I have been free from sexual sin for some time but I keep getting pictures from the past in my mind. Is God trying to convict me of something?

If you have repented of your past sins—renounced and forsaken them—there is nothing for the Lord to convict you of. He only convicts of sin so that the person will confess his transgression and repent of it. Even if He were still dealing with you about some underlying attitude, He wouldn’t bring ungodly thoughts into your mind to accomplish it.

You are simply suffering the long term consequences of sin. Jeremiah spoke of this spiritual phenomenon when he wrote: “The sin of Judah is written down with an iron stylus; with a diamond point it is engraved upon the tablet of their heart and on the horns of their altars, as they remember their children, so they remember their altars and their Asherim by green trees on the high hills.” (Jeremiah 17:1-2)

In regard to these verses, the Pulpit Commentary says the following: “Sin leaves a record of itself. It is not an isolated act. It begets consequences — plants memories, creates guilt. The record remains even if we do not read it… It is written on the memory. Men who have forsaken the scenes of their evil deeds cannot shake off the clinging burden of the memory of them. The criminal is haunted by his crimes. They people his dreams with horrors; they overshadow his waking hours with gloom. Even when sin is put out of mind it is probably buried in the secret chamber of memory, to be ultimately brought to the light of consciousness.”

The author who wrote these words was referring primarily to unrepentant sinners. Yet, there is still a truth involved that should be noted. Just like a girl can repent of her sexual sin and still face an unwanted pregnancy or a thief can forsake his criminal life but still be sentenced to prison, the effects of our sins can haunt our lives years after the act has been committed.


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