Zoe and I have been privileged to be at an incredible retreat the last few days with tremendous input from a variety of speakers. For me, a stand out talk was one from Rachel Hughes of Gas Street Church Birmingham. I won’t do justice to the humour with which she delivered the stories involved, but the points themselves were seriously insightful.
She gave me permission to share my notes on the talk.
Recently Rachel didn’t shut the gates at their house, and a fox came in, smashed things up and ate various livestock including chickens:
“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”
Song of Songs 2:15
Don’t leave the gate open, to allow the little foxes in that would ruin the vineyard!
Apart from me you can do nothing
These verses are about:
INTIMACY with Jesus
PROXIMITY to Jesus and
DEPENDENCY on him.
Read Song of Songs and we see this incredible picture of INTIMACY with Jesus. What’s coming against that?
PROXIMITY. Are the little foxes sin patterns, unresolved shame that causes us to hide and keep me distant, or unprocessed grief, disappointment?
Do the little foxes whisper ‘You can do this on your own, in your own strength?’ Taking away our DEPENDENCY.
WE are not the vine!
I am a branch. There are some incredibly fruitful branches – but that’s all we can be. I am just a branch. Total dependency on him is the only way forward.
How do we keep the foxes out?
Choose intimacy – resist activism.
Choose Proximity – ‘Waste’ time in worship. That shuts the gates.
Choose Total Dependency – it shuts the gate. I can’t keep all the plates spinning.
You can’t outsource your vineyard. You are responsible for that.
The enemy is prowling. He’s having a go.
What if we are on the edge of God doing something amazing?
The sneaky stuff, the little foxes get sent in.
Shut the gates!