Song of Solomon describes the love relationship between ourselves and the Lord, and in 2:14-16 the lovers are calling to each other, declaring their love for each other: “my beloved is mine and I am his.” Then in 2:15 they pause and say something unexpected:
“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”
Believers are like tender vines, being tended by the Father who is the master gardener, the vine keeper, so that each plant may come to full fruitfulness. But there are these little foxes, who creep in insensibly and though they are little, cause much damage to the fruitfulness of the vine. Foxes who by gnawing and breaking the little branches and leaves, digging holes in the vineyards, and so spoiling the roots, reduce the vines ability to fulfill its purpose of production. The foxes have to be dealt with, taken care of, or there will be no harvest from the vine.
The small decisions in our lives are the little foxes.
We may not pay that much attention to the little decisions, each day we are making thousands of little decisions about what we will eat, what we will drink, where we will go, what we will do, what will be important, what can wait for another day. Small decisions, often made without much thought, influenced by our moods, our emotions, our motivations, our values, our priorities, our energy levels, our pleasure, our passion, our desires. Small decisions that can change the direction of our lives gradually, slowly, without noticing and then after a period of time, we look at the damage in our garden, caused by these little foxes in the vineyard and wonder where it come from.
It is the small decisions we make that can determine the long-term health of our spiritual garden.
These small decision will determine whether we live out our purposes for God, whether we are ready when the moment comes that God calls us forward to do some work for Him. How many of our daily small decisions are having us opt out of what God has called us to do, because we are not prepared to be disciplined and deal with the little foxes i.e.being disciplined in our small decisions.
Small decisions like what I will eat and when I will exercise determine the health of our bodies which determine our productivity for God. Small decision about what I will spend my time on and what will be my priorities will determine whether we are available to God. Small decisions about what we will learn, what skills we will practice will determine our ability to be more productive for God. Small decisions about who I will spend my time with, and what we will do together would determine my ability to withstand temptation and live the way God would want me to. Small decisions to partake in the little sin that lays the foundation for greater sin to be established in my life.
Small decisions determine the productivity of the vine.
Song of Solomon 2:15 is a call to all believers to deal with the little foxes. For me this meant that I had to examine how much attention I was giving to the small daily decisions I was making in my life. Foxes are by nature sly, crafty and subtle creatures, malignant and mischievous, hungry and voracious. Small decisions, though small, can over a long term, have an enormous impact on our lives, they are little foxes which can if not dealt with destroy the productivity of our lives.
I am reminded of Luke 16:10; “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
Small decisions about our lives will determine the big decisions of obedience. Being trustworthy in small decisions will lead to a trustworthiness in big decisions.
God wants me to partner with Him in life, and at each small decision make choices, life strategies and habits, that partner with Him in my life. As the Holy Spirit guides me, He will empower me to rise up against the impulses of my flesh, guide me in disciplined habits that empower me, enable me to respond to truth and establish righteousness within me. The changes I make must have Christ in mind, because in oneness with Him, we agree that these are good changes for me. It cannot be motivated my Me, how well I look before others or their opinion of me. I cannot be motivated by what I will get out of it, I need to be motivated by what Christ says is good for me.
I have had to examine my life and look at the small decisions I am taking.
- Have you ever considered the impact of small decisions in your life? Can you point to a small decision you took that had a huge impact on your life?
- Foxes are sneaky – are there perhaps small decisions you are unconsciously making because you have never paid attention to small decisions before?
Here are some questions I have asked myself:
- Where am I making small decisions everyday? That I am perhaps not aware of.
- How much thought goes into these small decisions?
- Are these small decisions resulting in a more productive me, a fruitful vine for the Lord?
- Small decisions give rise to life forming habits or disciplines of lifestyle. Eg. the consistent decision to exercise gives rise to a life forming habit of regular exercise. The small decision to start the day with the Lord, can change the direction of my life. Where are the small decisions undermining the disciplined lifestyle that I want to lead?
- How are my personal desires, emotions, thoughts influencing the small decisions I make everyday?
- Am I partnering with Christ in developing lifestyle habits that start with the small decisions I make on a day to day basis.
When we pay attention to the small decisions, the little habits we are developing, recognizing the power these small decisions have in determining the productivity of our lives, we are opening up a conversation with Christ. When we pursue the mind of Christ on what habits we should form in the little decisions we make, he gives us a blue print for the disciplined life He would have us lead.
Catch for me the little foxes, Lord, help me to see them. Help me to recognize what small decisions I am making that will have a negative impact on my life. Also, what small decisions I should be taking, to lead my life on the path of righteousness. I want to be trustworthy and faithful in the small things of my life, because I understand that they can have a great impact.
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An Ounce of Prevention
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