Javier’s whole live was devoted to satisfying his selfish desires, seeking to enjoy a life without any commitments and wanting to fill his heart with sinful pleasures. He met the lady that is now his wife, and while they were dating she began to attend a church (one that preached the false prosperity gospel) and there the pastors counseled them to get married. For Javier, this was just another opportunity for him to satisfy his selfish desires. He adopted “evangelical” language and built relationships with others that were based on a foundational lie. In his own words, “I got married with the only goal of satisfying my own desire, but everything was a lie, a huge lie…My sins, miseries, faults, and, more than anything, the massive emptiness in my heart accompanied me with every step I took. I had no peace.”
A year later, their marriage was dangling by a thread. Their marital needs led them to seek more help from the “god” they had believed, but they found no answers. They tried everything that their “evangelical” world had to offer—deliverance ministries, courses on internal cleansing, etc.—but their problems only continued to flourish more and more.
Because of their business, they had to move to Rosario, and they decided to hire someone to work with them. A brother in our church that was in need of work providentially presented himself to them and when they found out he was a Christian they were happy to hire him.
After only a few days of working with him, their lives began to be impacted by this brother’s testimony, and immediately they began asking questions.
“When we first began getting to know him, it was as if we believed completely different things, as if our god wasn’t the true God, but his God was. We saw him on good days and bad days, but his God was always real to him. His God affected his thoughts, his emotions and his will…After a few days of speaking with him, we began to understand clearly that we did not believe the same things as him.”
“My wife began to ask him questions—personally, the theme didn’t really interest me at the time—and after a short time she came to the conclusion that we had believed a false gospel. The Christian life is not about prosperity or about making deals with God. Rather, it’s about walking with Him and being satisfied in Him. That was when we began hearing for the first time what the gospel was all about.”
Eventually, Javier began to be uneasy about the things he was hearing in the gospel. His marriage was crying out for help and his thirsty soul was pleading to be satisfied, desperately needing the truth—even though he wasn’t conscious of these things going on inside of him.
That’s when this brother from our church put them in contact with me. Their most obvious need was their marriage, but their most pressing need was to see Christ. Our first meetings consisted of little more than them saying: “I’m a victim and it’s her fault” or “I’m a victim and it’s his fault.” But with each meeting we had, their hearts began to be confronted by and drawn toward the truth they were hearing.
A day came in which the arguments ended and Javier discovered that the principal problem in his life was his enmity with God. The blame didn’t belong to his wife, but to his own sinful heart. He could recognize that he was seeking satisfaction in everything else except God. Still, he wasn’t willing to repent. That afternoon I pleaded with him with tears to look to Christ and to wake up from his absurdity. I urged him not to do anything else except run to his room and with all of his heart pray Psalm 119:18: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.” That night he went to his room to pray.
We met again a few days later and this time we studied Luke 14:25-33 together. We looked at a number of other passages as well, analyzing what it really costs to follow Jesus. Quoting Javier:
“My tears began to pour out. Something was happening inside of me. The mere thought of not being with Jesus was driving me mad. At a particular moment in the conversation, Ariel told me that the Lord was calling me to follow Him, and he urged me to hear His call and follow. At that moment it wasn’t Ariel that was speaking, it was Christ Himself speaking to me through His Word. My heart was shaken: ‘How is it possible that He would call me? I’m so guilty, so covered in sin.’ It was then that I understood that I must forsake my sin and be covered in His own righteousness. I ran to Him—my heart ran to Him. I could really see the hidden treasure, the pearl of great price! I could hardly believe that He would call me, that He could love me, and that He would give Himself for me.”
Like good Argentinians, we hugged one another and rejoiced together! The Lord was faithful to His word. This man cried out for his eyes to be opened and the Lord opened His eyes to see the wonders of His love.
The days went by, and Javier discovered and continues discovering the “lusts of deceit” (Ephesians 4:22) that used to govern his heart. He still has much to learn and grow, his marriage is still damaged by the consequences of sin, but today Javier can cling to the firm promises of the gospel, take up his cross each day, and look to the One that loved Him and gave Himself for Him.