Uncle borrowed a huge amount of money for his business, using his only house as the collateral and for unexplainable reasons, the business failed. The bank is on his neck for his house! If not his wife, they would not have been feeding and meeting up with their children’s school fees. Yesterday, her company did right-sizing and she was the only victim. How do we tell Uncle, who is suffering from high blood pressure and this is why, he has not been told that his mum’s corpse has been in the mortuary since last week?
One would have thought that the ills mentioned above could only happen in Nigeria but for the message I heard on September 29, at the Glory House, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Dallas. It was great worshipping there that day. Pastor Lanre Sobo, the Head Pastor, gave the message: ‘Defending your fruitfulness’. He said that we must defend the work of our labour because of the foxes that spoil the vine. It was easy then to recall the story I wrote many years ago in my Column. A man was relocating with his family to another city because of problems. At the outskirts of the city, they met a child named, ‘No place is good’. That was it. They had to go back home. No place is free from foxes, not even the US. What is needed is applying the right strategy.
The Pharisees, one day, came to our Lord Jesus, and told Him to escape somewhere because Herod, the king, wanted to kill Him – Luke 13:31. It was Herod, who in a bid to make sure that he killed the infant Jesus, murdered all the babies within His age bracket. That was gross wickedness. Having survived his sword, Herod then planned to kill Him so that there would be no salvation. Imagine! I would have remained in my sins! Uncle Lazarus would not have been raised from his grave, and the agony of the woman with the issue of blood, would have continued till her death. For sure, the lame man, who made the Beautiful Gate, his dwelling place, would not have walked. In fact, all the beneficiaries of salvation, in the spirit, and body, past, present and future, would have lost.
“Go and tell that fox,” the befitting name the Lord Jesus called Herod, and detailed the healings and deliverances He had been doing, and would continue to do. Foxes or no foxes, He said, that He must finish His work. And He did! He even announced it, “It is finished”. Foxes did not hinder Paul from finishing his Ministry. He said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”. Nehemiah and his people, in spite of the attacks and intrigues of the foxes, finished the building in 52 days – Nehemiah 6:15!
For us, we cannot fight a successful battle without knowing the enemy, what: he has done, does and can do. This is why soldiers go on recognizance mission before any battle. David and Abishai went to King Saul’s camp – 1Sam. 26:7. We must therefore, recognize the foxes around us and the dangers they impose. Samson knew what foxes could do, hence he deployed 300 of them to destroy the farm of the Philistines for giving his wife to another man. Trust foxes, they performed creditably, which led to the killing of the lady and her parents by the Philistines – Jud. 15:4-6. Strong or weak, the foundation of a house can be destroyed by foxes – Neh. 4:3. They may look petite in human sight, but in their kitty, is a record of destructions. “Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vine,” Song of Solomon 2:15. Their small size gives them the advantage to be ignored easily, whereas, their poisonous stings are hidden for mass destruction.
For foxes to be a menace, can sometimes be our fault. “Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it” – Lam. 5:18. The Lord Jesus told how a man sowed seeds and then slept. It gave his enemy the advantage of sowing tares there – Mat. 13:25. Should we ignore what we have built? Must we sleep, knowing that our enemy is around? It should be unacceptable for us to labour like elephants and eat like ants. Will we build houses for our enemies to occupy? Having known their activities, we must decide what to do with them. Do we surrender to them or do we run away from them? Do we plead with them to leave us?
To withstand foxes, we must be born-again and be rooted deeply in God’s Word. Paul told Timothy, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God,” 2Tim 2:15. It is for us then to study God’s Word, like Timothy, until God approves us, not just the Bible College! Paul’s admonition is: “Fight the good fight of faith” – 1Tim 6:12, the approved fight by God! Paul did it. “I have fought a good fight,” he declared – 2Tim 4:7.
We must set a target for finishing the work. This is why budgets are made, some for short period of time and some for long term period of time. They guard us in knowing how we are faring in meeting our objectives. If we find out that we are far below our expectation, it will help us to hasten up. To accomplish this, the child of God should not be lazy, but hardworking. Paul worked very hard, day and night, and that was why he was able to finish his ministry. Hear him, “I have finished my course” – 2Tim 4:7. The Lord Jesus worked hard to finish His Ministry – “It is finished,” He said – John 19:30. We have no alternative but to finish and to finish well.
It is essential to have Divine wisdom in the things we do. Some people, in error, associate wisdom with craftiness. It is God’s wisdom that will help us to recognize the foxes, though they are tiny, and hide in secret places. We must not take anything for guarantied. Samson lacked this wisdom.
There is no doubt that hard-work is good but it has its limits. There was no way Uncle David, with military might, would have defeated General Goliath, the GOC of the Philistine Army. This is where favour of God is needed. Unfortunately, it does not come by wishing but through faithful prayers and devotion to God. That was what David did to floor him and used his enemy’s sword to cut off his head. Dealing with the foxes, needs intensified prayers, praying like people in great affliction, unless we are not.
I stated above about Uncle, who borrowed a huge amount of money for his business, using his house as the collateral. Now that his house is at jeopardy because of the loan, will he be contented with the ‘Oh! God, we beseech You’ type of prayer? Will he settle in an intercessory prayer, where people are praying that God’s will be done, instead of reminding Him of His promises? Is it not fire prayer that he needs? We need it too, to deal with the menaces of the foxes around us.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471; [email protected]