This year, if we want to remain focused on what the Lord desires in our lives, we need to be prepared for might inhibit our growth and fruitfulness.We need to find the “foxes” that attempt to ruin the vine.
Catch us the foxes,
The little foxes that spoil the vines,
For our vines have tender grapes. Song of Solomon 2:15
The analogy of foxes in the Bible is about their craftiness and subtlety. Their damage is not visible right away. Little foxes can spoil the vine and tender grapes. However, by the time one finds out, the root of the vine may have been affected even though on the surface the vine looks good.
Similarly, we can have foxes in our lives that inhibit our growth and progress in the Lord. It is important to take a look back at the past year and determine the patterns in our lives that could negatively impact us again.
For some, it could be their busyness and being overcommitted. They may have the best intentions, but the tasks of life choke the good intentions and cause them to be hindered in making progress.
There are those who get discouraged easily leading to losing momentum in what God wants to do in their lives. They feel rejected and offended by closed doors and then they sort of give up on believing that things can change. As a result, they just relegate to coasting through life because it is too hard to press through.
For others, it could be procrastination. These individuals have a tendency to postpone doing something expecting that there will be a better time to do it. In reality, the perfect moment does not arrive, and now the neglect has caused a bigger problem. For example, if you have determined to live on a budget, tracking the expenses is uninteresting and you prefer to do it later. You could potentially find many reasons to start it another time when it is more convenient. I am guilty of not recording my expenses when I make purchases. I always intend to eventually do it, but then I forget and don’t get around to doing it. My husband has to continually remind me to make sure I enter my purchases in our ledger, so he can track them. I need to put a plan to help me to do it without having to be reminded.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:6
We live in a culture where many people gravitate towards flattery. They prefer to hear how great they are rather than hear anything that requires improvement. If we want to be successful in growing, we need a few truth-tellers in our lives who will sharpen us. They are the kind of people who can help us to stay focused on those areas that we desire change and hold us accountable.
Once we have identified the foxes that attempt to spoil the vine, choose an accountability partner and ask them to help you stay focused. The more specific you are about your need, the greater chance that your friend or family member can offer support.