“Catch the little foxes!” the shepherd tells his beloved maiden. Why? They’re so cute! Oh, but her lover wants to share the joy of new wine with her, and that will never happen if little foxes get to the grapevine first. Little foxes aren’t obvious dangers like wolves and lions. All they do is nibble on tender young plants, seeking the budding fruit. However, if that’s allowed to go on, the grapevine won’t have a chance to mature. Its grapes will be lost before they even appear! This scene from the Song of Solomon is a spiritual picture of our interior thought life as well.
Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.” Song of Solomon 2:15 ESV
With the new birth we have received, Jesus, the Living Vine is in every one of us, but our old thought life—like those pesky little foxes—is also there. We have to catch those thoughts, carry them captive to Christ and put them to death by choosing to believe our Beloved’s Truth instead. This is by no means easy to do. Many of our deepest, most damaging thoughts are hard to catch.
The movie Inception reminded me of a time I had to catch some thoughts the evil one had inserted in my deep unconscious. Inception (with Leo DiCaprio) is a sci-fi thriller that revolves around planting the seed of an idea in the unconscious mind of a sleeping person so that when they awaken they think it is their own idea. They will then shape their life around it.
In the movie DiCaprio meant it for good, but the scene gives a graphic portrayal of the very thing the enemy does to us—in our earliest years when our mind is unprotected by awake and alert adult understandings. Such “thought seeds” planted by the enemy are never intended for our good. Here is an excerpt (from Escape from Hell) that I wrote about one such “little fox.”
Another major foothill then appeared on the horizon. I was reading books on healing and learning a lot about the power of words and of our inner beliefs. You would think that the words beaten into a child by an unloving person would be words he/she would throw off as quickly as possible. Sadly, this is not the case. Children take things to heart, especially if a parent speaks them. Just as deadly, they can add their own words or wrong interpretive conclusions: “There must be something wrong with me, look how I’m being treated; No one loves me; I should never have been born.” In all of this there is an invisible enemy secretly “fathering” us by planting his twisted words, though they are disguised as our own thoughts.
With me it wasn’t words from my earliest years that got stuck inside, but words from those years in hell. The trick is catching these little foxes that spoil the vine—they are so ingrained they go unnoticed and unquestioned, like the pattern of the wood that may be in the reading table beside you.
One night I intentionally hunkered down near the most hurting place in my heart and despite my tears was listening for whatever I might hear. A tiny little voice seemed to be crying, “No one could love me. I can’t be loved. I can’t love me.” Aha! I’ve got you! I exclaimed as I seized that thought and carried it captive to Christ. It took some doing because so much of me was in emotional agreement with those ideas, but I managed to fully and deeply renounce them as not being true and instead chose to believe that I could be loved and am loved now that Jesus is in my life. This breakthrough needed to happen or I could never have advanced to the mountain I really wanted to climb, the one that held the towering perspective of seeing myself as God sees me—with unconditional acceptance…
Now see if you can locate and capture a few of your “little foxes” before they nibble up any more of your new life in the Vine.