Little Foxes

When do you feel your faith is dangerously vulnerable to the enemy’s tactics? For me, it’s when my confidence in who God says I am starts to blossom and bloom. It’s then that those crafty little foxes of disconnection and distrust come in, causing my normally strong, steadfast faith to shrink back, retreat and stay small. Sly little foxes dig holes into my thinking, filling them back up with disappointment and discouragement causing my fruit to spoil. What to do? Well, the book of Song of Songs reminds us to ‘Catch the foxes.’ So how do we catch these little critters before it’s too late?  

Little foxes who find their way into vineyards have no regard for the vulnerability of budding vines—trampling and severing until their selfish appetites are satisfied. So, why do little foxes only appear when our faith is flowering and flourishing? Why do these little pests wreak havoc when they catch a whiff of our fragrant devotion to God, moving quickly and quietly through our blossoming vineyard hell-bent on destroying our fruit? 

The beautifully poetic style of the book of Song of Songs reminds us that little foxes are not cute and cuddly pets to have in your vineyard. No, the poet warns us to ‘Catch the foxes, for us those little foxes that menace the vineyards, for our vineyards, are so vulnerable when they are in full bloom’ [Song of Songs 2:15]. 

According to Biblical commentary, foxes in Egyptian love poetry represent potential dangers in relationships and how seemingly insignificant issues can ruin the fruitfulness of intimacy. 

Theologian, A.W. Tozer backs up Song of Songs warning about menacing little foxes, advising that small issues can cause much damage to our faith. He suggests that “…many times we are prepared for the big battles, but it is the small battles that end up defeating us. And by small battles I mean the unexpected battles…Little foxes [are] the tiny things [and] from all appearances offer no threat.”

Tozer was right. These little, seemingly unimportant rodents can run through the branches of a vineyard unnoticed and undetected and what feels like a tiny insignificant thing can create huge problems in relationships. What tends to take all our attention is the big battles. In these skirmishes, when we have to face Goliaths, we’re so busy gathering stones and readying our slingshots, that the enemy knows we become dangerously vulnerable toward his sly and crafty tactics. As Tozer says, it’s the small battles where he defeats us. We can become so focused on giant slaying in our faith that we don’t realise when we’ve left our vineyards wide open and vulnerable to attack.

What is the consequence of not addressing small issues?

Foxy little critters waltz right in and run amuck. Dangerous little foxes are the pesky pests that spread their discouragement and disappointment throughout the vineyard, making sure any fruit on our branches is ravaged and ruined. They feed their selfish appetites, giving no regard toward the vulnerability of each flowering, tender grape that has been produced in our faith. 

So, what are some little foxes? 

Feelings of disappointment, neglect, and shame from your past. A sense of despondency, feeling left out, getting looked over, unappreciated, or just plain old devalued. These little foxes are all small. However, little foxes go straight for our tendrils. These slender strands give us structural support that is needed so we keep on climbing upwards so we’re reaching higher elevations in our faith. 

So how do we ‘Catch the foxes’ as Song of Songs suggests before it’s too late?  

Staying connected to Jesus, the Vine is crucial to our faith. I have learned that little foxes tend to not stay too long in vineyards or they stay away completely when you’re abiding in Vine. ‘Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. A branch cannot bear fruit if it is disconnected from the vine, and neither will you if you are not connected to Me.’ [John 15:4]. The devil knows Scripture like the back of his hand, and he knows full well when little foxes come into the vineyard, biting, and tearing at the branches so they become disconnected, distrusting, and dishevelled. The end game for the devil is to make sure we’re disconnected from Jesus so that our faith cannot bear fruit.

Watch out and stay on guard for little foxes, catching them by the tail before they unravel and destroy your fruit and fruitful confidence in who God says you are, wreaking havoc on your relationships. For when your faith starts to blossom and bloom, it’s then that those crafty little foxes of disconnection and distrust come in. May I suggest lingering in the labyrinth of vines found in the vineyard of John chapter 15? It helps to remind yourself to keep on remaining, keep on abiding so you stay steadfast and connected to the Vine.

‘Catch the foxes, for us those little foxes that menace the vineyards, for our vineyards are so vulnerable when they are in full bloom’ [Song of Songs 2:15]. 

Wendy xo 

When do you feel your faith is dangerously vulnerable to the enemy’s tactics? 

Author

Wendy Parker

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