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Frankie Mazzapica - You Are Winning

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    Frankie Mazzapica - You Are Winning

Thank you for tuning in today. My name is Frankie Mazzapica. The title of the message is "You Are Winning". You Are Winning. So, let me just dive right into it, laying the scriptural foundation for the message. It's in 2 Corinthians chapter 7 verse 5, and it reads like this. "When we first entered into Macedonia". Now, this is the Apostle Paul, and he has a ministry team around him. It's not a very big team, probably less than five people around him, and he writes, "When we first came to Macedonia". He was going to visit one of the churches in Corinth. "When we first came to Macedonia we found no rest for us. There was conflict from every direction". Listen to this. "There were battles on the outside and fear on the inside".

Now, I want to talk to those in this room, just for a moment before I begin to unpack my major points. It is so difficult to take that initial step of faith. The initial step of faith is saying, okay, I acknowledge Jesus as my Lord and Savior. When it's your Lord, you are saying I am here to serve you. My whole life is to serve you. That's what you mean when you say you are my Lord. Many of you are very familiar with Romans chapter 10 verse 9 where it says this. "If you believe that God raised Jesus from the dead," if you believe it and you confess with your mouth, you don't think it, you say it, "You confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you will be saved".

You're saying I acknowledge you as Lord. Do you know that Satan and every single demon in hell believes in Jesus? The only difference is that he is not their Lord. And when Jesus is your Lord, you are saying and acknowledging I'm not perfect, you know I'm not perfect, but it will be my goal in life, it will be the reason why I live, to honor you. Honor you in my words, honor you in what I look at, honor you in what I do, and when I make a mistake, I thank you for his mercy. Do you know the difference between mercy and grace? Mercy forgives you, grace is to empower you to be able to overcome those things that cause you to trip and cause you to have an Achilles heel. And so, you say I thank you for your mercy, and I thank you for your grace.

And so, that is the initial step, and that's the most challenging step, but the second step is almost as challenging as the first step. Where you begin to say I am all in with faith. All in means when I'm confused, I'm not going to retreat. When I'm discouraged, I'm not going to retreat. See, confusion steps in when God doesn't do something you want him to do. Discouragement sets in when you feel like the things that you're hoping for will never take place, and so you back up and you say, whether I'm confused, or whether I'm discouraged, I will set my face like flint, and I choose to not quit. Do you receive that? And so, as Paul steps in and he makes this proclamation, "When we came to Macedonia, we found no rest".

Now, one of the things I enjoy doing is I enjoy being on a boat. I don't know why, I just do. I like to be surrounded by water. Well, my wife, on a vacation, set up a boat to take us into the sea, and I said, "Let's go for it". We got out into the sea, and as far as I could see, I saw no land. And so, this was the first time I had ever been on a boat where I couldn't see the land, and I didn't know that this was going to happen to me. I started feeling sick, I started feeling anxious, I just wanted to go home, and so I thought to myself, I was only 30 minutes into this experience, and so I looked at this guy who was guiding the boat, and I said, "Hey, how are you"? Big smile, total lie, "Hey, how are you"? And he goes, "I'm good, I'm good, how are you"?

And he's turning the boat around, and I said, "I'm having a great time," lie number two. I said, "How long is this trip"? You see my face? Lie number three. And he goes, "Oh, it's only four hours". I'd been on the boat for just a little while, and I said, "Four hours"? The first time I said the truth, and I said, "You gotta be kidding me". I'm already sick, I'm already nervous, I'm like, I'm not gonna make it. And I told him, I said, "Can I lay down somewhere? I'm not feeling good". Now I start telling the truth, and he goes, "Are you sick"? And I said yes. Now I'm all about telling the truth. Offending him meant nothing to me. And he goes, "Just stare at that mountain over there," and so he goes, "And you'll be all right".

And so, I'm thinking to myself, I just lied to you four times, you're probably lying to me. And so I'm desperate, so I thought, okay, I'm just going to stare at that mountain, and so I'm staring at the mountain, and I'm not looking around, I'm locked in on that mountain. And as I stared at that mountain, it was a miracle. All of a sudden, my sickness went away, my equilibrium started balancing out, my anxiety went away. Someone came up to me and said, "Do you want to drink"? And I was like, "Yeah, just put it in my hand, I'm not looking away from that mountain. Just put it in my hand. Just, here, just put it in my hand. I'm not looking away from that mountain". And it dawned on me that if I can look at something stable, if I can see some type of stability out there in the midst of all the waves, then I'm okay. And when all of a sudden he said, "When we came to Macedonia, we found no rest," well, he had already not experienced rest because he was on a boat.

Now, Paul, he arrived at Macedonia tired, but he knew where his strength came from. He knew where his strength came from. And so, this is how he handled the storm. But then he goes on to say in the very same verse that they faced conflict from every direction. So, not only are they taking this massive step of faith to do what God has called them to do, to serve him for his entire life, to find stability while they're in a storm arriving, and why do I say arriving in a storm? Because it's not like they had Ford F150s back then. Everywhere they went was in a boat on an ocean. So, he arrived tired, but when you arrive tired, and you know where your stability is, you can handle it. But then once you're really all the way in with God, and you've totally committed yourself, whether confusion or discouragement comes, he says this, "We faced conflict from every direction".

And where does this conflict come from? One-hundred percent of the time it's coming from people. He's facing conflict, and sometimes the conflict is from people who are open about hating you. They're just talking about you. They are open, "I do not like you". And then there's others who say, "I do like you," but they don't act like they like you, and I think that that is as equally as painful. Because here they are as a friend, I don't know about you, I can almost handle the conflict if it were from an enemy, but when it comes from a friend, that is almost unbearable. And the question is, can you pray during conflict? Every child of God has to learn how to pray during conflict.

The Bible says this when dealing with people who feel like they're shooting arrows at you with their words. The Bible says this in Luke chapter 6 verse 28. It says, "Bless those who curse you and pray for those who have hurt you". Now, there's certain Scriptures that are easier to embrace than others. Romans 10:9, we can embrace that one. If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, you're safe. You're like, "I like that verse, I'm gonna highlight that one". But then when it goes back and it says, and let me use my own vernacular and kind of tie the two verses together, when there is conflict from every direction, when you feel like you're surrounded by those who just seem to be antagonizing you, it's never ten people, it's usually one person that's saying things from every single direction.

There's a multiple of things that they have a problem with you about. Sometimes it's coming from this direction right in the face, and then other times it's coming from this direction, it's a stab in the back, and you have to wonder how am I supposed to deal with these people who are supposed to be on my side? And you back up, and you come before the Lord, and you say if I have any chance of winning, if I have any chance of winning this battle dealing with this person, Lord, you're gonna have to give me some grace. And the Bible says that as we continue to bless this person, and I've had people in my life that I'm like, if you don't like me, I don't like you, let's keep going. You stay on your side of the tracks, I'll stay on my side of the tracks. You don't look at me, I don't look at you. You don't talk to me, I don't talk to you.

In the hallway, we do not look at each other, we're all happy. In order to win, we gotta back up in the secrecy with our Lord and say I'm surrounded with conflict everywhere I look. And you know what? I'm already tired. If I have any chance of winning, Lord, you've got to rescue me. And I'm gonna provoke you to rescue me by saying with my mouth what my emotions are fighting against. "Bless them, bless them," and this is after he's cursed you. Oh, my goodness, can you just not curse me and stay away from me. After they've cursed you, you back up and you say, God, you get behind closed doors, and you say if I'm gonna win, I'm only gonna win with you. I want to tell you this morning, absolutely, I want to tell you this morning that regardless of how you feel right now, you are winning.

You are winning, and how do I know that? How do I know that? Because you're listening to the Word of God right now, and you had other options. You have other options, but you have chosen to put your mind's attention, your heart's affection, on God, now you are winning. Sometimes just surviving is winning. Sometimes staying quiet is winning. Sometimes just raising your eyes to the Lord in the midst of conflict is winning, and you're winning this morning. Many of us are tired in this room. Many of us are surrounded with conflict in this room, but you're still in this room. Many of you are watching right now, you're surrounded with conflict, you're tired, but you're still watching, you're winning.

Come on, put your hands together for that, you're winning. The last and final point that I want to talk about, and let me just kind of go over the Scripture again, "When we first came to Macedonia, we found no rest. There was conflict from every single direction. There were battles on the outside". Now, watch this, this is the big one. "There was fear on the inside". To win while you are full of anxiety. See, now the fear on the inside is something no one else knows about. If you're single in this room, you may think to yourself, "If I were married, at least I would have someone to talk to".

Let me just say to you in this room that there are certain insecurities and fears that not even your spouse knows about. It's not that you're trying to hide it from him or hide it from her, it's just so deep it's hard to even talk about. I have a book coming out, it will be my second book. I got a book coming out next year, and I asked this particular person who I have revered and honored for almost two decades now, and I was so nervous that he was gonna say no because I honor him so much. And so, I asked him, and I gave him the first chapter, and I gave him a summary of each chapter, and he came back to me, and he says, "I want to write the forward". Now, unbeknownst to him, because he sent the message to me, unbeknownst him, I went, "Oh, my goodness, he loves me back".

Have you ever wondered that? I love you, but do you love me? He loves me back. So, he sends me the forward. I haven't even finished chapter two yet, I got the forward. He sends me the forward. Do you know he sent me the forward two weeks ago and I still haven't opened it to read it? I know, you're like, what's your problem? Alright, now I'm gonna be incredibly transparent, you ready for this? I'm not ready for this. There's certain levels of transparency you're okay with, right? And then there's other levels that's just like, okay, this might hurt a little. This is one of them. I have confidence in anything I'm about to do. Coming up here to speak, I have confidence.

Walking into a room, I have confidence. Whatever action required, 99.5% of the time, I have confidence. However, when I think about who I am, I don't believe any good thing. If someone writes me a Christmas card, their name on the front of the envelope, Frankie, I'm like, thank you for thinking about me, it means a lot, but I hardly ever read it. Now, for those who gave me a Christmas card, I'm really sorry, but I did appreciate the moment by reading, and I was like, oh, you thought about me? That's so cool.

You say why don't you read the Christmas card? Why don't you read the forward? It is so hard for me to read birthday cards from my own wife. The truth is, and she knows this, she figured it out, because I'm not a very fast reader. In fact, I'm a very slow reader. As I would take her card, if there's more than, like, nine sentences, I just nod. I'm like, oh, oh, I'm not reading a word. She knows I'm not reading a word because I finish it fast. She's like, "Frankie, you don't read that fast". I'm like, "I know, I love you, too". I can't read nice things. Now, after this message, if you come up to me and you're like, "You know what? That message really blessed me, you know what I'm saying"? I'm gonna say, "Great".

If you come up to me and say, "You're my favorite preacher," I'm gonna go, "Great". If you say, "You're the worst preacher," same thing, "Great". I don't believe I'm the worst preacher, but I definitely don't believe that I'm a really good preacher. Actually, that's something I do, so I have a little bit more confidence, but I don't have confidence in who I am, and so that's why I didn't read the forward, that's why I can't read Christmas cards, that's why I can't read birthday cards. I just don't believe in who I am, and so it resonates, it resonates with me that I have battles on the outside just like you. I'm anointed to preach this, but I gotta live it just like everybody else. But the fear on the inside is really I don't believe in who I am.

So, I had a birthday recently, and I was just thanking the Lord, thank you for my family, thank you for my life, and I felt the Lord speak to me, and he said every time you don't accept the compliment because you don't believe that it's true, you are insulting my work, because I'm the one who made you. I made you. I formed you in your mother's womb. I arranged for every single circumstance that has made you today, every single season, every single word, every single day of your life was carefully arranged, so that you would be who you are today.

And when you think to yourself that you're not anything good, that's the enemy talking to you. Immediately, I just said, oh, Lord, I'm so sorry. And now I know that my comeback is every time I think of that, I know it's the devil speaking to me, and I fight by saying immediately, Lord, I love you. I thank you for making me. Now, in full transparency, I would love to look at you and say the minute he said that to me, I've been good ever since. No, sometimes a miracle is in a moment, and sometimes you gotta walk it out. And many of you are walking it out right now. Whether you realize it or not, you're winning. Do you receive that? Come on, you're winning.
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