How often do we allow the out-of-the-box stuff in our lives stay with us? Don’t we often ask God to make things easier or more comfortable for us? Do we ever ask what risks we can take? Bold ideas easily take us out of our comfort zone, as Brian Simmons can attest, even as they increase our passion for God.
Who is Brian Simmons? Brian served with his wife and three children as a New Tribes missionary to the Paya-Kuna people of Panama for eight years. After that, he led the Gateway Christian Fellowship for many years before moving on to his current projects of speaking at conferences and in academic settings with his wife through their Stairway Ministries and translating The Passion Bible. As of early 2017, Brian is finishing his translation of Revelation and anticipating The Passion Bible’s New Testament release by the end of the year.
After years of ministry in the jungle and in the American church, Brian Simmons asked God what his next call would be. Within a week, God clearly confirmed the daunting desire in Brian’s heart to develop an equivalent Bible translation, taking into account all the nuances of the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic to make the English come to life with God’s heart. Brian never considered himself the most qualified to translate the Bible, but he has also never wavered in his pursuit of this bold idea that has become a love offering to the Lord. His story inspires us to move forward with confidence and take the risks that bold ideas often require.
“When God speaks as clearly as He spoke to me, there is just no getting around it. I love Him and I love my life, and I don’t want to lose it by missing what He wants me to do. It’s hard. There have been difficult moments where I’ve had to cry out to God. […] I knew I had to have supernatural help. God has helped me. He has stood beside me, with me, and His Holy Spirit has helped me.” —Brian
“It tells me how [our bold ideas make us] need encouragers around us. We need those people that believe in our vision and will speak life and encouragement to help us.” —Brian
“I have become a different person because of this translation. […] It impacts you—the power of the Word of God.” —Brian
“You can’t accomplish anything great for God without taking risks.” —Brian
“If you are willing to get that uncomfortable with God that you’d go [to Panama, far from civilization, to share the gospel], that’s the kind of heart that God is looking for to translate His Word.” —Leary
- Is it God’s heart to do your bold idea? Is it where God has put you? Do you have a deep conviction about it? If you are in the midst of pursuing a bold idea, when all odds are against you, keep going because you know the calling started with God. Know that what God started, God will finish.