In Solomon's Song of Songs, the Lover says to His beloved, "Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom" (2:15).
Our vineyard refers to our fellowship or connection with God that produces fruit. Foxes destroy fruitfulness.
Jesus addresses the subtle areas that seem so minor, yet are capable of wounding our love for Him. Foxes are known for their crafty, devious natures, so we use the expression "sly as a fox." They are cunning animals that will destroy a vineyard during the night.
The difficulty is that little foxes appear to be so innocent. But little foxes, if notdestroyed, grow up to be big foxes. We get used to them when they are small, and we fail to notice they damage our relationship with Jesus.
What are some of the little foxes that will ruin our spiritual vineyards? Susanna Wesley wrote to her son John:
"Take this rule: whatever ...impairs the tenderness of your conscience...or takes off your relish of spiritual things... that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself."
Jesus is very sensitive to anything that makes Him feel second-place. A friend had prayed fervently for God to answer his prayer, but it seemed God was not listening. One day God spoke clearly. "The hindrance is the idol in your life." He had no idea that he had an idol. "Your idol is playing games on the internet." A little fox takes our time and attention away from Him.
Jesus says, "Catch for us;" it is a joint project. He will help us and show us where the foxes hide when we pray, "Search me, O God, and know my heart" (Psalm 139:23). He does not bring the little fox to our minds if He does nothave plans to destroy it. He can always enable us to be rid of anything that hinders us from enjoying intimacy with Him.
Dear Jesus, show me if there is a little fox that blocks my ability to enjoy You.
"For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God" (Deut. 4:24).