Question from a Site Viewer
I have had an addiction and have acted out on it for many years. I accepted Christ many years ago. I have had the fear of the unpardonable sin for many years also. I am afraid that I have lost the conviction of sin. I sin and enjoy it only to dread it later. I hate feeling like this. I cant seem to change my feelings about sin. There is a part of me that loves the sin and part that is scared. Will God once again convict me of sin? How can I make myself feel convicted of sin instead of wanting to sin? Why do I have little or sometimes no remorse? I am very scared.
Thank you for your question. One of the consequences of sin is that it dulls our senses to sin’s depravity. The first time we steal something, our consciences prick our minds and hearts and we feel very convicted. But if we keep stealing, we warp our consciences so that we are no longer convicted of the sin. This is what Scripture speaks of as a seared conscience (1 Timothy 4:2) or defiled conscience (Titus 1:15). As Paul tells us in Romans 6, when we sin we become slaves to sin.
And what makes sin attractive is that it has its own pleasure attached to it, whether it is the thrill of doing something illicit, the pleasure of forbidden fruit or the wonder of forbidden knowledge, there is a pleasure to sin. Without that lure of pleasure, there would be no attraction to sin. Sin sets pleasure as a sort of lure to catch and destroy people.
And with respect to pleasure, Satan tells us a great lie that we too often swallow. What Satan says is that pleasure is found only in sin and with God there is no pleasure. Thus, we are faced with with the seeming choice of having no pleasure and following Christ or pursuing pleasure and forsaking God. But this is a lie, and we must recognize it as such.
There is pleasure in sin (Hebrews 11:25), but it is fleeting. There is pleasure found in God that is boundless and everlasting (Psalm 16:11; 36:8). We must decide which pleasure we wish to pursue. Jeremiah, the prophet, describes it this way. We can either seek to enjoy the dried up cisterns that we have dug or we can seek to enjoy the fountain of living waters (Jeremiah 2:13). The abundant life is found, not in the pursuit of earthly pleasures, but in the pursuit of Jesus (John 10:10). There is incredible joy, peace, and right feelings in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). The fruit of the Spirit is not drudgery and despair, but love, joy, and peace (Galatians 5:22-23). You will never know the extent of joy until you learn to walk in the Spirit.
Each of us have a choice that we face every day, and several times during the day. And that choice we make influences our lives. If we choose Christ, then we begin a journey with Him that leads us back to that garden of Eden experience where everything is right and our pleasures are deepened because they are shared with the joy of our God. If we choose sin, then we begin a journey that leads away from Christ. This is our choice. There are many who have been hopelessly lost in addictions, who have stopped and turned to Christ and walked in purity. Ezekiel 18 tells us that for such people, their unrighteousness will not be remembered. And those who follow Christ will have an everlasting kingdom. But, again, it is our choice. What do we want? Or in the words of Christ, what will we give in exchange for our souls?
I challenge you to start immediately by confessing that you have sinned to God. Ask for His forgiveness and begin seeking to follow Him. Discipline your life to have daily times not only reading the Word, but memorizing the Word until the Word begins to live in your conscience. The Psalmist tells us that by taking heed to the Word we can avoid sin (Psalm 119:9-11). Invest in prayer and the adoration of Christ. Do this whether you feel like it or not. Let your will drive our actions, and not your emotions. Make the choice to pursue Christ. And if you stumble, stop immediately, confess and turn back to God.
The life with Christ is a journey. But unless you begin the journey, you will never get to where you ultimately want to be. Recognize that you will have desires. Take your desires to God. Talk to God about them. Confess to Him that you want your desires to match what He wants for you. Be willing to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him. Catch a glimpse of the mission He has given you on this earth, and seek to live out His mission. Place your hope on the coming of Christ. At that point, any desire you forsook here will be rewarded in abundance. No one who has forsaken the things of this life to pursue Christ will lose their reward.
And, when your mind seems to tug most strongly for you to return to the sin your body desires, stop and think about the cross. Jesus took our sin upon Himself, forsaking His desire so that He may save us. He has called us to take up our cross and bring His light and life to those around us in the world.
My plea to you is not to waste another day of your life. Make it count for eternity. The steps of sin are the steps of hell. And the fact that you no longer feel very convicted is a warning sign that you have traveled the path of sin too far. Stop, while you still recognize it to be sin, and turn to Jesus. I can almost guarantee that when you first turn to Jesus, you will still feel 1,000 miles away. You will not feel that warmth that you once had when you were walking in the Spirit. But, I know that if you by faith keep pursuing Christ, you will find your life enriched beyond compare. You will make your life into a vessel fit for the King, a holy temple for the Holy Spirit to inhabit. This is the goal.
You may fall. But immediately turn back to Christ if you do. As you begin to lengthen the times you are walking with God and shorten the times you are walking in sin, you will find that the conviction of your conscience will be rebuilt and you will find the power of sin being broken in you. God has given you the power to overcome sin through His Holy Spirit. As you walk moment by moment talking to God, seeking His will, meditating on Him, and loving Him in words and in action, you will be renewing your mind (Romans 12:2) and drawing your heart closer to Him.
I pray that you will take seriously your responsibility to make the right choices. God did not make us animals without a will to choose, but He made us in His image and gave us a mind to think, reason, and choose. He tells us to count the cost. How do we want to end? If we want to be with Christ, then we need to make the choice to pursue Him. If, at the end of life, we want to be able to look back and say that we experienced all the pleasure this earth has to offer, then we do not want to choose Christ. If we think about what we want in the end, it will drive our choices in the present. This is how Moses lived. Moses had the pleasures of sin in his grasp, as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. But he chose rather to suffer affliction because what he pursued was to see God and obtain His reward (Hebrews 11:23-26). Jesus tells us to lay up our treasure in heaven because where we put our treasure is where our heart will be (Matthew 6:19-21).
May you flee from the entangling sin and save yourself from the pit into which you are sliding. Repent, and turn to Jesus. He will save and welcome you back like the prodigal son, if you will but return.
one who also has been forgiven