The previous little foxes opened our eyes to the fact that, though the little foxes may be tiny, they have deadly effects on our faith when not driven out.
What are the strategies of the final three little foxes in this series?
MISCONCEPTION: The lying little fox
little fox is defined as ‘an idea that is wrong because it has been based on a failure to understand a situation’. It distorts the truth by misleading you to form wrong ideas — especially about yourself — based on negative events such as failure, flaws, or previous mistakes you’ve made. This little fox has a way of making the lies made up by the devil (e.g., ‘you are not good enough’, ‘not smart enough’, ‘you will never make it or ever change’, ‘nobody likes or cares about you’, ‘you are unwanted’, etc.) sound so true in your mind. This little fox thus magnifies your weaknesses to the point where you become a firm believer in the misconceptions you now have about yourself.
When the Israeli army saw the Philistine’s champion, Goliath, the deadly little lying foxes sprang into action! They made Saul’s soldiers compare themselves to the giant, who was so well armed and strong that the sight of him alone brought them to their knees. David, on the other hand, showed that Goliath was nothing more than a fragile little man; so fragile, in fact, that a tiny little stone was enough to take him down (1 Samuel 17.23-26; 1 Samuel 17.40-51). That stone represents your faith today!
Stop comparing your weaknesses to other people’s supposed strengths! We all have weaknesses… so what?! A strong person isn’t a person without weakness, but someone who decides to fight back!
INACTION: The numbing little fox
This little fox works together with the previous fox. It is particularly fond of those who think they know God because they know the Word, religiously attend a church, and even engage in some activities to help others. This little fox numbs their faith little by little, creating the misconception that they are ‘a good person who already does enough’; it tricks them into thinking they’re ‘doing well with God’, which, in the end, will result in complacency.
If allowed to fester, inaction leads to the harmful belief that having faith in God, praying, and holding a position of trust in a church automatically entitles one to see God’s promises fulfilled. And so, when they need to use their faith to fight against negative situations, they don’t, they simply stay still! So, when opportunities arise, they don’t seize them; when they need to rebuke negative thoughts, they don’t. They are completely unaware that inaction causes their faith to die (James 2.14-26).
‘And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”’ (Exodus 14.13-16).
Stand up and fight!
PRIDE: The hard-hearted little fox
This little fox is a master of disguise. It is easily spotted in our neighbour’s vineyard, but often goes unnoticed when hidden in our own. An arrogant I-don’t-need-anyone-telling-me-what-to-do-because-I-know-I’m right attitude is its common trademark. But its deadliest form is when it’s hidden deep inside a person’s heart. It usually creeps in through a negative feeling or misconception, and hardens a person’s heart to the point of distorting their ability to perceive, understand, and accept spiritual truths (Mark 6.49-52).
Hardness = insensitivity, high resistance levels, rigidity, coldness, not easily broken, and unyielding.
For example, a person who is influenced by the hard-hearted little fox may know that God makes all things new, but yet they cannot accept that their past has been forgiven.
‘Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.’ (James 4:10).