The cutting Edge Of Depression
By Phil Scovell
Most of my adult life was normal. My father died
unexpectedly when I was 11 years old and one year later, I was
pronounced totally blind after a dozen eye operations on my
failing retinas. Two weeks later I was enrolled in a school for
the blind nearly fifty miles from my home and only came home on
weekends. Otherwise, life was normal.
I know those events, to some people, were traumatic but that
word wasn't in my dictionary at the time. Christians did tell my
mother, on the other hand, when I was a teenager and using LSD,
shooting up speed/amphetamines, marijuana, hashish and some over-
the-counter things I prefer not to mention lest some knuckle head
gets the big idea to try it for himself, that I needed to see a
psychiatrist. I wonder why we never say they should see the
pastor over such things? I'd be mad if I were a pastor and
everybody kept sending my people I was pastoring to the
psychologist or psychiatrist but it doesn't seem to bother most
pastors for some reason. In fact, it truth be told, they
probably send more of their own people to the shrinks than their
free advice giving church members do, but I digress.
As I married, had children, and grew older, with more and
more responsibilities, my life seemed pretty normal. My children
all could see normally so there was one burden I could stop
worrying about. Now that I am in my fifties, all of my
grandchildren see normally, so there's another burden I can stop
toting around. I made pretty good money for a blind guy and my
business was going well and growing. I have a home, something I
never dreamed I'd have, I'm married to the best woman I have ever
met to this day so there's another plus, and if I were to sit
down and put a pencil to it, sort of speak, I could come up with
hundreds of things I am truly thankful for both as a Christian
and a father. However, and somehow you knew there would have to
be a "however" in this story, I had a problem. I don't think I
ever mentioned this to anyone over the years; in fact I'm sure I
during my mid adult years, I had somewhat of a concern, oh,
you could call it an undeveloped worry, about knives. Strange,
though. I had knives all over the place. Somehow, and for some
reason, knives seemed to begin to bother me later in life. I
wasn't afraid of them and yes, I have been cut by them many times
over my life, and yes, I carry one in my pocket all the time. In
fact, I sort of liked knives. Maybe I became concerned about
them after I made the mistake of asking my father to teach me how
to clean the fish we brought home all the time from a day's
fishing at the lake. Perhaps I watched to many scary movies. I
have never witnessed anyone killed by stabbing. I mean, no body
in my family died that way as far as I know and I certainly never
saw any kid in my neighborhood cut anybody. Well, Orville cut
his foot real bad on a broken pop bottle wading in some drainage
water but I don't think that counts as far as knives are
concerned. He also got his mouth stuck on a popsicle once and
nearly pulled his lips off trying to get it loose but somehow I
think I am drifting off topic. Anyhow, what I used to have,
concerning knives, was some sort of fear that I might use it on
myself. Well, it wasn't exactly a fear but more like a feeling
at the time and one I could easily dismiss by stopping to think
about knives. As I said, fortunately I never told anybody about
this. If I had told my mother, she probably would have purchased
me a new set of knives for Christmas and I could have become a
collector. If I had told a psychiatrist about it, he probably
would have put me into the hospital for a few days, shot me up
full of drugs, and then had me come in as an out patient once a
week for the next ten years until my fear of self destruction
were purged from my life. I'm not sure what my pastor would have
said because I don't think it's covered, knives that is, in the
Bible. No, in case you are interested, I wasn't suicidal nor had
anyone in my family committed suicide nor did I know anyone who
committed suicide. So what was the big deal with knives?
I was praying with a lady one day when she told me that,
whenever she entered the kitchen alone, she put her fingers into
her mouth between her teeth and bit down on them. Why? Because
she was afraid she would get a knife out and do herself harm.
The Lord healed her of that, you'll be happy to know, and the
interesting thing is, we never once even prayed about this
particular thing; it just went away with whatever else was the
problem. Isn't the Lord wonderful? He fixes things without even
specifically focusing on certain matters. At any rate, back to
In my case, every time, well, nearly every time, I picked up
a sharp knife, butter knives never crossed my mind when using
them, I had a funny feeling about them. What sort of feeling?
Well, I don't know. I mean, I never really focused on it for
very long but something about sharp knives seem to tweak my
thoughts. My first thought seemed to be related to doing myself
harm. Sometimes it was the possibility, I might do someone else
harm. Now, the question becomes, where did this, or these,
thoughts come from and why? Let me try and suggest some answers.
First, I was crazy. I mean, after all, I did play around
with drugs so it was possible I got something screwed on
backwards during one of my nine LSD trips or when I was nineteen
miles high on speed.
Secondly, in some Christian circles, I might have been demon
possessed or, at the very least, with these sort of thoughts, I
could be demonically oppressed. Other than these two things,
there wasn't much else, at the time, to pen these odd thoughts
Let me tell you a story. I was pretty much a Baptist all my
life, although I was born again while we were in an Evangelical
Free Church, but I think "Once a Baptist; always a Baptist,"
comes into play when considering my life. I mean, I am
Charismatic now, speak in tongues freely, do intercessory prayer,
spiritual warfare, talk directly to demons in prayer sessions
with people if it is necessary, and I believe all of the gifts of
the Holy Spirit are viable for the Church in today's New
Testament Body of Believers. Yet, I have Charismatics accuse me
of still being a Baptist when we discuss the bible. This has
nothing to do with my story other than the fact, what I am about
to tell you I heard from a Baptist preacher with whom I was
employed once upon a time. The story goes this way.
This preacher was at a church camp for kids. A mother,
whose son happened to be there working that week, happened to
mention to somebody, that her son, he was ten years old, could
not sleep at night. He could not fall to sleep easily and he was
awakened all the time. I believe, if I remember correctly, he
had to sleep with the light on, too.
This story was repeated to others until several people
became involved in discussing this situation so a small meeting
was called. Mostly the preachers and pastors and missionaries,
who were at the camp, came to the meeting. They decided, somehow
and for some reason, this ten year old boy was being demonically
oppressed. So, they called the boy into their small meeting. He
wore a baseball cap, carried a ball glove because they had been
playing baseball out on the field, and they told him they wanted
to pray over him. He said "Ok," and these Baptist preachers
prayed and basically told the demon had no authority over the boy
and to get lost. The mother later reported her son never had any
more sleeping problems.
I am telling this story to show that demons are real and
they often become involved in the lives of Christians and even
children without our knowledge. How? Well, sin works pretty
well at attracting demons. It is pretty unlikely, in my story,
however, that this 10 year old boy was involved in some heinous
sin that cause his insomnia. So what is left?
Trauma is a good substitute for committed sin. Let's say
you are a very good swimmer but one day, something happens in the
pool and you swallow a gallon of pool water. I'm exaggerating a
little there but take it from me, a little dab of pool water up
the old snout does wonders to create a fear level that's off the
scale. So, anyhow, there you are, thrashing around and you
think, "I'm going to die." Well, there's only one problem with
this idea of death and that is, you are two feet from the side of
the pool and you reach out and pull your head above water. It is
a good thing, too, because all that water down the spout makes
you puke your lunch up over the side of the pool on to the
sidewalk. At least you're not dead at the bottom of the pool but
for a split second there, dad gummit, you sure enough were
convinced you were a goner. The question is: Where did that
thought come from that you were going to die? Yourself? Maybe.
What if it came from somebody else? Think about it.
A very successful business man is seated at his brightly
gleaming oak desk, the lemon scented polish still in the air, and
doing paper work in his lavish office. He has just hung up the
phone and picks up a folder he wants to examine. Suddenly, he
thinks, "You are worthless. You'll never amount to anything."
The odd thing is, the man is a millionaire many times over, owns
his own twelve story building, and couldn't be any more
successful even if he won the Ed Macman Clearinghouse Give Away.
Where did that thought come from that he was worthless and would
never amount to anything? Maybe he just made it up on his own?
Really? A 42 year old millionaire just suddenly thinks he is
worthless and won't ever amount to a thing? That's even hard for
me to believe but it could have happened like that. It could
have been something else, too, I'll bet.
So, you aren't convinced? Let's try another one.
A man is minding his own business and walking to his car
after work. He is pulling his keys out in preparation for
unlocking his vehicle so he can get home, eat, and watch Monday
night football. Oh, I forgot to mention that he lives in the
United States. People outside the USA will have to rearrange the
story to fit their culture. So, here he is, as I say, minding
his own business and heading for his car.
A woman, a very beautiful woman, a very young beautiful
woman, an insufficiently dressed very young beautiful woman, and
a woman who is not only beautiful but has other qualities which
are generally noticed by men, is standing by his car. Her car is
parked right next to his and she is standing there looking at the
back tire which is flat. So what does this guy do? Right! He
offers to assist in changing her tire. She is extremely thankful
and sets off some emotional and mental fireworks this guy hasn't
felt since he was 16 years old. In fact, he figured that part of
his life was dead and gone. What do you suppose he thinks about
on the way home? As he is congratulating himself for being a
good Samaritan, he thinks, "She really liked you."
"Well, who doesn't," he thinks; "that goes without saying."
His mind, or what he perceives as his mind, replays the entire
panorama over again and he discovers he can easily remember each
and every detail; absolutely every detail. By now he is totally
convinced she liked him.
"What a woman," his mind thinks.
He's been happily married, of course, for 23 years. The kids are
all teenagers but life at home isn't what it used to be;
especially with his wife.
A very graphic image flashes in his mind of the woman he
just saw. I mean, he could smell the lovely feminine perfume she
was wearing. He could also remember a lot of other things like
what he saw when he was down on the ground on his knees, and
trying to loosen the lug nuts when she asked him a question, and
he looked up to meet her gaze. It was everything he saw on the
way up that he remembered so well. "Why do beautiful women have
to wear skirts so short, you can see their panties when you are
at the wrong angle? Maybe they do it on purpose?" he considers
the possibility. Her voice, too, for that matter, was musical
and when she laughed at his jokes, her voice sounded like
tinkling bells. So, in a nonchalant way, he decides that maybe
he will try and fine her listed on the company roster the next
day. Just to see who she is, of course. What was her name?
Freela? Yep, that was it, Freela. "Can't be more than one
Freela working for this small company," he thinks. "I wonder
what sort of a woman would have the name like Freela?" The light
changes and he's a little slow pulling away.
An eleven year old boy is playing with friends in the front
yard. His mother is standing in the grass talking to a man with
whom his father works. "I think Willie is going to live,
Noreen," he says confidently.
"I don't," he hears his mother say.
The young 11 year old boy runs across the yard, leaps up to
the tree stump left over from the mulberry tree his father had
cut down the summer before, catapults himself into the air as
high as he can. He touched lightly down on the ground but
suddenly, he can't breathe. This has never happened before and
he panics. "Your father will never make it. He is going to
die." He doesn't literally hear the words but he feels something
terribly abnormal in the middle of his chest. A moment passes
and his ability to breathe returns and he goes back to playing
and half listening to his mother and the man arguing about if his
father is going to live or die. His father dies a week later.
What happened to that little boy? Did he feel or hear or
perceive something? Did he make it up? I know this one is true
because I was that little boy.
* Demonic Talk
I want to start out by assuring you that not everything you
think, or hear, in your thoughts is demonic. "boy, that's a
relief." However, anything traumatic creates an atmosphere
whereby events can be misinterpreted without demonic help. If
such occurs, however, it easily opens a way for unclean spirits
to offer suggestions.
Demons talk. They normally talk at emotional low points,
traumatic experiences, frightening events, tragic circumstances,
when the heart is broken, overwhelming sadness, suffering intense
pain, during severe sicknesses or illnesses, intense stressful
incidents or generally whenever the mind is sidetracked by
something out of our control. Why? It is easier to fool people
at these times. I mean, if you were sitting on your couch in the
living room and watching Jimmy Stuart in your favorite western
and a demon walked in with a baseball bat and clubbed you to the
floor and then hit and kicked and spit on you, what would you do?
You'd spring to your feet fighting mad and start swinging and
would probably get the baseball bat away from him and belt him
into next week. But demons don't do that. So what is it you
think they do?
You are tired and exhausted from a hard days work. You can
barely keep your eyes open but you love the Leave It To Beaver
reruns so you are trying to watch it. A demon comes in and says,
"That woman you saw today was sexy." Now you are wide awake
because the images the demon brings with him are slapped into
your mind and you see everything and some things you realize you
really wish you could see which weren't visible. Guilt floods
your mind and suddenly you recall what Jesus said, "But I say to
you, That whoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath
committed adultery with her already in his heart," (Matthew
You don't even remember ever memorizing that verse. In fact, you
know it was never taught in Sunday school when you were five
years old. So where did that verse come from? Maybe your pastor
used it in a sermon. Sure, that must be it. So how did it
spring to mind now? the voice, which quoted the bible verse,
sounded amazingly like your own. Well, what do demons know.
They aren't Bible scholars or anything, after all, but you get
the message. You silently pray and confess your sin of thinking
such terrible thoughts. Unfortunately, the images won't go away
nor will the unholy desire.
You jabbed the television off and head out to the kitchen.
There you fix a large ham and cheese sandwich. Going to bed on a
full stomach always helps you go to sleep so you gobble it right
down and wash it down with a big glass of milk. Off to bed you
Laying in bed, you listen to your wife's rhythmic breathing,
she went to bed an hour before you, which is something she always
does, and it always makes you mad, although you have never
figured out why. Laying on your back, you try and relax your
body but your mind is wide awake. The woman you saw springs to
life right there before your very eyes. The only problem is, she
is attired in loose fitting, translucent, pale green lingerie.
You grown but the picture stays. Your mind begins playing tricks
on you Moments later, the tension rises to a level you haven't
felt for a mighty long time and you find yourself feeling even
more guilty after gratifying your lustful desires. Guilt floods
your mind and you kneel by the bed and repent; promising never to
do it again. You fall asleep thinking, "I am 45 years old.
What's wrong with me." Less than a week later, you have dialed
up dozens of porno sites on the web and you feel terrible. After
awhile even the guilt fades.
Most people would think this story is normal. I mean, the
man is a normal man and he has God given tendencies which the
story implies isn't being satisfied at home. Is it normal? Does
he have no control over his thoughts or is there something else
* Demonic Fear
I was counseling with a friend of mine one day and he told
me an amazing story. He came from a very dysfunctional
upbringing and lived in a lot of sin as an adult before getting
born again. One day, he told me, that his father took him
hunting. While they were out in the woods, and totally alone, my
friend told me that he was walking near his dad with his shotgun
and suddenly, out of the clear blue sky, he felt the coldest and
most fearful thought he had ever experienced. He believe his
father was going to literally kill him with his shotgun while
they were out hunting. He was only 12 years old at the time. I
asked him why he thought this but the only reason he could come
up with was that he knew his father hated him. There was, in
fact, another reason he felt this fear at the time.
A client recently told me that an acquaintance of his no
longer can take a shower unless the shower curtain or door is
clear. Why? He watched a horror movie that frightened him so
severely, he cannot shower without the fear rising up within him
unless he can see out of the shower stall.
Remember when Jaws, the shark story, came out? Many
Christians thought it to be a harmless movie. It wasn't. Many
Christians admit to an abnormal fear they began having after
watching that movie.
A man I know, who has been in Christian counseling for many
years and deals with demonic influence in the lives of
Christians, told me this story.
A man came to him once with horrible fear. He could not, he
admitted, sleep at night without his light burning brightly. The
darkness frightened him more than he could describe and he was an
adult. Further more, he was a roofer, by trade, and had
developed the fear of heights. Also, he had something else that,
you could say, bothered him just a little bit. He had thoughts
of killing his pastor while he sat in church and listened to the
sermon. Try telling that one to your doctor and see where you
Furthermore, as the counseling sessions progressed, this
fearful man asked the counselor if he would mind removing a glass
of water which the counselor had sitting on his desk within
reaching distance of the man. My friend said he would but asked
the man in his office why he wanted him to remove the glass. The
man confessed that he had the feeling that he wanted to take the
glass, break it, and kill my counselor friend with the broken
shards. The glass was removed from sight.
As the counseling sessions progressed, come to find out, the
Christian man we are talking about went to see the Exorcist when
it first came out. Prayer was conducted, once the original
source of the fear was located, and he instantly no longer wanted
to kill his pastor and he discovered he no longer needed the
light on in his room at night just to fall to sleep. One day,
while working on a roof, something crossed his mind. He stood
straight up, walked right over to the peak of the roof, the
highest point, and on the very edge, looked straight down to the
ground. Laughing to himself, he returned to his work because his
fear of heights was totally gone.
Thinking about knives, for me, made he feel fearful. Something I
could feel made me wonder if I would, or could, use a sharp knife
to harm myself. I always ignored these thoughts, which, by the
way, did not come to the surface all the time. I still had no
idea where these thoughts originated. I didn't want to hurt
myself nor anybody else. Yet, the knife, in my hand, sometimes
made me wonder.
You will be very happy to know I never killed anybody and
that I never even harmed myself with a knife. In fact, now, when
I get a knife out of my pocket for something as simple as opening
a sealed box, I test myself by briefly concentrating on the
knife. What do you know? No sinister thoughts ever come to
mind. Why? Because the unclean spirit, sometimes called demons,
can't speak to me any longer because their right to do so was
taken from them when I was healed. "Oh, really?" Yes, really.
"And why not?" Because I have been healed in areas that have
denied them access. "Well, what if it ever happens again? Have
you ever thought about that?" No, I have not thought about that
but if it does happen again, I know exactly what to do to
discover the source and origin of the lie. The last thing a
demon wants is for you to be healed of any emotional woundedness.
Why? Because it is the only way they have at working at
deceiving people and keeping them guessing and off balance
* The Nature Of Demons
Demons, unclean spirits, devils, or however you want to
address them, have no bodies of their own. They are fallen
angels. This isn't a Sunday school lesson so I'm not going to
quote chapter and verse to prove everything I am saying.
Regardless, when the fallen angels were cast out of Heaven, along
with Satan, they discovered they had no glory of their own left.
Those angels who belong to God do have glory and some even shine
with brilliant light. The light, however, comes from God. So
those angels who were kicked out of Heaven lost that glory and
they have no physical bodies. If they did, they would be able to
walk right up to you in a physical body, and while trying to
carry on a conversation with you, get you to sin. Since they
cannot do this, being bodiless and all, they are limited to one
area of exposure. That's in your mind and emotions. Demons do
have feelings but they are always negative, or evil feelings, and
they can put those feelings upon you and fool you into thinking
those feelings are truly your own. If you are thinking that is a
pretty dirty trick, you would be right but demons never play fair
and they never tell the truth unless they are forced to do so.
How can they be forced to tell the truth? That comes later. For
now, it is important you know how they behave.
* Hearing Demonic Voices
Demons normally start out by implanting a single thought
into your thinking stream. It is so quick and easy, you normally
think it is your own thought. For example, "I'm not a very good
Christian. If I were, this wouldn't bother me like it does."
That seems harmless enough and you normally quickly agree with
such a thought that has been plugged into your consciousness.
After all, according to the Bible, you are nothing. At least
that is what the pastor said last Sunday in his sermon concerning
humility, so it must be true.
Now, other stressful events begin to occur. Your boss gets
mad at work. You lose your job and the bills start coming due
and you can't pay because you don't have a job. Quite simply,
the thought of, "I'm not a very good Christian. If I were, this
wouldn't bother me like it does," now seems really true. For
some reason, you begin to search around for other conformational
events which prove this thought and you find a bunch. Your dad
used to always say you'd never amount to anything. Your mom even
said once that she wished you'd never been born. That's similar
to what you are thinking. What about Philippians 4:19? "But my
God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory
by Christ Jesus." Well, that promise doesn't seem to be working
so maybe your original thought was true: "I'm not a very good
Christian. If I were, this wouldn't bother me like it does."
Going out to the mail box a few days later, you have a
single letter. Tearing it open, you read that you are being
turned over to a collection agency for nonpayment of some bill.
Your eyes cloud over and you feel raw cold freezing fear which
you have never felt before. Your heart pounds so hard, you can't
breathe. You hardly make it back to the house and you literally
fall forward on to your hands and knees upon entering the front
door. "You're having a heart attack," you think. At least you
think it is but somehow the thought seems to have body to it;
whatever in the world that means. You literally crawl on your
hands and knees into your kitchen and pull yourself up by holding
on to the edge of the sink. You fumble for a glass and finding
it, you manage, barely, to get the water turned on. the cool
drink seems to slow things down and you breathe deeply a few
times. Your heart slows down a little. You wonder what happened
to you. Could you be having a heart attack? That's within the
realm of reason at your age but somehow you aren't really
convinced of that yet. You suddenly think, "I'm not going to
make it. I'm going to lose everything." Reaching for a kitchen
chair, you collapse into the chair; dropping the glass of water
to the floor. It's a plastic glass, fortunately, and it bounces
around for awhile; spilling water everywhere. You stare down at
your table. It is long and flat and narrow and cold to the
touch. Suddenly, your mind thinks of a morgue and you can see
yourself naked and laid out on top of the table in some hospital
some place, your cold stiff body covered with a white sheet,
after having a heart attack. You scream but don't even notice.
Somehow, you drag the phone off the counter and after several
attempts, you get a friend on the phone. They come right over
and take you to the emergency room.
the EKG shows your heart is fine, other than a heart beat of
135, but after describing the other events to the nurse, she has
a mental health care giver come to talk with you. You are
prescribed some pills you have never heard of before, and can't
even spell, but promise to take them just as instructed.
Furthermore, you go to see your doctor the next day and he
confirms you are having Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, something
you have never even heard of, but he recommends a good
psychologist for you to see.
Soon you are in the office of the psychologist and still
your mind seems foggy. Your insurance hasn't run out yet so it
is paying for this visit so that is one less thing you have to
* Fractured Spirituality
Over the years, I thought the measure of spirituality in a
Christians life was somehow based on how many things you could
conquer and no longer had to worry about. The problem was, about
the time I turned 50 years of age, I discovered I had tons of
things to worry about that I couldn't do anything about and I
freaked out. I began not eating and I went for five days without
sleeping. I was so dizzy and my mind so foggy, thinking was the
hardest thing I could do and when I did think, I somehow only
thought of how nothing was going to work out for me. I wanted to
die. When I saw one of my knives, I hid it lest I be tempted to
use one on myself some day. Just touching the knife flooded my
mind with horrible frightening thoughts. The vocal suggestions
in my mind turned to something real and alive and authentic.
* Free from Demonic Thoughts
About this time, some people say, "Oh, sure. I'm born
again. Nothing has ever happened liked that to me or anybody else
I know." I trust that is true but I will bet my last dollar, if
I was a wagering Baptist, that you have simply never recognized
it for what it was. That's ok; you don't have to believe in
demons. For those who even remotely thing such a thing may have
occurred in your life, there is a remedy. No, it is not joining
the best and biggest church in town, No, it isn't going to Bible
college or seminary. No, it isn't memorizing 10,000 Bible
verses. No, it isn't reading your Bible every day for thirty
minutes. No, it isn't water baptism. No, it isn't being raised
by a Christian mom and dad. No, it isn't being sinless in your
every day life. No, it isn't how much money you put in the
offering plate. No, it isn't who your pastor is. No, it isn't
if you play on the worship team or sing in the choir. No, it
isn't the part you have memorized in the Christmas play. No, it
isn't even if you are a pastor, missionary, evangelist, prophet,
apostle, Sunday school teacher, youth pastor, Christian
counselor, Seminary professor, usher, elder or deacon in the
church or on the board. Demons aren't particular and will talk
to anybody and everybody who will listen, including you. So,
Of course, the Word of God is our first defense against
demonic intrusion. Having good prayer partners always creates a
good line of defense as well. Prayer partners only work well,
however, if they understand the nature of spiritual warfare and
know how to deal with demonic manifestations. Even then, it isn't
what they are doing that works, it is what the True Lord Jesus
Christ does in a prayer session.
By far the most successful defense is intercessory prayer
which is conducted in such a way that implanted lies of the Enemy
are located by the Holy Spirit and the truth of the Lord Jesus
Christ brings His truth right into the event.
If you wish to ask more questions about this, or if you
would like to begin a regimen and regular prayer sessions to get
at the root of the things that bother you, call Safe Place
Fellowship. First read all the articles and booklets on the site
because many of your questions will be answered. Otherwise, if
you don't want to take the time to do that, just pick up the
phone and dial the number below. When you hear the voice mail
message come on, leave me your name and number and the best time
to call, and I will call you back as soon as possible.
Safe Place Fellowship
Denver, Colorado - Mountain Time Zone
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