PDA

View Full Version : Haunted by a past sin. Any help/advice highly appreciated.



buster
Dec 9th 2013, 06:34 AM
Hi everyone. Just a couple of days ago, I became haunted by a sin that me and also my parents committed against the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois. In October of 1993, my parents and I went to a forest preserve, dug up a Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), brought it home, and planted it in our yard. I became especially overcome with guilt within the past couple of days after reading biblical commands about restitution, especially in the Old Testament. Not to mention the part of the forest preserve district website that lists the rules, and one of them is that it is illegal to dig plants/trees up out of the ground. As it is, the tree since 1993 has grown into a 35+ foot monster with roots that go down at least 30 to 40 feet, so there is no way to transplant it back to the forest preserve.:B I know the Bible says how to restitute with stolen animals, stolen furniture/posessions, and money, but how does one restitute for a stolen tree that has anchored itself solidly in the ground?

Nick
Dec 9th 2013, 06:36 AM
Offer to replant a new one?

exitludos
Dec 9th 2013, 06:44 AM
Since this was twenty years ago, I doubt the forest preserve would even consider the theft an issue by now.

Firstly, if you have not already, you should obviously repent of the sin. God forgives, so that you do not need to be 'haunted' by your sin.

Secondly, if God is telling you this is necessary to follow through with the forest preserve, my suggestion is the following course of action, which I think is the most direct and honest way to confront the issue.


Gently discuss with your parents the guilt you feel about having stolen the tree.

If you are underage, or are otherwise under the care of their household, ask them if they would like to contact the forest preserve to find out if the preserve thinks any kind of compensation is necessary. (Maybe to help plant a new tree.) If they do not want to follow through with this, then consider the issue over.

If you are of age, or are otherwise under your own care, and your parents do not want to follow through with this, contact the forest preserve yourself.


However, I would suggest waiting for others to offer their thoughts here before following through with my advice, since I may be missing something from this picture.

Walls
Dec 9th 2013, 07:01 AM
Hi everyone. Just a couple of days ago, I became haunted by a sin that me and also my parents committed against the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois. In October of 1993, my parents and I went to a forest preserve, dug up a Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), brought it home, and planted it in our yard. I became especially overcome with guilt within the past couple of days after reading biblical commands about restitution, especially in the Old Testament. Not to mention the part of the forest preserve district website that lists the rules, and one of them is that it is illegal to dig plants/trees up out of the ground. As it is, the tree since 1993 has grown into a 35+ foot monster with roots that go down at least 30 to 40 feet, so there is no way to transplant it back to the forest preserve.:B I know the Bible says how to restitute with stolen animals, stolen furniture/posessions, and money, but how does one restitute for a stolen tree that has anchored itself solidly in the ground?

The situation is serious. Not because you and your parents stole a tree, but because the ability of Christ's sacrifice to cleanse you of that sin is being called into question. The sin was sin, but it is past and you cannot restore the tree. But make sure you are confident that our Lord's blood was enough for this. Otherwise we run the risk of calling inadequate what the Father has called more than adequate, and which the Father treasures above all else.

By the way, have you been Baptized? Study this scripture.

1st Peter 3:18-21
"18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"

Francis Drake
Dec 9th 2013, 01:34 PM
There was a time maybe 30 years ago that I was being tormented by a sin that I had been involved in years earlier.
It would give me sleepless nights and sweats and fears during the day. The guilt of it would intrude regularly during my times of prayer or worship. The burden of it was poisoning my relationship with God.

Every time it came to mind I would cry out and plead with the Lord for his forgiveness, but the thoughts still overwhelmed me. This had been going on for several years.

Then one day as I again pleaded with the Lord for his forgiveness, I realised that all my pleading was merely a declaration of my complete unbelief!

Every time I again asked for forgiveness, I was declaring that I did not believe what God had already done! ie. "I do not believe I am forgiven, therefore I have to ask once again"

Because of my unbelief, Satan had complete control of my memories, and all he had to do was point a finger at them and guilt would flood through me. The cycle started again.
Satan, or his demons were having a real hoot at my stupidity.

Once I understood what was happening, I repented of my foolish prayers. No longer did I plead with God. Instead I thanked him for washing me clean from my past sins, and in particular the one causing the trouble.

The result was a comprehensive defeat for Satan's strategy. The torment which had occurred several times a week, apart from a mild replay the following day, completely disappeared.

In fact from the moment of my confession of truth, I never thought of the event till maybe 2 years later when it came to mind simply triggered by a coincidence. As the reminder occurred, I knew just how much my conscience had been cleansed by the Lord. As I went over it in my mind that day, I realised that apart from the fact that there had been a gap of several years with no demonic torment, the memories were clean and painless. I was able to let go of it, full of gratitude for the magnitude of God's deliverance, and just get on with my day!

What we speak out through our mouths can either imprison or liberate us.

Walls
Dec 9th 2013, 02:40 PM
There was a time maybe 30 years ago that I was being tormented by a sin that I had been involved in years earlier.
It would give me sleepless nights and sweats and fears during the day. The guilt of it would intrude regularly during my times of prayer or worship. The burden of it was poisoning my relationship with God.

Every time it came to mind I would cry out and plead with the Lord for his forgiveness, but the thoughts still overwhelmed me. This had been going on for several years.

Then one day as I again pleaded with the Lord for his forgiveness, I realised that all my pleading was merely a declaration of my complete unbelief!

Every time I again asked for forgiveness, I was declaring that I did not believe what God had already done! ie. "I do not believe I am forgiven, therefore I have to ask once again"

Because of my unbelief, Satan had complete control of my memories, and all he had to do was point a finger at them and guilt would flood through me. The cycle started again.
Satan, or his demons were having a real hoot at my stupidity.

Once I understood what was happening, I repented of my foolish prayers. No longer did I plead with God. Instead I thanked him for washing me clean from my past sins, and in particular the one causing the trouble.

The result was a comprehensive defeat for Satan's strategy. The torment which had occurred several times a week, apart from a mild replay the following day, completely disappeared.

In fact from the moment of my confession of truth, I never thought of the event till maybe 2 years later when it came to mind simply triggered by a coincidence. As the reminder occurred, I knew just how much my conscience had been cleansed by the Lord. As I went over it in my mind that day, I realised that apart from the fact that there had been a gap of several years with no demonic torment, the memories were clean and painless. I was able to let go of it, full of gratitude for the magnitude of God's deliverance, and just get on with my day!

What we speak out through our mouths can either imprison or liberate us.

What a first class testimony! This is greater than all the claimed physical healings we hear of. This is the crux of salvation. Sin put away - FOREVER!

Slug1
Dec 9th 2013, 02:48 PM
There was a time maybe 30 years ago that I was being tormented by a sin that I had been involved in years earlier.
It would give me sleepless nights and sweats and fears during the day. The guilt of it would intrude regularly during my times of prayer or worship. The burden of it was poisoning my relationship with God.

Every time it came to mind I would cry out and plead with the Lord for his forgiveness, but the thoughts still overwhelmed me. This had been going on for several years.

Then one day as I again pleaded with the Lord for his forgiveness, I realised that all my pleading was merely a declaration of my complete unbelief!

Every time I again asked for forgiveness, I was declaring that I did not believe what God had already done! ie. "I do not believe I am forgiven, therefore I have to ask once again"

Because of my unbelief, Satan had complete control of my memories, and all he had to do was point a finger at them and guilt would flood through me. The cycle started again.
Satan, or his demons were having a real hoot at my stupidity.

Once I understood what was happening, I repented of my foolish prayers. No longer did I plead with God. Instead I thanked him for washing me clean from my past sins, and in particular the one causing the trouble.

The result was a comprehensive defeat for Satan's strategy. The torment which had occurred several times a week, apart from a mild replay the following day, completely disappeared.

In fact from the moment of my confession of truth, I never thought of the event till maybe 2 years later when it came to mind simply triggered by a coincidence. As the reminder occurred, I knew just how much my conscience had been cleansed by the Lord. As I went over it in my mind that day, I realised that apart from the fact that there had been a gap of several years with no demonic torment, the memories were clean and painless. I was able to let go of it, full of gratitude for the magnitude of God's deliverance, and just get on with my day!

What we speak out through our mouths can either imprison or liberate us.Amen. I dealt with this while in the Army and continually sought after Forgivness for actions I've been forgiven for.

Unforgivenessis a "stronghold" and once I believed the "truth" about what the scriptures teach about God's forgiveness... the stronghold was immediately toppled over.

Old man
Dec 9th 2013, 03:55 PM
Hi everyone. Just a couple of days ago, I became haunted by a sin that me and also my parents committed against the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois. In October of 1993, my parents and I went to a forest preserve, dug up a Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), brought it home, and planted it in our yard. I became especially overcome with guilt within the past couple of days after reading biblical commands about restitution, especially in the Old Testament. Not to mention the part of the forest preserve district website that lists the rules, and one of them is that it is illegal to dig plants/trees up out of the ground. As it is, the tree since 1993 has grown into a 35+ foot monster with roots that go down at least 30 to 40 feet, so there is no way to transplant it back to the forest preserve.:B I know the Bible says how to restitute with stolen animals, stolen furniture/posessions, and money, but how does one restitute for a stolen tree that has anchored itself solidly in the ground?

I agree with the others. But what I find ironically funny is that you dug up a non-native and in many areas an invasive species from a "forest preserve". The tree is native to China and Taiwan. We hate them around here; they invade our oak forests and once they get in they are very hard to get out and they stink (smell bad). The forest service might actually thank you for doing it. Still digging things up in a "forest preserve" is generally frowned upon.

But then there are lots of things we do and have done that the devil will use to try to trap us in condemnation and self unforgiveness rejecting the truth of God's grace mercy and His forgiveness. If the lord is urging you to some action of restitution the suggestions made by others here are good. However if you choose to plant a tree don't plant a Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima). Plant one that's native to the area.

keck553
Dec 9th 2013, 04:56 PM
I wouldn't focus on one sin because we all have many Jesus bore on our behalf. And that's a gift that we have the choice to accept.

Unforgiveness is a bondage that God simply will not chain Himself to. Yes, His judgment is righteous, but His Son took that punishment on our behalf and offers atonement to those who would accept His gift. God is not the God of guilt, He is the God of freedom from guilt. But we need to realize how pervasive that gift is. God sees Jesus' righteousness in His children. If Jesus died and was separated from Elohim so you could be free from judgment, why do you allow satan to continue to accuse you? Don't let him in. God freed you from your transgressions through the blood of Christ, and He is a righteous judge. Please be careful about wallowing in guilt, because it can be seen as a testimony that the work of Christ is somehow insufficient.

If you want to make restitution, feed some hungry people and don't tell anyone.

God can make more trees, but He only has one Son.

moonglow
Dec 9th 2013, 06:31 PM
There was a time maybe 30 years ago that I was being tormented by a sin that I had been involved in years earlier.
It would give me sleepless nights and sweats and fears during the day. The guilt of it would intrude regularly during my times of prayer or worship. The burden of it was poisoning my relationship with God.

Every time it came to mind I would cry out and plead with the Lord for his forgiveness, but the thoughts still overwhelmed me. This had been going on for several years.

Then one day as I again pleaded with the Lord for his forgiveness, I realised that all my pleading was merely a declaration of my complete unbelief!

Every time I again asked for forgiveness, I was declaring that I did not believe what God had already done! ie. "I do not believe I am forgiven, therefore I have to ask once again"

Because of my unbelief, Satan had complete control of my memories, and all he had to do was point a finger at them and guilt would flood through me. The cycle started again.
Satan, or his demons were having a real hoot at my stupidity.

Once I understood what was happening, I repented of my foolish prayers. No longer did I plead with God. Instead I thanked him for washing me clean from my past sins, and in particular the one causing the trouble.

The result was a comprehensive defeat for Satan's strategy. The torment which had occurred several times a week, apart from a mild replay the following day, completely disappeared.

In fact from the moment of my confession of truth, I never thought of the event till maybe 2 years later when it came to mind simply triggered by a coincidence. As the reminder occurred, I knew just how much my conscience had been cleansed by the Lord. As I went over it in my mind that day, I realised that apart from the fact that there had been a gap of several years with no demonic torment, the memories were clean and painless. I was able to let go of it, full of gratitude for the magnitude of God's deliverance, and just get on with my day!

What we speak out through our mouths can either imprison or liberate us.

Thank you for sharing this...I am sure it will benefit many people. :) Its a trap any of us could fall into.

old man
I agree with the others. But what I find ironically funny is that you dug up a non-native and in many areas an invasive species from a "forest preserve". The tree is native to China and Taiwan. We hate them around here; they invade our oak forests and once they get in they are very hard to get out and they stink (smell bad). The forest service might actually thank you for doing it. Still digging things up in a "forest preserve" is generally frowned upon.

But then there are lots of things we do and have done that the devil will use to try to trap us in condemnation and self unforgiveness rejecting the truth of God's grace mercy and His forgiveness. If the lord is urging you to some action of restitution the suggestions made by others here are good. However if you choose to plant a tree don't plant a Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima). Plant one that's native to the area.

Wow thanks for posting this. I looked it up. This 'tree' is considered a 'weed' in many places:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ailanthus_altissima
Outside of Europe and the United States, the plant has been spread to many other areas beyond its native range. In a number of these, it has become an invasive species due to its ability both to colonise disturbed areas quickly, including areas of rubble in war-torn Afghanistan, and to suppress competition with allelopathic chemicals. It is considered a noxious weed in Australia, the United States, New Zealand and several countries in southern and eastern Europe. The tree also resprouts vigorously when cut, making its eradication difficult and time consuming. In many urban areas, it has acquired the derisive nicknames of "ghetto palm", "stink tree", and "tree of Hell".

Does sound like they did the forest a services by getting this 'tree' out of there. Nothing to feel guilty about at all!

buster
Dec 9th 2013, 09:09 PM
Great responses. I did actually contact the Cook County Forest Preserve district last night via email, but they have not yet replied. I mean, even if I do live to be 85 or 90 years old, the last thing I need is to be thrown into Hell for eternity. Especially after reading about near-death testimonies of others who saw that place, like this guy in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRSjzY0s0SM

jayne
Dec 9th 2013, 11:26 PM
Then one day as I again pleaded with the Lord for his forgiveness, I realised that all my pleading was merely a declaration of my complete unbelief!

Every time I again asked for forgiveness, I was declaring that I did not believe what God had already done! ie. "I do not believe I am forgiven, therefore I have to ask once again"

Because of my unbelief, Satan had complete control of my memories, and all he had to do was point a finger at them and guilt would flood through me. The cycle started again.
Satan, or his demons were having a real hoot at my stupidity.

Whew!!!! That's deep stuff right there! I'm probably going to quote you on that someday. I'll be sure to give you the credit.

buster
Dec 10th 2013, 01:06 AM
However if you choose to plant a tree don't plant a Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima). Plant one that's native to the area.

Would perhaps a Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) be an appropriate replacement for the forest preserve?

Old man
Dec 10th 2013, 01:16 AM
Would perhaps a Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) be an appropriate replacement for the forest preserve?

Do a Google search for native trees for the area. There is probably lots to pick from but the forest service would know best what to plant in that area.

moonglow
Dec 10th 2013, 03:04 AM
Great responses. I did actually contact the Cook County Forest Preserve district last night via email, but they have not yet replied. I mean, even if I do live to be 85 or 90 years old, the last thing I need is to be thrown into Hell for eternity. Especially after reading about near-death testimonies of others who saw that place, like this guy in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRSjzY0s0SM

buster that is a great video..I have it saved on my favorites on youtube...my concern though is you thinking God would actually put you in hell over a tree...:(

Nick
Dec 10th 2013, 07:33 AM
Is it normal NOT to be haunted by any sins of the past? I'm not. All my sins have been forgiven but that doesn't mean I didn't have to make restitution for harm done, some of which is still ongoing.

Slug1
Dec 10th 2013, 02:20 PM
Is it normal NOT to be haunted by any sins of the past? I'm not. All my sins have been forgiven but that doesn't mean I didn't have to make restitution for harm done, some of which is still ongoing.Hooah, seems we all have to deal with the consequences of the action that was sinful. This is what reconcilliation is for and is covered in the Bible as well.

buster
Dec 11th 2013, 07:37 PM
Well, as it appears, they have replied with the following message; "Thank you for your honesty in this matter. If you truly want to make restitution for your actions, you may choose to make a monetary donation at any of our Forest Preserve District nature centers. Donations are used to enhance the nature center facility and are always welcome."

Christinme
Dec 11th 2013, 07:45 PM
Well, as it appears, they have replied with the following message; "Thank you for your honesty in this matter. If you truly want to make restitution for your actions, you may choose to make a monetary donation at any of our Forest Preserve District nature centers. Donations are used to enhance the nature center facility and are always welcome."There you go now you can make restitution. Praise God!

Francis Drake
Dec 16th 2013, 09:40 PM
Whew!!!! That's deep stuff right there! I'm probably going to quote you on that someday. I'll be sure to give you the credit.

Please don't give me any credit jayne, I don't warrant any. All credit goes to Jesus alone, as I only spread about a gift I first received from him.
It now belongs to you, not me, so make good use of it.

Francis Drake
Dec 16th 2013, 09:52 PM
Great responses. I did actually contact the Cook County Forest Preserve district last night via email, but they have not yet replied. I mean, even if I do live to be 85 or 90 years old, the last thing I need is to be thrown into Hell for eternity. Especially after reading about near-death testimonies of others who saw that place, like this guy in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRSjzY0s0SM

Please be assured Buster, that you will not be thrown into hell for eternity over a tree. You are forgiven whether you make restitution or not.

1John1v9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

You are completely forgiven and cleansed, and that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with restitution.
If we all had to make payment in order to be free from any sins, then it might be fine for your petty theft, but what about much bigger crimes like murder. How shall they make restitution to their victim?

From this day forward, start thanking God for his absolute and total forgiveness of everything you have ever done. "Thank you Jesus, that you have totally cleansed and forgiven me!"
Then when Satan piles the guilt onto you, tell Satan the same thing.

These are the facts of life when it comes to forgiveness. You really can walk with complete peace in your heart whilst standing in the midst of battle.

Read my testimony in comment No5 to see how powerful these truths are. That is just one simple testimony, but it's how I walk in the complete peace of God every day.
I have given up on counting my sins.
Instead I count my life the way God counts it, he looks at me and sees Jesus there because of my constant proclamation of that fact.
I might add that I am no better than the next man, its just that I've stopped carrying all that stupid guilt! Jesus paid for it so what sort of fool steals it back?