“Little foxes spoil the vine”
See SONG OF SOLOMON 2:15
If you are a member of PETA, the title of this devotional might have just made your blood pressure rise. But you can go ahead and take a deep breath because “little foxes” simply refers to “small sins.” You know, the ones that “don’t really matter”?
First off, to God, all sins are equal. The Bible actually says God sees gossip and murder the same (see Romans 1:29). As Christians, He doesn’t have a sin-barometer that He judges us by because Jesus has already judged us NOT GUILTY (see John 3:17). Because we’ve been born of God, in our spirits we are 100% sinless as believers in Christ’s forgiveness (see 1 John 3:9, Colossians 1:22). So for us, when our flesh and unrenewed minds commit sins (not our spirits, which is our identity) those sins are all the same to God.
As humans, we are not like this. We have a scale-driven judgmental mind, “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.” But God does not work this way! For proof, read the story of the vineyard workers in Matthew 20. They all got paid the same, no matter what time of day they began working.
But that’s not the topic I wanted to cover today. I needed to set up how God sees sin, so I can bring to light how very important it is that we do what He wants us to do even when it seems like it’s no big deal–or when nobody is looking. Don’t forget that God is always looking. He sees everything and knows everything, even when people don’t.
Jesus said that we are all part of a “vine,” which is Him. As Christians, we are individual branches each connected together through Him—the vine (see John 15:5).
So what’s the deal with the foxes? Foxes sometimes feed on grapevines. They chew away at them, destroying its growing power. The Bible says it is the “little foxes that spoil the vine” (see Song of Solomon 2:15). No, this isn’t referring to Jesus–He’s indestructible, and this is pre-Cross. This verse is in reference to our purposefulness.
It’s the little sins we allow to happen that hinders our purposefulness as believers, as a whole. This applies to the “typical” sins (lie, cheat, steal, etc.); as well as the “self-righteous” or “religious works” sins (refusing to forgive as Christ forgave you, bitterness toward non-believers, finding your identity in a church position or tithing, etc.).
Let’s be clear here, I’m not simply talking about the Christian housewife who is a huge Magic Mike fan, I’m also talking about the Christian who memorizes Bible verses just so they will have ammo in their legalistic shotgun which they plan on using to harm others instead of helping them. All little sins begin to spoil the vine!
If you’re still not sure what I mean, here is a list of “little fox sins” which can eventually ruin your life because the Holy Spirit in you will never say this is copacetic:
- What you watch and listen to on a regular basis. I was blind to this for years and didn’t realize it until I really began to allow Jesus to live through me—but, I was highly entertained by movies, TV shows, and music that did not match up with Him. No, I haven’t shut off the secular world from my life, but instead, I’ve begun to be purposeful about what my eyes and ears are being flooded with on a daily basis. This is a hidden little fox, you gotta look for it.
- Having intimate conversations with people that you shouldn’t be having. With the invention of social media, the reproduction of this little fox is at an all-time high. It’s so easy to flirt with others this way and then claim it’s no big deal. The little fox of inappropriate online communication has destroyed many families. To kill this little fox, you may have to unfollow people whom you are attracted to, or unfriend them completely if your spouse feels threatened by your social media connections. But it doesn’t end there! You can easily have inappropriate real life conversations in person, over the phone, or by texts, that you know deep down in your spirit, you shouldn’t be having. Ask God to help you recognize this little fox, kill it, and then skin it.
- Gossiping. This is a tale as old as time, blabbing our mouths to people about stuff that we shouldn’t be verbalizing at all. For some strange reason, this little fox sneaks in very easily to our conversations. Rule of thumb: Is what or who I’m talking about being helped through my words? Am I solving a problem in a Spirit-led way, with my mouth? If not, then button it up because that little fox will zap the life out of your witness with lightning speed.
- Refusing to block off time for God each day. For years I told myself, “I’ll begin a daily devotional for God when I find time. Right now I’m just too busy.” This was a small lie, a little fox. The fact of the matter is that it’s impossible to find any more time in the day—we all get the same amount! So instead of saying “I need more time,” we must give our time to God! For me, I began to give Him this time early in the morning. It was about 2011 when I began to go to bed just a tad bit earlier (about an hour) just so that I can start getting up at 5:30 A.M. And no, I didn’t make a law out of it, I just saw it as “worship,” even though all I was doing was sipping coffee and reading. This was my designated time for God, no matter what. My devotionals don’t earn me anything from God, but they allow my faith to be built up as I get to know who He is, better. This time spent also deepens my understanding of who I am in Christ! When I finally killed the two little foxes of “excuses and procrastination,” my entire life began to change in a positive way!
So today, my friends, know this: There are many little foxes that the enemy uses to distract you from your true identity in Christ! But as you allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, you can hunt them down, kill them, and make a nice fur coat out of them.
A prayer for you: Good morning Heavenly Father, you are such a good Dad! I want to thank you for all you do for me. Please help me to begin to recognize any NEW little foxes in my life that try to sneak in on me. And please give me the spiritual concentration to get rid of those little buggers! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. I ask that you give them wisdom and revelation to understand what they should cut out of their life, and what they should add; the little stuff they think is no big deal. Strengthen them, help them, and comfort them! In Christ’s name I pray, amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 1. Get your copy here!