Summer is the time that creepy, crawling things appear. Snakes, grass fleas, ticks, and even ants become nuisances to our day-to-day activities. Although small, these creatures can wreak havoc in our lives. Just spread out a picnic cloth and see how many decide to come and visit.
Scripture tells us that it is the small foxes that spoil the vines (Song of Sol. 2:15). Small animals bite at the foundation of the vine and damage its structure preventing nourishment from reaching its outermost parts where fruit is produced.
In the same way, it is the small sins that seem to overtake us as individuals. The little things manage to get in our way and spoil our pleasurable moments. These small sins prevent the fruit that draws sinners to our Lord from being produced.
“Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour.” Flies are little flying creatures that can land on the ointment, get caught in it, and die; thereby, causing the ointment to spoil. The ointment thus being spoiled is devalued and cast aside.
“[S]o doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor” (Eccl. 10:1). What we tend to take for granted as acceptable may possibly turn out to be the sin that so easily besets us and destroys our reputation and testimony. What may be classified by some as a small sin is still as harmful as any other sin because it cuts off the spiritual nourishment to our branches and renders us fruitless.
Just as steps must be taken to rid ourselves of those day-to-day nuisances of pests and other creepy creatures we dislike, we must also take steps to rid ourselves of any sinful thoughts or actions that displease our Lord.
“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (I John 2:28). No one wants to be caught with little foxes biting at their heels when Jesus returns. We want our vine to be running over with fruit that brings glory to Christ.
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:12-14
We are not to let sin reign or have control over our bodies. We are reminded that our bodies are mortal. In other words, our bodies will one day die.
We are not to obey sin or yield to its desires. Nor are we to allow our bodies to be used as instruments or tools of unrighteousness which results in sin or a sinful lifestyle.
Instead, we are to yield to God because in Christ we have been raised to new life and are therefore to be separated unto Him. Yielding means that we give God the right of way. We yield to His commands and to His desires for our lives. Our instruments which are our eyes, hands, feet, ears, mouths, etc., are to be used in service to Him.
As we yield to God, we are no longer under the dominion or control of sin. When we were under the law, we had no desire or ability to abstain from sin.
However, after we have been saved by Jesus Christ, we are set free from the control of sin and are able to live righteously because of the grace given to us by God. Because of that grace bestowed to us, we have the power to abstain from sin.
Therefore, sin shall not have dominion over us because we have experienced the power of God’s grace working in our lives.
This is the liberty that only the saved in Christ can experience.
Amy Carmichael was an Irish missionary who spent her life ministering to peoples in Asia. She founded the Dohnavur Fellowship to minister to children who were rescued from the dangerous streets in South India. Her last years were spent writing and ministering from her bed.
I found a box turtle in my driveway yesterday. It hissed as I picked it up and placed it where I thought it would like to be.
The location was moist. There was grass and probably some bugs or worms that could easily be snatched. It was a much lovelier environment than the rough spot that it was in originally.
I wonder how many times we hiss at God because He wishes to place us in an environment that is safer and more beneficial to us than our current spot is.
I can assume that as I reached down to pick up the turtle, he saw me as an intruder into his private world, possibly as an enemy that would try to destroy him. However, his view was not the view that I envisioned.
I envisioned him as needing a little help to get to that spot where he would get his needs met. I guess God envisions that for His children also.
Just as the box turtle had a limited view of things, we also have the same earthly limitation. May God give us His eyes to see His grace extended to us from a heavenly viewpoint.