Little Foxes That Spoil The Vines


Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash

Song of Solomon 2:15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

John 15:5-8 {Jesus said to us} I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

What does God our Father want of us? The Bible is very clear on this point. He wants every child of His, every Christian, to bear fruit. He says to His Child:

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Jesus wants me and you – if you have been saved by loving faith in Him (blessed be the Name of the Lord!) – bear fruit that remains. We who are Christians have no ability of ourselves to bear fruit. Let me say again:

We who are Christians – Children of God –
have no ability of ourselves to bear fruit!

Our ability to bear fruit – which is what Our Father wants us to do – is tied to our being in Christ, abiding in Him.

We are to draw near to Jesus.
To trust Him.
To rest in His embrace.

As we do so, the power that is in Christ flows from the vine to the vines. Jesus’ power flows through our lives. As His power flows God imparts fruit through us. The Bible calls this fruit:

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

Little Foxes Spoil The Fruit

What binds us to Christ? It is His Grace and love! But there are little foxes that come into the vineyard of the Christian to hinder our fruitfulness. One of my mentors in Christ, C.H. Spurgeon, said:

“The sea is made of drops; the rocks are made of grains: and the sea which divides thee from Christ may be filled with the drops of thy little sins; … If thou wouldst live with Christ, and walk with Christ, and see Christ, and have fellowship with Christ, take heed of the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.”

The foxes that spoil the vines – disrupting our relationship and joy in Christ – are very sneaky. Think about the fox for a moment:

  • Foxes are fast. They dart into the vineyard and eat the fruit, then run away. They are hard to catch.
  • Foxes are little. Their size makes us think that they are nothing. We tend to underestimate the small things. Not too long ago one of our members was bitten by a brown recluse spider – one of the tiniest of creatures. He had to go through several months of medical treatment to get over it. Oh Beloved, do not consider small to be insignificant. A nuclear weapon destroys millions by splitting the unseen atom. One tiny fox can lead many other tiny foxes to us, bring a BIG problem.
  • Foxes are cute. They are among the prettiest of animals. I have often thought how neat it would be to have a fox to raise (and I also like the look of a skunk). Truth be told, no one has ever tamed the wild out of a fox. They cannot be domesticated.
  • Foxes are cunning. They sometimes work in pairs, and as you watch one, another will sneak up and steal the fruit of your vineyard.

What are the “little foxes” than can rob us of our joy in Christ?

Beware The Little Foxes Of False Spirituality
& Spiritual Laziness

We have all, at times, been lazy. I tend to put off things that I don’t like to do. I don’t like crawling under the car to change the oil, or taking the time to tune up the engine by changing the plugs. Many times in my laziness (compounded with the fact that I am a little arthritic) I just opt to pay someone else to do that. As far as that goes, I supposed there’s nothing wrong with paying someone to do something that you hate to do in the secular world.

In the Spiritual world if you want to grow in power as a Child of God you must do the work. You can’t phone it in. You can’t put it off. And you can’t hire it done. It is YOUR walk with Christ.

The Bible tells us that we as believers must study the Word of God, this Bible. We read:

2 Timothy 2:15-17 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker …

You must put in the time. The Bible tells us to study to show thyself approved unto God. “Study” you ask? “Study what?” We are to study the Word of God, and shun the babbling words of the secular world. When we “study” (the Greek σπουδάζω spoudazō in the Imperative Mood – it is IMPERATIVE that you study God’s Word) the Word of God we are “approved unto God”. The word “approved” is the Greek δόκιμος dókimos, (pronounced dok’-ee-mos) which means “to be pleasing to God”.

The Spiritually Lazy Christian has no fence around his vineyard. The little foxes of the world easily run into the unguarded life, consuming our fruit, eating our joy!

God is not pleased with the spiritually lazy Christian. He loves you – yes, He does. But God has given you His Word just as a loving mother feeds her child. God provides, but WE must feed yourselves daily on His Word. Daily. When we do not, we drift from God. It does not amaze me that the Church in America has drifted from God’s Word. Years ago believers thought differently than they believe now.

If you have never been offended by a sermon, you have never heard the Word of God!

The Word of God offends the world. When we drift from God, we will be offended by the Word. But that’s good, not bad. God said …

Jeremiah 23:28-29 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. 29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

When we are offended by God’s Word, let us adjust course. God’s Word is true, and often what we think is not. I heard the story one time of a ship that saw another ship’s lights. The captain called across the airwaves, “Light on my north, I am a freighter. Veer off, or we will collide.” The light replied: “Light on my south, you veer off. I cannot. I am a lighthouse!”

God’s Word is always true – whether you agree with it or not! Jesus was emphatic when He decreed:

Matthew 7:24-27 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

You must READ and HEED Christ’s Word. Today.

“Tomorrow. Tomorrow.
Tomorrow I will open God’s Word.
Tomorrow I will attend Church and heed the Word spoken.
Tomorrow I will go to Discipleship Training.
Tomorrow I will attend Sunday School.”

The Christian way of life was not meant to be a comfy recliner or a snuggy in a warm bed. The Christian way of life is a Cross. Jesus said:

Matthew 16:24-25 … If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

He meant what He said!

The Little Fox Called The Little Look

Every action, whether right or wrong, begins with a thought. When we become lazy in our study of God’s Word it is not long before Satan will tempt us with a little fox.

Jesus made a statement one time that puzzled me – and has puzzled many over the years. He said:

Matthew 5:27-32 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever LOOKETH on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

In our world today the sexual revolution of the 60s has become the sexual madness of the Century. How did the degradation of America and the American family begin? With a little look. Jesus told us that the little look – that little improper look at a woman – can turn into something ugly. Now people say, “But what does a little look matter? I’ve not done anything if I look and think about it. After all, sin is an activity, not a thought.” That is very true. Sin is an activity, not a thought. But sin always begins with a thought. Let me say this again:

Sin always begins with a thought.

I know of a Deacon who, good man that he is, donated one his kidneys to another Church member in need. Several years later this same generous and sweet man was caught in bed with the youth Pastor’s wife. How did this happen? It starts with a look.

Jesus tells us that Matthew 5:29-32 if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

“What?!” you cry out to Jesus. “Why should I pluck my eye out? Why should I cut my right hand – in most of us, the dominant hand – off?” Because that little fox called Folly has you look where you should not look. Do you not remember the Apostle’s warning:

1 Corinthians 5:6 … Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

A little folly, a little sin.
A little crack, the devil’s in.

Consider the life of King David, a “man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). What brought great misery to David? A little laziness and a little look. We read:

2 Samuel 11:1-2 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time WHEN KINGS GO FORTH TO BATTLE, THAT DAVID sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. BUT DAVID TARRIED STILL AT JERUSALEM. 2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof HE SAW A WOMAN WASHING HERSELF; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.

David as King was supposed to be at war with his people. The leader should always lead. But instead, David decided to delegate his responsibility to others. David decided to take a sabbatical, a rest, a little vacation from what God told him to do. The devil watches. He watches David. He watches David NOT doing what God told him to do.

A little look.
A little call.
A little touch.
A little kiss.
A little baby.
A little murder.
A little curse.

None of it is little to God. God is watching, and God told David:

2 Samuel 12:9-12 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. 11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house

The world calls this “Karma”. The Bible says it is “sin”. There is no little sin with God. I saw this horror played out before my eyes at a Church I once pastored. There was a faithful family of believers who came to Church regularly. One day I saw a little fox walk into the assembly. She wore short skirts, fish net stockings, provocatively placed tattoos. One day I was at the local Walmart when she came out of the store hand in hand with one of the male family members. Though they quickly made excuses to me to make their actions seem innocent, there is no reason for a married man to be walking hand in hand with another woman. Less than a year later the husband abandoned his wife and children. Most of the family left the Church, broken and in pieces. Oh Beloved, avoid the little sins. Confess sin before God, and draw near to Jesus!

The Little Fox Of Worry

Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-27 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

One of the little Foxes that rob our us of joy is that little Fox called “Worry”. Worry is actually a form of faithlessness. This is what our Jesus said:

Matthew 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

The one ravaged by the Fox of Worry is a person of “little faith”. God is able. God is able. God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham (Matthew 3:9). God gave His Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins. When you received Christ as Savior God was able to graft us into the Covenant Promises of Grace (Romans 11:23). As a Child of God our God is able to make you stand (Romans 14:4). And when we sin, our God is able to make all grace abound unto us (2 Corinthians 9:8).

My God is able.
It is God Who worketh in you both to Will
and to Do of His good pleasure.
Philippians 2:13

If God can save a sinner and fit that sinner for Heaven, there is nothing that God cannot do. Our Lord Jesus said …

Matthew 19:26 … with God all things are possible.

Mark 9:23 … If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Beloved, our God is able. When we worry about the things that we have no ability to change we rob ourselves of our today. This Jesus we follow is able to do anything. I remember once when the disciples were crossing the sea with Jesus a storm rose, and began to wash waves over the boat. The disciples saw Jesus in the rear of the boat sleeping. Rousing the Lord up, the disciples – with fear in their voices – cried out:

Master, carest thou not that we perish?

Jesus woke up, stood up, and said simply “Peace. Be still.” The wind and the waves immediately stopped. Jesus then turned to His disciples and said:

Mark 4:40 … Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

Why indeed? Why do we allow the little Fox of Worry and its companions Fear and Doubt to run into our vines? God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). He gave the most He could give to us at the Cross. Why would He now abandon us.

My God is able.
My God is able.

But perhaps, just perhaps, you have never met my God. Perhaps you have heard of Him from others, but have never called on Him for yourselves. Perhaps you are relying on your own self righteousness to get you to Heaven. Oh Beloved, self righteousness has damned so many to hell. We need Jesus.

The Little Fox Of Self Righteousness

There are many other “little foxes” that I could preach on today, but I want to end with one of the worst. It is the little fox of self righteousness. As I preached this sermon some sat in the audience thinking, “What’s wrong with these people? None of these things afflict me. Boy, the preacher really told them, didn’t he?” If you thought these thoughts or thought yourself superior to others while God spoke, then you are afflicted by the worst of the little foxes – that of self righteousness.

The greatest enemies of Christ while He walked this earth was not the secular world, but the self righteous religious world. The Pharisees aqnd Scribes often attacked the Master. I will end with this text:

Luke 18:9-14 {Jesus} spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

If you believe that you are above the little foxes that afflict us all, then you are the grips of the most wily of the foxes – self righteousness. Even after Jesus spoke this word to His disciples the disciples – before His words had even just left the air – began to self righteously run people away from Jesus. “The Master cannot be disturbed by these babies. Away with you!” Jesus rebuked them, then said:

Luke 18:17 … Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

If you want to be blessed of God you have to be like a little child. Humble yourselves. Kneel at His feet. If He bids it, sell all you have, give it to the poor, and follow Him (Luke 18:22). All to Jesus. All to Jesus.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Thee I freely give,
I will ever love and trust Him;
In His Presence daily live!
I surrender all. I surrender all.
All to Thee, my Blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

Evangelist Billy Graham often had this song sung at the invitation he gave at the end of his crusade messages. Billy wrote:

“One of the evangelists who influenced my early preaching was also a hymnist who wrote “I Surrender All” — the Reverend J. W. Van de Venter. He was a regular visitor at the Florida Bible Institute (now Trinity Bible College) in the late 1930’s. We students love this kind, deeply spiritual gentleman and often gathered in his winter home at Tampa, Florida, for an evening of fellowship and singing.”

If you sing this song in it’s entirety you would sing the word “surrender” thirty times. The way to power with God and in this life is “surrender” – living in the shadow and will of Christ. Will you surrender to Him this New Year? Perfect vision is 20/20. In 2020 let us have perfect vision – surrender to Christ!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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