Editor’s Note: Be advised that there is mild profanity in this article, as quoted from a booklet from a well-known and respected missionary of the early 20th Century.
It is the “Little foxes” that spoil the vine. The vine is where fruit is produced. It is not noon-day elephants, but little foxes in the night that slip in to spoil fruit. Maybe you are not looking at porn on the computer, but your heart takes a deep interest in football and it causes you to lose time in God’s presence, amongst God’s people and in God’s purpose in your life. This is a spoiling of the vine. Maybe it isn’t sports. Maybe it is business. Corrie Ten Boom said, “beware of the bareness of a busy life.” Most little foxes are known only by you and God.
Benny Hinn said, “when you wholly belong to Him, you hunger only for His kingdom.”
To be honest about this, I have been on both sides of this fence. When I got cold, the volume of other things increased in my life. But when I got lit on fire again, they were all eaten up by the Holy Ghost. Smith Wigglesworth said, his life was “eaten away by the Holy Spirit.” Psalm 39 tells us that, “God eats away like a moth the things that are precious to man.”
He is FIRE. He consumes everything just by being present.
This is the only real understanding of the Christian life that I have. All else is compromise.
Tolerance is compromise. If you watch something that is not clean by tolerance, you have compromised. We must smash these things for purity’s sake. There is a fight for purity because “purity of heart affects all seeing (Art Katz).” Many people lose sight of things that are wrong in their lives because their eyes are dim from impurities tolerated in their lives. Lay the axe to the root and clear the way for the vision of Jesus!
Beware of little foxes. Time stealers. Sinful compromises. They are after your fruit. Jesus said that fruit is what Glorifies God (John 15). The little foxes want to steal the Glory of God out of your life.
“Fashion, entertainment, sports, materialism–we are idol worshipers (Dr. Michael L. Brown).” These are the Gods of this country. Beware of the seduction message that mixes the truths of Christ with a tolerant life. It is an attempt to give you enough of God to satisfy your religious desires and also make way for your heart to find fulfillment in the things of this world simultaneously. You will be rendered powerless. Seduction has slain many mighty men (Prov. 7.26). Seduction makes you as a loaf of bread, mindless and left only to be devoured. Seduction is the play upon your desires. It is an appealing message to the best of both worlds. You can have your idols and God too. No. In God’s view, He is first, or He is forgotten. The throne of your heart that rules your whole life is His and only His. He will not share it with another. Just ask Abraham.
The holes through which men are infected with the virus of powerlessness, unbelief and compromise are nothing other than the additions to Jesus in their hearts.
Christians are not to be Jesus, AND… We are to be Jesus ALONE. What other testimony is more in keeping with the claim that the Creator of the universe is really enjoyed and known by us?
Athlete turned missionary C.T. Studd wrote a great booklet entitled “The D.C.D.,” which was as controversial in its day as it would be in ours (for reasons that will be readily apparent, read it here for context). In the booklet, “D.C.D.” stands for “Don’t Care a Damn,” and he describes a new order of “D.C.D. Soldiers of the Lord Jesus.” According to Studd, “a ‘D.C.D.’ doesn’t care a damn what happens to himself so long as our Lord Jesus Christ is glorified.” In our modern vernacular, we would call them “followers of Jesus that don’t give a damn,” or, more politely “followers of Jesus that could care less.” As is stated in the Studd booklet, God is looking for men who could could care less about anything but Christ Himself and His gospel.
The leaven in Matthew 13 is a wonderful picture of what happens to a life that chooses the rule of God. It spreads to the consuming of the whole life. If this is not the picture of your life, than the leaven of an absolute submission to the Kings dominion has yet to be applied to your life. The last verse of the book of 1st John says, “Keep yourselves from idols.” You don’t have to look for things to fill your life with, they are looking for you and you must guard against them.
A boxer must keep his guard up in a fight. Why? Because the guy in front of him is trying to swing, is swinging and will swing to knock him out. If he is lazy with that guard, he will pay for it. We must guard our hearts above all for from it flows our life.
All the foxes start in the mind, to influence your body, to tip your will over in sin. The mind of man is the shipping and receiving center of life. Whatever you want to give out has got to go through the mind and whatever is going to come in must go in through the mind. Yet, “there are thoughts of evil and evil thoughts.” Thoughts of evil come from the outside and evil thoughts come from the inside. One grasps at your mind and the other your mind grasps for. The devils come to your mind. “He will keep you in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him (Isa. 26.3).” “The mind set on the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8.6).”
Eric Gilmour is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Revival & Evangelism. Visit his website at agonypress.podbean.com
Posted in Featured Articles, Revival & Prayer Tagged with: Abraham, art katz, benny hinn, C.T. Studd, christians, compromise, corrie ten boom, D.C.D, Dr. Michael Brown, Jesus Christ, smith wigglesworth, the Holy Spirit
I recall a time in which Benny Hinn came to preach as a guest speaker at an Assemblies of God church in Orlando. The Pastor of the church arose to welcome the people. His choice text was Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” As he read through the Psalm, people nodded their heads as they listened to the passage, which they had undoubtedly heard many times before. It wasn’t long after he finished that Benny Hinn took the pulpit. He opened up his mouth and began to quote Psalm 23 to the congregation. And though the words were so familiar to their ears, and they had just heard the same passage read to them by their Pastor, many people in the congregation began to break down in tears, as their hearts were pierced through with God’s love for His own people.
After the service, the Pastor of the church took Benny Hinn aside and said, “Why, when I read Psalm 23 to the congregation, did they simply hear it, but when you quoted it, they were emotionally moved to tears?” Hinn turned, looked at the Pastor, and in an effort to bring home the vast difference between a relationship with the Bible alone and a relationship with the Spirit that inspired it, lovingly replied, “You know the Psalm, I know the Shepherd.”
It is one thing to know the word of God and another thing to know the God of the word. As Leonard Ravenhill would point out, “it is not written that, those that know their Bible shall be strong and do exploits, but rather, they that know their God…” It is commonly taught, “you must know your Bible.” It is not God’s heart for you to merely, “know your Bible.” It is God’s plan that you, “know Him.” He didn’t save us to be scholars. He didn’t save us from not knowing about Him so we could know about Him. He saved us that we would know Him. Really. Eternal life is to KNOW GOD (John 17.2-3).
Though none of us are perfect nor will we ever be, we can know Him.
Michael Molinos said, “You cannot be perfect nor understand everything, but you can love Him.”
We are to be led, not by things about Him, but by Him. The Lord Himself wants to be the leader. He doesn’t want you to distantly follow the things that you can find out about Him or what has been recorded about Him, He wants you to be led by Him. He is the guide, He is the protector, He is the comfort, He is the Shepherd. Not His book. The Scriptures are meant to illuminate Him to us. Knowing Him is everything. If we don’t know Him, all of our degrees may as well collect dust or shine away in a glossy frame, for it all amounts to nothing. We need to KNOW GOD.
I want Him to hear me and me hear Him. The enjoyment of Him is everything. I believe that the enjoyment of God is the only true opening of the heart to hear or follow Him. Any following that isn’t issuing out of enjoyment of His presence above all things is tainted.
There is an inseparable connection of Lord and Shepherd. To actually know Him is to be under Him. Their is no knowing of God, in any way, apart from submission to His Lordship. If God were to allow us to go on forgiven only, rather than leading us also into submission to His Kingdom, would the root issue displayed in Eden truly have been dealt with?
We must never forget that the “Shepherdship” of Christ is only a reality in the lives that have subjected themselves to His “Lordship.” For the Scriptures say, “THE LORD is my Shepherd…” The benefits and guidance of the Lord in one’s life are real only to those whose hearts are subjected to the rule and reign of Christ the Lord.
Notice the word, “IS.” The wonder of the Shepherd leading and guiding, protecting and providing is current. Just because He “was” your Shepherd doesn’t mean He “is.” Just because you have plans for Him “to be” your Shepherd doesn’t mean His “is” now. Just because you gave your life to Him, doesn’t mean it is given now. If we leave the Lordship of Christ and decide to guide and lead ourselves, we no longer are able to claim that, “the Lord is [our] Shepherd.” We have become our own Shepherd.
I believe many have fallen into this trap. They cling to their lives and control their own destiny and religiously proclaim, “the Lord is my Shepherd.” This Intimate reality with God is too precious to reduce to a “positional” state. Some people believe that He is our Shepherd because we believed at one time. Listen, if we choose to rule our lives, He is not ruling. If we choose to Shepherd ourselves, He is not Shepherd.
I submit to all of us a question…is HE HIMSELF experienced in and clearly leading our lives as we have laid our lives at His feet? There are many wonderful evidences and promises in Psalm 23 of His wonderful Shepherding if He is in fact our Lord. “THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD.” Or, to rephrase, “The One that I have given my existence to, and that I know and experience, is, right now, this very day, my very own guiding, providing, lover, and leader of my life.”
Eric Gilmour is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Revival & Evangelism.
Posted in Featured Articles, Revival & Prayer Tagged with: assemblies of god, benny hinn, bible, David, psalm 23, shepherd