CHAPTER 1 GUILT
THE DECEITFULNESS OF SIN
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All rights Reserved
CHAPTER 1 GUILT
Have you ever committed a sin, which you confessed to the Lord,
but then found, over the years, the guilt of that sin perpetually
returned? How did you react the first time the guilt surfaced in your
emotions? Perhaps you felt remorse at first but then, after reliving
the pain of that committed sin, you decided that you really must not
have been sincere enough the first time, apparently, when you asked
for God's forgiveness. After all, you know theologically and
intellectually that God forgave you upon confession of that sin
because His Word says He did and you most certainly believe God's
Word. The pain of the guilt, however, was, and is still, so real, you
are compelled to believe that perhaps you just didn't really mean it
the first time you prayed and confessed your sin. So you decide to
confess it as sin to the Lord again and this time you are going to
really mean it. You bow your head and pray silently and make your
confession of sin once again to the Lord.
At the very moment you prayed a second time for forgiveness of
the sin which the Lord had forgiven the first time, you innocently
gave place to the devil. The bible says, "Neither give place to the
devil," (Ephesians 4:27). The word for "place" in this verse means
giving the devil a designated area in which to legally operate. No,
you haven't given over to the devil your entire life nor have you
become demon possessed nor have you lost your salvation but you have
simply given a place, a room, or a legal right, for the devil and his
demons to operate in your life. Why did this happen and how? Because
the first time you confessed your sin to the Lord, you were forgiven.
Now, upon feeling the guilt of your act, you think that means you
must have failed to really mean it the first time. So logically, you
think, "I better ask forgiveness again just to be on the safe side."
Praying about it again the second time is an act of doubt and that
opens the door a crack. Doubt is the deception that the devil uses
to keep you in spiritual bondage even as a Christian. Now the devil
can use your doubt to torment you with the feelings of guilt over a
sin for which you have been forgiven and which possibly occurred years
ago. Let's see exactly how the devil can use this against you and to
One day you are sitting at work, minding your own business, and
working away when all of the sudden, you feel the guilt of that sin
once again. Maybe even mental images of the event flash into your
mind and a cold fear washes over your thoughts and the emotional pain
of that event surfaces. You think, "Why? Why isn't it gone? Why is
it back? I prayed. I asked God's forgiveness. He forgave me. So
why is it back? Why now, and why here of all places?" All these
questions rush into your thinking and you are instantly spiritually
overloaded. So you do the only thing you know to do and that is you
attempt to use logical reasoning to sort it all out. "It must have
come back because I just really didn't mean it the first two times so
I'll confess it to the Lord again and this time, since it is so clear
in my mind, I'll really, really mean it and God will forgive me and
cleanse me from all unrighteousness." So you pray again and let out
a sigh of relief; knowing that, this time, it's gone.
A few weeks later, you are drifting off to sleep one night when
suddenly the memory of your sin flares in your drowsy state of mind.
It was so clear and so distinct, it sounded like a real voice in your
thoughts reminding you of your sin. You are suddenly wide awake.
Getting out of bed, you, for some unknown reason, switch on every
light in the house. Finding your Bible, you sit down in your favorite
recliner in the living room and you thumb to the back for the
concordance. You begin to look up verses on forgiveness. "Yes, they
are all there and right where they should be. What is wrong? Why
aren't these verses working for me? Didn't I mean it when I prayed
and asked forgiveness? I've asked God to forgive me dozens of times
so why isn't it going away? I'm born again so why isn't it working?"
You don't realize it at the time but guilt, doubt and fear now have
all begun to creep into your emotions. Other lies take root in your
thoughts. "If I were really born again, this wouldn't be happening
to me. Right? That's silly; I am born again. So it has to work but
it isn't. Maybe I am not good enough? How could that be?" Then
your mind begins picking out many other things you have done as a
Christian, and even before you became a Christian, and soon your mind
is flooded with those horrible painful memories. You are overwhelmed
by grief from your past sinfulness and inability to trust God's Word.
After spending the majority of your night wrestling with your
pain and guilt and doubt and fear, you finally fall to sleep in your
recliner; the open Bible on your lap. Two hours later, however, you
are getting up for work. Now physical exhaustion is added to the
spiritual dilemma you face.
A few miserable weeks pass and you hear a sermon by your pastor,
or perhaps a teaching from a Christian radio broadcast, on what is
sometimes called "Faith and Confession." It is exactly what you need,
so you order a taped copy and listen to it again. The message makes
a great deal of sense and you determine you are simply having the
reoccurrence of the guilt of this sin because you don't have enough
faith. The teaching you heard is based upon Romans 10:17 which says,
"Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." You know
this to be true so you begin confessing Bible verses and Scriptural
based affirmations several times a day. It begins working and you
feel as if your faith is building and strengthening. Time passes.
Several months later, you are talking on the phone to a friend
who is facing some extremely difficult times in their life. You are
sharing the Word of god with your friend and trying to be supportive.
Suddenly, something triggers your emotions and it pops to the surface
of your mind and you break out into a cold fear. It literally feels
like icy cold air has just blown into the room. You show nothing
outwardly but inwardly you are ill. You feel a wave of anxiety wash
over you and you think you hear laughter in your thoughts. Quickly,
you pray with your friend on the phone and then you make up an excuse
in order to discontinue the conversation. Hanging up, you drop into a
chair and begin to cry. The guilt is back; the sin is back; the
doubts and fears are back. Through your tears, you ask, "Where is
God. I am doing everything right, aren't I?" You cry out to the
Lord, confessing your sin again and again and again. You faithfully
continue your confessions and become even more involved at church.
You tell no one of the nightmares and restless sleep you are facing.
You can't share your feelings and experiences with anyone at church
because of the fear of judgmental attitudes. More time passes.
Occasionally you now hear voices. Before they were just
thoughts of inferiority, rejection, inadequacy, fear, doubt, and
accusation. Now they are clearly voices and you can't tell anybody.
"Maybe I should go to the doctor," you think. So you make an
appointment. The prescriptions help a little but the voices don't go
away. Fear continues to grow. Anxiety, that feeling of
helplessness, hopelessness, and fear that something is wrong with
you, seeps into every area of your thinking. Your emotions feel like
jello wiggling in a bowl, sensitive, raw, tender, and vulnerable, as
if you are feeling the aftereffects of an electrical shock.
COMMENTS ON GUILT
Guilt could be called the Christian's best friend. You cannot
talk about it because that makes you feel even more guilty. Pastors
love preaching about it for that very reason. It works extremely well
as a control mechanism. By that I mean, if your altar calls are low,
just preach on guilt and see what happens. Such sermons stir up a
boat load of tender emotions and many people are suddenly slammed back
into areas of their lives which they were convinced were long gone
Most Christians already know they are guilty. What they really
mean is that they "feel" guilty. Feeling guilty and being guilty are,
of course, two different things.
If you listen to the lies of the devil, he likes to say, "If God
had really forgiven you for what you did, you would not be feeling
guilty. Maybe God didn't hear you the first time you prayed and asked
for His forgiveness. Perhaps you should do it again." then, when
that doesn't work after several hundred times, he says, "Well, this
must have been one of those sins He can't forgive. After all, you
aren't much of a Christian in the first place. Too bad. God just
doesn't love you as much or He would have surely forgiven you by now.
Maybe you aren't really born again. Sure, that is likely the problem;
you just aren't save." You are unaware of the, Enemy's accusations,
however, and just conclude it is your own thoughts you hear. Why is
the feeling of guilt always stronger than the knowledge of forgiveness
recorded in God's eternal Word?
Guilt, by the way, is also something the Holy Spirit uses to
convict us of sin. Once the sin is forgiven, the guilt is gone. You
are saying, "No it isn't because I am still feeling it." This is also
why we keep asking for God's forgiveness.
As already pointed out, this alone creates a rich fertile soil
upon which Satan can plant even deeper evil seeds of destructive
thinking. We literally, in other words, have given place to the devil
by confusing false guilt with true guilt. So we live day after day
confessing our sin when God has already said, "You are forgiven.
Remember?" No we don't remember. All we know is that we "feel"
guilty and so, since we feel guilty, we assume it is real. Never one
time do we consider the fact we are being lied to by the devil.
In this atmosphere of unholy guilt, the devil has a wonderful
opportunity to add doubt, fear, shame, condemnation, rejection, and
just about anything else he can think of to the stinking rotting pile
of festering garbage he is dumping upon our "feelings." Now we find
it impossible to accept verses in the Bible relating to our
forgiveness, (1 John 1:9), and He has cast our sins as far as the east
is from the west, (Psalm 103:12), and that he has buried our sins in
the depths of the sea, (Mica 7:19). "He must be talking about the sin
of unbelief. Right? He couldn't possibly be referring to my guilt!"
Eventually, we begin to hear good Bible preaching and the guilt
is buried beneath loads of sermons on other topics, under tons of
Christian activities, and sometimes other good Christian thoughts.
This is also a time in which many people feel a call to the ministry.
"After all," we think. "Surely if I'm in ministry, these things will
go away because I will be serving God full time. Right?" Wrong.
This is when, and where, the guilt gets buried; so deep, it no longer
hurts. Right? Wrong.
Unfortunately, a wife or husband or teenager or a good Christian
friend one day taps into that feeling which you haven't felt for, you
can't remember when, and out it comes. Real tears are shed, after
the big fight you have, losing your best friend in the process, and
now we are back to square one. "Why did I do it? Why did I commit
that wretched horrible sin? It is killing me. I'd do anything to get
rid of it." Now we are exactly where the Lord and Satan wants us to
be; raw, exposed, quivering with rage, sadness, and the feeling of
total helplessness. Satan temps us with shiny glittering sparkling
thrills of sin. Some use drugs to numb the pain. Some become
alcoholics and they drown the pain. Some become work-a-holics and
physically work themselves to death. Others become the most faithful,
most active, most useful Christian in the church while others drop out
of church all together. Some people think they find sexual affairs
useful in blocking the pain and some turn to pornography to fulfill
something that is a bottomless pit. Others commonly experience
depression, anxiety episodes, panic attacks, nightmares, and so many
physical problems, they have to spend more time in the doctor's office
than at home or church.
The pain of false guilt is as real and debilitating as anything I
have ever seen. In fact, I have never prayed with a person during an
intercessory prayer session where guilt didn't play a big role in
hiding the pain of the demonic lies the person was living on. The
wonderful news is, however, the Lord can easily expose this guilt for
what it is; a lie, a deceitful lie, of Satan. When the guilt is gone,
there is freedom and there is life. Furthermore, you know when you
are healed because you can return, in your memory, to that event a
million times and feel absolutely no guilt. The devil loses again
because the darkness flees when the Holiness of God Light shines the
truth of His Word upon what hurts the most.
End Of Chapter 1
Go to Chapter 2 - Guilt
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