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Frankie Mazzapica - What Did The Dove See?

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    Frankie Mazzapica - What Did The Dove See?

Thank you for tuning in today. My name's Frankie Mazzapica. The title of today's message is, "What Did the Dove See"? What did the dove see? Let me just dive right into it. It's in Genesis chapter 8, verse 7; 7, 8, 9 and 10, I believe, we're gonna go over. In verse 7 it talks about how Noah was in an ark. He wasn't sure if the flood waters had receded, so he sent out a raven, but it didn't come back. And so, let's just dive right now into verse 8 where it reads like this.

"And Noah also released a dove to find out if the waters had receded and if there was any dry ground. But the dove could not find anywhere to land because the water still covered the earth. And so, the dove returned back to the boat. And so, Noah extended his hand back out of the window and drew the dove back inside. He waited seven days and then released the dove again. But this time the dove flew around and in the evening he came back with a fresh olive leaf. He brought it back in his beak. Then Noah knew that the floodwaters were receding and that they would be, the floodwaters would be gone very, very soon".

So, I got three major points. First, I'm gonna talk about the raven, then I'm gonna talk about the dove, and then I'm gonna talk about the olive branch. Now, when you think about the raven, you have to ask the question, why did he go from a raven to a dove? Because the raven blew it, that's why. He blew it. He didn't do his job. He was supposed to go out and come back with information on whether or not the flood was over. He never saw it again. He blew it. See, ravens are interesting because ravens will land on dead bodies floating on the water. They'll land on them and they'll peck away. I don't wanna be gross, but they will feed on carcasses. They will get so full on bad meat that good food is no longer appetizing because they're full on bad meat. They like dead things, things that's gonna cause them to drift from the ark or from safety. They just get full on it. And what we need to make sure is that we're not flying with ravens, right?

See, there's ravens that they have no desire for God at all and after a certain season of pulling them in that direction, if they continue to not only push back but to pull you back, if they're being more effective on pulling you away from the Lord, than you are pulling them towards the Lord, you need to go ahead and find someone else to hang out with. That was kind of good. Would you put your hands together for that? Is there anyone here that's, like, 13, 14, 15? I know we just dismissed the youth and everybody can leave. All right, a young man right in the back. Come on down here and just hurry and just run down here as quickly as you can. All the way up here. That's what I'm talking about. If I had hair, it would... if I had hair.

All right, let me show you an illustration that I used to use when I was a youth pastor. Come on over here. And, now, clearly, hold on a second. Clearly, I'm stronger than him. Now, I had to pick a kid because for most of you, I'm not stronger than... All right, come on over here and I want you to hold both of my hands. Oh, no, no. Stay down there. Hold both of my hands just like that. Go ahead. And what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna pull you up onto this bench, all right? But don't help me. Okay, here we go. One, two, three. I'm gonna try one more time. All right. All right, one, two, three. All right. It's your turn. I want you to try to pull me off of this bench. Give him a big round of applause. Come on. It is a lot easier for people to pull you down than it is for you to pull them up.

Now, Jesus would have dinner with sinners. He would have dinner with people who didn't believe in him. But you notice that he showed up for dinner and if they didn't accept them, then he had to move on. Sometimes we stay at dinner. We stay there. And again, I wanna say this, first of all, give him a big round of applause. Sometimes we stay here so long, pulling people up, that we're trying to get them to love the Lord, we're trying to get them to put their mind's attention, their heart's affection on, we're trying, but it's just not happening because it's too easy for the ungodly to pull them down. It's too easy for someone who's not pursuing the Lord to get someone who is pursuing the Lord to talk like them. It's too easy.

I have too many friends. They never cursed and then they hang out with people who do. Next thing you know, they do too. I have too many friends. They never got drunk and went to wild parties. Sure enough, as soon as they get around, they try to pull them up or they just feel too awkward to be different. Can I say this? You will never fulfill the assignment on your life if you want to blend in. You'll never do it. You can never help somebody live differently if you're not willing to live differently. It is the enemy's trap to try to get you to blend in. If he can get you to blend in, he can get you to be ineffective.

So let me ask you, is there anyone here that's been pulling up on a friend for too long? Another question, is there anyone here that you are this person? You are this girl, you are this guy. Let me just say this, God has a very specific call on your life. In John chapter 6, verse 33 it says that he is drawing you to himself. This is a Sunday morning. Everybody knows that this is a church day. Even people who don't believe in the Lord know that Sunday morning is a church day. All of the people on the earth have been drawn to the church, have been drawn into his presence, but the majority are not in church. You're in church. What does that mean? You are responding to the pull. You're responding to the pull. And what is he pulling you for? Why?

First of all, we have no idea what it's like to stand and experience the power of a God. Let's think about who we're talking about here. We're talking about God. We're not talking about a pal, we're not talking about a fun time, we're talking about a God and this God that breathes into you, in Job chapter 12, verse 10, it says, "The life of every living thing and the breath of every person is in the hand of God". And so, every time you breathe, the Lord gave you that breath. And what is his primary desire? Is for you to experience his presence in a way that you can hardly explain it. But then secondly, is to partner with you, to put words in your mouth and thoughts in your mind, desires in your heart, that affect the people around you. You can't change the entire world, but you can change your world.

Let's dive in now to the dove. So, the raven, he just... the raven's gone crazy. However, the dove, that's a completely different situation. There's something called a dovecote. Many of you guys have heard about it. It's when you release a dove and it's able to bring a letter to someone else. It's a dovecote. And you wonder, how does this dove know where to go? Well, the dovecote is where the dove's home is. It's where the family is. It's where the nest is. And so, when you take that dove and you bring it to some other location and then you tie a little letter, a letter on his leg and you release the dove, the dove looks around and then he goes back to his home. And so, when Noah released the dove, the dove just kind of looked around and he went back to where his home was and then he found out it wasn't there.

You see, the dove had a nostalgia that kicked in. A nostalgia is an affectionate longing for the past. Nostalgia is when you look at a season of your life and you long for it. But that can't happen. Nostalgia is lying to you. You can't call those people back up. You can't go back to that season. You can't go there. It won't be there. And so, the dove goes back, he comes back forth. Home wasn't there. But the thing about nostalgia is, it only reminds you of a slice of your life. It doesn't remind you of everything else in your life.

I remember playing basketball. I remember being in high school, but I also have to remember what else was going on. Nostalgia does not remind you of the other things that was happening. I look back at my first year of marriage. And I just think, oh my goodness. It was just Allie and I, we didn't have kids. Just kidding. And I look back and I was like, "We could do whatever we wanted to do. That was so great". But I forget the other things that was going on in my life. The place that I worked, there were people there who hated me and they talked bad about me and it was miserable and I'd come home and I'd cry to Allie. You see, nostalgia only reminds me of the slither of good that was going on. The dove goes back and says, "Okay, that season's gone. I need to go back to the nest".

Let's talk about, now, the olive branch. This is my favorite part of the whole sermon because the season was gone. The dove comes back with an olive branch. Now, the olive branch is a sign of peace. It's a sign of a new season. And so, it's coming back. It's got an olive branch in its beak. Noah takes in the dove and sees the olive branch and he knows exactly what that means. He takes it. It's a fresh... trees could not grow during the flood. They were eclipsing mountains. Now he's holding a leaf, a fresh leaf, and he's saying, "Okay. That horrible season that almost killed me, it's almost gone". When he held the olive branch, it was his promise, "This is almost done". It wasn't done. He was still in the ark and he was in the ark for some time after that.

The Bible says that the floodwaters were almost gone. You see, many of you in this room, you can tell in your heart that there is another season that God wants to bring you to. You know you're not gonna be in this season forever. You know this season has an expiration date on it and you know that there's something God is doing in you, but you don't know what it is and you don't know what it looks like. But you're not there yet. You just feel it, but you don't know what it looks like. But just like Noah, you say to yourself, "This season is almost gone". It's not done. I want to remind you of a few things a few times where you were stuck in the almost. Do you remember a few years ago, maybe 10 years ago, 20 years ago, when you were in a season that almost killed you?

I read somewhere that everyone experiences three seasons in their life that almost kill you. I'm at two and I got my fingers crossed. But, no, I think I'm at three. That it... pow, I just killed that rabbit. I'm not chasing it. Three seasons. Can you think back on the last one? That you are shocked you're here right now? You're shocked. You can't believe it. When you were in that season, you felt in your heart, this isn't gonna last forever, I hope. But what ended up happening is just like a gentle breeze that you can hardly notice. You got, you drifted out of that season by the finger of God.

Now, you're not in that last season, but many of us are in another season and we're waiting even still. I need to get out. You've done it before. Has God ever done it before for you? Come on, let me hear it. Has he ever done it before? I need to get out. I wanna tell you to trust the almost, it's almost gone. When the sun goes down in the night, you trust that it's gonna come back up, that God's not gonna blow it out like a candle. When it's summertime and the sun is beating on you and it's changing the pigment of your skin, you're getting darker.

You don't question whether or not cool air is coming to give you some relief. You don't question that. You know it's coming. When the winter time comes and it kills, it changes the color, turns our grass orange and kills it, turns into dirt. You don't doubt whether or not spring is coming and life is gonna come back in the trees and the flowers are gonna bloom again. You don't doubt that that season's gonna shift. I wanna tell you in Daniel chapter 2, verse 21 it says that God changes the seasons. He changes them and God's not talking about snow. That's obvious. What he's saying is, "I have the ability to look at the season that you're in and shift it and change it. That's what I can do".

This is gonna be a little bit too transparent, but I started losing the Italian-Brazilian curls on my head. I loved those curls. I would put, like, mousse, some of you don't know what that is, a big mountain of this mousse and I'd rub it together. I'd put it in my hair and then this way it was kind of long, so I'd go pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. And the way it landed, then I'd grab some hair net hairspray. Raise your hand, wave at me if you know what that is. I'd spray it. You gotta hold your breath, though, and then you have to step out of the cloud, right? Because if you stay in there, right? You have to step out of the cloud.

And I remember I was 19, 20, 21. All of a sudden, one curl at a time, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. Just boom, boom, boom, boom. I went into the worst depression that I can explain. If you've never fought depression, you have no idea what I'm talking about. I fight depression. This is a battle that I fight. Sometimes I'm winning, sometimes I'm losing. It's interesting though. I'm winning, meaning I'm coming out of it when I'm praying and when I'm not praying, I spiral down into it. But that was the first time that I experienced it and I was in the sanctuary and I was reading the Bible. I didn't even wanna read the Bible. You ever read it when you don't wanna read it? It's just like, you know.

And a lot of times I read a chapter, I get to the bottom, I'm like, I have no idea what I just read, so I just keep going. But I came down... sometimes you gotta make yourself do the right thing. Are you with me? Say yes. You gotta make yourself, like, I gotta, like... Allie bakes a cake with cream cheese icing and she's like, "Before you have that, you have to have broccoli". And I'm like... "You gotta make yourself". Sorry. Anyway, I'm reading, you can tell what was in my notes and what wasn't, can you.

Proverbs 3:26 the Bible says, "And I will be your confidence," and I lost it. I started bawling because I could not imagine how all of a sudden my confidence in myself was completely gone and now God's gonna be my confidence. Like, how in the world can that even happen? If you've ever looked in the mirror and not liked what you see, listen up. Now, if you look in the mirror and you're like... This isn't for you, okay? If you're looking in and making faces, this isn't for you. Maybe one day, but today is not. How in the world can a person all of a sudden start having confidence in the Lord that supersedes the confidence that you once had? How does that happen? I started crying. I got mad at the Lord. I was almost out of the season of depression and being confident in God that gave me higher confidence. I just, I knew I was in the almost, I just didn't know how I was gonna get there.

So, I just cried and prayed. Let me tell you this. When you pray, you believe that there's a season coming. When you don't pray, you doubt that a season's coming. The more you pray, the more real it gets. The less you pray, the less you believe it. Come on. You gotta pray all the time. When you're in the car, you're praying. When you're walking down the hall, you're praying. Sometimes it's out loud. Sometimes it's in your head. Sometimes it's repetitive. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you. It doesn't matter. Just pray. My relationship with the Lord got so close that I know I have something to offer people that's invaluable. It's in here. But what's in here comes out.
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