A shield and deliverer
(Octavius Winslow, "Christ is Ever with You!" 1863)
"Surely, I am with you always — even unto the end of the world!" Matthew 28:20
Christ is ever with His people — as a shield and deliverer. Our estimation of this truth, will be proportioned to our intelligent apprehension of the number and potency of our enemies — and the costliness and preciousness of the treasure thus divinely protected.
There are assaults from which Christ alone can shield us!
Innumerable and invisible,
sleepless and restless,
working with an almost almighty power,
everywhere with an almost omnipresent existence,
ever plotting our ruin —
are the spiritual enemies of our soul, and the sworn foes of our faith!
The world and its fascinations,
Satan and his devices,
the flesh and its tendencies,
error and its disguises —
are all confederate against the child of God, opposing his every advance in holiness!
But Christ is our ever-present shield, near at the moment of assault, and skillful to deflect and disarm it! "Fear not, Abram, I am your shield!" are words addressed to all who have like precious faith with him. Oh yes! the Lord encompasses you. Encircled by danger — you are also encircled by the ever-present protection of Jesus!
"So do not fear — for I am with you! Do not be dismayed — for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand!" Isaiah 41:10
With what unslumbering vigilance,
with what divine power,
with what changeless love —
does the Lord Jesus shield the work of grace in the soul of His people!
Who keeps that spark alive — in the midst of the ocean?
Who guards this vineyard night and day — lest any hurt it?
Who preserves . . .
faith from faltering,
love from chilling,
hope from dying?
Who . . .
strengthens the 'work of grace' when it is feeble,
raises it when it droops,
restores it when it relapses,
keeps it in the cold of winter and the drought of summer;
and, when the frosts and winds of autumn would nip and scatter its foliage — clothes it with the freshness and bloom of spring?
Oh, it is Jesus, encircling with His all-protecting shield — the work of grace which His death has accomplished, and which His Spirit wrought!
Trembling believer! The work of grace in your heart shall never die! The kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in your soul — is indestructible! "They shall never perish!" is the declaration of the Shepherd who bought you with His blood! You are watched over by Christ — and kept by the power of God.
"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge!
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!"