Catch the Little Foxes
“Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.”
-- Song of Solomon 2:15, NKJV
Foxes are sneaky, clever characters. The little ones seem cute and innocent, but they can do a lot of damage if they manage to slink into a vineyard. In the same way, we have what we consider minor and insignificant practices or thinking that can cause more destruction than we realize. It is important to outfox the enemy by keeping these crafty character-killers from reducing or ruining our good fruit.
1. Pride, pride, pride. This kind of pride is not the confidence and satisfaction you may feel over a job well done. This pride refuses to seek after God (Psalm 10:4); it is found in feelings of superiority, looking down on others (Psalm 10:2). Pride can be as subtle as hiding a weakness or struggle or refusing help. Pride will hold you back from pursuing a relationship with the Father. That little fox will let you act like you are “fine” until all the good fruit falls to the ground.
2. Self-condemnation. If you are in Christ, you are a new creation. You know that much, correct? So, why beat yourself up over something the you who is “no longer with us” – the dead you – did before you were born again? Yes, make amends, ask forgiveness of those you have hurt when it is healthy to do so; then – forgive yourself. Jesus came to heal you. Receive your deliverance.
Paul writes, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Why? “because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” All charges have been dropped. Why walk around in an orange prison jumpsuit when you have been released?
3. Bad conversations. Proverbs 18:21 says it plainly: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit” (NKJV). Unhealthy conversations filled with gossip, negativity, rough language and crude topics – there is only destruction in those interactions. Words can be profitable or they can be poison. This Proverb tells us whichever one we love – death or life – we will be drawn to the chatter it produces. Do not drink the poison coming from the mouths of family and friends – even church members. Stay away from it. Love life. Desire after the sweet honey of words spoken honorably (Proverbs 16:24). Ask the Lord to help you and choose your words wisely.
4. Priorities and busyness. I have heard many say their schedule does not leave time for prayer or for church activities. If you feel like you cannot spare the time for Jesus, then you are going into your daily itinerary ill-equipped and unprepared. You will never hear a military man or woman say they were too busy to grab the gear, weapons, and strategy needed for their mission. Would a quarterback run onto the field without a helmet because he overscheduled his day? Of course not. So, why do we go into our busy days and weeks giving no room for fellowship with God and other believers?
Realize your Word and worship is as necessary for your survival as an oxygen tank for a deep sea diver. Unlike soldiers, athletes, surgeons, and the like, we often do not recognize the absolute necessity of the preparation and protection through the Holy Spirit in the presence of God. And that is on us.
You are not powerless to walk in righteousness when you live according to the Spirit.
The little foxes of pride, self-condemnation, unhealthy speech, and defective priorities will negatively affect your relationship with the Father. Keep that relationship alive through the Holy Spirit; when you suspect you have foxes sniffing around, run them off before they trample and devour your good fruit.