The little foxes that ruin the vine

The little foxes that ruin the vine

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I told a lie to my friend the other day. It wasn’t your everyday deceit. It was the kind that you shrug away because of its inconsequential nature. Be that as it may, I blatantly told a lie. It had been a while since I saw him. He asked me how I was doing and I truthfully responded that I was well. The talk delved into what we had been up to. He inquired if I had looked at some of the work he had sent my way over social media. I had looked at it partly but I hadn’t finished going through it for some reason that I could vaguely remember. I figured he would be displeased with that response so in a bid to please him I uttered three dishonest remarks.

“I loved it! Oh my goodness. You should keep it up man.”

He smiled. I smiled for he smiled. As I walked away, my spirit man began turning the conviction wheels in my heart. What had I done? The flesh took the opposing side and claimed that it wasn’t really a lie for I had skimmed over the work. The spirit discredited the half-truth; a lie was a lie. Half white plus half black equals full black. I wrestled the conviction by trying to blame it on my choleric-sanguine personality but my spirit would have none of that. In a rueful understanding I came to terms that I had lied. As I came to terms with it, a clearer picture of what the bigger problem was came in full view. It wasn’t the fact that I had uttered deceit. It wasn’t in the fact that I had fought to justify myself, no. The real problem was in the ease of the sin; I lied effortlessly.

It took no energy to speak dishonestly. It was so natural and for that reason it scared me. I knew that God’s spirit was at work in me because anytime followers of Jesus face a realization of sin, it is proof that God is alive and working in us. And as His spirit kept convicting, he brought to mind things that I had said in the recent past that were half-truths. It hit me and it hit me hard that I had developed a habit I hardly knew I had. I stopped what I was doing, confessed the sin to my wife and asked Jesus to forgive me for the displeasing habit.

I then looked back into the recent months and asked myself how this came to happen. The Lord spoke clearly. I can summarize it into this sentence:  the cords of sin are too light to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.

A friend called Pater Kamero, in a sermon about the sins that tie our hands and soon colonize our lives, spoke those words. The cords of sin are too light to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.

At times the follower of Christ makes a lethal mistake by reasoning with sin. It starts by baptizing it anew with terms like my human nature, my weakness, my natural self, my half-truth. Yet despite the veracity of those terms, in the light of a precious ,unimaginably infinitely holy God, he sees a black stain with a simple name called sin.

Imagine a thin string. Now, assume I take that thin strand of a string and coil it once around your hand and ask you to break free. What do you do? With a simple separation of your hands you snap it loose. Now imagine if I coiled that same thin string over and over and over around your hands and asked you to break free. You try to snap it but you can’t. Why, it’s too strong for you. You then discover that you are bound. Because it is too light to be felt in the initial stages, you don’t see a potential danger. The cords of sin are too light to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.

I saw no harm in the lie I told my friend because it was the strand that I could easily break free from. However, God’s spirit intercepted me and challenged me to extrapolate the habit 6 months from now. The result would be a serial-liar with an unregenerate heart that insists it was just a white lie. The result would be a naturally lying tongue that can easily accommodate theft, malice and even a sin such as adultery. In my heart I said to myself that I would never do such a thing as cheat on my wife. However in my hearts of hearts, The Lord showed me that I was  wrong.  He described it. First you get a Masters Degree in Lying, then you start attending the School of Lust. When you get your Doctorate in Lust, it pays a full scholarship for a PhD in Adultery. Could a simple lie really go that far?  Could it really adulterate itself to even something as horrible as ruining my marriage? The answer is yes. At the moment in a happy marriage, a permanent job, a loving wife and available resources it seems impossible. But what is to stop the worst from happening? Is my moral standard so adept that when the lie mutates, I will have the strong fibre and capacity to contain it? Won’t it accommodate other sins with due time if not dealt with now? I opted not to be the proverbial fool that spurns correction (Proverbs 12:1)

Every ‘tiny’ iniquity that you flirt with is a beguiling monstrous sin at its infancy stage. Time will mutate it into a monster and then what do we have? I’ll tell you what we have. We have a recipe of disaster; a domino effect of perpetual sin. You become insulated in the ambience of “it’s just a half-truth” and soon you’re in a cocoon of lies. You simmer and marinate in it unknowingly because it became second nature for it was not uprooted at its birth stage. And when the lies are fully matured, you beloved (a proclaimed follower of Christ) can easily break the heart of your children years from now by making promises (read lies) you cannot keep.

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The little foxes soon ruin the vine, beloved.  So I ask you, what iniquity are you flirting with? Are you flirting with television series that are suggesting sensual ideas in your sexual life? Are the television series and music you listen to guarding your sexual purity or are they disarming it? Are you toying with friends that have the potential to pull you down? Are they threatening your walk with God or are they building it up? The little foxes seem innocent but believe me they will pull down the vine. Do we claim to be followers of Christ but spend minimal time meditating and reading his word? The little foxes are ruining the vines and you’re watching them do it beloved.

Ask the Lord to search your innermost parts. Ask him to reveal the things that he is not pleased with. And if you still believe that you can handle your Christian walk well and watch Scandal I ask you to extrapolate it a few years from now. Will you be a parent bankrupt of the word of God whom your kids cannot depend on to grow spiritually or will you be the parent who has no moral authority because you entertain the same things of the world to tarnish your soul? The little foxes are pulling down your vine and you’re watching but you’re not noticing it.

Guard your heart beloved. Guard it with all due diligence for from it flow the wellsprings of life. 

ION: Hillsong is asking for an opinion for their next City Tour. Vote Nairobi (I know, I live there) on this link