This next time, wont be like the last time
“This Next time WON’T be like the Last time”
Situations and circumstances have made us all say the following phrases. Why should I do this again? It didn’t work the first time! All that time and energy I put into it and look how it turned out! I am not fooling with those folks anymore! I can do bad all by myself! I failed the first time; I’m scared to go down this road again. I have put in 35 resumes just this month and I still haven’t gotten a single call! I’m tired of being rejected!!
Different circumstances but similar results. The fact of the matter is we didn’t want to do again what failed before. Failure and hurt can have a crippling affect on life if we let it. It makes us afraid to go down familiar roads based of what happened before. It is normal to think back but we must not be held back! The book of Haggai is focused on rebuilding. They were rebuilding a temple for the Lord and because it didn’t meet their expectations compared to how the old temple some threw in the towel. They were frustrated, they were discouraged, they were disappointed and they didn’t want to try anymore. When the process of rebuilding didn’t go as planned and didn’t look like they thought it should look, many people left, many turned their backs, many said this was a waste of my time and determined never to come back. But there was a remnant! There were a select few that decided they would try again and keep going in spite of how things looked. Those who don’t let failure hold them down are a special breed. Most successful people have made it not because they had a great plan, but because they failed and decided to try again and during the second, third or fourth time, everything worked in their favor. For those in our text this morning they were nervous, but they were ready. And because they had a desire to try again God sent a prophet with a message for them and the message then was similar to the message he sent me to deliver today, and he says, this next time WON’T be like the last time! My question to you this morning is what were you building that didn’t exactly work out and because of the failure and disappointment and you are scared to try again? We build careers and sometimes get fired or laid off from those jobs, sometimes families and relationships end up broken and seem un-repairable, businesses fail before they even get started, friendships may not last long or ministries may have started out well but due to people, places or things, it just didn’t work. God is saying it’s ok that the failures happened, but it’s time to try again! It’s ok because I am here and l always have been. It’s ok because the people who are here now are the ones that I know will do the work. It’s ok and its time because I know I can trust you with the little and you will use it for my glory! It’s ok to be scared but it’s not ok to be stuck! Don’t let the past hinder the future based on an old situation or a person that probably has forgotten what even happened in the first place. It’s amazing how we get messed up focusing on the past, but the past situation that caused the failure is no longer an issue and the person who we blame for the failure has forgotten, moved on, and is living his or her life yet we are still holding on to something that died a long time ago. God says today is the day to shake off what has held you back, forget, forgive, and move forward! There comes a time when giving up and accepting failure is no longer an option. Success is not always in the ability of doing things well; Success is in the ability to do things again with a new outlook and new strength.
The focus for today is to accept these words which bring me to my first point; it’s time to try again. I know you may be saying why should I do that? Why should I subject myself to those feelings of hurt and failure again? Why, because its time! It’s time to stop making excuses. It’s time to take the energy you are expending saying why it won’t work and use that energy for planning and preparing for it to work! I know it’s hard to forget what happened and that’s ok. Remember the feeling but use it as motivation. If we allowed our feelings of disappointment and failure to fuel our lives nothing would ever get accomplished. You look at people like Oprah who was fired from her first tv job, RH Macy who has seven businesses that failed before successfully starting Macys, Bill Gates who dropped out of Harvard but is now a multi-billionaire and the list go on! These are people who didn’t allow one circumstances or series of circumstances to stop them from trying again and fulfilling the purpose that God had for their lives and some of these successful people don’t even acknowledge the power of Jesus in their lives so how much more should we who come to church week after week, posting scriptures on social media and saying we Love the Lord and will follow him all the days of our lives be willing to dust ourselves off and not allow a mistake or failure to hold us down or hold us back!
Sometimes we get so focused on what happened in our past instead of focusing on the opportunity of trying again and the blessing we are asking for is right in front of us, but we wind up tripping over it instead of seeing it and being able to pick it up and take ownership of it! The prophet in the text asked the people who of you remember what it looked like before and how do things look now? Things were good, but something happened along the way. It may not look as good as it once did, but you have another chance to do it again. God is saying I am with you to make it work. You may not be able to see it, but God sees it. He doesn’t want you to be afraid of what could happen, he wants you to be strong and be willing to make something new happen! Try again, don’t be afraid, take one last look back at what was and be confident that God is with you to make sure you don’t fall or fail. This brings me to my second point that God is in control. He knew that you would be at this point. There is a reason why you have been thinking about giving it another try more than you care to admit. The thoughts wake you up in the middle of the night. You are supposed to be working but the idea is heavy on your mind. You are driving and you keep driving past that building that would be perfect for your business. No matter what it is, you can’t shake the thought of what can be. God is waking you up so he can get the glory out of your ability to trust him. He is saying, I got this if you trust me, I have the situation under control, but you have to trust me. I will make it work, but you have to trust me. The text says that he will cause a shaking to take place and his glory will fill the temple.
There are times when I pick up a bottle or a carton I see these words on the side and its says Shake well before using. Now depending on what the product is I don’t always feel like shaking things up. I want to get right to what I am about to do because im not always patient, but I have to stop and think and say if I take the time to do what the bottle is saying maybe what is in here will be better if I just follow the instructions. There is obviously something down on the inside of this that needs to be mixed together for me to enjoy it in the way that the creator of the product expected it to be enjoyed. For some of us God has to shake us up and shake things up in our lives so that what’s down on the inside of us gets mixed together in the right way and for the right reason and when God shakes us he does it in a way that won’t cause confusion but it will create a perfect mixture for our situation and his plan. And sometimes his shaking is not only to get the best out of us but also to shake some people and things off that have been hanging on and holding us down! When God shakes us, that bad relationship with that lazy negro playing video games all day will have to fall, when God shakes us, that bad attitude and judgmental spirit will hit the ground. The bad spending habits and those things that keep us broke instead of living according to our Kingdom privilege will have to go! Everything belongs to God, so he will make the situation fit according to HIS plans. Whatever it is that has been stirring in your spirit, don’t be afraid to step out and try again. Things will fall into place once you are in right position and you endured the shaking process! There is a coming together of things in your life that he needs to do but you have to be willing to feel a little uneasy for awhile.
Everything isn’t going to feel good right off the back but after the dust settles, after you get your footing back, you will see that the foundation is secure and it’s time to build again. There will be a glory that shows that wasn’t there before. There will be a shine that everyone can see. He knows what he is doing and he is in full control, but he needs you to trust him and not lose control while things are being shaken! God is telling you not to be afraid, don’t be shy, don’t hold back, and don’t make excuses. Show up and let him do his job while you are doing your part. There is a level of work that we must do. We can’t just sit and wait. That is one thing I have never understood about people. We ask God to do it but then we just sit around and wait like the blessing is going to show up at the front door by UPS or FedEx. When we start the process of taking one step and showing God we are serious about what we are asking for then God takes two and by the time we catch up to his timeframe what we are looking for is sitting there waiting on us. We just had to take the first steps!
So after we have decided to trust God and allow him to do his job while we are doing ours, after we realized that He is in control of the situation and we were shaken but not broken, it’s now time for the presentation. We have been hidden for awhile; people were asking where we have been. They may not have been looking because they were concerned but looking because they were nosy. They saw the plans being put together and started to wonder. They kept checking your Facebook, and Instagram to see if any news was available so they could call sister and brother so and so and say guess what I heard about (fill in the blank). They found nothing and it’s been bothering them. But God makes his presentation when everything is ready to be shown. He will allow us to stay hidden until we are at the point he wants us at. Not only will everything be in the right place at the right time, everything will look better than we expected it to. This brings me to my third point that not only will it be better, but it will look better. In our text God says that the glory of the present house will far exceed the glory of the former. No matter what you are building, it’s time to present yourself! There was a TV show that I used to watch called the Biggest loser. If you have never seen the show its where people with extreme weight issues would come to make a change in their life. They would endure going thru daily workouts and a new, strict diet plan. The timeframe of the show was only about 8 weeks. When the people showed up on the first day they had a picture taken to show their current state but at the end of the show there was another picture taken to show how much progress has been made. On the last show they always showed the before and after photos and more often than not the before and after looked like a totally different person! Well child of God, take a look back at your before photo, you may not like how it looked before, but God is about to take your after photo and when that is shown it’s gonna blow everyone’s mind! So I’ve come to encourage you this morning and let you know that It’s time to show up, it’s time to get dressed and look the part of a better situation. You have been down long enough, it’s time to show up and show out. We have seen the rough times, we have been thru the crying times, we have fought through the embarrassment and depressing times, but when God says it’s time to show yourself, that’s when it’s ok to have some shine! You can walk a little bit taller, you can smile a little bit bigger, you can throw your shoulders back with your head held up high and say look at me, I made it, look what I’ve been through and not only am I still here but I’m better for the struggle. Yes I have some scars and yes the struggle is real but most times the struggle is necessary. You may have gotten evicted, but it pushed you into a house! Your car may have been repossessed and you had to ride the bus for a minute but because you didn’t let the situation break your spirit, you now have a brand new car fresh off the showroom floor!
You may have gotten fired or laid off but that time at home allowed you the time to write your business plan and now you are having your grand opening! Yes, you failed, yes it hurt, yes, you cried, yes, you were embarrassed, BUT, after you have suffered a little while, after everyone saw what you went thru. Now you will be the example of God’s glory, You will be the example of God’s blessings, You will be the example of going thru but coming out! I am not just preaching this to get a rise out of you I’m preaching based on experience. I have had a car repossessed, I have been evicted, I have been fired and laid off from jobs, I have had my electric and water cut off, but I can stand here and tell you that following Gods plan always pays off becauseI’m driving a better car than got taken, I’m living in a house instead of an apartment, I have a job that pays me better than the one I got fired from. When I tell you that when God says the glory of present will be better than former he means it. It may not feel good when we are going thru but the key is to go through and not get stuck! Keep walking, keep waking up, Keep giving God the Glory, keep praising in spite of what it looks like. Your praise should be contingent based on your struggle! The harder it is, the harder we praise, the more we go thru the more we shout, Greater the struggle, greater the blessing! Don’t allow the in between to derail what God is trying to do. I’m not saying we have to go thru a lot of struggle in order to receive God’s best, but the fact of the matter is, Life happens, Life can be hard, it’s not going to be roses every day, because even though a rose is beautiful to look It and it’s wonderful to smell, attached to the rose are some thorns and if you grab it the wrong way you are going to get stuck, it’s going to hurt in spite of the beauty of the rose!! But don’t let the pain of the thorn affect how you view the rose! It’s just part of it, and we must be careful how we handle it!
God is saying the way you are seen this time, the way I present you this time, will be better. You may have had some struggles, but this next time won’t be like the last time! Try again, get up and do it again, be ready because when it’s your time to be presented, God will get the glory. This really isn’t about you, it’s all about him! Praise him as you go thru, Give him the glory as the haters watch and say I didn’t think you would make it! Well I did make it and don’t I look good?? Don’t get stuck in the past; don’t be afraid to give it another try. No matter what it is, God will work out it so that what you went thru before will be used as a learning experience and not an obstacle! You had to go through it; It was necessary, Its ok that it happened, But Glory to God that it did happen, because just like the song says, we never would have made it without God, because we went through it, we are better, we are stronger, and we are wiser!! You are here this morning so I’m glad to tell you that you made it! 2018 is a few short hours away and we are about to walk into the new! 2017 was hard, it had some let downs and some setbacks BUT GOD!! He blessed us to still be here and now it’s up to us to make the most of it! Do what the word says, Follow Jesus, Love more, serve more, do more, make the change, God will make all things new! 2017 didn’t take us out, it might have knocked us down, but we got back up again! Today is your day to get up and be seen! God will get the glory because his glory is all that matters! It’s all about him; we are just the example of God’s hand and his provision! The next time is now! His word says it, I believe it and that settles it and if you believe it you can put your AMEN on it! Christian Church of Chester, This next time won’t be like the last time!