Testimony of John Bevere – God Provides

| October 9, 2013

As I was growing up, I recognized the importance of a father and husband providing for his family. My dad modeled this beautifully,teaching us that a penny saved was a penny earned. The role of the husband and father in providing a secure, stable household was drilled into me as a boy. I wanted to become a pilot, but my father discouraged it it because in those days being a pilot wasn’t considered a secure job. Dad directed me toward a more stable career. I studied engineering and in 1981, took a position with Rockwell International.

I made a handsome salary as a junior engineer. It was a good feeling to provide adequately for my wife. I was following what had been modeled before me as a young man. However, I struggled with an inner conflict: I felt a burning call to enter ministry. It had been on me for a few years, but I saw no way to provide
for my wife and eventually our children on a minister’s income. So Lisa and I came up with a plan.

I had learned from another employee that the company paid an extremely large salary if an employee took a position overseas, especially in the Middle East. So I went to the personnel director and inquired about being transferred to Saudi Arabia, Liga and I figured we could endure living there for a few years, save the extra money, come back to America, pay cash for a modest house, then go into the ministry.

One problem: our plans were all based on our own ability.

One night a young minister, who had known Lisa and me for a couple of years, sat me down and and rebuked me for two hours. In essence, he said, “John the call of God is on your life, and you are doing nothing about it. If you stay on the same path you are on now, you’ll end up being an old engineer who misses his desiny.”

I was shaken by his words but I knew he was right. I came home that night and said to Lisa, “I’m going to make myself available to the church to work in any position. The first door that opens, I’m going to walk through it. Are you with me?”

“I’m with you,” she said.

I prayed passionately over the next few months for God to open a door for me to serve in the ministry. In the meantime, I did all I could to serve in our church on a volunteer basis. I became an usher, joined the church’s local prison ministry and even taught my pastor’s children how to play tennis. (I had been a tennis instructor for three years at a swim and racquet club while in college.)

A few months later, in 1983, a door opened for a full-time poition in ministry. I left Rockwell and started working for my local church. I took a huge pay cut to accept the new position, and my dad thought I had lost my mind (as did my boss at Rockwell). Other friends questioned my decision, and I too, fought thoughts about how I would provide. On paper it just didn’t work; our monthly income was lower than the total of our expenses.

But I knew that it was God’s plan for me to take this position. I left the care of provision with God. We never missed a meal, always had enough to meet our needs. Time and time again, without our uttering w word to anyone, we saw God provide miraculously. Lisa and I would privately voice our necessities to God, resist discouragement from the enemy with God’s Word, and witness one miraculous provision after another.

I recall once having to make the choice of whether we would give our tithe or buy groceries. It wasn’t much of a struggle because we had already decided to put God first in everything. So we placed 10 percent of our salary in the offering, which meant we had nothing left for groceries because the other 90 percent had to go toward paying bills and other unforeseen expenditures – one being our car.

At the time, we had only one car and the alternator had failed. Extremely busy with my church work, I didn’t have time to fix it. Besides, I drove the church’s van, so I had the transportation I needed to and from work. So our car sat. Then, a few days after the alternator failed, a rear tire went flat. To make matters worse, our spare was unusable. We lived in Dallas, Texas, and the heat that summer was extreme. One evening I came home from work only to find
that one of our car’s windows had shattered into hundreds of little pieces. Turns out that the inside of the ear had become so hot that the air expanded to the
point of exploding one of the windows.

The frustration mounted. I was in a pickle. Even if I fixed the alternator, I still couldn’t drive the car because I had no tire. We covered the window with a
garbage bag and tape, but I knew that if a strong rain came, our patchwork window covering would give way and water would get into the car. Over time, moisture could rot the interior of the car. I couldn’t ignore it another day. I called several garages, but all the estimates were beyond what we could pay. We just
didn’t have the money to fix our car. With my previous engineering salary it would have been an easy matter. I had to battle thoughts of self-pity and visions
of our car rotting away in the parking lot.

Finally, I was fed up. I found a secluded place for a meeting with God and screamed out, “Lord, You said I am to cast all my care upon You. So at this moment I take the care of this automobile and I put it in Your hands completely and totally. It’s no longer my care, it is now Yours. If the car rots, it’s not my fault
because the concern is no longer mine! I’m staying focused on what You’ve told me to do. Now I thank You for providing the solution.”

I was loud and strong in my words and really meant what I said. And for the first time since the alternator died, I began to feel peace in my soul. It was just as God’s Word promises:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ ]esus. (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT)

Then I started in on the enem. I spoke violently and passionately, “Satan, you listen to me. My God, my Father, supplies all my needs acording to His riches in glory. I have no lack, for I seek His kingdom and I have need of is added to me. So I resist you in the name of Jesus and command you to take your filthy hands off our finances and our car.”

It felt as if something snapped. Almost immediately I found myself laughing. I thought, Have I lost my mind? Yet the joy was coming from within me. I knew it was the joy of the Lord, which would be the strength I needed. With that strength I knew I could keep running my race relentlessly. My care was now in God’s mighty hand and the enemy was bound up. I was in a state of anticipation of God’s provision.

The very next day a friend of Lisa’s came over and saw our damaged car in the parking lot of our apartment. It was indeed an eyesore She said, “Lisa, I have a friend who is a mechanic. Why don’t you let me get hold of him to see what he can do for you and ]ohn.” Her friend ended up fixing everything at a fraction of what the other garages wanted to charge us. We saw God prov1de in an amazing way, and it strengthened us.

But because of giving our tithe, we still didn’t have any money for groceries, and I wouldn’t be paid for another twelve days. One night we sat in the car and cried together. Our tears were not of unbelief but of frustration. We didn’t understand why we had to fight for everything while others lived at ease. As with
the apostle Paul, we lacked understanding of what was being accomplished in the midst of our trial. We saw the trials as bothersome, irritating, and a waste of our time. We didn’t realize we were being strengthened in God’s grace so we could face bigger challenges in order to bring God greater glory. After a few tears, Lisa and I affirmed our belief in God’s Word and kept on with our divine mission.

Two days later, a visiting couple from San Antonio, whom we’d met only that week, approached me. They said, ]ohn we don’t know why, but God keeps speaking to us to give you this.” They handed me an envelope containing a check for $200. Lisa and I were amazed. Nobody except God knew our situation, and He provided for us once again.

After a few more years of growing and developing in our faith and maturity, I accepted a position as youth pastor for a very large church in Florida. We again faced the same financial challenge of another pay cut for this position This time we had an eighteen-month-old son, so getting by was even challenging. Again we gave our care to God, resisted the enemy, and saw miraculous provision. I stayed focused on the mission, and the provision came again and again, often in spectacular ways.

In September 1988, God showed me that the time had come to move into the next phase of ministry-traveling and speaking full-time. I had submitted to my pastor’s leadership, so I decided to not say a word and wait for God to show him what was next for me. No one else knew what I was shown in prayer except for Lisa and a friend who lived in another state.

In February 1989, my pastor came into our staff meeting and told of a vivid vision he had had the night before. He shared how he saw Lisa and me leaving
from the church to travel and minister on a full-time basis. As I listened to him, I started to weep. The Holy Spirit had confirmed His will, just as He did with Barnabas and Paul in Acts 13:1-5.

Six months later, in August 1989, within a three-week period I received invitations for seven future speaking events. I told my pastor and he smiled
laughed, and said, “This is what the Lord showed us. Looks like you’re on your way.” Then he said, “]ohn, travel as much as you can this fall and the church will continue to pay your salary through the end of the year. On the first of January you`ll be on your own financially.”

Over the next few months I traveled to those seven places and had good meetings, but no other invitations came. I was looking at soon being launched
hut with no place to go. My pastor noticed and, two months before I was to go off salary, he gave me a remarkable letter of recommendation and the addresses
oi six hundred churches in America in which he had spoken. (He was a very well known minister, both nationally and internationally.)

Immediately I began to address his stationery with the addresses he gave me. My plan was to put his letter and a letter from me in the packet to all six hundred churches. I had completed about forty of the envelopes when I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, Son, what are you doing?
“I’m letting these pastors know I’m available to come to their churches,” I responded.

You’ll get out of my will.

“But God,” I blurted out, “nobody out there knows who I am.”

I do. Trust Me.

At that point I had a decision to make. I could choose humility by submitting to God ’s directive spoken in my heart, or I could secure provision through
my own marketing efforts. In other words, would I give my care and concerns to Him, or would I give my care and concerns in my own hands? I made the
decision immediately Before my intellect or emotions could talk me out of it, I tore up the forty addressed envelopes. Either I’m hearing from God or I’m crazy, I thought.

Time passed. It was now mid-December and I had booked only two meetings. One would be the first week of January in a tiny town in South Carolina, at a small church that met in a funeral home. The other was booked for the end of February in a small church in the hills of Tennessee.

At this point our pastor was very concerned for us. He was about to start his daily television program that would eventually air all over the world. Lisa had television production experience, so our pastor offered her a job producing the new program for $45 per hour. I was so relieved and excited! So was Lisa. This
would bring in much-needed money while my traveling ministry gained momentum.

But a few days later while I was in prayer, the Holy Spirit once again spoke to my heart. Son, if Lisa accepts the job of television producer, then whatever she makes financially I will deduct from the offerings taken for your ministry on the road. I don’t want her working for your pastor. I want her by your side.

I was in shock. I shared this message with Lisa and, to my surprise, she agreed. She had received the same message during her prayer time! We graciously turned down our pastor’s offer, but he was still concerned for us.

We were now at the end of December. My income from the church was about to stop, and I still had only the two meetings booked. Once again our pastor approached me. “]ohn, on Sunday morning during our televised service, I’m going to get you up on the platform and announce to all the pastors who watch us nationwide that you being launched into a traveling ministry and are available to come to their churches. Furthermore, our church is going to give you monthly support.”

Again, I was quite happy. This man of God was perhaps one of the most well-known pastors in America with millions watching his program. I was sure this was God’s way of getting me out onto the field to do what He’d called me to do.

But a few days later while I was praying, the Holy Spirit spoke again: Son, your pastor will not announce you on the church’s televised program, and the church will not give you monthly support.

Now I was getting frustrated. “Why not?” I protested. “Our Pastor said he would!”

Immediately I heard in my heart, Because I won’t let him do it, and he is a man who listens to Me.

“Why Won’t You let him do what he promised me?”

Then the Lord said something to me I will never forget: Because if he does, when you run into difficult times, you’ll run to him instead of to Me.

Sure enough, our pastor never stood me up in front of the television audience. In fact, he never mentioned my new ministry at all, and he didn’t give me
monthly support. And I’m so glad he didn’t do either. It forced me to entrust my cares to God, to pray and fight rather than give him; to men who had the
money or influence we needed.

So January came and, sure enough, the church stopped our salary Lisa and I had $300 to our name. We now had two small children-Addison, who was
three and a half and Austin, who was nine months old. Our monthly payments were $1,000 for our house mortgage and $200 for our car. I didn’t know where
my next penny was coming from. I prayed like my life depended on it, which, of course, forced me to draw near to the Holy Spirit.

We saw doors open in the most unique ways. My first speaking engagement, for the church that met in a funeral home, was a terrific set of meetings.
They were extended to another week. Word got out and another pastor attended from Columbia, South Carolina. At the final meeting, he asked me if I come to his church. Lisa and I went, and his church led to another. And so it continued.

A Couple of months went by and again my schedule was wide open. We were under a lot of pressure financially, but we hadn’t been late on one bill. Early one morning I went outside to pray. “God, my Father, I’m doing what You told me to do,” I shouted out. “lf You don’t provide meetings and finances for my family, then I’m going to get a job sacking groceries, and I will tell people You couldn’t provide for us. Father, I refuse to sell myself. If You’ve called me, You’ll open the doors. I give this totally to You.”

I then turned to the north and commanded doors to open. Then I faced the south, the east and finally the west, each time commanding doors to open. Then I commanded the devil, that he could not hinder the steps that God had ordered for us to take.

Shortly after that prayer session, a church in Michigan brought me in for four days of meetings. A genuine movement of God broke out. The four-day meeting turned into weeks of meetings. People drove to the services from as far as ninety miles away, packing the church to capacity every night. I called Lisa, who was with our sons at the public pool near my parents’ house in Florida. I told her about the meetings, that there was no end in sight, and that I was sending airline tickets for her and the boys to join me in Michigan.

A pastor on vacation was sitting near Lisa and overheard her side of the phone conversation. He approached her and said, “Please forgive me, but I was listening to your phone call with your husband. I pastor a fifteen-hundred member church in upper New York. I’m so hungry for a movement of God among our people. I felt the Lord told me to invite your husband.”

So after the meetings in Michigan, we went to New York. These also turned out to be powerful services. We returned to that church frequently. This type of thing continued week after week. In fact, in the first four years of traveling ministry we never wrote one letter or made one phone call to a church. Every meeting just opened up as I’ve described or in other strange ways.

I’ll say again, I was raised with a mind-set that it is extremely important for a man to provide for his family. First Timothy 5:8 confirms this conviction by stating that if I don’t, then I’m worse than an unbeliever. To provide for my family was a valid and godly concern. However, if I had made this care my top priority, I would never have stepped out in obedience to God. That concern or care would have been the weight that would have greatly hindered my race.

After being on the road a few years, I had the opportunity to observe other ministers who had chosen differently – who had not given the care of their provision completely over to God. As with the ten spies they seemed to calculate their provision by their own ability. I would observe them selling themselves, dropping hints, playing political games. I grieved for them, knowing that the call on their lives was genuine but that they had sold themselves and God, short. Even today, many of these ministers still haven’t entered kingdom rulership. It saddened my heart when I heard one pastor say “Don’t you know, faith without hints is dead.”

Our first year traveling, Lisa and I saw God provide in amazing ways. One month we needed almost $700 to pay our mortgage, which was due the next day. I went to the mailbox and there was a letter from a hippy couple who lived in Alabama. They had eight children and slept on the floor with a box spring and a mattress. The letter read, John and Lisa, we don’t know why, but God put it so strong today on our heart to send you this check for $300.

That night I spoke to a church of just forty people. The pastor gave me the offering in a paper sack. I came home and went to bed, then realized I had
forgotten to count the offering. Because Lisa and I had given our care to God, I honestly was not worried about the house payment that was due the next
day. I got up and counted the offering. It was $397.26 This combined with the gift from the hippies was enough for our house payment. Once again,
God had provided.

Over time, I came to understand the process that God used to train us. Lisa and I first had to leam how to cast our care upon God in smaller matters, like a
car alternator. It was important that we learn how to believe and fight when our salary was low. Why? Because when we entered full-time traveling ministry, we
went from low salary to no salary. We had grown in faith and were ready for a more difficult mission. The challenges faced during our first year traveling helped us grow even more and prepared us for the next of faith we would need.

As I write this book, our budget at Messenger International is more $100,000 per Week. If I had not learned how to give my cares to God and believe Him step by step, I would be overwhelmed now. But the good news is, I’ve never lost a minute of sleep over our provision. The peace of God, which does pass understanding has remarkably guarded and kept our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, just as God promised.

~ Excerpt taken from Relentless by John Bevere

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Category: God's Plans, God's Provision, Obedience, Purpose & Calling

About the Author ()

I have been a follower of Christ for more than 20 years now. Started from a Methodist church, then went on to a few charasmatic churches and again back to a Methodist church now. Thus I have experienced and seen a wide flavor of different denominations. Personally, I consider myself non-denominational as I can worship in many different styles. The important thing is that I follow the gospel and love Jesus. I am currently serving as a musician and a worship leader in my church. I believe that my calling is to help others enter into the presence of God through worship. I also enjoy teaching and discipling other believers, which is the main reason why this site was started. I hope to find other believers to join me in this cause to reach out and encourage other believers.

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