Is Your Shield Down?

After a step of faith most persons are looking for sunny skies and unruffled seas, and when they meet a storm or tempest they are filled with astonishment and perplexity. But this is just what we must expect if we have received anything of the Lord. The best token of His Presence is the adversary’s defiance, and the more real our blessing the more certainly it will be challenged. It is a good thing to go out looking for the worst, then if it comes we are not surprised; while if our path be smooth and the way upopposed it is all the more delightful because it comes as a glad surprise.

But let us understand what we mean by temptation. You, especially, who have stepped out with the assurance that you have died to self and sin, may be greatly amazed to find yourself assailed with a tempest of thoughts and feelings that seem to come wholly from within, and you will be impelled to say, “Why, I thought I was dead, but I seem to be alive!” This, beloved, is the time to remember that in temptation the instigation is not your sin but only the voice of the evil one.~Dr. A. B. Simpson

Why does the battle thicken so–
The darts rain fast upon my breast,
While missiles hurled with cruel force
Ring loud against my burnished crest?
Above the din I seem to hear
My Captain’s voice in accents clear,
“Because your shield is down!”

Why does the enemy advance
And hem us ’round on every hand
While we, the army of the Lord,
Can scarce his arrogance withstand?
Above the shouts I seem to hear
My Captain’s voice in accents clear,
“Because your shields are down!”

Ah! Now it’s brighter–now I see
The enemy is taking flight,
And lo, the banner of the Cross
Streams red against the morning light;
But as they flee I seem to hear
My Captain call in accents clear,
“Let not your shields go down!”

(Thomas Kimber)

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