Minding the Small Things
When I came to faith in Christ, my life was a walking breathing violation of the Ten Commandments. My sins stuck out from my life like a sore thumb. These obvious and blatant sins were the first things that Christ began to deal with when I invited Him into my life. In those first days of walking with God, He lovingly identified these sins and then showed me how, by the blood of the Cross and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, I could be, not only forgiven, but also. Day by day He was restoring my soul, transforming me into the vessel that He intended for me to be. As I surrendered these things to His Lordship, He began the process of setting this captive free.
In those first few years of fellowship with my Savior, He dealt primarily with the sins that we might rate as “the biggies”, the blatant and the visible sins of my life. I thought that once the “the biggies” were dealt with it would be smooth sailing from there. How wrong I was! For I was about to find out that the sins which hung on my life, visible for all to see, were but the external fruit of a deeper root that was part of the warp and woof of the very fabric of my heart. God’s next target was that root.
Since walking with God, my attitude towards the ways of God has gone through many changes. It is safe to say that I stand on different theological ground than I did even five or ten years ago. Things which I once thought mattered little to God, I now know He cares very deeply about. And on the heels of each successive revelation, He then begins to prod me about another area of my being that is not yet fully surrendered to His Lordship. His goal? That every facet of my being be fully surrendered to Him.
Recently, He has again been dealing with me about issues that many Christians would deem “small things.” Issues of attitude and character in places of my life that you will never see, but issues that bring compromise to the integrity of the whole; thereby blocking the free flow of His Holy Spirit’s power in my life and ministry.
In Song of Songs 2:15, there is a reference to “the little foxes that spoil the vine.” The foxes would go through the vineyard when the grapes were ripe, taking a nip here and bite there. By exposing the meat of the fruit to the air and the elements, much of the harvest was rendered worthless.
One of Satan’s greatest tactics is to turn the “little foxes” loose in our lives. And there, in the secret places of our heart he deludes us into thinking that these little foxes have no real power to destroy the integrity of the whole. For the most part, these “little foxes” are active in places that our fellow man or our Christian family cannot readily see. There they eat away at the fruitfulness of our lives and become hindrances to the outpouring of God’s fullest blessings.
What are these “little foxes” you might ask? A couple examples come to mind. A person who would never think of robbing a bank, thinks little of robbing their employer by wasting time on the job or by doing work that is less than their best. Another person who would never stand in front of you and tell you blatant lies, justifies the cash they take under the table, so as not to have to report it on their taxes? One of the most destructive “little foxes” is gossip. Words that not only rob us of our fruitfulness but at the same time destroy the character of another. There are also attitudes, prejudices, and areas of unforgiveness that we that we nurse and even justify.
Other examples are too numerous to name, but I’m well aware of them because the same temptations enter my life on a daily basis. I too have been a victim of the “little foxes.” For, if I’m not on the alert, those little guys can sneak in unnoticed. And it’s only through the light of God’s Word, or through the words of a faithful friend that the foxes are exposed.
How easy it is during a time of spiritual stagnation, or when things just seem to keep falling apart around us, to blame it on an attack from the devil. I’ve learned that before I go blaming him, I’d better first search my vineyard for “little foxes”, compromises of truth and integrity that have positioned me in a place before God that impedes His full blessing in my life.
My dear ones in Christ, stay mindful of those little foxes, whose goal it is to rob you and me of our spiritual vitality and fruitfulness.