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Frankie Mazzapica - If I Were The Devil

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    Frankie Mazzapica - If I Were The Devil

Thank you for tuning in today. My name is Frankie Mazzapica. The title of today's message is, "If I were the Devil". You see, if I were the devil, I would try to spread darkness throughout this world and I would want the darkness to be so overwhelming that people wouldn't even know that they're living in darkness. That's what I would do if I were the devil. If I were the devil, I would start a whisper campaign and it would be covert. This is how I would do it. I would whisper with the wisdom of a serpent just like I whispered to Eve, I would whisper to you. And I would tell you, "You can do whatever you want to do". Either I would tell you God doesn't exist or I would tell you it doesn't matter how you live.

God loves you, everything's fine. That's what I would do if I were the devil. If I were the devil, I would tell you that what is really right is wrong and what is really wrong is right. If I were the devil, I would tell you that what is black, what is sinful, what is black is white; and what is white, what is holy, is actually sinful. If I were the devil, I would tell you that what is bitter is sweet and what is sweet is bitter. If I were the devil, I would make media, the sin threaded through media, so attractive that people would go down a rabbit hole and be amused and entertained by sin because I would know, if I was the devil, that if I can't get you to sin, I'll get you to be entertained by sin. If I were the devil, I would cause everyone to believe that they are right in their own eyes.

That's what I would do if I were the devil. If I were the devil, I would look at what is holy and I would say that I... it is okay if I have selective holiness. I'll be holy in this area, but I won't be holy in that area because I just think that God will forgive me anyway. It doesn't really matter. That's what I would do if I were the devil. If I were the devil, I would convince us that we do not need to set ourself apart from the rest of the world. I wouldn't, that's what I would do. I would say, you know, "It's okay to talk like everyone else. It's okay to dress like everyone else. It's okay to use the same vernacular, to watch the same movies, and listen to the same music, that the lyrics don't matter. It's all fine".

That's what I would do if I were the devil. That's what I would do. I would convince everyone that you do not want to stick out because you will make people who are not Christians uncomfortable, so, therefore, blend in. That's what I would do if I were the devil. I would convince everyone that you can really make a difference even if you act like them. You don't have to be different in order to introduce the Lord to their life. That's just what I would do if I were the devil, I would just keep doing what he's doing. That's what I would do if I were the devil. But let me tell you what the Lord did. In 1 John chapter 3, verse 8 it says this, that, "The Son of God presented himself," he came out of heaven, he put on flesh, the most humiliating thing that a divine creator could do, put on flesh, walked among us, "for the sole purpose of destroying the work of the devil".

I love you. Put your hands together if you love him. I love you. But then the Lord does, he takes it a step further and he says this, "I know what the devil's doing, but let me tell you what I'm doing. I've showed up to destroy it and I'm not gonna do it together because you're my Son; this is a family business and you and I are gonna do this together". In 1 Corinthians chapter 1, verses 8 and 9, the Lord says this, "I will keep you strong into the end," to those of us who are like, "God, I don't think I can do it. I'm gonna trip and fall and just burn in hell". "I'm gonna keep you strong into the end. Don't worry about it. You know, you don't have to rely on your own strength, just keep your eyes on me and your heart's affection towards me. I'm gonna keep you strong into the end".

So that when the Lord shows up in a twinkling of an eye, I used to be preached that when I was a kid, nobody preaches it anymore, in a blink, in a blink. You're in the earth and then you're looking at him. Just a blink. And that blink can happen any time. Did anybody get...? A blink. A blink. We ought to live our life knowing that the next blink. That's how we should live our life. That's why the Bible says, "In a twinkling of an eye". Anyway. Different sermon. Pow. Shot that rabbit. Well, I ain't going after that one. He says, "I will do this. I will keep you strong into the end because I had", this is the God the Father speaking, "I have called you by name. I've called you to be in partnership with my Son Jesus".

You put that together with 1 John chapter 3, verse 8, "I have called you to be in partnership with Jesus to overtake the devil's plans and his darkness. I have shaped you, formed you, put the countenance on you, put the tone in your voice, the look in your eyes. When you walk into a room, you pierce the darkness with the Spirit that I put in you". That was good. I don't know if I got anything better so y'all can leave. See y'all next Sunday. But you have to back up and you say, "Okay. All right. All right". You know, there's been multiple times where I backed up and I said, "I don't know how to do that. I don't know how to partner with you". Well, we cannot partner, our heart will be seared, our spirit will be cold, the things of God will bore us so much, unless, once we have asked the Lord into our heart that the Holy Spirit literally comes upon us and changes who we are. The Bible says in Acts chapter 1, verse 8 that, "When the Spirit of the Lord comes upon you, you will receive power".

Now, the Holy Spirit is a very interesting thing. A lot of people look at the Holy Spirit like a beautiful pillow on your bed or a pillow on your couch. You want that pillow there because it looks good. It's nice. It kinda jazzes things up a little bit, but you don't actually use the pillow, that pillow is for looks. If I come to your house and I lay it on the pillow, you're gonna let me do it because I'm a guest, but everything in you is like, "You're not supposed to be laying on that". You got a little towel... not a towel, a blanket, folding over the part of your bed and little pillows on your bed. You got a little blanket folding over your couch for decor. If I come over and I pick up the blanket and I, you know, and I lay down, "Don't say anything. Don't say anything. He's a guest. He's a guest".

People look at the Holy Spirit and they're glad he's here, but it's just like, you know, "I'm not gonna really participate in that. What's working for me is fine". It's kind of like, I heard this guy, his mother is, like, I don't know, she's like 100 years old or something like that, but he got her a toaster oven because she's never had a toaster oven. She took the toaster oven, she put it on the top of the refrigerator, and so he was like, "Ma, are you gonna use the toaster oven? I mean, come on". And she said this, "I don't need the toaster oven. The way I've been doing it my whole life is just fine. I'm gonna keep on doing it". And see, therein lies the problem, right there. Is we end up living our life, everything's going just fine. And the Holy Spirit is saying... Are you with me?

I got three major points this morning. I'm gonna talk about if I were the devil, I would teach everyone how to grieve the Holy Spirit. Number two, I would teach everyone how to quench the Holy Spirit. And then, number three is I would become laser focused on causing people to not have the desire to fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Let's dive into point number one, to grieve the Holy Spirit. Now, let me just share a few verses just to jump into this point. To grieve the Holy Spirit, Ephesians chapter 4, verse 9, I want you to pay careful attention to how often I'm gonna talk about words. Ephesians 4:29, verse 29, 30, and 31. Here we go. It says this... what does it say? Yeah, hold on. Don't tell me. "Do not", thank you. "Do not let any unwholesome word, do not let any insults, any cursing, any", I'll get to the list in a minute.

"Don't let it come out of your mouth". The only thing that should come out of your mouth is what gives grace to the person that's listening. They feel bigger, they feel stronger, they feel encouraged, don't let, and then the very next verse says, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit". I'll get into that word in a minute. Then it goes right back to words. In verse 31 it says, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, harsh words, anger, slander, and gossip". Watch this, this is the kicker, "And all other types of evil". You hear that? Now, right in the middle, verse 4:29 it says, "Only say what gives grace to the hearer," and then right smack in the middle before the list of what's evil, right in the middle, it says this, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit". So, clearly, harsh words have a direct influence on whether or not you are grieving the Holy Spirit. It's the words.

Now, let me illustrate grieving just for a minute so that we're all defining the word the same way. Valentine's was a few weeks ago and I took my wife out to a nice restaurant and because it was Valentine's, they got, like, flowers in the middle of the table and all that kind of stuff. So, I'm sitting there, we're having just a wonderful time, and then, like only I can do, I mess the whole... I say something stupid. You can put all your chips on me doing something like that. I say something stupid, and thank God I can't remember what it was, but it was so stupid. But then, what was interesting is that Allie didn't tell me that... all the men are laughing already. Allie didn't tell me that what I said was stupid. She didn't tell me that what I said bothered her. She didn't tell me that. But, God knows, I immediately knew it. Not because I'm brilliant. No, no, no. The entire atmosphere. The entire atmosphere had changed. I could feel it. I had grieved her spirit. She was hurt. I grieved her. And then I spent quite a bit of time talking to her about how stupid of a comment that I made.

And thank God, I got a wonderful wife that didn't make me pay throughout the entire thing. Thank God for that. But, anyway, that's grieving. You say something. It's bitterness, rage, harsh words, anger, it's gossip and slander. I had to ask God to forgive me, like, four days ago. I'm like, "God, I would not have said what I said about that person if they were standing next to me. I'm sorry". Why did I say that? Because I knew the words were grieving him. Now, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, I used to drill that into my kids' head, they'll never forget it. They'll forget my name before they forget that verse. "Never stop praying". Now, watch this. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17... 19, verse 19 it says this, "And do not quench the Holy Spirit".

We don't wanna grieve the Holy Spirit because now there's this intimacy gap. And so, our partnership with the Holy Spirit, to live our life in a certain way where we are conquering what the enemy is doing. And let me just give a very practical way for conquering what the devil does. Is you live your life giving to others what you wish someone would have given to you. If you attend this church, get you some, I'm gonna say it about 14,000 times before December 31. Because, if you wish people would encourage you more, then encourage others more, and what you'll realize is that the Lord is flowing through you and you are partnering with God to cause hard hearts to become soft. If you wish there were people in your life that would sit down and just say, "How you doing"? "Will somebody please just ask me how I'm doing"? If you wish, that's what you give.

Now, here's the thing. You can encourage people, you can spend time with people, you can bring gifts to people, and nothing powerful happens. You're just living your life, but it's not piercing the darkness that the enemy is trying to be over them and inflict, it's not unless, Acts chapter 1, verse 6 is active, where the Holy Spirit is upon you. But if I were the devil, I would teach you how to quench the Spirit so that he is not flowing through you at all. And how do we do that? 1 Thessalonians 5:17, "Never stop praying". The next verse says, "And don't quench the Holy Spirit".

Just as our words have a direct effect on... what's the word I'm looking for? Grieving. Thank you. Just as our words have a direct effect on grieving the Holy Spirit, so does our lack of prayer have a direct effect on whether or not the Spirit of the Lord is quenched or not. Our prayer, whether we're praying or not, determines whether or not the Spirit of the Lord is flowing through you or you're just living your life. No prayer, no power. No prayer, no relationship with the Holy Spirit. I'll say this. If you're not praying, you don't have a relationship with God. Just so you know. If you believe in him, it doesn't really mean a whole lot. The devil believes in him. If you're not praying, you have no relationship with God. You just don't. I'm sorry... no, I'm not sorry. Somebody's gotta say it. Somebody has to say it. Somebody has to say it.

Now, let me illustrate quenching. Here's a garden hose. Now, all of us have used a garden hose and you're trying, you sit there and you spray whatever you're trying to spray, flowers or whatever. And then, you're done watering flowers and now you want to go back and coil up the hose like you're done. Now, how do you get from here to there without getting wet, right? What do you do? You quench the hose. You're ahead of me now, aren't you? The moment you quench it, no water is flowing through it. The water is still there, but you've decided, "I don't want any water manifesting in my life. I don't wanna see it". You decided. You unquench it, there it is. You decided when it was quenched, you decided when it was unquenched. You decide when the power of God is flowing through you when you're giving people what you wish you had, and you decide whether or not you're just being nice.

There's a difference between just being nice and being powerful. There's a big difference there. And that one difference determines whether or not you are partnering with God to pierce darkness or whether or not you're just living your life, not partnering. Again, prayer determines whether or not it's quenched or unquenched. Watching the way we talk determines whether or not he's grieved or not grieved. Let me go into the fellowship with the Holy Spirit because if I were the devil, I would try to make sure that nobody knew how to fellowship. If I were the Holy Spirit, I would... if I were the devil, I would make sure that nobody did fellowship. I would teach you how to grieve by having no... what's that thing called? Yeah, bit bit, rain, rain, rain. I would, just bear with me. We're almost done. I would teach you on how not to rain your words, how not to filter your words, on treating people the way you believe they deserve to be treated, but you thank God and you pray that nobody treats you the way you deserve to be treated it.

That's what I would do if I were the devil. I would teach you how to quench the Holy Spirit by not praying. And then I would try to convince you that fellowship with the Holy Spirit just doesn't exist. There's no interaction, there's no relationship there. There's no way that, all of a sudden, you can become aware of his presence around you and have this split second of knowing he's there and knowing that he's close. That's what fellowship is. I went to Colorado, I went skiing years ago, and it was interesting because when you're on a mountain, you can kind of look down at cabins and homes. And I remember looking down on a home and there was a roof that was covered with snow. But then right next to it was a roof that had no snow on it, all the snow had melted. And now, you know why that happened. Because on the roof that was covered with snow, there was nobody in there. It remained cold. It was cold. Nobody was in there. Turn on the lights, turn on... nobody was in there. But right next to it, there was somebody in there who turned the heat on. And the heat in the home affected what was outside of the home. The fire of God within you determines how effective the fire of God is around you.

Let me give you a final illustration. I got a... when my daughter was, like, five years old... not five, maybe she was, like, eight years old. Anyway, she was in the second grade, however old that is, and my wife was out of town and I looked down at my cell phone. I was in the middle of meetings like crazy. I had to pick her up that day. I looked down at my cellphone and I see her school calling and I knew instantly why they were calling. I went into a complete panic because it was 3:30 and I'm sitting in a meeting. And I know they... so, I pick up the phone and they said, "Are you gonna come get your daughter"?

My heart just broke. I saw her little curly hair and her backpack that was half the size of her body. I got into the car and if a cop were to try to have, you know, pulled me over, he had no chance. I was like a bullet train. I pulled into the school parking lot. I threw it in park. I ran around the car. She was the only one there. She was just sitting there by herself with a teacher. It took me 45 minutes to get there. I ran around the car. I got on my knees and I grabbed her and I said, "Presley, are you okay? I am so, so sorry". Why was I sorry? I love her so much that I didn't want to grieve her, break her heart. And she looked at me and she says, "Daddy, it's okay. I was having a ball. I was having so much fun with the teacher". I just want to tell you: it's okay. It's okay. He loves you. Would you stand up on your feet and give the Lord a standing ovation? Come on, give it to him. He deserves it. Give him what he deserves. Lord, we love you. We love you, Jesus.
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