I needed to take the time to pray and read the Bible to understand what I was so afraid of before asking God to remove it. I remember watching Extreme Home Makeover: Weight Loss Addition. I saw Chris the trainer help severely obese men and women overcome the greatest fear of all--themselves. I knew there was something deep within me that wasn’t fully healed yet.

I had to sit my butt down and physically write out in my own handwriting,

“Lord, why can’t I bring myself to go to the gym?”

That’s when He answered and gave me back my friend. The hard part for me was waiting. I’m not the kind of person who likes to shove things into a corner or hide things in a closet. I like to address the problem and move on. It was so frustrating to me that I couldn’t do that with my friend. It took time, prayer, and remaining in God until He opened up a way for me to meet with her.

I wonder what it is for you?

What freedom you are currently waiting on?

Becoming the new you directs action.

After God gives you the freedom to move forward--it’s time to act! A former pastor once said delayed obedience is still disobedience. The last stage is the most critical. There is an element of action required on behalf of the Christian.

God lavishes His grace so you and I can grow and learn and change--not stay the same.

This is the part where I encourage you.

In January, people are more apt to make life changes. Before you do, I want you to use godly wisdom. Like me--you may be itching to become the new you, but until God speaks we have to stand still.

“Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is” (Ephesians 5:17, NIV84).

I bet you weren’t expecting that gut punch, huh? That’s what I love about God’s Word. Taking the time to breathe and be still before the Lord produces deep treasures (Isaiah 45:5-7).

This January and every month--let the Lord show you which complex issue He wants you to accomplish first.

Don’t be ashamed if the answer takes time.

Don’t be afraid if you can’t find the courage.

Freedom takes time. Action requires courage.

So let’s raise our glass and thank God that He is the one who helps us become the new me.

Renee Fisher aka the Devotional Diva® is a spirited speaker and the author of Faithbook of Jesus, Not Another Dating Book, and Forgiving Others Forgiving Me (Harvest House, 2013). Renee loves her engineering husband and their rescued pit bull Rock Star. She writes at http://www.devotionaldiva.com