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March 4, 2017

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The Little Foxes That Ruin the Vineyard

"Catch for us the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom." Song of Solomon 2:15

What would you say if I were to ask you, "When are we the most vulnerable to the infiltrating ways of Satan to disrupt, defeat, and destroy us?" I'm sure many would say, "When I'm lonely, physically weak, discouraged, or when someone that is my friend has mistreated me." Many of these times and more are valid when we are prime targets for Satan.

But the most susceptible time is when we have just experienced our greatest victory. You might say, "Well, I don't think so. After all, it's a time when we are enjoying the exhilaration of victory, the spoils of the battle, or a time when there is much excitement. How can we possibly be vulnerable at such a time?" On the other hand, it is a time when there is renewed self-confidence, when we feel we can conquer any foe, and can be victorious over any obstacle that might confront us. Do you see that our focus has suddenly changed and that we have quickly forgotten where we received our strength? You might say, "But that is just a little thing; surely such thoughts cannot be harmful to us."

Let me ask you: Where would we be if God lifted His hand of mercy from us but for a moment? Where would we be were it not for His grace? David realized this when he wrote in Psalm 124:2-3, "If the Lord had not been on our side when men attacked us, when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive." Jeremiah said in Lamentations 3:22-23, "Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

Solomon said, "The little foxes ruin the vineyard." I thought, what a graphic picture of the "little sins" in our lives. When the vineyard is sweetened with the scented blossoms and the tiny grapes begin to appear, they need to be guarded and protected, lest the little foxes come in and destroy them. We often think of big sins that are so detrimental to us. But God sees it differently; He looks upon the heart. He sees the anger, the resentment, an unforgiving spirit, bitterness, selfishness, pride, and many other "sins within." The result is that He lifts His hand of blessing from us, our testimony loses its effectiveness, the joy of the Lord fades into the past, and we become defeated, discouraged, and useless spiritually. The "little foxes" have ruined the spiritual vineyard of our life.

Our most vulnerable time is right after our greatest victory. Why? Because we feel confident, self-assured, and secure, and we take things into our own hands and proceed without God. We simply say, not out loud, but certainly within our hearts, "I don't need God for this. I can handle it; this is a piece of cake." What happens? We presume upon the goodness of God. We expect His help, but we neglect to call upon Him in prayer. There is no dependence upon God, no searching of our hearts, no preparation for the enemy, no cleansing, no faith in God. We just plunge ahead in the weakness of our own ability, and we crash-land.

Solomon said, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path" (Proverbs 3:5,6). We must ever keep our eyes fixed upon the Lord. It is He who gives us the victory and guards us against the "little foxes" that would destroy us. Oh that we might trust Him completely!

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.


This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-03-04


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