Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Of Foxes

Romans 7:15 states, " For what I am doing, I do not understand; for what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do." From this we could translate "What I carry out I do not recognize in its true nature, as a slave who ignorantly performs his master's bidding without knowing its tendency or result." There is this dual life pictured in this verse which resonates in all of us. Those of us who have lived a life outside the Christian life we now lead may struggle more than those 'born under the altar'. There is a power in the habits and memory and the mind whose thoughts have been filled with sins indulged, conscience seared by passion and impure thoughts, prejudices, and pride. "The very passage of an impure thought through the mind leaves pollution behind it."

"My reason this, my passion that persuades;
I see the right, and approve it too;
Condemn the wrong, and yet wrong pursue."
"More in my mind than body lie my pains:
Whate'er may hurt me, I with joy pursue;
Whate'er may do me good, with horror view."
Francis de Sales tells of the Paphlagonian partridge which has two hearts: a heart which is charitable in its tolerances towards oneself, yet, overtly intolerant of faults in others; a heart blind to motives which serve self, yet, discerning of the intents and purposes of others; a heart quickly judging, yet, indisposed to examination of ones self; a heart struggling with flaws, yet, unable to show compassion for failure in others; a heart prideful in position, yet, unwilling to bend in humility to the need for forgiveness by others; a heart unyielding, yet, requiring all others to acquiesce to ones view. We see in these attitudes a justifying of a close mindedness to understanding which removes others from dialogue, interaction, and/or receiving from us any benefit or blessing which God gives us the opportunity to bestow upon others. It also affects the ability to trust and forgive, to move beyond the rubbing of personalities and the abrasiveness of character into a place where love , understanding, compassion, grace (the dirtiest of personal virtues) reside in that fullness which can be only achieved by the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon His people.
In this we sin.
Foxes are resilient and hardy animals, very adaptable to a changing climate or culture, very able to survive and proliferate in a wide variety of situations and circumstances. Foxes are survivors, there representation is pointed out as the crafty way in which 'little sins' are parents of the greater. Foxes are also indicative of the need for watchfulness of their encroachment in our lives, and understanding of the times when their eminent arrival is due. They know! why should we not remain vigilant and perceptive?
" And when I have acted I find myself face to face with a result which my moral instinct condemns," how many times can we say this about ourselves? 70 X 70? The need for a movement, the changing of the heart, the building of a people that can get past their differences and set the agenda for the world by our love for another is perhaps the most critical characteristic of the church which will ensure its endurance as a moral and influential part of society. Or in place of that, maturity which understands that agenda and relinquishes the rights of the individual for the greater good of the body of believers. The world needs, and we need a climate of this caliber and strength in this culture to have significance and value.
Song of Solomon 2:15 says, " Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines,..."

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