnes, Matt Starnes. And he had a job to, and I believe this was his job, but it was something similar to this, that any time someone moved into a new home and they needed to get their cable set up, they would call his company, and he would go to their house and he would set up their cable. And he would always ask them if the relationship felt okay, even though it was a brand new relationship, he would say, "Do, have you found a good church yet"? And sometimes they would say yes, but more often they would say no. And he would say, "You ought to check out my church. Our pastor is probably the best looking pastor in the whole city". Just throw me a bone. But he would say, "I know you'll enjoy it". See, the Lord has assigned him to those people, and he took his calling serious. These people, without his knowledge, were waiting for him. He, they were waiting for him.

When you ask the Lord, "God, I want you to send me on these assignments," he will bring to your attention, he'll cause them to kind of stick out to you. That's who you're assigned to. You will never feel more fulfilled than when you are encouraging someone else. You'll notice that, the less you encourage someone, the worse you will perceive your life to be because you need, it is an innate need, to feel significant. And, when your contribution in someone's life is purposeful, what you'll notice is, the more you lift someone up, the more you are actually being lifted up by God because you're partnering, come on, you're partnering with the Lord. So people are waiting for you. But, in the same token, there's opposition waiting for you.

Again, why is there opposition? Because there's an assignment on your life. So, therefore, an opposition is against you. And this opposition looks different for every person. As sure as God has an assignment for you, the enemy has a enemy waiting for you. These enemies look completely different from, from person to person. Some of these enemies are people who are assigned to just bring you down, to discourage you, to say terrible things to you. I've had these people in my life; I just look at them, and I think to myself, is this your primary focus, to insult me? Is this the reason why you live? And, looking back, I think to myself, you know what? They were probably anointed by hell to come at me and to just completely discourage me.

One of the most influential people in my life early on in the ministry, he looked at me and he said, "Frankie, you're a talented speaker". Which, that alone bothered me. Because I don't wanna think it's a talent. I literally got a D in college in public speaking. So, if we're talking about talents, you know, what I know is, when I stand on this stage, I've got muscles on my teeth and lightning in my veins. That's what I know. But, if I was standing here with a podium giving you a speech, all of you would either fall asleep or leave. But he looked at me and he said, "You have a talent to speak, but you're not called to be a pastor". That devastated me for at least five years. I couldn't get that out of my head. This person was anointed by God... by Satan... to cause me to feel that way.

There are people who tolerate you and then there are people who celebrate you, and sometimes it just takes some time to distance ourself from that person who tolerates you. And sometimes it's a family member where you have to know, okay, that dog bites. Sometimes you can pet it; sometimes it can be close, but I gotta be careful; that dog bites. And during those times you keep a little bit of distance; you don't get too close to him. You're being wise; you're not gonna let that dog bite you again. And you can usually tell when their personality starts to shift, and that's when you go get something to drink and leave them by themselves to kind of just chase their own tail to carry on the illustration.

You know, my dad had somebody that was trying to get him to love the Lord. My father grew up in Queens, New York. He lost his father when he was 11. And so his mother had to work two or three jobs all the time to take care of her three children, and she would work from morning to night, going from one job to the next. I know one of those jobs was working in a diner late at night. So my father, you know, at 11, 12 years old, no supervision in New York, had no spiritual leaders in his life. He didn't go to church, wasn't raised in church. So you can clearly imagine how dark of a world he went into running the streets of Queens, New York. He ended up marrying my mom, and they got... my dad works for the Air Force, and they transferred him to Marquette, Michigan. And, while he was up there, there was a guy that just felt called to encourage my dad to love the Lord and come to church.

Well, my dad, every time he talked with him, he made sure that he said the F word every other word, and, you know, when you grow up like that, you don't even know you're saying the F word. It's just there. It's one of those words you can use as a verb, a noun, or an adjective, so you can fit it in any sentence. And he would curse this guy out all the time. Stop talking to me. Stay away from me. And, one time he was shoveling snow up in Michigan, and he took the shovel and he flung it at him. Leave me alone. The guy kept on, kept on. Talk about opposition, oh my goodness. If someone flings a shovel at me, I'd be tempted to pick that shovel up, you already know the end of that. And so finally, it was like a green eggs and ham moment. Well, if I try your green eggs and ham, will you leave me alone, for those of you that read that Doctor Seuss book growing up. So finally he says, "I'll come to your church, just leave me alone".

So my dad came into the church, stood on the back row, waited for it to be over. Finally, it was over. He stood up, didn't walk out the back door. He walked all the way down to the altar of the church and raised his hands in tears... come on. Tears came out of his eyes. The, again, the person that kept inviting him, he knew that he was assigned to affect his circle. There were people waiting for him, but there was a massive opposition. Just like you and I, in his mind, he had to have thought, "This guy is a bum. He's an idiot. He's a jerk. He's rude. I don't think I'm gonna talk to him anymore". But what he realized was this is just an opposition.

Sometimes the opposition is a person. Other times it is just the spirit whispering into your ear, reminding you of every sin you've ever committed, telling you you're gonna be depressed for the rest of your life. You don't look in the mirror because you're not gonna like what you see anyway. These are voices of the enemy. Let me just give you a cheat code. If you wanna know if that's the enemy speaking to you, just listen or notice to what's happening to your spirit. If you feel like you're going down into a spiral, if it's pulling you down, it's coming from a spirit below, pulling you down. Now, if you start feeling hope, if you start feeling an anticipation, that good things are ahead, that's the Lord speaking to you, and he's pulling you up to see the way he sees. You just put that in your mind.

Did you know that the devil can see angels coming to bless you? And they don't just stand there and go, "Oh boy, here we go. Angels coming down. I guess we lost". No, no, no, no, no. They have a two-pronged attack right there at that moment. First, spirits increase their intensity on attacking you by whispering things to your mind, by tormenting you, by increasing the temptation, by causing your heart to grow cold and grow bored towards the Lord. These are the things that the enemy does. In the second prong of attack is they literally meet these angels in the air, and they fight against them. How do we know this is true? Daniel begin to pray to God, "Help me. Would you bless me"?

And he had to wait 21 days. And then he looked up into the air; an angel appeared before him, and he said, "What's taking you so long"? I'm just adding that part because I know he had to have been thinking that. And the angel said, "The very first day you prayed, the Father sent me to bless you. But I was caught up in the air by Satan himself, and the Lord had to send the archangel to come down and fight for me". So I was a little bit delayed because the enemy could see that you're about to be blessed. I want you to know that, when you begin to feel your heart growing cold, your desire for the Lord begins to drop and go down that funnel, it's very important that you just don't let that happen, that you say, "God, I'm in trouble right now. I'm in trouble because my desire is dropping. I'm in trouble. Can you help me"?

That is the prayer that you can expect to be answered. You can expect that prayer to be answered. And if you can just say, "God, give me strength, I know angels are coming. I know your blessings are coming". Because you have opened up a door of opportunity, and that's how I know that these opposition is coming, that the opposition is coming. But, let me encourage you, if you can be steadfast, if you can dig your heels in and say, "Satan, let the wind come, let the rain pour. I'm not moving. I'm gonna keep my chin up. I'm gonna raise my hands up". Do you agree? Come on. "I'm gonna lift my chin up. Satan, there's nothing you can do that's gonna keep me from saying short prayers".

Short prayers are powerful prayers. If you say a one sentence prayer, as often as the Lord crosses your mind, a one sentence prayer when you're sitting at iHop eating a short stack, "Lord, I love you". If you're just saying that over and over and over again, what you'll notice is that you'll become aware of the Spirit around you. You'll become aware that the Lord is with you; you'll become stronger. If Satan himself is going to come torment you, let me just remind you of what Peter said in 1 Peter chapter 5, verse 10. It says this, that "God himself will restore you".

What's restore? You don't need to be restored if you haven't been broken down. He's saying, "I'm going to restore you. I'm gonna make you strong. I'm gonna make you firm and steadfast". My favorite part of that verse is when it says, "I myself am gonna do this". I'm not gonna send an angel when you need to be restored. I'm not gonna send an angel when you're broke down. I'm gonna do it myself. And then he goes on to say that "I will bless you". And this is the reward. The eyes of the Lord look back and forth throughout the earth looking for those who are faithful so that he can show his strength in their life. Do you receive this today? Come on. Does this encourage you?
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