9 August -S.T.A.R.T

I was thinking today about the power of starting something new. Whether it’s a new job, career, field of study, making new friends, beginning again after a setback, going to a new school, going to a new place or even just starting a new fitness or eating plan.

There is always an element of excitement at starting a new thing, and usually there is a wave of enthusiasm to go with it at the beginning. Most of us probably dream about starting afresh, or doing something different, but what are the ingredients needed to take us from merely thinking about something, to doing it!

How do we actually start a new thing? And how especially do we begin when we may have had failures or disappointments previously.

The S.T.A.R.T. acronym is a helpful tool to assist when we may be feeling stuck on how to begin.

S. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility. Stop coming up with excuses for not moving forward, and make the decision to leave the past behind and begin.

T. Take an inventory of your life. Evaluate and look at what you have. If you feel you’ve had a set back or a “failure” what do you have left to work with?

What have you learnt from past experiences, your life experience? Take an inventory and evaluate what you have learnt, otherwise you will keep repeating past mistakes.

What are your assets – What have you got to make a fresh start with? Your health, friends, spiritual support, a skill, knowledge, energy, ideas etc. Count your blessings, and realise you have something to go forward with.

Who can help you make a fresh start? We need somebody on our side; a friend, accountability partner, support person/group. Find someone who can help.

It not usually wise to start over after a major setback or even a disappointment by yourself. We need someone walking beside us – Jesus offers to be that someone, and He often brings others around us who will be happy to walk the journey with us too.

 A. Act in faith – launch out into new territory. A change in our circumstances, and doing something new takes faith.

What are you expecting?What are you putting your faith to work on? Often we can set ourselves up for failure by focusing on past failures, or disappointments. Whatever we focus on we tend to reproduce in our life. Focus on God’s plans for your life and that He has new things for you to do.

Success is more often than not founded on some setbacks or disappointments. We figure out what doesn’t work and learn from it. Thomas Edison figured out after about the 200th attempt at trying what would make a light bulb work. But first he discovered 199 ways it didn’t work.

R. Refocus – If we want to make a fresh start or begin something new we may need to rethink the way we think about things. That possibly means having to change our mindsets on issues or altering our opinions.

Be careful how you think – “Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life”(Proverbs 4:23)

Our life is shaped by what ‘s in our heart and our thoughts. Those things determine how we act.

If we want to change and do new things we will first have to change the way we think, and ultimately act.

For example if we want to eat healthier, we have to first change our relationship with food. We have to decide to think differently about what is okay for us to eat everyday and what is not helpful or healthy. Unless we change the way we see unhealthy food, and what it is doing to our body we won’t be motivated to change.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Stop thinking old patterns – which memories am you going over and over? Which mindsets and thought patterns do you have that are preventing you from doing this new thing, and need to go? (Romans 12:2)

The Bible says to let go of those things – forget the former things

a) Confess any sin in past – then replace that memory/habit.

b) Stop focussing on what you don’t want to focus on. Shift your attention onto something new, something positive.

“Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord” (Psalm 1:1)

c) Mediate on God’s word

Meditate means rehearsing God’s word in our mind. Think about it over and over. When we fill our mind with His words it will transform us, by revealing who we really are, and how God sees us. This removes toxic ways of thinking, and limiting habits.

We start to see ourselves as God sees us, and change starts to take place. Then the power to start something new is birthed in us.

T. Trust God

Trust God to help you succeed. We depend on Him, and not ourselves.

Beginning something new, or trying something again is not about trying harder. When we know God He helps us and the blessing is that it is no longer about us trying harder, but simply living smarter, and giving God control of our lives.

Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6)

God specialises in the new; in new life, new beginnings, new energy, new seasons, new and renewed hope and vision.

Jesus has the power to do that. He says “I don’t want you to turn over a new leaf, I want to give you a whole new life.

In that new life He offers so much (Ephesians 3:20). The question is will you S.T.A.R.T today!

Prayer: Jesus please help me to see where I may have gotten myself in a rut, where nothing seems new or exciting anymore. Show me where you want to release the fresh and new in my life, and help me to take the steps to begin. In Jesus Name Amen.

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