Being part of a worship team is not always easy. I find I am constantly being challenged in various areas of my walk with God. Things that I thought I had dealt with years ago and I thought I had overcome seem to creep back up at the most unexpected times. It’s kind of like a weed that you have pulled a hundred times and you keep thinking it won’t come back this time. Yet it somehow always manages to poke through the surface and threaten the life of the other beautiful plants that surround it. Left untreated, that weed can choke the life out of the flower that was intentionally planted there. No doubt, it requires careful, consistent attention to sustain the life of the flower and continuous removal of said weeds.
There are always intruders in our gardens, we just aren’t always willing and ready to deal with those intruders. Whether it be exhaustion, laziness, irresponsibility or just lack of concern there are always excuses we can use to our advantage. Sometimes it might not be a weed but something a little more inconspicuous. I was reminded of this scripture as I was writing this today:
“Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines.” Song of Solomon 2:15 KJV
or the NLT says it this way:
“Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming.”
Foxes too pose a threat to our gardens. They are quiet, sneaky and not easily detected. I think they can be more of a threat than a few weeds just based on the sheer volume of destruction they can create in a very short amount of time.
VINEYARD OF LOVE
Truly our relationship with Jesus is a “vineyard of love.” He longs to produce great fruit in our lives as proof of His love and power to show an unbelieving world of His goodness. However, we aren’t always as willing to cooperate with his purposes as He would like us to be unfortunately. So many things are clamoring to destroy our vineyards of love. Weeds choke out the flowers or plants. Foxes trample, destroy and steal from gardens. Both can symbolize sin in the life of a believer that has not been dealt with appropriately.
I love what Charles Spurgeon said about this passage:
“A little thorn may cause much suffering. A little cloud may hide the sun. Little foxes spoil the vines; and little sins do mischief to the tender heart. These little sins burrow in the soul, and make it so full of that which is hateful to Christ, that he will hold no comfortable fellowship and communion with us. A great sin cannot destroy a Christian, but a little sin can make him miserable.” -C.H. Spurgeon 1995.
CATCHING THE LITTLE FOXES
So what does all of this have to do with worship?? EVERYTHING!! We cannot worship effectively with misery embedded in our hearts. Our own guilt and sense of condemnation that we feel will keep us from connecting with God. Our worship times will be “sour” indeed full of dread and misery instead of sweetness and purity. Communion times that were meant to strengthen and fill us up become hurried blocks of time and carefully calculated to avoid the real root of our misery. Of course that’s the way our enemy would like it-to keep us in the dark and feeling disconnected from God. He delights when we perpetually refuse to confess to the “little” sins that are abiding in our hearts. He knows what we don’t. When our gardens are left unattended and in disarray, eventual destruction ensues.
I was having one of those weeks at our last worship rehearsal. You know one of those weeks where everything was going wrong and you’re angry. There are things in your heart that need to be confessed and released but you just keep hanging on to them because you like having your own pity party. You feel like you’re justified in your feelings. All the while, my garden and my vineyard was being trampled and weeds were growing and choking out the beauty. I felt prompted by the Spirit to just confess it all and get it all out. Put it out there- the good, bad and ugly. I knew He could take it and wouldn’t be offended. And of course, He heard me and I felt released from all of it. I felt “clean” again and my worship was sincere and sweet. I was myself again.
I’m not sure why I let it get that far but I did. Still He was faithful to show me my error and fix it. As a worship leader, a clean heart is PARAMOUNT! We can’t effectively lead people to the heart of God if we ourselves are struggling to get there because of our own heart issues. We must catch the foxes so our blossoming vineyard won’t be destroyed. Our own witness is at stake when we don’t deal with our heart issues and His effectiveness in our life is severely restricted.
This thought and lesson bears repeating over and over in our lives if we want to be fruitful………..CATCH THE FOXES!!!