Guilt From The Past


                               By Phil Scovell






          He  cried  when  he spoke.    It wasn't  something  he  wanted to
     remember nor  talk about.   We were there,  however, and the  Lord had
     taken  him to that place he had been  in his mind so many times before
     throughout  his  adult life.     The  pain was  deep and  although, he
     reported he had  confessed his sin to  the Lord hundreds of  times, in
     fact, just about  every time the  memory surfaced, it  was clear  that
     guilt he felt was still there and  hadn't diminished.  If anything, it
     was worse.

          Upon walking into the office and taking  his seat, we opened with
     a word of prayer  of guidance and direction and  asked the Lord to  do
     what we could not do.

          The second we  finished praying,  he said, "I  know where we  are
     supposed  to go  today.   Does that  happen?   I mean,  does the  Lord
     sometimes tell us where to go prior to our prayer session?"

          "Sure.  Nothing wrong with that."

          "Then, I know," he said with finality, "but it isn't where I want
     to go.   I'm sure, though, because  the Lord told me this  is where we
     would go today."

          He  began  to  cry  then.   It  was  pretty  obvious this  memory
     generated a tremendous amount of pain for him so there was no sense in
     rushing into anything.

          When he finally began to speak, his  voice was shaky and he found
     it hard to speak through his tears.  "I was 14 years old at the time,"
     he said.   "We were  on a family  trip.  My  oldest sister was  in the
     front seat with my mom and mom was driving.  My 10 year old sister and
     I were in the backseat.   I don't understand why I did what  I did but
     it has been something that has tormented me my entire life.  To make a
     long story  short," the man  said, physically shaking, "I  molested my
     little  sister.   Fortunately, although  I  felt her  body in  various
     places, I did so  through her clothing.  Eventually, probably in order
     to get away from me, she ended up laying on the floor of  the car.  As
     I lay on the  back seat, I was able to orgasm by pressing myself flat.
     The guilt and fear all suddenly rushed into my emotions  then.  I told
     my  little sister I  was sorry and  begged her not  to tell  mom.  She
     never did  but  it didn't  make any  difference, I  was  trapped.   It
     Surfaces when I preach, when I awaken in the morning, when  I'm making
     love to my  wife, when I'm praying,  when I'm listening to  the Sunday
     school teacher, listening to  Christian radio, and any other  possible
     time you  can name.  I have confessed it  over and over and over again
     to  the Lord but it just won't go  away.  I even called my sister once
     as adults and confessed  my sin to her again and asked  her to forgive
     me.  She couldn't hardly remember it, she said, but whatever happened,
     she confirmed that she forgave me.  It didn't help.  Nothing will ever
     help," he cried.  "I'm just guilty of sin that will never let my guilt
     go away."

          "Is that true, Lord Jesus, nothing will ever help?  Are you going
     to let him live this way the rest of his life?"

          "I heard the Lord say, no," the man said as if the word had  been
     squeezed from his throat.

          "Since you are talking about the memory now, do you see the event
     in your thoughts?"

          "Yes," he coughed.

          "Lord Jesus, would you expand this memory  and let my brother see
     what you see in  this memory that we  aren't seeing on our own?   What
     are the lies common to this memory event?"

          Brief silence.   "I'll never  be free.   He's got  me now.   I'll
     never get to be  clean and what God wants me to be.   He's never going
     to let me forget it.   I ruined my sister's life.   I lied.  I  sinned
     and  nobody knows about it."  The  lies tumbled out like a small child
     dumping his  bag  of  marbles.    There  were  dozens  and  they  went
     everywhere.

          "Lord Jesus?  Are all these things true?"

          "No.   None of them,"  the man repeated  softly, "Jesus said.   I
     heard His voice.  "They are all lies."

          "Does the answer feel true to you?"

          "Yes.  I have no idea why,  because nothing about this memory has
     ever  felt this way before, but  I know what I  heard Jesus say and it
     does feel true.

          "What do you want him to do with all these lies then, Lord?"

          "He wants  me to give them to  Him," the man said  quietly as the
     peace already had begun to flow into the memory.

          "Can you do that?"

          "Yes," the man said and he prayed  out loud and gave them all  to
     the Lord collectively."

          When his  short prayer was  finished, he felt the  difference and
     said  as  much.   "There is  something I  don't understand,"  he said;
     puzzled.

          "What's that, brother?"

          "Why did  I do it.   I mean, I  had already been a  Christian for
     several years.  I knew  better.  I knew what I was doing was wrong.  I
     was raised in a Christian home.  Why, why, why did I do it?"

          It was clear we didn't get all the lies based upon this statement
     of concern the  man expressed.   "Lord Jesus?   What  is the truth  my
     brother needs to know that you want to show him right now?  Why did he
     do it when he knew better?"

          Suddenly  the man  sat straight up  as if he  had heard something
     spoken which  is exactly what had happened in  his thoughts.  "I don't
     believe it," he said with amazement.

          "Don't believe what?"

          "It can't be  that easy but that's the answer I have been seeking
     all my life.  It's true."

          "What is true, brother?"

          "I  was deceived by  the Enemy.  That's  why I did  it.  I should
     have recognized that before," he said, wonderment in his voice, "but I
     never saw it  before I heard the  Lord say it just  now.  Wow!   I can
     feel it."

          Memories  never go  away.   Oh, they  may fade,  intensify, pale,
     sharpen, dissipate, magnify, repress,  minimize, oppress, depress,  or
     eventually dominate our  life but they never go away.  The Enemy knows
     this and if we allow it, he will use memories to entrap us.

          One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of the Christian life
     is deception.  We somehow, and for some reason, perhaps because we may
     have been  taught incorrectly, forget  the very most basic  element of
     sin and  sinful conduct  and that  is deception.   I  have heard  over
     40,000 sermons  in my life time and I have heard many sermons of being
     deceived, encouraged to  be on the alert  for it, and, of  course, the
     penalty  for it,  but I never  heard anyone  ever admit they  had been
     deceived.  They  seemed to take credit,  for some reason, for  all the
     sins  they committed.  I  understand the theological responsibility we
     all  have  but Jesus  died  for our  sins  and just  to  make sure  He
     finalized it, He resurrected Himself to confirm it.

          Over the years, I have heard hundreds of stories of sinful living
     being preached  from the  pulpit, as  if it  gave the person  bragging
     rights,  until  it  gotten  ridiculous.   In  many  cases,  it  wasn't
     preaching against sin but more like preaching about their sin.  I even
     was a member  of a small church  where the pastor mentioned  his prior
     addiction, so called, to pornography and masturbation so many times in
     his preaching, it became right down embarrassing at times.

          Somehow, many, if  not most, of those  with whom I pray,  believe
     that after they were born again, they have become  responsible for all
     the sins  they have  committed.  Although  this is  true theologically
     speaking,  outside  of  Christ's redemption,  and  although  most also
     believe that Jesus died for those  later sins, too, they somehow think
     they must  carry the  guilt of  such perpetrated  sins.   Why do  they
     believe this?   Because the guilt hasn't  gone away.  They erroneously
     believe that if the guilt is still there, they are still guilty.  This
     is an old trick  the Enemy has played  since day one.  What  the Enemy
     wants us  to misunderstand  is that forgiveness  is eternal  and there
     isn't one  thing  he, the  Enemy, can  do to  change  that except,  of
     course, fool  us into thinking, or feeling, that  we are guilty.  This
     he can do very well since he is the master of deception.

          Some reading this are saying, "You can't possibly understand.  My
     situation is much worse."

          "Is that true,  Lord Jesus?  Is  their situation worse as  far as
     you are concerned?"

          Maybe you fondled  or even raped a  little girl.  Maybe  a little
     boy.  Maybe the  reverse is true and you  were the victim.  Maybe  you
     even thought  you enjoyed being  fondled and the guilt  is unbearable.
     Now  you are trying to  carry the guilt of  the sin regardless of what
     you know theologically.  If you were  the perpetrator, it is more than
     pretty likely  you knew better.   God has found a way  to forgive you.
     It is called His Son Jesus Christ.

          "But what about the one I hurt?"

          "What about the one they hurt, Lord Jesus?"  If this is something
     recent,  the  law  has  been  broken,  and  regardless  of  the  legal
     consequences,  it is time to face the music.   If we are talking about
     years since the  sin was committed, then  it is now that we  learn who
     Jesus is and who He thinks you are.  Are you ready?


     Safe Place Fellowship
     Phil Scovell
     Denver, Colorado
     Mountain Time Zone
     WWW.SafePlaceFellowship.COM

                            End Of Document

Go To HOME: SafePlaceFellowship.com