Profitable Fear

So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses. - Exodus 14:30-31 NKJV

Do you really know who God is?  Really?  Do you realize that He is so powerful that with one swipe of His hand he could wipe out our entire sinful world and start over from scratch if He so chose?  We deserve nothing less, Christians included.  But in God's infinite grace and mercy, because He is good, He spares us of His wrath and patiently works with us through circumstances in our lives to make us into the individuals He wants us to be.

God was working on Israel.  We can see from Exodus that He needed to do a horrible thing by destroying the Egyptians so He could accomplish His will.  Following a series of ten plagues on Egypt, God led His chosen people out of slavery and literally parted the Red Sea for them so they could escape.  Unfortunately for the Egyptians, they happened to be on the bad side of God's miracles.  On the other hand, the Israelites saw the great work the Lord had done.  This fear prompted them to believe God.

A healthy reverant fear of God is essential in our role of obedience.  Do we really know God if we don't have a proper fear of Him?  That healthy fear will prompt us to obey and believe Him even when things aren't going the way we would like.  It helps keep us humble and helps us to remember that this life is not about us, it is all about God.  Won't you let the fear of God be profitable for you?

From learning to living: 

1) How well do you know God?  If you knew Him, all aspects of Him, it would change your life.

2) How often are you in His "mind"?  Our level of intimacy and knowledge of God is directly proportional to how much time we spend in His Word. 

3) What one thing will you commit to today to get to know God better?


Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at

What God Requires

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?  - Micah 6:8

Sigh.  How do I boil down a mountaintop experience of five days into a 300-400 word blog post?  If you read my last post, you would know that last week I was at the Glorieta Christian Writers' Conference in New Mexico. It was another step in this trek of my life the past couple of years that without a doubt will propel me further into God's plan for my life. 

There were over 300 people there including editors, publishers and writers (both published and aspiring).  We spent time together as a large group, together in smaller workshops and "together" as we networked during meal times trying to get "face time" with an editor or publish to pitch our ideas in the hopes of making a publishing dream come true.  Not to mention that we had opportunities to meet one on one with an editor/publisher of choice.   We even met with God as we sang praises to His name.   What an experience! 

Yes.  What an experience.  I think I've had several "out of the box" of my comfort zone experiences in the past couple of years as I seek to follow God's direction.  As I reflect on the past week, I can say I've learned (or re-learned in some cases) ...

  • how much I need to learn.
  • that I am a minnow in the ocean of Christian publishing.
  • that excitement, fear, joy, peace, overwhelm, faith & anticipation combined together make a pretty interesting cocktail of emotions.
  • that preserving daily quiet time with God no matter what else is going on in life (i.e. a writers' conference) really does give an extra measure of strength.
  • that one can survive for five days with 4-5 hours of sleep each day.
  • that I must re-evaluate my priorities so that they align with the direction I'm sensing God wants me to take.
  • that other Christians in the speaking/publishing industries really do want to help those of us trying to get started.
  • that all God really wants is for us to seek His face.  He will take care of navigating our ways.

There is obviously a lot more I could say here to give the play-by-play of the conference.   Nonetheless, I must wrap up this post or else I would be writing here forever.  Feel free to email me with specific questions about the conference and I'll be glad to answer.   In the meantime, rather than focus on my growing to-do list that was greatly subsidized from the conference, I'm going to try real hard to just walk humbly with my God.  Maybe I'll even take some time to just stand with Him.   

Take My Life...My Voice

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.  - Psalm 40:3

I'm opening with prayer today to the One who is worthy of all our praise - to the One who daily puts new songs in our mouths and restores our souls.

Dear Lord,

Mere words cannot express how grateful I am that you are who you are and that you are there for me always to sustain and restore my soul.  I will give praise to you for the new songs you have put in my mouth and I will sing them so that others can come to also know your goodness and grace. As a hymn I love says, "Take my voice and let me sing always, only, for my King", I ask that you do just as the words say.  Please take my voice and let it sing your praises. 


Take my voice and let me sing... God has given us many reasons to sing and praise Him for all He has done in our lives.  Sometimes we don't have to look very far to recognize the blessings.  Sometimes we need to dig deep to find God's treasure in the rubble of our lives.  Whatever the case, we will always have cause to sing and when we sing of God's truth, mercy, love, protection and restoration in our lives, people around us will want to have what we have found.  I am choosing to close with Psalm 138 today which also gives many reasons why we can and should take our voices and sing to and about God.  Read this psalm slowly and as you read it think about each line and how you can thank God for some similar circumstances in your own life.  You may even want to use it as a prayer today...I think I will.

Psalm 138 (NKJV)

1 I will praise You with my whole heart; Before the gods I will sing praises to You.
2 I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
3 In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul.

4 All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O LORD, When they hear the words of Your mouth.
5 Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the LORD, For great is the glory of the LORD.
6 Though the LORD is on high, Yet He regards the lowly; But the proud He knows from afar.

7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.
8 The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.


Take My Life ... My Feet

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 NKJV)

In the passage above, God is pleading with Israel through the prophet Micah to come back to Him, not through their sacrifices and burnt offerings but by just walking humbly with Him.  When was the last time that you took a "stroll" with God without time constraints and with a total focus on Him and Him alone?  To me, a good stroll with God entails a carefree time of prayer and time in the pages of my bible as God's word speaks to me.  The best times for me are the times when I've confessed to God all of my faults and have sincerely admitted to Him that I need His help for everything in my life.  It is then that I feel like I'm walking humbly with God.  It is then that I can sing:

Take my feet and let them be, swift and beautiful for thee. 

Continuing on in my series about the old hymn, I think about what it takes for God to think that our feet are beautiful.

And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring tidings of good things!" - Ro 10:15 NKJV

How can our "feet" be beautiful for God?  By taking the gospel and God's Word to the people of the world that so desperately need it.  When we walk humbly with God as we surrender our will to His, He will make us into the people He wants us to be and put us in situations where we will be able to share God's Word and His gospel of peace. 

Walking Wonderings

1) What can I do in my life to walk humbly with God?

2) Who is God asking me to share His word with?

3) How can I allow God to "take my feet" in my circle of influence?

4) What is the one thing in my life that God is desiring me to surrender to Him today?

Complete Conformity

Hello everyone! 

Since the ladies at Laced With Grace have so graciously allowed me to be a part of their team, I will be over over there today posting about how my experience at the allergist relates to how we sometimes don't want to accept all of the changes God wants to work in us because they may just be too uncomfortable.

I hope to see you there!  :)

Take My Life ... My Hands

Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.  You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.  (Psalm 128:1-2 NIV)

When we dedicate our lives to God's service and act upon that dedication by striving to live holy lives we make ourselves available for God to use us.  But how do we know what to do?  What exactly are we to do with our hands once they are fit for the Master's use?  This is the dilemma isn't it?  Unless our efforts are God-directed, the fruit of our labor will be minimal.  However, if God is directing the work of our hands ... well, that's another story:

I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.  God does it so that men will revere him. (Ecc 3:14 NIV)

From the hymn "Take My Life and Let it Be", we can look to the first verse again for a good prayer to aid us in our quest to please God. Take a look:

Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love.

What exactly does it mean to move at the impulse of God's love?  How can we know what God's impulses are?  I don't believe that we can mechanically calculate our actions so that they coincide with God's impulses of love.  After all, an impulse is an impulse.  However, I do believe that as God conforms us to His image through a daily walk with Him in His Word and in prayer, He will make us aware of what we can do for Him, whether it be within a ministry or in something as simple as an act of kindness to someone in need.  As we pray for opportunities to show God's love to others, He will give us an awareness of His will.  He will show us what to do with our hands.  He will bless us as we bless we follow after love.

Dear Heavenly Father, I know that You are indeed love defined.  Knowing this, I know that your impulses could be nothing less themselves.  Move me in the direction you would have me to go.  Guide my hands to do the work you would have me to do.  If my plans aren't a part of your Plan, then redirect my thoughts and actions so that they align with your will and so that you can receive the glory and not me.  Thank you for your love. Thank you for being love. Thank you for wanting to use someone like me.  Amen.   

Take My Life ... My Life

For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themelves but for him who died for them and was raised again. - 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NIV

In my last post I mentioned that I wanted to explore more deeply the words to the hymn "Take My Life and Let It Be" because of the depth of its meaning and importance in our lives as Christians.  The song for me compels me to really think about my walk with God.  It is a prayer for me to let God take and mold my life.  Let's dig in.

Take my life and let it be Consecrated, Lord to thee.

Take my life.  Telling God to take our lives is a serious matter.  To be consecrated means a) to be set apart as holy; make or declare sacred for religious use and b) to devote entirely; dedicate.  Consecrating our lives to God means that we are giving our entire lives to Him, not just our lives on Sunday mornings.  We should be motivated to serve God because of thankfulness for God's love and sacrifice for us.  We owe Him nothing less than our whole-hearted 24/7 devotion to Him because of what He did for us.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotton Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Yes, our reasonable service due Him for such a sacrifice for our sakes should be nothing less than giving back to God our lives as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1).  These are powerfully convicting words, aren't they?

To give our lives back to God as living sacrifices we must attempt to live holy and pure lives.  Notice that I say "attempt"!  None of us is perfect and even our best efforts we will never live our lives in a perpetually perfect state of holiness.  We must however, keep trying to do what God wants us to do and be who God wants us to be.  God has called us to holiness (1 Thess 4:7) so that we can be fit for His use to work out His will on this earth.

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.  If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. (2 Tim 2:20-21 NIV)

Everything we do for God starts with who we are for God.  We must consecrate ourselves to Him.  It takes a lot of work, but it is the least God deserves.  Are you willing?

Dear God,

Thank you for the cross where you sent your son to bleed and die for the penalty of my sins.  As He gave His life for me, let me give my life to you.  Reveal to me the things I do and the thoughts I have that you want me to change.  Show me how to live my life more completely for you each day ... starting with today. 


NEXT in the series: Take my hands ...

Take My Life And Let it Be

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  Romans 12:1

Ever since I was first discipled, Romans 12:1 has been a very convicting verse for me, especially the last part that says "which is your reasonable service."  Our lives are to be living sacrifices - lives dedicated to being holy, pure and devoted to the things of God's kingdom work.  This is a very tall order to uphold but yet is expected of us to be carried out.  After all, it is our reasonable service, not our outstanding service.  God expects wholehearted devotion.  The verse was brought to my mind afresh this morning as I considered the words of the old hymn by Havergal & Malan, "Take My Life and Let It Be", now in the public domain.  We sang the song as part of our church worship and to me it was as convicting and thought provoking as ever.  In reality, the hymn should be our daily prayer to God as we set our lives in motion for Him.

Over the next several posts, I'm going to explore a section of the song more deeply.  But for this Sunday, let's merely sing and pray this song together to God as we consider how we can best devote our lives to His service, starting today.

Frances R. Havergal, 1836-1879
H.A. Cesar malan, 1787-1864

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord to Thee;
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love,
At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee;
Take my voice and let me sing
Always, only, for my King,
Always, only, for my King.

Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages for Thee;
Take my silver and my gold -
Not a mite would I withhold,
Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my love - my God, I pour
At thy Feet its treasure store;
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only all for Thee.

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for who you are and for what you've done for me.  I pray that your words and your ways can so permeate my life that I can wholly give it to you minute by minute.  Thank you for hymns such as this that cause us to take stock of our lives and our devotion to you.  Take my hands, feet, lips and love and use them for your glory. Conform me to your image so that I can be ready for your use.  Amen.

NEXT POST: Take my life...