Let’s FOCUS on What Jesus is Doing and Not on What the Church is Not


The truth will always offend carnality; we must however, deliver the truth in love. To hear radio personalities criticizing certain groups of our political spectrum, but not even running for mayor of his or her own city and not even having the experience of being one, sounds like Monday Night Quarter Backing to me. We live in a society where people are allowed to speak freely, criticize and even ridicule people that are doing or not doing things that the criticizer is or is not even trying to do. That is indeed strange to me.

            As it refers to the church; there are many out there constantly criticizing the condition of the church and stating that the church is lacking this and the church is not doing this or that. The question is very simple: You who criticize, what are you doing for the Kingdom? Better yet, forget about what you are doing, are you even pursuing a holy life?

            Yes, the Apostles pointed out the heresies of their time; they were truly bold; however, they were very careful in the way they lived their lives, to the point that Paul encouraged the church to imitate him as he imitated Jesus. That speaks of his character; that speaks of being able to back-up what he was preaching about. These apostles were not just writing on Facebook from their comfortable chairs in front of their computers. Let’s stop talking so much and let’s emphasis in being; let’s stop criticizing so much and let’s start doing.

            The truth of God is in the Bible; God can and will never be placed in the box of our comfortable zones. I meet on Saturdays in a small home group with brothers and sisters that want to know Jesus and His Ways in a more intimate manner; it has been a great blessing. However, I also visited a local church and even today I listened to a message that a good friend of mine e-mailed me from a local pastor… and guess what? I am also truly blessed by these different dynamics and dimensions.

            One thing I know; even as we can’t hold back in calling a lie and heresy what it is; even as we must confront sin among ourselves; all this talk about the Way we should do and not do church while putting others down is not Godly.

This is my humble advice:

  1. Pursuit holiness!
  2. Use all of your talents for the glory of God.
  3. Do what God has called you to do.
  4. Let us be witnesses for the world.
  5. Let us love one another.
  6. Let us uncover heresy when it applies.
  7. Let us make our duty to build strong relationships among ourselves.
  8. Let us confront each other’s sin in love.

            In Acts 1:8 the Bible tells us:

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

 

The Holy Spirit has given us power to be and power to do. As it refers to our doing, we must emphasis that we are all called to be witnesses; so let’s share what you have seen God doing in your life. We are not called to be spiritual police officers; as we do, we will move our focus from Jesus and focus on what is wrong with the church. As witnesses, we must place our focus on what HE is doing. That is what we are called to share with the world, starting in our own Jerusalems and to ends of the world; if God gives us that kind of grace. Let’s focus on what Jesus is doing and not on what the church is not!

A Reflection on Thanksgiving from my Son Angelo


I thank God for the blue sky that I woke up to this morning; for every sky he blessed me with before. Rain does not make the day nasty, but alive. I thank God for the alarm clock that he provided, the bed he gave me, the privacy of a room he provided for me.  I thank God for the pillow and sheets that comfort me to the best of their ability. I thank God for the clothes that are at my disposal, for the shoes that protect my feet. I thank God for the morning that symbolizes another day. I wake up healthy, not hungry, not lost, not in pain physically. I thank God for the dreams he communicates to me, the warnings he presents to me. I have a bathroom and hygiene products, stuff that make me look forward to the life where such things won’t be necessary. I thank God because I can climb down the stairs, because I can read. I thank God for the bus driver that takes me to learn, and for her expertise in not getting in a crash. With you God, I am safe everywhere. I thank God for the order on the streets, and for the lack of chaos of faster transportation. I thank God because I walk to school, whether I feel like it or not. I thank God for the days of victory I have. The first bell rings, I thank God for politics, or chemistry, depending on the day. I thank God for great teachers, who love to teach, who enjoy sharing knowledge so that we as humans will not become inept. I thank God for the fact that this world is so homeostatic. I thank God for America, that though it is falling every second, it still gives me the freedom to worship, to praise, to acknowledge truth. I thank God for Algebra 2, which teaches people to see what cannot be seen. I thank God for chorus, that I have a gift. I thank God for English, for Spanish, for HOPE. I thank God because he called me, in the midst of my mess. I thank God because compared to those around me, I’m not stupid. I also thank God because he keeps me focused; he helps me when worldly logic tries to defy God’s logic. I thank you God for forgiveness, for without it, I would be dead in more ways than one. I thank God for the end of school, when I can come home. I thank God for victories. I thank God for a time to be alone, an opportunity to reflect and meditate on love, truth, guidance, wisdom and hope. I thank God for endurance, for the ability to do homework. I thank God for food. My brother and sister return from school safely, no worries. My dad returns home. I thank God for his job, for his endurance that God provides which benefits everyone my dad meets. I thank God for his victories. As the day closes, I thank God for my struggles, pain, and suffering. I thank Him for the temptation that He allows, and for the ones he doesn’t. I thank God because he makes me stronger, wiser, better, smarter, faster, and slower. I thank God for my room that I slumber in, and for the hope of a new beginning. I thank God because I wake up, looking at the sky.

Breaking down Thanks Giving By My Daughter Ileana


When you hear the word Thanksgiving, what are the first things that come to mind? Its might be along the lines of turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, beets, and so on, right? Yes, that’s what comes to mind because the true blessing of Thanksgiving has been sugarcoated and watered-down to nothing but a celebration of eating turkey and spending time with family. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with turkey and spending time with family, but the true meaning of this day, Thanksgiving, lies in the word itself. Now let’s break it down; when Thanksgiving comes we think about turkey, but put it this way, as if it were two separate words; Thanks and Giving. Now when you think about Thanks, two words come to mind, Thank you. So that tells you that you should be saying thank you and being grateful. Some questions that you might wonder now are “thank you for what?” and “Thank who?” First you should start-off thanking God for giving you life. Then, you should thank God for the little things that you and I take for granted every day. Thank him for food, water, shelter, health, and whatever else comes to mind. For instance I thank God daily for life, family, and freedom to praise him as I will. Now let’s think about the second word in this; giving. Now I understand that we as humans tend to be very selfish, but the Lord encourages us to give. In 2 Corinthians 8:4 Paul states that giving is a privilege. In other words, we should be giving frequently or very often, not be selfish and keep all we have to our self. In 2 Corinthians 9:7 it says “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” This means, when you give, don’t give with an attitude of “here you go get out of my face,” but “take this and have a blessed day.” So as you meditate on this, I pray you will never see Thanksgiving the same again. When you are praying, add this; I pray it will help you to understand your blessings. I was recently admitted into the basketball team at my school LMS and at the beginning of every practice we say this, it is known as “The Creed.”

 

THE CREED

THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF A NEW DAY, GOD HAS GIVEN US THIS DAY TO USE AS WE WILL, WE CAN WASTE IT OR USE IT FOR GOOD, FOR WHAT WE DO TODAY IS IMPORTANT, FOR WE HAVE EXCHANGED A DAY OF OUR LIVES FOR IT, WE WANT IT TO BE GOOD NOT BAD, GAINED NOT LOSS, SUCCESS NOT FAILURE, SO WE WILL NEVER REGRET THE PRICE WE PAID FOR IT.

(Ps: Notice God is always giving; He has already set our example.)

A Simple Reminder to be Thankful!


 

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (Palm 100:4)

            The spirit of ungratefulness is robbing us the manifested presence of God. Without thanksgiving it is impossible to experience the presence of the Living God. On this Thanksgiving Day we are particularly reminded of the amazing power of the simple act of being grateful.

            Today I am grateful that God did not leave me in my mess. I am grateful that He save my soul even before I consider His ways.  I am grateful for His uncompromised love for me. I am grateful for my children and for what He is doing in their lives. I am grateful for the dark days because today I can appreciate the light a little more. I am grateful for my parents, my siblings and my amazing friends. I am grateful for my job at The City Rescue Mission. I am grateful for the lessons I have learn from my Daddy. I am so grateful for the insight the Lord is giving me concerning The Christian Life; for the amazing victories the Lord is giving me over the Giants in my life. Thank you Father that generational curses are being pulverized! I thank God for this blog and for allowing me to write for His glory; for the hope of even a greater future, for breakthroughs, prophetic words and for what is yet to come. I thank God for failures and for the exposure of my heart for this process humbled me. I thank God for a roof over my head and because I have never experience hunger; because truly I have more than enough! I thank God for His grace that gives me all of these things I do not deserve and I thank God for His mercy that holds back the eternal punishment that I truly deserve. For the deep knowing that no matter the end-result of certain things and situations, God is God and HE will continue to be God. For these things and so much more… Thank you Daddy!

Tell me, what you grateful for today?

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

On Steve Harvey!


               Why do we continue to insist on a different Gospel? To become a Christian we must be born again (John 3); to be born again, we must repent of all of our sins and call on Jesus to come into our hearts (Romans 10:9-10). After you are born again, then the Christian life is about learning the Ways of God and moving away from the ways of the world. It is about dying to who we are and living for Jesus! This friends, is the Gospel! We are called to do things God’s way; when we do things our way it will never end-up well. We are supposed to learn this reality as we get older! As we do things our way and then look back to our mess, we will hopefully get to a point of surrendering to Jesus… Believe me I know!

            The Gospel does not take you as you are (That is a lie); the Gospel takes you in when you repent for the things you have done as it relates to sin and then this same Gospel is powerful and loving enough to not leave us as we are. The Gospel will change us to be more and more like Jesus and less and less like ourselves. To say that you can come as you are, without the message of repentance is again, a Biblical inconsistency.

            My heart goes out to Comedian Steve Harvey; it is obvious that God is dealing with him as I recently saw a video of him on TBN; but the idea that you can excuse an un-Godly life and message because of the demands of your job and under the umbrella of self-imperfection is heresy. God demands that we give Him our all, not just some. Steve needs someone to preach the true Gospel to him and stop using his fame as an excuse to use this man for their own agendas and fame. Mr. Harvey needs Jesus… period! He does not need another TBN interview or another invitation of a famous Gospel singer to host his show. None of that is going to save Steve; the way of the Gospel is in the Word and it applies to everybody. Nothing changes the reality of the Gospel; the hypocrisy of many in the church, the hurts in the Body of Christ, etc. does not, in any way change the Word. Steve needs to be born again and if he is already born again, he needs to be a disciple. Before going public; he needs to go in the private with Jesus!

Let’s pray for Steve Harvey that someone would be bold enough to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this man and that Mr. Harvey will make Jesus the Lord of his life.

To view Mr. Harvey’s interview on TBN please click on this link:

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4ADRA_enUS388US389&q=steve+harvey+on+tbn

The Tower of Babel Vs Pentecost Last Part


Beloved, if we are experiencing confusion amongst ourselves, if we seem unable to understand each other, if disunity is the status quo represented as the Body of Christ today; we are not operating under the power of the Spirit of Pentecost. The baptism of the Holy Spirit united us; It is more than just speaking in tongues guys. The greatest evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is indeed a mysterious understanding as we find ourselves united by enjoying and opening the door to our Lord’s grace and truth. Pentecost is a phenomenon and a revolutionary way of life that is second to none. Pentecost is the release of God’s power for us to live the life that He designed for us to live before the foundations of this earth were established.

The question of today is; what language are you speaking today; the confusing, arrogant, rebellious and self-centered language of Babel or the supernatural understanding given to us at Pentecost? Doing things our way will always bring forth confusion and the resistance from our God; it is the place of no blessing; the place of no peace, the place of empty images and the place of unfinished visions. Many ministries and churches have expired because they insisted in the ways of Babel. The ways of Babel will never ever prosper no matter how glamorous it looks like. The way of Pentecost is the only way on earth that will indeed prosper and complete its mission no matter how awful things may look like.

Pentecostal gave us the power to give a face and a sound to holiness. In the Book of Acts, as we take a closer look at the beginning of this powerful institution called the church, we see 12 Characteristics of the True Apostolic way of life:

  1. Anointed and bold Bible based preaching. (2:14-37)

  2. Repentance was preached and not camouflaged. People must come to the realization that they are sinners before realizing their need for Christ (Acts 2:14-37). Romans, tells us that “Faith comes by hearing.” It is necessary for someone to preach the truth and the wholeness of this Gospel.

  3. No need for programs; no transfers from church to church; this was supernatural growth. (2:41)

  4. Their lifestyle was guided by the Apostle’s Teachings. These teachings were base on truth. (2:42)

  5.  They had true fellowship with one another as they ate and prayed with one another. (2:42)

  6. Everybody was filled with awe; church was not boring. (2:43)

  7. Signs and wonders were also common. (2:43)

  8. Giving was more than just an Old Testament tithing requirement. They gave their lives. (2:44-45)

  9. A hundred percent reliance on God for all their needs. No one was in need. (2:45 / 4:34-35)

  10. They met together and were visible in the community. (2:46)

  11. They were glad to be together. They enjoyed each other’s presence like a true family. (2:46)

  12. They were sincere in their relationship to one another. (2:46)

My friends, this is the legacy of the miracle of Pentecost! Where are we as a church compared to these twelve characteristics? Are we going to leave it as just something applicable to those days and distance this way of life from the reality of our days? Which one of these twelve can we afford to be without?

 

The Tower of Babel Vs Pentecost Part 2


The significance of the Day of Pentecost described in Chapter two of the book of Acts is, in my humble opinion, minimized by the denominational emphasis of speaking in tongues. To connect the baptism of the Holy Spirit with just speaking in tongues is a minuscule way of viewing what took place on this glorious day. Not that I claim to have the full revelation, but allow me to share what I was able to see a few days ago as I engaged in my own personal devotional time with the Lord.

While the Tower of Babel is a symbol of men’s evil desire to do things apart from God as they proclaim themselves as high and lifted up as God; which was the spirit behind Satan’s fall; in Pentecost, God displayed His zeal of approval for a new way of life. Don’t you see?  At the building of the Tower of Babel, God confused the languages and diverted men’s self-ambitions away from His way of life. In Pentecost, God uses, once again, our language to make His point across. In Acts 2:1-12 we see this amazing story:

“1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs–we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

 

“What does this mean?” somebody asks from the crowd! The Tower of Babel represents and will always represent an incomplete project; a symbol of the empty results of the arrogance of men. It is scary to see the symbol of this tower on our American dollar symbolizing the goal of its completion; however, why should we be surprised, we know who is the god of this world!

Pentecost, on the other hand, represents a total reliance on God and His power. With the representation of every known language at the time, as they spoke in tongues, they were able to supernaturally understand each other! Pentecost is a prophetic announcement of all of the nations coming together as one nation under the flag of God’s Word. The Bible actually calls us citizens from heaven (Phil. 3:20): we now belong to the culture of the Bible. When we call on Jesus to come into our hearts in true repentance of our sins we automatically receive our welcome to the oneness of the language of love that was released on Pentecost. By the Spirit I can encourage you; by the Spirit I can forgive you; by the Spirit I have no limits and by the same Spirit I can proclaim with confidence, no matter the hell that my eyes see, that my side wins.

TO BE CONTINUED…

The Tower of Babel Vs Pentecost Part 1


The great flood was over now; Noah’s three sons and their wives had the responsibility that was given to Adam and Eve. In Genesis 9:1 the Lord “…blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, ‘be fruitful and increase in numbers and fill the earth.” God had promised Noah in Genesis 9:11 that “…never again will all the life be cut off by water of a flood, never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” By Genesis 10, we are able to see the sons of Noah (Japheth, Ham and Shem) being recognized with their respective genealogies. However, something terrible happened. The flood was the direct result of the earth being filled with great violence and sexual immorality; this time, men were taking things a little further. In Genesis 11:1-9 the Bible tells us:

“1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” 5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. 6 The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” 8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel–because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.”

The Tower of Babel did not have the endorsement of God because it was focused on self as they wanted to make a “name” for themselves and it was also an open rebellion to God’s command. God specifically told men to multiply; it was God’s will from the beginning for the whole earth to be filled.  Prior to this awful and tragic event we can see clearly in Genesis 11:1 that the whole known world at the time spoke one common language. When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God gave Adam and Eve some very dramatic consequences; these consequences included Adam and Eve being kicked out of the garden. When Cain killed his brother Abel, God cursed Cain. Later we see Sodom and Gomorrah in the thick of sexual immorality and He burned both cities. These are examples where God came down to earth Himself and dealt face-to-face with the sin of men.

As God also came down to earth to deal with Men as they were building the Tower of Babel, God does something that has affected us to this day; God confused the languages. Not as dramatic as the flood or the burning and eternal destruction of two of the most popular cities of the time, but enough for this evil project to be stopped. From that day on, Men has followed the curse of not being able to understand one another. We are a world divided by languages!

TO BE CONTINUED…

The Face of Holiness last part Please Father…Take Over!


The Face of Holiness; Last Part

            A provocative question was asked by Pastor Gerard Cruse from The Consuming Fire Church. After listening to all 19 messages of his series on Holiness, I felt led to visit this friend, who at the same time has become like a father to me. He asked: Was it God’s will for Adam to fall in sin? Pastor Cruse then answered “…a thousand times yes,” as the church stood silent with a sense of confusion. It was indeed an intriguing question accompanied by a very, somewhat, controversial answer. Pastor Cruse added that it was in God’s will for Adam to choose and even as falling in sin was not in his perfect will, He did allow it as he gave and continues to give men a choice.

            As I sat there meditating on this part of this powerful message, as Pastor Cruse connected holiness to the will of God, I suddenly had a revelation: It is also God’s will for us to die to self. His Word tells us in Mathew 16:24-25,

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”

 

What stands in the way of holiness is precisely, self. So God allows us, as He gave us a free will, to make our decisions, to do things our way, to move away, to do our thing, etc; all with the objective of bringing us to Him. How? Very simple, when we look back at the mess we have created in our lives: our bad decisions, our disobedience, our rebelliousness, our sin, etc; and we experience the end-results of a life focused on self and on the desires of the flesh, we will have no choice but to kneel before God with our arms lifted on high as we declare: “God, I surrender!.” Romans 8:28-31 explained this phenomenon to us this way:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”

 

The emphasis that I want to point out is that God predestinated us to be conformed to the image of Jesus. Our goal is to be more and more like Jesus and less and less like us. That predestination is what causes everything to work together for good. As long as we are still full of self while our personal preference is to do life our way, there is no space for holiness. As long as we are openly willing to sin and refuse to give certain areas of our lives to God, we stand in great need of brokenness. We will never surrender our will to God as long as our will is in the way. Our will stands in the way because deep inside we feel like we can do it ourselves; that we need no help. It is like the man lost in a strange neighborhood, but refusing to ask for directions until he either gets tired of running in circles or his wife threatens to kill him. The end of self is the beginning of God in us and through us. Like the dog’s owner with the electric fence; the electric shot is not designed to hurt the dog; it just gives enough force for that dog to never get close to that fence again. The owner’s will is for the dog to touch the fence, because once that happens; he knows that the dog will never go near that fence again.

Beloved, I am glad today for all the mess in my life. I would have preferred that I would have learned my lessons a little earlier, but, as Pastor Cruse and I concluded, we are hardheaded, but today; after seeing the end-results of my mess, after I saw myself lost in the streets of disobedient and the highways of my own pride, I am taking my hands off the wheel of my life. I am taking the passenger seat and allow God to do it His way. I don’t know when I will get to the place I need to get to; I don’t care if God takes a short cut or if He takes the long way; if the road is paved, rocky or muggy. I am not questioning my Father. I say, “Father forgive me and take over, I made a mess that only You can fix.” I can see the Father just standing by with a sweet smile saying, “About time!” I have a long way to go, but I am on my way! I am not sad, I am not condemned; I belong to God and I look to my future with great excitement. When the cry of our hearts is “Please Father, take over.” when our ways, desires and will are no longer attractive to us; it is then that holiness becomes an achievable dream; not because of us, but because we give permission for the Holy Spirit to have His way in our lives. It is then that we reach out to our divine nature and shun the volume of the voices of our flesh; it is then that we place Jesus as the Captain of our souls in the midst of the many voices of confusion and worldly logic. No matter what, Jesus rules!

The face of holiness is manifested in our way of life. The face of holiness makes us the light and salt of the world. The face of holiness is not bound; it is not boring; deprived of any fun in life. The face of holiness is fullness of joy; is purpose, is wisdom and is the greatest manifestation of love for our Father and for our fellow men. Please Father… take over!

 

 

Trees of Righteousness


                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.”