Here are 3 signs God is calling you to start fresh in a certain area of your life.
1. If Guilt Has Been Hindering You from Moving Forward and Thriving in Life, God Wants You to Embrace a Fresh Start with Him
I want to be careful when using the phrase “fresh start” because as Christians we must always remember that our righteousness in God’s sight is based on Jesus Christ alone and not on our own works.
One reason humans crave a fresh start is because we want the chance to do things right on our own. We want a clean slate so we can have a chance of keeping our slates clean through our own lack of sin. But this is not the Christian way. For as Philippians 3:8-9 teaches us:
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith . . .”
So the first step of embracing your fresh start with God is by fully embracing the truth that no matter what has happened in your life, no matter what sins you have committed, you are still righteous before God if you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ because your righteousness is now based on Christ and not your own actions.
With that said, even when we know these truths intellectually, our experiences can feel very different. As Christians, even though we are fully righteous in Christ because he has justified us, we can still be burdened with shame and guilt because of past mistakes. God does not want this for us.
So if you have committed a sin that you keep thinking about and is holding you back from living the life you know God wants you to live, it’s time to let that go. It’s time to embrace God’s grace. If you’ve confessed it and repented, it’s over (2 Corinthians 5:17). God’s grace truly is enough, for as Romans 5:20-21 proclaims:
Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
God’s grace is greater than our guilt. Lay it down. God has forgiven you if you confessed it (1 John 1:9). You now need to forgive yourself and start fresh with the Lord.
2. If Too Many Rules and Obligations Have Sucked the Life Out of You, It’s Time to Start Fresh with the Lord
As Christians, our journeys often start with an immense sense of freedom and joy when we realize that we are not saved by obeying the Law but rather through faith in Jesus Christ and by God’s grace alone. However, what often happens as we begin to walk the Christian path is that we begin to subtly start picking back up those rules and regulations that Christ set us free from.
While God does want us to read our Bibles, pray daily, go to church, take communion, serve others, and obey a whole host of other biblical commandments, God does not want us to become legalistic. Now that we have been saved by God’s freeing grace, we do not have to obey his commands out of fear and with a religious spirit. Rather, now we can obey God’s commands because we want to, because it is a joy, and because we know it pleases the Lord.
If you have lost that perspective and have begun to dutifully obey the Bible rather than out of the freedom God has given you, this is a sign God wants you to start fresh with him. The path forward is not to throw away your Bible and act like there are no commands God tells us to follow. Rather, the key is to embrace the freedom you have in Christ that has nothing to do with your obedience to the law. When you know that you are free because of the free gift of Christ, you can obey God from a different spirit. You can obey him out of freedom and not out of obligation. As Galatians 5:1, 13 states:
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. . . For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
So if rules and obligations have made you feel enslaved and stolen your freedom in Christ, it’s time to start fresh. Embrace God’s grace. Obey God not in order to be saved by him but because you already are saved by him.
3. If the Circumstances in Your Life Are Giving You a Fresh Start in a Certain Area of Your Life, This Is a Sign God Wants You to Embrace This with Him
Sometimes we don’t need a total fresh start in every area of our lives. Sometimes our walk with God is going great and we just need to keep growing with him. What we often need is just a fresh start in one specific area of our lives like in the area of dating, our physical health, or our careers.
God is in control of everything, so if the circumstances of your life are panning out in a way where you have the chance to start fresh in an area you know you really need a fresh start – don’t fight it, embrace it. For example, if you know your dating life was a mess for awhile but God has cleared the deck and there are now no relationship options in your life, see this as a fresh start with the Lord. Or if you lost your job and now you are needing a new one, this can be a fresh beginning of something even better than what you lost.
In short, if you lost something in life, perhaps God allowed that to happen because he wanted to give you the opportunity to start completely anew with him in that area of your life.