Rend Not Your Clothes...But Your Heart

"Beloved, if any unholiness exists in the nature, it is not there by the consent of the Spirit of God. If unholiness is in your life it is because your soul is giving consent to it, and you are retaining it. Let it go. Cast it out and let God have His way in your life." --John G. Lake

He came so restless. The charge nurse asked me to evaluate this young, newly incarcerated male. His upper extremities were showing slight tremors, when our medication nurse made a round in his unit.

“I take like 30 pills of Vicodin [a narcotic] a day, Ma’am. And yes, I also drink lots of alcohol everyday and snort heroin.” His gaze was not steady, combing every corners of the Infirmary. His arms hanging on to his clothing as if he wanted to tear them.

“Relax, Sir. I know it’s difficult. But if you keep moving your left arm, the blood pressure cuff will not stop pumping and it’s gonna’ hurt you,” I softly warned.

“Awww….Okay. Okay….I’m trying,” he responded with very rapid sighs.

I started him on two protocols: one for opiate withdrawal and the other for alcohol withdrawal. I was allowed to give him certain medications based on those. To his relief.

“Sir,” I repeated, “Relax. Okay? Try to. Stop pulling on your clothes.”

“Thank you, Ma’am. I’ll try.”

“These medications will help control your shaking, the runs, nausea and vomiting and at night, you would be given something to help you sleep. It would be brought to where you are housed by the medication nurses.”

The rapid footsteps left the Infirmary. His face managed to paint a grateful smile that something was done. But that “fix” was only temporary. He knew that. Change must come from him. Deep inside.

God wants our hearts. From our hearts come both the good and the bad things. If given to Him with true repentance, the bad things go. Like being purged. It is not an easy process. God did not guarantee an easy life with Him. But it would be worth it. For a life with Christ is liberating. Our sins forgiven when we truly repent. Let us stop pulling on our clothes, trying to make choices. Just choose for one. The only way. The only truth. The only life.

“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” ~ Joel 2:13 [NIV]

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The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].