Garland Of Grace – 08.26.14


Daddy Daughter Fun; Years of Tickle Torture

“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” – Romans 7:15

I have a game that I like to play with my daughter Aubrey. It is a made up game that we call “Tickle Torture.”  Just by its name, I am sure you have already figured out the nature of it. She will say, “Daddy, let’s play tickle torture!”  So I begin to growl and chase her around the house like a scary monster. When I finally catch her, I tickle her all over. As I am torturing her, she will kick and scream saying “oh stop, oh stop” with laughter in her voice. But when I grant her request and stop the tickle torture, she looks at me with a grin on her face and says, “Do it again Daddy!”

Isn’t that ironic? She asks me to do the very thing she had asked me to stop doing! As I pondered upon this comical verbal contradiction, I thought about how it’s similar to man’s actions in relation to sinful behavior.  We desire to sin.  Once we sin, we say to ourselves, “No more…stop!  Then moments later, we turn around with a grinning sinful heart and say within ourselves, “Do it again!”

Paul as he wrote to the church at Rome expressed an internal battle that he wrestled with on a daily basis. The very things that he really wanted to do, he did not do, and the things that he was doing were things that he really did not want to do.  If we are all honest about it, that is similar to our testimony as well. We find ourselves doing the very things that we know displease the Lord, yet we do them anyway. We know what is right in the sight of the Lord, and we also know what the Lord desires in our lives, yet oftentimes those are the very things that we do not do; things that we should be doing.

All of this boils down to the daily battle we face with sin (Ephesians 6:12). When we are saved, we are a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). And one of the evidences that we are a new creation is that our desires will change. We will desire to do the things that please God. Oftentimes we will. But there will also be those times in life that we will be similar to the apostle Paul, flirting with our old nature and involving ourselves in the things that we really do not want do, nor should be doing. Why do we face this constant raging battle? Well as long as we are on this side of heaven, sin will always be a festering distraction that we must deal with. Becoming a new creation in Christ Jesus does not mean that won’t have to face sin any longer. We might be new creatures in Christ Jesus, but we still dwell in a fallen world, and we are still fallen creatures. Yes, as Christians it is certainly wonderful to know that when we enter our eternal home, we will be free from sin. But as long as we are breathing on this side of heaven, sin will be an inevitable reality in our lives. Trusting in Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior means that you no longer have to be a slave to sin (Romans 6:6). But at the same time, trusting in Christ does not make you sinless, it simply means that you are now forgiven of your sins and that will have a genuine desire to sin less.

Maybe you find yourself saying “stop it” when you are in the midst of doing something you ought not to do. And after you stop doing whatever it might be, you find yourself craving that sinful thing or behavior once again. Your flesh grins from within and says, “Do it again.” If that is your story, realize that what is going on is a battle and not some game.  Satan wants to tickle your taste buds by dangling sin in front of you, but in reality all he wants to do is torture you.

 – Pastor Eric


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