The Fox

March 28, 2017
by Rod Marshall

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (ESV)

Anakin Nibbles is rather a spoilt old gentleman guinea pig that enjoys being out in the run in the garden sunshine, as the weather allows, and grazing the grass. In winter, when it is cold enough, he comes into the conservatory, and in the evenings, he runs about in the living room.

We love our garden, full of nature, which includes the fox that thinks that he owns it. He pinches food off the bird table, and he gives me disdainful looks as he jumps right over the six-foot fence.

The fox and I have fallen out recently after he would not take no for an answer. Despite my shouts and gesticulations, I caught him licking his lips, mesmerized by the guinea pig in the run. Having shooed him away six times, he came back right up to the wire. Anakin had the sense to hide in his little shelter out of sight. Eventually, after having frightened him with a stone that banged off the wooden fence next to where he was loitering, he decided to give up and run off.

So, I was rather surprised when I caught him again trying his luck digging under the run to get at the guinea pig. However, this time, it was enough for me to growl at him with intent from the door, for him to get the message, and he was off.

My neighbours are much older than I am and consequently not as agile. The fox's presumption was that I was the same and that he could come into the garden with impunity. Now that he knows the score, he is more circumspect.

It is my experience that evil and temptation can be like that. If we are not wholehearted in our dismissal of it in the name of Jesus, why be surprised when it loiters and tests our determination to resist?

So, let us live in this truth:

James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (ESV)

One verse from God in our heart can see off evil. Hallelujah!

When you are struggling and feeling vulnerable, remember:

Proverbs 18:10 – The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. (ESV)

Let us dare to put our lives in the hands of Jesus when nothing in the world says we should, or it seems impossible. Remember that it is not a fair fight: God is far greater than evil. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, and He is willing to keep us safe. I have known it and seen it first-hand.

Prayer: Lord, we rejoice that You are our fortress and our refuge in times of trouble. On You we can rely and trust. Thank You that in Your tender care we are never alone, for You are always watching over Your children. Even in the small hours of the night, You will deliver us from temptation, fear, and evil. Praise You! Amen.

About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickmarshall@yahoo.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A good word Rod.


    Thank you this was/is very timely for me.


    Thanks Rod. Talk about determined! Oh that Fox, what a lesson s/he provides for us! Thanks for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings.


    Good morning Rod. Great message this morning and yes, we must always be on guard.


    Thank you, Rod. This was a fun message to read with a good object lesson to learn at the end.
    Blessings.


    This is truly wonderfully put. Thank you Rod – I’m going to share this with many of my friends and family. I love the thought that ‘this is not a fair fight! God is way more powerful …! I love you for this Rod!


    Thank you for your wonderful devotional. Beautifully written and conveys a new teaching that I had not thought of before. I also loved hearing about your guinea pig and the fox — very interesting to learn about their ways. Thank you again.
    (BC)


    Good one Rod! A friend of mine had a fox too. He gave him two hot dogs every morning and the fox never ate his cat in return. Growling is much less expensive and probably better for the fox too.
    Blessings.


    Hi Rod,
    You paint a wonderful picture with your words. As I have said previously, I knew the author of the devotional before I saw your name. but better yet is the message. Just wish we could use your text and approach on the coyotes around our ranch. The scripture is one of my favorite ones


    Greetings Rod,
    I certainly enjoyed the way you infused this delightful old chestnut with lessons from God’s Word. Our spiritual enemies are as real and dangerous as that sly old fox – always looking for ways to hinder our progress or knock us out of commission. I do hope you fortify Mr. Anakin Nibbles enclosure and cover him with the blood of Jesus, as that wily fox will certainly try again to destroy your vulnerable little friend.
    Thanks for the delightful manner in which you so skillfully shared your message today. It was a lighthearted way to start the day and yet your story has been with me all day today. Great food for thought. Keep on sharing.


    Dear Rod
    I always enjoy your devotionals – and especially love today’s – likening the behaviour of your fox to our determination (or not) to resist evil and temptation.
    The reaction here (urban Toronto) would also be quite different toward your determined fox. I grew up in rural Aberdeenshire, accustomed to seeing animals in their natural setting. Here, in winter, a fox may venture to the city in search of food but Animal Control personnel would be called to hastily remove him – ‘Different strokes for different folks’. ‘Tis true!!!
    Thank you again. Stay safe in God’s Love.


    Dear Rod Marshall,
    Now that’s a devotional with a few interesting, surprising, and worthwhile lessons! I will save it to read again tomorrow.
    Keep writing.


    Good lesson Rod and I enjoyed your story too!
    Blessings.


    What a delightfully descriptive narrative! I could just see that crafty fox and yourself in the scene depicted! Thank you for your words of wisdom! A great start to the day.

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