02 Feb Perseverance: Believing in the Vision
It’s really unmistakable, that moment when God places a dream or a vision in your heart and mind. The Holy Spirit covers you, you feel God’s anointing, the rush of seeing the vision from start to finish play in your mind, then the gratitude pours forth for the opportunity to be part of what God is doing, then the prayers begin. The excitement of being called by God to partake in a mission is incredible. Joy mixed with humility and tears is only the beginning. The urge to jump forward and start making it happen is only human. We are doers, fixers, Energizer bunnies. With God’s work, it is the opposite. You surrender it all back to Him, wait and begin to pray. You pray for hours and days and submit all to Him and ask Him and Him alone to help bring this vision to life. “Father, supply all of my needs, connect me with the right people, give me the creativity to design it, remove all obstacles, give me the strength to overcome challenges, bless me beyond my capabilities and make this dream come true beyond all my expectations.” This has been my prayer since July as God placed the vision for the Soul Topics app in my heart that Sunday in church.
Literally hundreds of hours of research, design, prayer and building has gone into Soul Topics. It is an app that has a collection of 118 life issues with scriptures to support that issue. Topical bibles only give you the place the word is listed, but I wanted more. I wanted a collection of scriptures that would help, encourage, support and bless someone in a complete way for any of life’s issues they were facing. After 25 years in ministry and service, I have encountered so many people in such a variety of issues. No matter whether it is addiction, poverty, marriage, depression, illness, children, divorce, finances, etc., you have to be prepared to share God’s word with them and help them to leave in a better state of mind than when you found them.
Believing in the vision of Soul Topics required a level of perseverance that I never knew. I am a bold person, I never quit and I’m stubborn, but I was not prepared for what God would show me and teach me through this experience. Along this journey of creating and building Soul Topics app, we failed and failed and failed again. We had it finished, it was beautiful. A focus group told us we had a 100% hit on our hands. However, when it came to launch, it continued to fail. No matter what we did, it failed to launch. I got to the point where I actually questioned God as to whether or not I had actually misheard Him. Did we come this far only to fail? The tears poured again and again. I turned to His Word and continued to understand that perseverance was believing in the vision in such a way that even when people around you tell you it may be time to stop, you still feel the burning in your bones and the passion in your heart for it. It won’t die. I had no choice but to press on and push harder. I knew God had placed that dream in my heart. I knew that it was part of my destiny and I knew that He would never let me fail.
God loves us so much. There is nothing closer to His heart than His own creation. He wants us to have the desires of our hearts, especially when they are in line with His Word. Soul Topics will put the Word of God at the fingertips of people right on their phone. The scriptures are easy to find and organized in a way that whatever they are facing, they will have answers that will help and encourage. Soul Topics continued to be a blessing to me even as it was being built, because the scriptures I was reading were exactly what I needed to hear to push on, to not give up and know that God was with me always.
At my lowest point, I prayed and begged God for help. Then I saw Jesus standing on the water, a storm raging all around. He beckoned for me and I stepped out of the boat onto the water. I kept my eyes on Jesus and not the storm and walked toward Him. I felt peace wash over me in such a powerful way and I had my answer. The storm started to subside, the sun started to shine behind Him and I knew that all I needed to do was to keep my eyes on Him and not focus on the storm. From that moment on I see Jesus on the water in front of me and I do not sink. Things changed with Soul Topics and we were able to figure out what was wrong and it immediately loaded successfully to Google. Next we rewrote the code and uploaded a new binary file to Apple and are now waiting on the light to turn green. I feel confident that it will work this time.
God used the dream in my heart to teach me a multitude of things that will help me to be a stronger warrior for the Kingdom of God. Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ has always been a moving force in my life, but drawing nearer to God and experiencing Jesus on such a personal level has driven me to a clearer understanding of just how much God really loves us. As important a tool as Soul Topics will be, far more important is the ability to trust in God, walk in faith, surrender and wait for Him to move and continue to persevere in the face of failure. Failure is inevitable, falling is human but it never ceases to be amazing that the face you see every time at the bottom is Jesus and He is always there to help you back up again.
Blessings to all in the name of Jesus Christ,