Protecting our conscience from the little foxes
Published 8:59 am Friday, March 3, 2017
By BILLY HOLLAND
Life has its ups and downs and no one is exempt from struggling every now and then. We’ve heard that how we react to situations is a key to how much peace we can maintain and I certainly believe this is a nugget of wisdom.
For example, when someone disrespects us, it is common to allow insult to develop an infection. However, these are times within our journey of learning, to pray and ask God to help us look past our pain and direct our focus and trust on him. I admit, this is very hard to do because when we are wounded and trying to deal with damaged emotions, it seems we cannot think of anything else other than how we feel. Nonetheless, it’s possible to take these times of discouragement and not only use them as a ladder to help us climb out of our pit of sadness, but to actually rise to a higher level of peace and contentment.
In the Song of Solomon chapter two, the Shulamite woman and the king are in love and their dialogue is a beautiful expression of romance. In verse 15, she mentions about how the little foxes damage the grape vines by chewing on them and eventually hinders the ability to make wine. To make a long story short, the foxes represent frustrations and aggravations while the vines are symbolic of our relationships especially with God. She is trying to warn her future husband the importance of keeping their emotions in check by being aware of negative forces that will attempt to impede their marriage. This is not only true within the home, but in all relationships. Importantly, the story reminds us that the foxes may be small but many times it is the little things that cause huge consequences. When others take advantage of us and fail to appreciate what we do, instead of wasting our emotional energy pouting and having a negative attitude, we can be much more effective by taking these burdens to the Lord in prayer.
We have become used to living in an age of instant gratification and this can unfortunately bleed over into our spiritual thinking. We have a tendency to say a prayer and then expect immediate results and when we do not have an answer by the end of the day, we move on to something else. Let us consider, this is not always how the spiritual realm works.
Have you ever experienced a stressful trial and as you were searching for answers it seemed that God was silent? Maybe he was quiet for his own reasons and then it could be that we were not listening. In order to hear his still small voice, we need to be very close to him.
As believers, we are not to approach God and demand that he respond or else. Heaven is not a vending machine where we put in our quarters and our problems are fixed. He is our heavenly Father that is completely aware of our situation and within his plan to help us, is for us to have patience and submit to his will. Knowing him is all about trusting him even when it seems that no one else cares or understands.
In the book of Ephesians, we are given the explanation about our spiritual armor and if we notice, the helmet and breastplate is given to protect our mind and heart from the dangerous arrows of words. The enemy of our soul loves to use words against us because he knows how much damage they can inflict. When we are confronted with negative circumstances, we are tempted to absorb this agony within our soul, which in turn triggers our response mechanism to unleash a flood of pessimistic reactions. Unfortunately, anger, sadness and low self-esteem have literally ruined many peoples lives. Whatever emotional pain you are going through today, realize that God wants the best for you. Guard and protect your conscience from the irritating distractions of hurtful words and embrace the absolute truth of his promises. He loves and respects you and will never fail to take care of you.
Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author, outreach minister and community chaplain. To learn more visit: billyhollandministries.com