“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom” (Song of Songs 2:15)
Oh, those foxes that ruin the vineyard. There are so many of them out there that unless we do something about them they actually can destroy our life. What are “little foxes”? Do you realize that everything we do or say first comes from a thought in our mind? The question is what we do with it; how do we deal with it? Our thoughts might seem innocent to us but sometimes they are disguised greatly…and may even look quite innocent…but those thoughts (the little foxes) can sneak in and spoil the vineyards. Thoughts are not sinning…but what we do with that thought can be. We can have a thought and dismiss it/reject it…or we can act upon it. We can’t stop a thought from coming into our mind…but we can stop and examine it and dismiss it. We can pray over it…or we can fall for the enemy’s schemes and entertain it. Thoughts come and go constantly in our minds. Many are good thoughts but some are bad for us to ever even entertain in our minds. What we need to do is examine the thoughts that pop into our minds and decide will this thought be good for us, will it glorify God, help others, etc. If not dismiss it from your mind. Remember also that temptations pop into your mind and you can fall for them…or reject them. That is up to you.
As born-again believers aren’t we to always have good and Christian-like thoughts? Would sure be nice wouldn’t it…but we are human and as much as we want good thoughts in our mind…those bad thoughts can come in at any time and it is when they do that we must take them and kick them out of our mind.
Paul said, “ For the good that I will do, I do not do; but the evil I will not do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.” This is us as well. We might want to do right all the time and never do wrong…but just as Paul was human so are we and we don’t always do the right thing.
We live in a fallen world that is a fact….and even if we the thoughts we get doesn’t change the fact that…sin dwells in us! Knowing this is the key to following our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without giving in to sin. (Hebrews 4:15-16) It is in our minds that we must take a stand, examine the thoughts we have, and choose if they are good for us or not good for us…then act upon them.
We must go boldly to the throne of grace so we can obtain mercy and find the grace we need to overcome those sinful thoughts and temptations. Paul also exhorts us in Ephesians 4:17, “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind.” To have an unclean thought enter our minds doesn’t make us unclean, but it is when we dwell on those impure/unclean thoughts or give in to those evil desires, then, and only then, have we become impure or defiled. We need to think about the things that pop into our minds and deal with them right when they come there. If we don’t then unclean thoughts grow and are more difficult to get rid of.
We need to press in and press on and learn what to do about the foxes in our minds and life that hurt us and others. People…we are responsible for our vineyard. Those little foxes will run rampant throughout our life if we do not take control of them.
First, though we need to understand that Jesus is the true vine. He is over all things! We are the branches and we are supposed to bear “good” fruit. If we don’t, we are not being what Jesus wants us to be.
We have a part to play in the vineyard of life. We are supposed to rely on the Holy Spirit to help us. God sent the Holy Spirit to live in us (the church) and for us to honor our temple. The fruit of the Spirit should bring these things into our life: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control. Are we walking in these things? All of them? Why or why not?
Do you understand that the human will is deeply perverted? It wants to serve self… exalt self, and be lovers of self. Oh, how we need Jesus every moment of every day…but how many times have we let Him down? The thing is God doesn’t let us down. God is there to help us get through life…we just need to go to Him and give it all to Him.
We must Rely on the Holy Spirit. The way to kill the “little foxes” is by relying on the Holy Spirit. In Galatians 5:16 we read, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust (or desires) of the flesh”. Yield to the Holy Spirit, trust Him and rely upon Him to give you victory. Then there will appear in your life an abundance of fruit – the “fruit of the Spirit”.
John 15:16 contains the word of Jesus Himself, “You did not choose me, but I have chosen you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.”
Born again believers are the branches in the vine and we are to produce good fruit.
We are also told in John 15 that our Lord said, “My Father is the gardener” – that is, He is the One who tends the vine and busies Himself with the branches. But who are the branches? We have the answer, “I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” That tells us who God is and who we are and that we need to bear much fruit.
Kill the Little Foxes
The little foxes must be rounded up and put to death (Galatians 5:24); they must be mortified (Romans 6:11). If the little foxes are not put to death they will grow into big foxes! But how can we do this? We cannot do it in our strength. We need God’s strength to concur with the foxes in our life.
What are some of the little foxes?
So, what are some of the little foxes in our life that are not good for us? What do we need to do with them? This is in no way a complete list and it is different for each one of us.
Being pulled by two worlds with 2 different masters (can only have one)
Being sensitive to slights
Crimes of all kinds
Disagreements are usually misunderstandings that are taken wrong
Expecting to be appreciated
Fretting grumbling trifling
Lack of compassion
Lack of sensitivity
Never forget what someone did
Never forgive criticism
Spiritual apathy and indifference
Talk about self all the time
Think more of self than others
Thinking everyone is against you
Wanting your way
I’m sure there are a thousand more that could be listed. But you get the point right? We need to examine ourselves and ask God to help rid us of the little foxes so we can get clean in His sight.
Don’t allow any little fox in your life to drive you from the plan that God has for your life.
We all need to daily examine our hearts and see what we need to work on. May God deliver each of us from being bitter and angry. May He help us daily have a heart for forgiving people. Are you catching the “little foxes in your life?” It’s all about stopping the small thoughts before they become big problems.