Make a FRESH START WITH GOD

It is not too late to start your life afresh with God by your side

Move! - - YOUR FAITH - By Zenoyise John

THE new year pro­vides us with a valu­able op­por­tu­nity for spir­i­tual re­newal. Many of us have made nu­mer­ous blun­ders and mis­takes in the pre­vi­ous year and also ex­pe­ri­enced set­backs and fail­ures. The great thing about walk­ing with God is that there is al­ways the op­por­tu­nity to start anew. In the Bi­ble, La­men­ta­tions 3:23 re­minds us that God's mer­cies are new ev­ery morn­ing, while 2 Corinthi­ans 5:17 tells us that God prom­ises a fresh start to any­one.

AN­OTHER CHANCE TO RIGHT YOUR WRONGS

Ac­cord­ing to Pas­tor Andile Buswana of God Reigns, a min­istry based in Cape Town, God is a God of new be­gin­nings.

“This is ev­i­denced by His di­vine char­ac­ter­is­tics dis­played in His cre­ation. God cre­ated the uni­verse such that there would be days, months and years. Ge­n­e­sis 1:14 reads, ‘And God said let there be light-bear­ers in the ex­panse of the heaven to sep­a­rate the day from the night and let them be for signs and for sea­sons and for days and for years’,” says Pas­tor Andile.

He says no mat­ter how dis­tressed and dev­as­tat­ing your life was last year, God will for­give, have mercy and avail His grace if you seek Him and re­pent from your sins.

“God has in essence given us ‘do-over’ cards. As we have sinned, made mis­takes and choices that we re­gret, we can, through hum­ble prayer, ask God for for­give­ness and re­ceive it through the atone­ment of our Lord and saviour Je­sus Christ. Isa­iah 43:18 in­structs us to for­get about where we have been or what hap­pened in the past,” he says.

NEVER TOO LATE TO START AFRESH

Pas­tor Julius Oluwa­jodu of House of Mercy Bi­ble Church in Rand­burg says some­times peo­ple wait for the per­fect con­di­tions be­fore start­ing anew with God.

He adds that these per­fect con­di­tions rarely hap­pen. And even if they do come, chances are peo­ple won’t take ad­van­tage of them any­way.

“There are no mag­i­cal for­mu­las, se­cret pass­words or elab­o­rate cer­e­monies for start­ing this new re­la­tion­ship. Many peo­ple mark the oc­ca­sion with a hum­ble prayer of faith to God. Prayer is just a re­flec­tion of what we be­lieve and feel in our hearts and the words don’t need to be elo­quent,” says Pas­tor Julius.

TIPS FOR MAK­ING A FRESH START

■ Look to God “Don’t rely on your own de­ter­mined re­solve to change and your own pos­i­tive think­ing. Con­nect with God in prayer daily and rely on the strength that He will give you to truly change for good,” ad­vises Pas­tor Julius.

■ Be hon­est with your­self Pas­tor Julius says it is im­por­tant to ad­mit what plea­sure you’re get­ting from your sin­ful habits. Con­fess it to God and ask Him to help you re­ally de­sire to make a fresh start.

■ Iden­tify pain Ask God to re­veal the core rea­son you’re strug­gling with the sin that is mak­ing you get stuck in life.

■ Deal with pride “What dreams have you been hop­ing would come true, yet have re­mained stuck in your mind and haven’t be­come re­al­ity? As you think about them, con­sider your mo­ti­va­tion for pur­su­ing them. Can you recog­nise pride at work? Is it pos­si­ble that some of your dreams are based on your de­sire to get peo­ple to notice and value you? Pray for the hu­mil­ity you need to sur­ren­der your own agenda and co­op­er­ate with God’s plans for your life,” says Pas­tor Julius.

■ Move on from guilt If guilt over wrong de­ci­sions is keep­ing you stuck, you can move on with God’s help. Con­fess your sins, mis­takes and fail­ures to God, re­pent from your sins, and ac­cept the for­give­ness that He of­fers you.

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