© Copyright 2007 by Phil Scovell - All Rights Reserved
63 Guilt From The Past Healed 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?