YOU CAN'T CHANGE ME: Unraveling the Lie

PART 5 GOD OF THE LIVING

Chapter 32

JESUS CHANGED EVERYTHING: JAVIER

 


Narrator: Javier had been in and out of prison, taking drugs, selling drugs, and engaged in violence. He was argumentative, abusive, and a womanizer; a man who fathered children and just moved on to avoid responsibility. Somehow, Javier was never to blame, at least that was the way he saw it. It was always the woman's fault things didn't work out between them. They couldn't accept him for who he was and let him be him. They were always trying to CHANGE him. 


It wasn't that Javier didn't see that lying, cheating, physical and emotional abuse, drugs, stealing to pay for the drugs, inability to contribute financially, in and out of jail or prison, and neglect of his children were obstacles and destructive agents, preventing a stable and healthy relationship, No, Javier just didn't care. He wanted what he wanted, when he wanted it. He was selfish and cared more about himself than anything or anyone else.  You either listened to Javier, worshiped and obeyed him or he moved on to someone who appreciated his presence or who would temporarily tolerate and accommodate him. He didn't know how to love or be loved. Javier wanted total submission and obedience, regardless of his behavior, because he was supposed to be the man in charge.

He had quite a long arrest record. He wore his endless list of felonies and misdemeanors like a war hero. They were his badge of courage, proof that he had no fear and nobody told him what to do in life. Sadly enough, he was so blinded by his love for himself that he could not see that a life behind bars told a different story and spoke quite the contrary of his being in control of his own life.

Over his lifetime, he had been arrested for various charges from being a dealer and selling drugs, possession of drugs, assault and battery, felonious assault, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, to theft, vagrancy and domestic violence. He'd do his time in prison and vow that he was going to make a clean start when he got out. However, soon, the drug-addict and prison mentality would win out over the new man initiative. It was a vicious cycle for most of his life and he wasn't getting any younger.

Javier's mother was Latina, but his father was African-American. They both had passed away a few years ago. Being of mixed race and being poor, Javier bought in to the idea that he was born with three strikes against him--counted 'out' before he could reach first base. 


He was raised in the Latino culture, but racial discrimination in society taught him how to be both Black and Latino. He had a married, twin sister, Gabriela, who was busy being a teacher, wife and mother, raising four children. Then, there was his younger brother Mateo, an engineer, who was temporarily living in Mexico, working on a project for the big corporation he worked for. Over the years, they both had tried to help Javier countless times, but he would end up going back to his old ways and hurting them in the process.


In prison, he would choose the race with the strongest gang to belong to. Javier was manipulative and used being biracial to his advantage sometimes, in order to use people for whatever purpose he needed them. Once, as a means of protection and fitting in, he even embraced the Muslim Brotherhood, but, his belief was basically a rebellion against what he saw as the white man's god and a tool for assertion of power over other inmates. In his mind, God was just a means for people to have power over others and nobody was going to have power over him. He would use religion like he used people, for HIS benefit.


When he got out of prison and decided he'd had enough, he just wanted a little bit of religion, just enough to make his life better and let people know he was a decent guy. That's the way Javier saw it, because he knew no other way and he didn't want to know another way.


His rebellious spirit convinced him he had to be in control of his life at all times, especially when it came to religion and women, because people didn't really care about you and he doubted if God did either. Matter of fact, he often doubted if there really was a God. Addict mentality had taught him to go along with a lot of things if it got you what you wanted or needed and prison life had reinforced his number one rule of looking out for one's self first and foremost.


Even being a father to his children once in a while was to benefit his ego, in order to feel like somebody loved him and looked up to him. His main philosophy remained to form alliances with people to get what you needed or wanted, as protection and strength against the competition and oppressive establishment opposition. 


In Javier's world, every day was survival of the fittest. There was no need to think about or plan for the future, just live life on the edge, always on your guard, protecting your feelings with an impenetrable wall of pinned up anger and bitterness directed at an insufferably, harsh world, which had done nothing but punish and degrade him as a man, since the day he was born.

Did Javier really believe racism was the biggest factor in why his life had been so chaotic and wasted? Javier felt sure, it was. He KNEW it was. Latinos were at the bottom of the totem pole with Blacks and perhaps they were hated even more now since there were so many of them in America.  


Javier felt that he owed no apologies to America for his behavior, since the odds had been against him from the start. Sure, a lot of Latinos and Blacks had, so-called 'made it' and become successful, like his brother and sister, living out the 'American Dream', but they were part of the quota and society had plenty of ways to put a cap on that and direct the overflow into poverty, drugs, death, prison cells or out of the country. "They (white America) don't really want us here," he'd say. "I'm just being what they expect me to be...the only thing they've given me a CHANCE to be."


Luke met Javier when he came home from class, one night. He had had a room to himself for a while and had gotten use to it, but there sat Javier on his bed looking through his belongings. He was about to go report him when Pastor Scott walked up behind him, yelling.

Pastor Scott: Javier, we catch you stealing or going through anybody's stuff and you're out of here! Read the rules we gave you! --First and final warning! Luke, check your stuff and let me know if anything is missing or damaged. By the way, Luke, this is Javier Mendoza, he's your new roommate and you're his mentor.

Javier: Hey, man, ain't you Mexican? Gimme a damn break! I was just trying to find out what kinda person I'm living with.

Pastor Scott: I'm from Peru and I have respect for myself, race and culture, as should you. And please address me as Scott.

Javier: SCOTT?!


[Javier laughed at the idea of a Hispanic man being named Scott and waving his hand at him in disgust, threw himself upon his bed. Luke looked at Scott in dismay.]

Luke: mentor?

Pastor Scott: You're ready to take it on, Luke. We'll talk about it later in my office. Please make sure he reads the rules tonight.

Narrator: Luke looking somewhat bewildered looked at Javier and managed a crooked, half smile. He decided not to check his things, especially not in front of Javier. He knew he needed Javier's trust and didn't want to lose it the first day they met.

Luke read the rules for Javier, who didn't want to read them after stumbling over a couple of words. He could tell Javier wasn't a good reader, but what else did he need to know about this man, other than he might be a thief? He went down to Scott's office to talk to him about his role as a mentor and to read Javier's file.

After reading the file, Luke felt obligated to help this man, although Javier had a reputation of being both stubborn and verbally abusive to everyone who tried to help him. He had been referred from another shelter and agency who said he managed to become a saboteur to his own pursuit of growth and rehabilitation. He just couldn't get past his pride and fear of change, so, no one was able to tell him anything, especially those closest to him.

Because of his rebellion and early drug and alcohol use, his maturity and academic level were both low, hindering him in life and in growing and getting ahead. His awareness and self-consciousness of these facts only made him more defensive and bitter. His only defense in the world against feeling helpless or overpowered was to develop hardness and become insensitive, rebellious, pessimistic, sarcastic and at war with God. Apparently, he was exposed to Christianity and going to church, but as he saw those Christians around him as being hypocritical and not practicing what they preached, he felt it wasn't worth his time.

Javier had decided that religion was just another con game and that was just the way it was, so why be any different from the hypocrites...just play the game. He looked down upon those who tried to be something more, labeling them as holy-rollers, people who had a holier than thou attitude and thought they were better than others, especially him. In his eyes they were always trying to preach to him; always trying to change him, judging everything about him...ALWAYS trying to judge him; thinking they were so much smarter than him and they had all the right answers. If he wanted to change, he'd do it himself, when he was ready to change. Javier had seen and dealt with enough of those know-it-all kind of people and swore in profane and bitter words, he'd never become one of them.


Luke returned to his room and found Javier asleep on the bed, snoring loudly. Great! He thought, so much for studying in his room tonight. He laid down on his bed as thoughts raced through his mind.

Luke: (thinking) So, why is Javier here? Why are we trying to help him, if he really doesn't want to be helped? But, maybe he doesn't know how to be helped or maybe he's just using us because he needs a place to stay. In any case, why give him to me? Why me? After awhile, Luke, drifted off to sleep and dreamed about loud, growling bears trying to attack him in his room.


Narrator: Needless to say, Javier did not take to the rules of the house well. Luke struggled to keep him in line. Javier just wouldn't let him get too close to him. He seemed to be intimidated by Luke's intelligence and his going to school to better himself. Luke tried to encourage Javier to read and learn new things. Being no stranger to the streets, Luke tried to witness to Javier and relate to him on his level. Luke knew the ins and outs of drug abuse and its after effect on those trying to stay clean but Javier totally rejected him as an equal.

One night, when Javier came in drunk and hysterical, screaming he was in a cult and kept prisoner, Luke was the only thing between the door and Javier's being kicked out of the shelter and put on the street. However, Luke began to feel like he was babysitting Javier and it was taking up too much of his time. He wanted to talk to Scott about it, but he didn't want it to look like he couldn't handle Javier or that he was giving up. He remembered how Merle, Bee, Scott, Dr. Schmidt and others hadn't given up on him, but most of all, it was God who never gave up on him.


He prayed and asked for strength and guidance and he prayed fervently for Javier. He asked Javier if he could anoint him with oil and have others lay hands on him to pray. Javier didn't seem to care either way and agreed. He went through the motions and Luke thanked everyone for their prayers.


After that, Javier seemed to be extremely moody. He wasn't hostile or mean to anyone, but he tried to stay to himself and he was very quiet. Luke would hear him stirring in the night and wondered how much sleep he was getting. 


A month went by and Luke thought Javier was still behaving strangely for Javier. Of course, his subdued behavior meant Luke had more time to concentrate on school and other matters, but Luke was concerned about Javier's robotic behavior and wondered if he was going out to get drugs. He decided to check to see when Javier last dropped and had a drug test and if he was going regularly when he was scheduled. 


While he was in the office, glancing over Javier's drug screenings, Scott came in and saw him reading.  Scott knew it could only be one person's file. Luke decided it was time to ask for help.


Luke: Hi Scott, do you have a few minutes? I'd like some advice on helping Javier. 


Scott: What's the matter? 


Luke: I don't know...I mean it's hard to tell. He's sort of despondent, sullen. He's not complaining, arguing and yelling. 


Scott: And, you're worried about that?


Luke: Well, I'd say it was an improvement, but...when I ask him what's bothering him, he says that nothing is wrong...but, I know he's not sleeping or eating well. I hear him up at night and he's lost weight.


Scott: Check his psychiatric evaluation for the last time he's been checked for depression. 


[Luke flipped through the documents until he found the most recent form.]


Luke: It was about six months ago, before he came here. 


Scott: Well, we're going to have to be more careful about that. We're working with cause and effect, introducing life-changing ideas and using the power of Spiritual Warfare to change lives. Satan doesn't like to give up those he's claimed. 


Schedule Javier for a new evaluation ASAP and I mean as soon as possible. Tell them it's urgent and he's being referred by me.


Narrator: Luke thanked Scott for his help and thanked God that he created scientific, medical and spiritual help for His children and it was possible for them to work together to meet the needs of individuals. 


When, Luke got back to the room, he informed Javier that he would be getting a new psychiatric evaluation because he hadn't had one since he came there. Javier shrugged his shoulders and said he didn't care, because he'd been through all of that over and over again. 


Javier turned his back to Luke and pretended to go to sleep, but he didn't want to go to sleep. He dreaded falling asleep. He didn't want to dream and he didn't want to remember. His dreams had become nightmares that replayed the course of his life, leaving him with dark and demonic thoughts. He was afraid in his dreams and he didn't like feeling afraid or the idea that anything could frighten him. 


He could see it all very clearly, now. --What he had done to others and what he had done to himself. There was no pushing it to the back of his mind or justifying it. He had created a life of hell and brought nothing more than hell to the people around him. There was no taking it back. He would have to carry guilt and shame for the rest of his life. People around him knew what he was and what he had done. His life was useless and pointless from here on in to the finish line.


Javier's appointment was scheduled for the coming Monday. Sunday, Luke got dressed for church and seeing Javier lying on his bed, fully dressed already, told him he would see him at church.


Before the service, Merle looked a little tired, but he appeared to be in good form and spirit, ready to buckle up and soar as he sometimes told the congregation to do. From the pulpit, Luke caught Bee's eye and lovingly smiled at her. She gave him a little wink of the eye. After praising and worshipping for awhile, Merle plunged right into his sermon.


Merle: If we haven't accepted Jesus and the Spirit of God in our heart, one of the hardest things for us to get past in our relationships with others, is what they have done wrong to us , others and themselves. Their sin may be so great in our eyes that we cannot find a way of overlooking it. We can be so hurt by what they or someone like them has done to us or a loved one, that we find them repulsive. We can become filled with such anger, bitterness and hate, we can't even bear to be around them, let alone talk to them. Our feelings may be so hurt that we can't even think of trying to help them or see any amount of good coming into their lives. We may either want to see them hurt or destroyed; out of our lives; or immediately change and right their wrong.

It is easy to see and condemn their sin, but we cannot see the sin upon us that is destroying us because of our hardened hearts. This is why it is so important to know the character of God and strive to be like Him. If we completely surrender our will and abide in Jesus, we come to understand others, accept others and guide them, in other words, we have peace in our heart and soul. No matter what comes our way, it is well with our soul; not because of lethargy or indifference, but because of the peace that comes with perfect love.

Ooooh, what a wonderful peace it is! It makes you wonder how you ever survived before without it; and as long as you keep your eyes on Jesus--it's yours. It is yours today for the asking...just..."knock and He will answer, seek and you shall find. "

We have spent much time talking about your heart for this very reason. Changing others depends on our heart being purged of the world, sin and ourselves, so we must learn to fast, meaning ridding ourselves of the things of this world--not just food, but anything that corrupts our mind, spirit and body (doubt, fear, shame, guilt, unclean thoughts and worldliness). This comes with much prayer (communing with God and loosing and binding things in Earth and Heaven). We empty ourselves of self and being rooted in the world and fill ourselves with the holiness, righteousness, love and power of the Kingdom. Jesus spent much time alone with His Father, doing just this.

Narrator: Missing him during the service, Luke went back to the dormitory and not finding him in their room, He searched the halls and restrooms and found Javier in a restroom trying to cut his wrist with glass from the mirror behind him that he had broken. 


Luke was too stunned and frightened to say anything. He looked at Javier, who was shaking and sweating. His own voice shaking, Luke said the first thing that came to his mind.

Luke: Javier, you look like you haven't slept in days. Have you eaten? It's no wonder you're so depressed. Come on, put that down. Let's go get something to eat.

Narrator: Javier just mumbled something. Luke could tell he was too high and spaced out to be coherent. Luke tried to move closer, but Javier's eyes rolled back in his head, as his head jerked backward and he began to fall. 


Luke froze for an instant and could feel panic setting in, but managed to pull Javier toward him before his head hit the sink. Javier's sinking weight pulled them both to the floor. Luke pulled himself up and noticed the reflection of a needle on a broken piece of glass. Then, Javier started to seizure and Luke knew he had to get help.

Narrator: Merle was still preaching, when the ambulance was arriving, but as it got nearer it drowned out his voice and most of the congregation was turning around or leaving to see what was happening.

Merle: Satan likes to keep us busy and without rest. He wants to be able to ease in and take control of your mind.  He finds ways of keeping us from spending time with God to be strengthened and revived. Then, he can have his way with us and those of the world. This is why we must remain prayerful, rested, keeping our eyes on Jesus and seeking Heavenly things; in the world, but not 'of ' the world. We must stay clothed in holiness, dressed in the Armor of God, attached to the Vine and always bearing good fruit, so that we are fortified, armed with defenses, which include God's angels. We should be ready to make a stand and change the world person by person, nation by nation...

Narrator: Javier wanted to do something right, for once in his life, so he devised a fail-safe plan to kill himself, when everyone had left the building for church. According to his rationale, this was setting things right. Although, some said it was an unconscious cry for help, Javier had seemed pretty determined to get it done. If an overdose of drugs didn't work, he was going to bleed himself to death.


Something had changed within him , but with all that he had done in his past and all that he was fighting inside of him that resisted change, he was unable to accept it.  He couldn't put it all together and didn't want to.  It wasn't how he had planned things to go here. He had lost control.


By the time the ambulance arrived, Javier's seizure had stopped and he appeared to be in a coma. Luke accompanied Javier in the ambulance and stayed by his side in the hospital until Merle arrived and told him to go home and get some sleep.

 

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SELF REFLECTION: A Look in the Mirror

 

Once again, when we look at Jesus' parables, He is challenging us to examine where our heart lies. Closely examining your heart, answer the questions below.

DISCUSS your answers with a mature Believer who can guide you in your spiritual relationship with Jesus and our Father, and/or have group discussions to learn from those who have different experiences and perspectives.

QUESTIONS: Write down your questions and discuss them with a mature Believer or submit them to this blog.

 

  1. Children can be exposed to or open themselves up to darkness and demonic spirits. Training up a child in the way they should go also means equipping them to fight the darkness around them. Once they are labeled as problem children and shoved into a juvenile correction center, it can become more difficult to reach them. Were you labeled as a problem child or do you know someone who is? Did someone help you overcome your problems or did your life become more difficult and troubled?
  2. What can we do to help children who are struggling with problems and identity?
  3. Do you have programs within your church or place of worship to address problems that young people face?
  4. Role models, volunteers and mentors are very much needed to connect with children from single-parent or troubled homes. Have you ever thought of offering your love, services, time and skills to a youth program?
  5. Luke wasn't sure he wanted to be a mentor. He had other important things taking up his time.We pray and ask God for a way to do things that we want to do, but shouldn't we also pray and believe God will make a way for us to help others?
  6. Luke didn't recognize Javier's depression or that it could be related to their laying hands upon him and praying.  He was use to Javier being aggressive and difficult.Having to supervise Javier less meant more time he had to do what he wanted. Luke's attitude showed a lack of belief and understanding of God's power given to us through the laying on of hands. Do you think he believed Javier would change?
  7. Have you ever had someone lay hands on you to receive blessings or healing from God or to cast out unclean spirits? Jesus asked those wishing healing,"Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord." Did you believe in your healing or deliverance? Do you believe in the power of God's Holy Spirit manifested through laying hands upon others and praying? Did Javier believe?
  8. The power of God's Word draws or repels, therefore, our healing or deliverance is determined by God's Will and can take on a form other than that which we expect. The outcome of repelling is most often overlooked, as we all desire and expect good outcomes as the Will of God. Javier's outcome was not what Luke expected, but, if God allowed it to happen, was it the Will of God?
  9. Javier felt that he had been mistreated in life, disenfranchised, marginalized, discriminated against and made an outcast not only by society, but by his family, also. Javier looked for forgiveness and acceptance in the world. He didn't believe he could find forgiveness and acceptance in the church because of the hypocritical examples of Christians he saw. Luke didn't understand why Javier was referred to their shelter program. Did Luke fail to see the Light that they shined and the example they set for others?
  10. Javier believed he was in control of his life. Was he? Who controlled him?
  11. Do you feel you are in complete control of your life? Why or why not?
  12. Did Javier know how to forgive himself? Did he see himself as redeemable? Did he understand that through Jesus we become worthy and are given redemption?
  13. Knowing we are forgiven and accepted can change the way we feel about ourselves and life. When we lose our support system and love from others, Satan can isolate us and keep us in bondage. Do you have a good support system of family, friends and Believers?
  14. Do you feel redeemed and accepted? Have you humbled yourself, repented, prayed and sought after God's face through Jesus Christ?
  15.  Do you take time to acknowledge and be with God?

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REFERENCED SCRIPTURE


Matthew 9 King James Version (KJV)


9 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.


2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.


3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.


4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?


5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?


6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.


7 And he arose, and departed to his house.


8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.


9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.


10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.


11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?


12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.


13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.


14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?


15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bride chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.


16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.


17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.


18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.


19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.


20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:


21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.


22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.


23 And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise,


24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.


25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.


26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.


27 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us.


28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.


29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.


30 And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.


31 But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.


32 As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.


33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.


34 But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.


35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.


36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.


37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;


38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.