“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards,
Our vineyard that are in bloom”
Songs of Solomon 2:15
The above scripture is interesting; even though it captures the conversation between two lovers, it however carries a profound instruction for every child of God.
Foxes are destructive regardless of the size (little or big); as a matter of fact, foxes have been used severally in the bible as a metaphor for destruction. ‘Little foxes’ in this context refers to those sins, attitudes and habits that we more often over-look, excuse or defend. Inconsequential as we may attempt to make them, they could have a huge negative impact in our lives.
Too many times we are on the defensive because we feel we cannot do what the bible says to do. We struggle and argue, trying to twist the bible to suit ourselves. You see some people saying things like: “thou shall not smoke” is not in the bible; it still doesn’t change that that habit has a negative effect on you. “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumble at just one point is guilty of breaking it all” James 2:10
The reason why we get into these inner conflict is because we have not fully understood the implication of what Christ did on the cross. He didn’t die just so He can forgive our sins when we get born-again and then expects us to figure out how to live right hence forth, No. He took away our sins and then made grace available to help us live the life He has called us to live. Titus 2:12 tells us that “God’s word teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. This is by the power of His spirit that is at work within us… for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.
However that ‘He works in you’ doesn’t mean once we get born again, all the habits just fades and we begin to live a godly life automatically. What we received from salvation is the life of God in our spirit; our flesh is still the way it was. It is our responsibility to nurture the life that we received to effectively replace the old life. This is a continuous process; hence the bible talks about the renewing of our mind by the word as seen in Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
So, how can we remove the foxes? Here are few steps that will help.
- Acknowledgement - the first step is to acknowledge that there is actually an issue that needs to be dealt with. Jeremiah 3:13 is a good example, where God said to the children of Israel; ‘Only acknowledge your iniquity’. This will help us to know where we are and to assess our progress.
- Discover your true self - Our true image is not who the circumstances of our life made us to be. Our true self is the person God says we are through His word. It is not just enough to discover; we have to start acting the word by proclaiming consistently what the word says about us. As we consistently declare the word God, our life begins to go in the direction of the word.
- Walk before God – this refers to constant fellowship and communion with God. Habits, attitudes, every negative attribute dies a natural death in the place of constant fellowship with God. As we fellowship with God, His presence rubs off on us and we begin to exhibit more of Him and less of our old self.
Living the Christian life comes with many trials and temptations; there will always be little foxes placed by the devil to try to break your relationship with God. It is your duty to fight the good fight of faith and hold on to the word of God to keep you away from the little foxes.
Written by Segun Noels