Discovering what love is one day at a time
Yesterday while riding my bike to work, I saw a skunk. It was a baby one and was pretty stinkin’ cute…pun intended. I stopped to take a picture(keeping my distance of course)however, my phone skills are not as awesome as my kids and by the time I got my phone out of my bag and got it ready the little bugger disappeared into the brush. I was told by a friend that baby skunks can’t spray, however, after further investigation I discovered that the truth is that their glands develop within 4 weeks of birth and some as early as 8 days after birth…so if I would of got too close to that lil’ bugger…my week would not have been so pleasant for me nor for anyone else for that matter…
Today, in the same location that I saw the skunk, I saw a fox zip across the road in front of me and disappear into the same brush…
Over the past month or so the Lord has been reminding me about how His love is a refuge; it is a hiding place for me and a place of great safety. He also has been reminding me about how we are to make sure that our love towards others is safe; that our stuff, the things that aren’t of His love need to be removed so that we don’t keep someone from seeing Him, and experiencing how extravagant and intimate His love is towards us.
Seeing the fox this morning made me think of the verse in Song of Songs 2:15 take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines; for our vineyards are in bloom.
So often we choose to believe lies instead of God, and what He says about ourselves, our circumstances, and/or the people we are surrounded by. As we partner with that lie, it becomes a baby skunk or a fox…seemingly harmless, but separates us from deep intimacy with our God. It deafens us and weakens us… and has the potential to smell up our whole witness of His beauty and extravagant love.
We are told that we are chosen by God and that we are to go and bear much fruit.
We know that Jesus is the true vine (John 15:1), we cannot bear fruit of ourselves, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit. ”I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” The branches, then, are believers, Christians, and incidentally this verse shows us exactly what a Christian is. A Christian is a branch in the vine, one who is joined to Christ, united to Him and deriving life from Him, and he is a participant of His very nature (2 Peter 1:4). A branch is not a dead stick; it is a living thing, which bears fruit. “But the fruit of the (Holy) Spirit, [the work which His presence within accomplishes] –- is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness; (Meekness, humility) gentleness, self-control (self-restraint, continence).”
We also know from His Word that sin is the little foxes that ruin the vineyards; they are the ones that hinder growth and take away the tender fruit. We can hinder our own growth by allowing “baby skunks and little foxes” to run rampant in our lives; by not dealing with sin in the way that God wants to, by hiding in our sin and not under the shadow of His wings, by not allowing Him to help us with our hurts, by not allowing His extravagant and intimate love into every facet of our lives…by not obeying Him in the small stuff. God put an end to the power of sin by His death and resurrection. He asks us to trust Him in all things and obey the Holy Spirit when He touches on something in our hearts, and He instructs us in His Word that we would remove completely, or kill the little foxes.
“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
I love how God cradles our hearts; I love how he carefully yet purposefully guides us to see the truth in our circumstances. I love how He hedges us in, behind and before, and not a word is on our tongue before He knows it all together. His mercy and tenderness to us is so beautiful. God’s love is a safe place, and every day as He showers His tender mercies on us, it continues to be like nothing we have experienced before, so beautiful and new.
God is a safe place for our hearts, but not a safe place for our sin .I love that!
He creates new desires, new songs in our hearts and the ability to dance like nobody is watching from the overflow of our heart. His love is a game changer. It changes everything.
So may we each allow Him to intimately love us, even more... and put a new song in our mouths, even praise to our God, so that many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.
I have been married to my wonderful husband for 24 years. We have two young men ages 20 and 15.. This blog is somewhat of a journal and attempt for me to keep a purposeful perspective on life as a whole.