The Little Foxes

“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Songs of Solomon 2:15

The context of the verse is Solomon and his bride delighting in one another, which started in chapter 1 of the book and carried on to chapter 2. Verse 15 of chapter 2 caught my attention. I was wondering what the little foxes could be and how they would ruin their vines. Foxes are animals usually symbolic of deceit. They’re known for being subtle and crafty. Does this remind you of anyone? There are diverse ways this verse could be applied. I thought of it in terms of relationships. My relationship with my husband, my relationship with God, and The Church’s relationship with Christ.

“take us the foxes”

Whatever the foxes are, this right here is telling me that I can’t catch them on my own. It’s implying teamwork, “US”. Like Solomon and his bride, my husband and I need to strategize as a team against the foxes.

“the little foxes”

This tells me “the foxes” isn’t one huge fox or many huge foxes but several small ones. The trivial things. The petty things that are subtle. The things that get brushed off or go unnoticed but has lasting and damaging effects.

“that spoil the vine”

These little foxes apparently can cause some considerable damage. When something is spoiled it just needs to be thrown away. It can no longer serve its purpose. It’s no longer fit for use. We really need to beware of these little foxes; intentionally paying attention.

“for our vines have tender grapes”

“Tender grapes” here to me implies something that is already fruitful. It’s delicate, growing, and maturing. Unless the little foxes are caught those fruitful vines and tender grapes will be spoiled.

Solomon and his bride compared their relationship to a vineyard that is fruitful. His bride concluded that if they don’t come together to protect it, it will be ruined by the little foxes. Likewise, my marriage and my relationship with my husband will be ruined if we don’t work together against the little foxes that can destroy a marriage or intimacy. The same is true for my relationship with God. God is faithful in doing his part. I need to stay alert and beware of the little foxes that can destroy my relationship with Christ. I don’t have to do it alone either. I have his Holy Spirit to help me maintain our relationship. Both relationships need to be guarded against the forces that will stunt their growth and fruitfulness.

The following 7 little foxes can spoil any good relationship:

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In my relationship with Christ these little foxes can be sinful appetites, lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, the pride of life, comprise with worldly standards, disobedience, and indulgence in the desires of the flesh. I’m thankful for the power of the Holy Ghost to help me overcome these things in our relationship. He helps me to live a godly lifestyle that will keep our relationship growing and thriving.

This scripture can also be seen in relations to “The Church” (Bride of Christ) and its relationship with Jesus (The Groomsman). There are many little foxes that will attempt to spoil this relationship. The primary little fox in relations to this specific scripture is false lying prophets. The prophet Ezekiel talk about them in Ezekiel 13:4-16. The Apostle Peter also talk about them in 2 Peter 2:1-3. These are people who come in the name of the Lord and claim God said things he had not said. They cause people to believe the lies they are speaking and hope in them. God is against them. They seduce people away from the truth of God. The false teachers that are teaching heresies and their own truths that cannot be found in scripture. They will not go unpunished. God cast the angels that sinned down to hell for judgment. He will do the same with all false teachers and lying prophets that are deceiving his bride. They’re mentioned again by John in Revelation 2:2. These are people claiming to be an apostle but are liars who will be exposed by God in the end. Foxes are known to be destructive to vineyards. If the church is not cautious these little foxes can spoil many in the church through false doctrine and teachings.

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TEAMWORK, unity, is one sure way to catch the little foxes and destroy them. Whether it’s alongside your spouse or with the Holy Ghost, we need more than just ourselves to prevent our fruitful vines and tender grapes from being spoiled. We might be able to identify the little foxes individually, but it takes working with one another to conquer them. Solomon’s bride realized what they had was special, but it would take the two of them to protect it.

 

BEWARE OF THE LITTLE FOXES!

EXPECTING

When I found out in the month of June this year we were pregnant, excited is an understatement to express the joy I felt. I always dreamed one day of having my own child and family. I blogged about the fears and challenges that I dealt with up until that point (“A Journey of Faith: Baby Adams). No amount of prior knowledge, study, or tale could have prepared me enough for the actual experience of pregnancy; expecting my firstborn. It was the beginning of a new season and experience. Whether or not I was ready, it was time to evaluate where I was, change my mindset, and see things from a new perspective. My life didn’t just shift naturally but spiritually as well.

I am thrilled to be expecting! My first pregnancy. My first born. A son. I thanked the Lord. It has been a LEARNING experience, to say the least. It wasn’t long before I realized I had to make a lot of recent changes, while others were going to happen whether I wanted them to or not. After one year of marriage, I was finally adjusting back to having a consistent prayer and study time, as well as consecration. Then first trimester morning sickness crept in on me like a thief in the middle of the night. I’m not sure who invented the terms “morning sickness” but I’d like to sit down and chat with them. My first-trimester experience was just terrible. Morning sickness was more like all day sickness for me. Everything seemed to make me nauseous, from food to the smell of certain things and people. Yes, people. I couldn’t keep anything down, it was difficult getting out of bed, and I became very forgetful. I did not want to be bothered. I remember telling my husband, after this pregnancy, I don’t want to hear anything about babies or being pregnant. I was not ready for the price I had to pay in the process of being pregnant. I kept telling the Lord, I’m grateful but I don’t think I could ever do this again. I clearly wanted my baby, but without the pain and suffering that came along with the process. I did find comfort in knowing that it is a temporary process, soon enough I would give birth and hold my son in my arms. Now, if I had to be pregnant for 2 years like an elephant my sentiments would have been completely different. Sadly, sometimes we’re pregnant for years and longer than God intend for us to be and don’t even realize it. We’re not aware of the things God places within us so we don’t expect anything. After the worse was behind me, it was easier to enjoy the process as the beautiful and miraculous thing that it is. It was time to prepare for what we were expecting. I could see and hear God through the process once I focused on the part of it that was in my control and leave the rest up to him. I am still learning and adjusting to the unexpected changes. I realized I was changing, maturing, and growing in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I gained new wisdom and knowledge about the Lord, life, myself as an individual, my walk with Christ, and the beautiful things that will be birth out of this season and process.

PREPARE TO RECEIVE WHAT YOU’RE EXPECTING.

I needed to start planning and make some changes for the child we’re expecting to birth. Once I accepted that my body would do what a pregnant body does I was able to focus on the things I needed to do to be ready to welcome my son. My husband and I had to change our budget and be even more mindful of our spending, a one-bedroom apartment was no longer big enough, we both needed to prepare our minds to become a family of three and start planning to parent our child, we had to start buying nursery items and other things the baby will need, and prepare to be even more intentional about cultivating our marriage. Most importantly, making sure neither one of us neglect our personal time with The One who is the source of it all, Jesus. The list goes on, as there are many changes in the process of expecting our first-born child. It is a blessing that requires work and preparation.

Being pregnant, I began to spend time meditating on the process of expecting a child and expecting something from God. The apostles in the book of Acts waiting for the comforter that Jesus promised them would come after he departed from them came to mind. According to dictionary to “expect” or “expecting” is defined as “to regard something as likely to happen”, “to regard someone as likely to do or be something”, “to believe that something or someone will arrive soon”, “to look forward to”, and “to anticipate the birth of (one’s child)”. When thinking of expecting one can think of being pregnant, carrying, believe strongly, anticipate, hope or hope for, look ahead to, look for, look forward to, count on, reckon, and see coming. With this in my read what happened in Acts 1 verses 1-14:

 

1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:

3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.

13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

 

ACTIVELY WAIT ON THE LORD!

Jesus commanded them to remain in Jerusalem until they received the gift that was promised to them, The Holy Ghost.  In Acts 2 verses 1-4, the apostles received what they were expecting from God. Sometimes we’re in a hurry to get to the next step, next thing, or season of our lives not realizing we’re right where God wants us to be to receive our promise. Especially when we’re uncomfortable and not in a very pleasant season. It has been a rough process and I have experienced many discomforts on so many levels but I learned to focus on enjoying the process and be thankful for the blessing I’m expecting in due time. No matter how rough it gets my baby will not arrive any sooner or later than he is supposed to. However, I can continue to prepare for his arrival and practice patience in the process. Not only were apostles expecting the gift of the Holy Ghost, they actively waited, they were together and constantly united in prayer. They waited for the power they needed to continue the mission Jesus trusted them with. The Lord chose my husband and I to train up a child in the way he should go. We are flawed but I know his grace will be sufficient where we are weak. We are expecting everything God spoke concerning us and already purposed for the 2018 year.

As the year 2017 come to an end and you welcome the new year hope for that child or children, whether they be naturally or spiritually. Expect God to fulfill his promises to you. Look forward to that ministry you’ve been pregnant with. It’s time to give birth. Look for the Lord like you never have before. Anticipate for that business you’ve been planning and working on to prosper. Believe God strongly to perform his miracles in your life. His Word is true. Let your doubts and fears go. You can count on God no matter what it looks like. Walk by faith. ACTIVELY WAIT on the Lord; continue praying, continue reading his Word, continue to look for what you’re expecting and hoping for. Don’t abort your baby with doubts and fears.

 

EXPECT NOTHING LESS THAN GOD’S PROMISES!

 

A JOURNEY OF FAITH: Baby Adams

 

My husband and I discussed having children before we decided to get married. We talked about whether we wanted a child, how many children we wanted, and how soon or late in our marriage did we plan to have one. We took the road least traveled by many newlyweds. Neither one of us wanted a honeymoon baby or a child in within our first year of marriage. However, I didn’t start taking birth control pills until after we were married. I guess you can say I was playing with fire, considering it takes birth control pills about 3 months to be effective. We planned to have a child within or after 3-5 years of marriage. In the meantime, we had plans to travel, budget and save money. I thought we had the perfect plan to grow as a couple and be prepared by the time we have a child. Right off the jump, life threw us many curveballs, and God reminded me “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). We can make plans, and we can pray for our choices and decisions but God has the final say on how we get to whatever is destined to be.

 

Since my early teenage years, I struggled a lot with terrible cramps and sharp abdominal pain. Some people advised me it was normal, while others advised me to see a gynecologist. My pain worsens over the years. My doctor had me on prescription drugs because the typical 200 mg over the counter painkillers did not work for me. I had a tough time believing any pain that has me in a fetal position and in tears every month is normal. I have done blood work, Pap smears, and several other tests. Everything always came back normal. My body was telling me otherwise. I knew something was wrong. I just didn’t know what exactly. Of course, I didn’t stay off google so you can imagine my thoughts once I started reading all sorts of crazy diagnosis that matches my symptoms. My husband and I made an appointment with my gynecologist so I could get started on my birth control pills. I was not too fond of birth control pills but once she mentioned it would help relieve my pain, I was on board. She scheduled an ultra sound for me to attempt figuring out the source of my pain. While birth control pills work great for some women, it was a nightmare for me. I was in pain, my appetite changed, I was moody and irritable, I had daily migraines, and I no longer had a monthly cycle. The list goes on. I tried different pills and the side effects went from bad to worse. The side effects from the pills were more than I could handle, I eventually advised my gynecologist I no longer wanted to take them. Justin and I went in for the Ultra sound results. It turned out all these years I had been suffering from a complex ovarian cyst. She advised me all they could do at this point is monitor it then decides what action to take. I would either bleed out from it or need surgery to get my ovary removed. During that time, I went to the ER several times. They prescribed some pain killers and told me things I already knew. It was frustrating. I started thinking the absolute worse. Since I was being monitored, my gynecologist scheduled a follow-up ultra sound appointment.

I went home wondering, God why me? What sin in my past did I commit to deserve this? I couldn’t stop thinking about my situation and started imagining the worse. I was consumed by “What if” thoughts. There I was talking birth control pills to not have any children, for the time being, just to face the reality I may not be able to have any. It was a tragedy for me. One of my biggest fears in life was not being able to have children. I had enough and cried out to God for healing. I told God I refused to see another doctor, I need him to heal me. In December 2016, one of the ministers (Jamal Crook) at my church made an altar call for anyone that needed a healing from God. I went to church that night expecting something from God. The word he preached spoke to my need at the time. My husband and I held hands and went to the altar. Minister Smith walked over to us to pray with me. She asked me, what did I want God to do for me. I told her what I needed healing for. She touched and agreed with me against the spirit of infirmity that was attacking my body. I went home believing I was healed. I made a fleece to God that night and asked him for three specific signs of my healing. It was not long before it was that time of the month. I felt some pain but I rebuked the pain and remind my body the Lord healed me. I did not accept the pain. The pain I felt stopped instantly. I went day after day, no pain. I was so peaceful and pain-free I forgot what time of the month it was. My husband in disbelief kept asking me if I was okay. This was unusual for me. The first part of my fleece was answered. I had asked God that the pains I have experience would stop completely from the day I was healed going forward. It did. I am pain-free until this day.

 

 

December 22, 2016, I went to my OBGYN follow up appointment. They did an ultra sound. My husband and I waited in my gynecologist office for the results. After what seemed like an eternity, she walked in ready to discuss the results. I had no doubt God did what he did but I was super nervous. I had made up in my mind no matter what she told us that day I choose to believe and trust God. She sat down and opened her file. After a little casual conversation, she reminded us a complex cyst usually bleeds out or must be surgically removed. The damages can leave a woman sterile. She told us in my case my complex cyst was completely gone. It was 100 percent gone. I shouted with joy, thank you, Lord. God did it. I prayed for healing at church and God healed me. My second fleece to God was that he would remove whatever mass or infirmity I had on my ovary and restore me entirely. God did it. This was just a beginning to an amazing testimony from God I did not deserve. Then there was the third part of my fleece which I mentioned I would share soon enough. I didn’t know when or how but I trusted God would finish what he started.

One of the most annoying thing for me as a newlywed was people constantly asking me am I pregnant yet or when are we going to have a baby. I don’t think I will ever understand why people think that is an okay thing to do. Pregnancy is so personal but not too many people respect that privacy. I had gained some happy weight as a newlywed and to my amazement, different people would just rub my belly and asked me if I was pregnant. It was so embarrassing for me and made me very self-conscious. I knew I had gained some weight but I didn’t realize it was enough to make others assume I was pregnant. Not to mentioned it was now a sensitive subject for me. My husband and I were already facing pressure and trials no one would really expect within a year of marriage, this was icing on the cake. We lost a lot and I felt pressed on every side. God took me through the book of Job and Hebrews to keep me encouraged. No matter how hard and how much I prayed all I got from God was “patient endurance”, just trust me. I would love to tell you how strong my faith was, especially after God miraculously healed, but that was not my story. I struggled a lot to hold on to God’s promises. My prayers were no longer words or in the Spirit, I would simply cry. I was crying more than I was praying. I was very frustrated and saddened. I was at war with my mind and the word of God. I was somewhat angry with God because all I would hear from him was “patient endurance”, let go and trust me. I did not understand and I wanted to be in control. Everything seemed to be outside of my control and I had to depend entirely on God. There was not a thing I could do to change anything, except trusting God. It was difficult!

 

 

It has been a journey of faith. There was a point in the process I truly felt like Job. “What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true”, Job 3:25. God told me no, what you feared most is going to be a testimony for my glory, trust. In other words, shut up Tara, shut your emotions up, you don’t know what you are talking about. I learned to praise God on a promise. I learned to see through the eyes of faith and God’s perspective. My circumstances said no but God said not yet, my timing. I studied every scripture I could on faith and trusting God. We prayed. When I couldn’t pray, I cried and let the word of God minister to my spirit. The book of Hebrews, Job, and Abraham’s story ministered to me in ways they never had before. The things we were facing didn’t disappear but I was able to focus. I could hear God during the storm. I could take my eyes off our circumstance and thank God for what was already done. His word strengthens me. I could let go of my fears and have faith in God’s promises. No matter what, I knew his timing is perfect.

 

 

Towards the end of last year, my friend Marie Houston and I was hanging out. She told me she had a dream to share with me. God showed her something concerning me. She told me God showed her myself and two other ladies pregnant around the same time with baby boys. She said I believe what God showed me and you need to believe it too. You guys will have a baby soon. I love Marie and I trust her. She’s one of my good friends but I laughed. She laughed with me then said Adams, I’m serious. I strongly believe when God says something, he will confirm it and it will happen. In my mind I thought, she doesn’t know the half of what I have been dealing with. Marie being Marie, never failed to remind me. In May of this year, after a church service, Demi told me by this time next year I’ll be holding baby Adams. Once again, it was laughable to me. I call her Dr, so I said whatever Dr. She told me I should get ready. When I was praying she prayed for me and God told her Hannah and Abraham’s wife. I was no longer laughing. I went home and meditated on what she told me. Both women experienced the miraculous and have an incredible story of faith (Genesis 18, 1 Samuel 1). I started thinking about what the two women had in common and how that could possibly be me. They were both barren (Sterile, infertile), could not have children and God blessed both with a promised child. I thought to myself, so I am barren and God is going to give us a promised child. I did not know what else to think. Like Sarah, I laughed when God said I was going to have a child. I decided maybe I should try what Hannah did instead. I prayed and cried to God. I poured out everything I was thinking and feeling. I even repented if I doubted in any way. About a week later, my husband told me God showed him what he needs to do for me. He told me God told him to anoint me and my womb then we’re going to have a baby. I said okay if that’s what God said. June 7th of this year, I received a message from my friend Jasmine Gilkey. She lives in Kansas and didn’t know anything about what was happening in our lives. She told me the Holy Spirit led her to pray for my baby, that my faith would be strengthened, that I would be encouraged by the stories of other women in the Bible of his power. She told me she kept praying for my faith to increase regarding me being blessed with a baby. She said she messaged me as soon as she got out of prayer because if that was truly from God she needed to let me know so my faith could be strengthened and know that he heard my plea. She expressed how shocked she was because she’s all the way in Kansas and God had her praying like that for me. She encouraged me to anoint my belly, pray in faith, and speak life that the fruit of my womb will be blessed. She reminded me I would have a testimony of faith to share with others. I shared all of this with my husband along the way. While I struggled, he was always full of faith and hope. On June 18th of this year, Akil Thompson was at my church preaching. It was an on-time word and as usual, I made my way to the altar. It wasn’t concerning any of my circumstances. I was simply touched by the word and wanted to be at the altar. While I was on my knees praying in the Spirit, Amanda Jordan was next to me and started praying for me. Whenever anyone prays with me at the altar, when I’m able to, I try to quiet myself down to hear what is being prayed over me. If you know anything about being at the altar, you will understand. She prayed that my womb would be open, and she prayed against any lies and attacks coming against my mind. I spoke with her after service and she told me God told her to go pray for my womb. She said she went where Justin and I normally sit to find me but I wasn’t there. The Holy Spirit told her to follow him and he will show her where I am. She said she walked around and when she got to where I was the Holy Ghost said, there she is. She did what God told her and prayed for my womb to be open because he wants to deposit something in there. She said I don’t know what that means to you but pray and ask God. I knew exactly what it meant. Justin and I went home that night, he anointed with oil then we prayed. If God didn’t already do enough, my friend Shanette Hyacinthe texted me early June 20th “had a dream you were pregnant with a big baby boy!!”. She texted me at 7:13 AM. I was quite amused and I told God, not another person Lord I have no doubt. While I was laughing, I remembered my conversation with Demi, she laughed and told me I would be pregnant by the end of June.

 

 

Justin and I found out we were pregnant at 4 weeks, July 20th. By that time, I had my suspicions but I didn’t want to take the test. The first thing I experienced was a process in early pregnancy called “implantation bleeding”. When that happened I said to myself, oh my it’s really happening. It wasn’t long before that was followed with me falling asleep everywhere at random times, I was super tired even when I got adequate sleep, then nausea, and the most obvious my cycle was missing in action. Even then, I refused to test. When I finally build up the courage, it was a big fat positive. We conceived in June. My plan was to find out first then surprise Justin. I always imagine how cute and awesome that moment would be. I couldn’t keep my cool, screamed and rushed him to join me. We were both full of shock and joy and more shock. I eventually disappeared to be alone and cry. Justin found and told me it’s our moment I can’t cry alone. My favorite part in all of this and what truly melt my heart was God’s faithfulness. Everything happened as he said it would, in his timing, his way, and his will. I’m thankful because my Lord is faithful. He alone gets all the glory. Perhaps you can relate, maybe not. Your mountain may be different from mine but faith in God alone can move any mountains.

 

“With God everything is possible”

Matthew 19:26

BY FAITH

“… The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17

 

Remember “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” Hebrews 11:1

“Through faith, we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3

“And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Hebrews 6:15

Keep hoping for your unseen healing.

Keep hoping for your unseen breakthrough.

Keep hoping for your family and friends’ unseen salvation.

Keep hoping for whatever it is you need from the Lord.

Keep hoping because your faith will be the evidence of your miracle not yet seen. If it seems like you’re running out of time, you might be because our timing has a start and an end. However, in the beginning, God. He is eternal. He has no end. Time exists within him. He simply is everlasting. Hope for your unseen miracle in him. Your clock might be ticking but all is already established eternally in him. Live by faith. Not what you’re able to see. The unseen is evidence of faith. Have a never-ending hope in God’s power to fulfill his promises to you. Have faith the Lord will get the glory out of your situation. Your miracle might seem delayed or simply will not happen. Sometimes there’s a wait, wait on the Lord. Praise him in the meantime. Worship him in the meantime. Serve him in the meantime. It is hard, but he is always on time. Faith doesn’t promise us instant results or miracle. It’s simply evidence of the unseen things we’re hoping for. God’s will can be in a blink of an eye, minutes, hours, days, months, or years from now. His will, his timing.

Jesus waited until Lazarus died then showed up & raised him from the dead.

David waited years to become king after he was anointed a king. 15 years, he was on the run for his life.

God waited 40 years to speak to Moses concerning his people in Egypt.

Abraham didn’t birth his promise son until he was 100 years old.

Joseph spends years in a dungeon because he was freed. He was innocent.

Live by faith! Can you imagine if any of these people gave up or complained throughout their journey? When you live by faith it leaves little to no room for complaining, you can remain hopeful, encouraged, and focus. God’s glory will move mightily in your life when you live by faith. Hebrews 6:12 encourage us to be “followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises”. We must patiently endure for us to obtain our promises, like Abraham and many others did.