Silver Is Golden
By Phil Scovell
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give
I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Perhaps the most major obstacle a person faces who has been
assigned to ministry, unless he already happens to be a millionaire,
or is fortunate enough to be called to service in a large enough
church willing and able to pay him a generous wage, is finances. By
that I mean, having enough money. It seems that money is literally
part of training necessary to fulfill a ministry assignment. This is
especially true if your ministry assignment is a Lone Ranger
commission. I refrain from using the words "God called me," because
such isn't true. I was never called, at any time, to any ministry.
This is especially true related to the intercessory prayer ministry I
am doing now. Furthermore, I never would have, picked, for one
second, what my assignment is now in the Body of Christ.
Literally, for many years, I suffered with an monstrous fear that
God was going to call me to do something that I knew I could not do.
I realize how stupid that sounds but it was a real fear and anxiety I
had for years. I was an assistant pastor once, I was the head pastor,
if you call 50 church members a head pastor, and in my early twenties,
I traveled off and on for five years as something we, as Baptists,
called an evangelist. We were, of course, no such thing. We were
guest speakers who preached nightly and held, what we loosely called,
revival meetings. These generally lasted a week. I felt I was called
to all these various ministry positions. The result of each ministry
was an extreme deficiency of funds and generally, it was feast or
famine for my family.
Years ago, I remember hearing a man preach in the large Baptist
church where I was a member and a deacon, or what some may call a
church elder in other denominations, and we had a guest speaker, an
evangelist, who had come to preach every evening for a week, that is,
Sunday through Sunday. He was well known in our denomination and
before he had died, a few years later, he had preached over 900
revival meetings. He was a great man of God, too.
One night, he told about when God "called" him to the ministry.
I use that term loosely. He said, "If you are called to the ministry,
God will open doors so wide, you almost fall right through the opening
and you will know it is God's will for your life." He wasn't the only
one I heard make that statement over a period of many years. It
always bothered me, too, because it had never happen to me as they
suggested. This alone, after time, created extremely fertile ground
in which the Enemy could plant corrupt seeds, and resulting in
considerable spiritual and emotional conflicted and instability. I
compensated by trying more diligently to be a good Christian and one
hopefully God would some day notice.
I felt born to ministry and by the time I was thirteen, I was
positive I would bee in full time service one day. However, it never
seemed to work out. I preached my first sermon at a street mission
when I was 17 years young. After traveling as a guest speaker for 5
years and starting out at 23 years of age, being an assistant pastor,
going through years trying to find a church that would let me pastor,
and only to discover they were uninterested in having a blind man for
a pastor, I finally gave up and started a high speed cassette
duplication business. My customers were mostly churches and traveling
preachers. I became half happy.
Eventually my business grew and also branched out into other
areas and somewhat became international in scope. I was still
unsatisfied and began to pray about whatever it was that simply didn't
feel right. Although I was making more money than I had ever made,
something felt wrong. As I took time out to pray late one evening in
my office, the Lord began to minister to me and made it clear His will
for my life. It would be only three months later before I came to
understand what it was He wanted me to do.
In mid 2002, after I began having anxiety and panic attacks,
nightmares, and hearing voices, not to mention suicidal thoughts and
the loss of my job, I realized the Lord was trying to get my
attention. I know this because He had told me earlier that year to
quit my job. I said, "Are you crazy?" I wasn't about to give up my
job. Besides, we needed the money. Then the Lord, in His patient
tolerant way, gave me a hint, in more ways than one, what I would be
doing. I had a strong feeling this was something I was in no way
interested. So much for what I wanted. In September of that year, my
job was terminated.
Based upon the same sort of intercessory prayer ministry I am now
doing, the Lord led me to a man who knew how to pray with others.
After several hours of one on one prayer sessions, I began to
experience the renewing of the mind and the healing of brokenness that
traced clear back to my childhood.
Following several months of prayer with this man once or twice a
week, things were beginning to change. The anxiety was diminishing,
the panic attacks were disappearing, the nightmares were going away,
and I was no longer suicidal. Ordering some material, I began to
study the same intercessory prayer with which I had become familiar in
prayer sessions with the man I had met.
As I studied the basic material one day, I heard the Lord say,
"Buy the advanced materials."
I said, "Lord, what for? I'm just learning this material for my
own benefit and for perhaps to help my own family if called upon. I'm
not interested in more complex areas of ministry."
"Buy the advance training material," came that inner voice again
and just as clearly as the first.
Out of frustration, I said, "why?"
"Because," came the answer, "you will be working with sexually
abused women and multiple personality cases."
I was stunned. Me? I had no interest whatsoever in either of
those areas. Besides, I didn't even know what I was doing with what I
was learning. There was no rebuttal forthcoming from the Lord. I
ordered more materials and began to study. By the end of that year, I
released my arguments with the Holy Spirit and gave in to what the
Lord had assigned me to do in His name and it was far from easy.
Once I had yielded to the will of the Lord, the first person with
whom I prayed was a lady who had been sexually abused and had 23
alternate personalities. I was literally feeling my way around in the
dark, in more ways than one, but as hard as it was at the times, I
knew this was my "calling" or literally, my assignment from God.
As I began studying the advanced materials I had purchased, the
Lord clearly told me many things. He said, in a worship service one
Sunday morning in a small church we were attending at the time, "You
will be a father to the fatherless." He did not say, "I am calling
you to be a father to the fatherless." I quickly questioned what the
Holy Spirit had just said to me, knowing it was the truth, I posed my
question by saying, "And whom do I know that needs a father?" He
said, "How about your two daughter in laws." I immediately stopped
trying to argue with Him. Later, I ended up praying more than once
with my two daughter in laws.
Another day, I was seated on my deck swing studying and since it
was summer, I became thirsty so put my study material aside and walked
off the deck, through the door, into our living room. That split
second I crossed the threshold, I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit
say, "this is who you are now." This was only two of a series of
utterances I heard in my spirit from the Lord concerning his
assignment for me.
After some months of being in the ministry full time, I had no
job anyhow, since mine had been discontinued, so I began, of course,
to experience financial difficulties. Eventually, in recent times as
I write this, the bottom dropped out. I wasn't charging, nor
suggesting even a dollar amount, to anyone with whom I prayed. Why?
How do you charge people to pray? some donated and those I sent
newsletters to, often donated monthly as well. Plus our small home
church gave weekly offerings. Suddenly, and without warning, many
members of our small group lost their job for one reason or another.
My income became the confession of Peter and John as they spoke to the
lame man by the gate as they entered the temple to pray; Silver and
gold have we none. I became desperate and cried out to God.
I began to receive what I called, pieces to the financial puzzle,
when I inquired of the Lord about what was happening. It became even
more frustrating because the pieces were not falling into place and
completing a spiritual mosaic in my heart. There was more, therefore
I knew, to come. The problem was, I needed money now. I didn't have
time to learn the spiritual and theological intrinsic methodologies of
financial success and I told the Lord as much.
One afternoon I was working on an article. The Lord had spoken
to me many months earlier about an area of ministry He would be
leading me into. I wasn't thrilled with the news because it had to do
with the demonic realm. I don't spend much time talking to demons in
intercessory prayer sessions because I have learned it isn't
necessary. When I felt this information being revealed to me, I just
figured it meant more of such demonic manifestations appearing in the
prayer sessions. I prayed about it occasionally but never felt I saw
an increase of such demonics in any prayer sessions that was unusual
or different. I didn't stop to realize the Lord was talking about
demonic tampering of circumstances in my life, my finances, my family,
my physical body and those in my church. I should have known better.
Months passed, finances degraded, and literally began going
backwards, my son began experiencing a loss of business, a man in our
church had a heart attack and nearly died, and although I knew these
things could be happening do to demonic influence, I felt nothing in
my spirit and nothing externally that would indicate this had anything
to do with what the Lord had revealed to me months earlier. I'm a
little slow on the uptake you might say.
I was seated in my office and working on an article relating to
things the Lord had revealed to me and taught me concerning the nature
of demonics associated with those with whom I have prayed. With out
warning, I felt surrounded. It was only an ambient feeling,
nonphysical, but I was completely surrounded from all sides as if I
might be encapsulated inside an invisible cylinder. I immediately
stop typing because I figured a direct demon attack was imminent. I
had experience just such an attack a few days earlier, not to mention
other such experiences over the years, so I spiritually braced myself
for another. However, the feeling of being surrounded had no
threatening emotions or presence. Still I waited for what I felt was
Quite suddenly, there was a spiritual awareness. It seemed
outside of my body but at the same time, it felt inside. Often in
such experiences, I hear few, if any words. It is generally a feeling
of instant and complete awareness and as the thought comes, it is all
in one concentrated, high focus, burst. Later, I have to put my own
words to the feeling because the words are not spoken, they are not
audible, and they do not form in my thoughts. Sometimes, however, I
did get words in my mind but it is generally a fragment of the
complete thought and only enough to give me an idea. Why words comes
occasionally, while other times there are no words at all except for
impressions, I have no explanation. This time, there were no words
except my own that formed as the impression instantly materialized.
In my own words, therefore, I was told that I had been under a
test, in a manner of speaking, and that I had endured. "I have led
you to this point to give you one of the important pieces of the
puzzle for which you seek." Suddenly, I realized, without hearing a
word spoken, the piece of the puzzle concerning finances was being
focused upon what the Lord had assigned me to do.
sitting back in my chair, I said in my mind, "That is the key!"
Then I repeated the thoughts out loud. "That is the key!" I had been
struggling with the idea of getting a job, figuring out how to get
more money flowing, considering trying to start a small home based
business again, should I go part time or full time outside the home,
praying with people in the evenings or on the weekends until things
financially stabilized. I just did not know and I had been struggling
with such thoughts for literally months. Here's a tip. If it is
complicated, it isn't God speaking to you.
One day, as I sat complaining in prayer, it certainly wasn't any
form of communications I normally have with the Lord, I actually
realized that financially speaking, we were going backwards. I had
this sudden realization, that was God telling me something. I am not
one to see demons and to sense their presence in a room. I know
others who have this gift but I am not one of them. I recognize the
evidence of their presence, especially when praying with others, but I
rarely sense their presence in circumstances but rather I look for the
signs of their presence. As I prayed, complained, the Lord revealed
to me things were going literally backwards because of the demonic
oppression and tampering of my finances. That was another piece of
the puzzle and there have been many more; too numerous to list now.
That revelation, on the other hand, was a turning point in my
thinking. When the presence of the Lord surrounded me, therefore, and
the Holy Spirit spoke to me, I realize the truth for what it was.
Now, someone is asking about this time, "So, did a big check come
in the mail the next day? Did money fall out of the sky," sort of
speak," and solve all your money problems?" Of course, not but I know
who Jesus is now because he revealed to me that piece of the puzzle
many months ago when this thing started coming to a head. You see,
what I learned is that Jesus is all that is important. If you know
Him, and if you know He loves you above all else, then you know He is
watching. He wants to show us where He is in our life. If he is
outside the circle of your finances, that's a problem. If He is
outside the circle of your physical well being, then you have a
problem. If you believe that He hasn't met your financial needs
before, healed you before, resolved your problems before, then we have
a very very big problem indeed. That problem is, we have not made Him
Lord of all that we face. It works like salvation. I deal with
people every day who feel they have lost their salvation, or perhaps
they might, if they don't get everything exactly right. I believed
this once, too. Then Jesus showed me the truth one day as I prayed
through a memory that seemed to contain nothing wrong, sinful, or out
of place. Jesus told me in that prayer, "Phil, you don't have to be
perfect because I am." On the other hand, seeing our circumstances
outside of Christ, makes it impossible for Christ to be Lord. If we
begin to doubt our salvation, then Jesus is not on the inside of your
circle of belief. No wonder we doubt. This is true of every single
promise the Lord has made to us. He is, in other words, our Healer,
or He isn't. He is either our Provider, or He isn't. He either
blesses the work of our hands, or He doesn't. He either takes
pleasure in the prosperity of His servant, or He doesn't. He is
either Lord, or He isn't. Besides, it finally dawned on me one day,
if I wasn't Born Again, washed in the blood of the Lamb, the Enemy
would not bother trying to convinced me I was a lost sinner and going
to hell. Why would he do that if I was lost?
In everything, therefore, the key is Lordship. Where does Jesus
stand in your life. I know what some are thinking based upon what I
used to think. I knew all these things I have been talking about, as
far as God's promises were concerned, for 50 years of walking with the
Lord as a Christian. I even tried applying it time and time again. I
committed hundreds of Bible verses to memory. I was faithful in ever
category of Christianity one could name. I felt exposed, fearful, and
vulnerable to any circumstances that I found myself in at any given
time. The truth is this. Jesus is all we need and He is as solid as
a rock. Believe anything else, and your relationship with the Lord
will drift aimlessly anywhere the Enemy chooses to blow. So, do we
fight the Enemy? No, Jesus has already defeated him. We simply live
in Jesus and listen for His voice. Jesus supercedes the silver and
gold which your unbelieve says isn't there.
finally, let me point out something you should already know. I
am not your example. I could fail, crash and burn in my Christian
life, and that should have no effect upon you and your relationship
with God. I have seen many men of God self destruct in my life and
some I considered great men of God. If your eyes are on anyone but
Jesus, you will never see/believe the truth about any situation you
face. Sometimes, of course, we need help. In fact, accountability
is, or should be, the main goal of any church Body. If we do not
submit ourselves one to another in the fear of the Lord, we will not
be able to experience complete and total filling of the Holy Spirit.
Safe Place Fellowship
Mountain Time Zone
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