Who can deliver me from the proud walk, the undisciplined eyes, the arrogant speech; the feeling of superiority over everybody else and the selfish motives that constantly gives birth to the torment of my own heart? The idols of my heart were all exposed; so much and so many that came before God in my list of priorities.

            How could I open my mouth and preach with so much ungodliness in me? For before Christ I was lost but even after Him I refused to make Him my Lord and give Him the fullness of my will. “You can take this, but I’ll hold on to this and that,” I said in the center of the vanity of my mind. Hypocrisy established residence in the closeness of my secret rooms; how much do I really love God? What did it take for me to turn away from His path? The rich man drew the line when it came down to his treasures and for Pontius Pilate was the threat of the lost of power.  What excuse do I have? What excuse do you have? What can justify trying other ways? For His resistance crushed my spirit because of my laughable pride.

            God, in His amazing love for me, showed me who I really was. I built the path of my own destruction and then I asked how I could engage in such things. How could the great “me” say such horrible things? Oh, I found refuge in the upsetting of my own self. But the Lord said, “Why are you so surprise and so angry at you? For without me you are nothing but someone guided by the filthiness of your flesh, for the temptations were birthed out of your own desires.”

            “Oh, that is not me,” I said… How could I? Even my self-anger was a reflection of my great pride. Even behind my self-anger there was a voice that cried out: “I am better than everybody; that was not me…that was not me! Have you ever seen anybody come to Jesus while happy? Why does it take so much for us to turn our hearts to His ways? Why do we continue to argue with the Almighty God as we try to establish our failed ways?

            I know that I stood guilty; no justification, no way to camouflage the expressions of my carnality. No, it was not the Lord that tempted me to do evil things; for the Lord will never do such a thing according to the Word… It was me… proud me, outer dignified me, but full of the putrefaction of self within.

            But when I saw the disaster of my own doing, when I got through blaming everybody, I saw my face in all the ones I blamed. As I pointed my finger I saw the three fingers that pointed at me and the one that showed me the higher way. I stood guilty with no defense! Hopelessness overtook my soul; the consideration for the self-expiration of life sounded like an attractive and refreshing thought. I was in the agonizing place of no excuses and no arguments in my defense. Where do I go now? Face down on the torching sands of shame with my arms extended and no care for my outer appearance I found myself in the desert of brokenness! “I give up Lord; I will not wrestle against your ways any longer.” I felt the thirst and the hunger of a man who moves away from His Master to create his own thing; his own ways and his own destruction. The idols that once seemed so majestic and attractive to the eye proved to be empty cold images and nothing more than hallucinations. They were promises that never carried the will or the desire to become a part of my reality. Idols that distracted me, whose objective was to kill, steal and destroy the work of God in my life.

            No, I am not the captain of my soul! The devastation of the end-results for doing things my way can’t escape my eyes. As I laid face down on the torching sands of shame; thirsty, hungry and empty; I saw a stream of clear water and the beauty of green pastures. Holiness is the name of a life that pleased my Father. A glimpse of the beauty of my Father and His precious way of HIS way of life was what I needed. My pain, my mess, my suffering and my failures brought me to the surrendering sounds of brokenness. Why did it take so much to bring me to this place? For I stood as an enemy of God! I stood guilty of loving the world more than HIM who gave me life.

            Can God bring me out of this mess? Is there hope for the ones like me? Can the blood of Christ erase the disaster caused by my carnality? Jesus, speak to me! Then I heard the Lord said:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)             My heart is changing by the power of my God! Brokenness led me to the streams of holiness. Not that I have arrived, for I am far from the goal; but today I can say without any doubting: “I am a tree of the forest of righteousness planted by the Lord and for His glory.”

2 responses to “Trees of Righteousness”

  1. Dennis Owen Avatar
    Dennis Owen

    The times of dark nights are, in my estimation, misunderstood or more tragically, seen as weak faith. To read your blog though Angel, I hear the heart of a brother who has both lived in times of dark nights and found there, the chance to face what God intends there – the places we need work.


    1. angelcasiano Avatar

      Still today I am learning some things out of those dark nights!


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