“Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!” (Sabine Baring-Gould, 1865)
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
What does it mean to be a Christian Soldier? Is it someone who fights for what is right? It is someone who stands for the truth, no matter the consequences? Is it someone who defends the cause of Christ against attacks from all sides? Is it someone who serves others? Is it someone who puts Christ above all else, including friends and family?
Dear readers, I think the answer to those questions is “all of the above”. Being a disciple is not easy. And it is not supposed to easy (see Matthew 16:24). The cost of discipleship can be high. But the cost of not being a disciple is even higher. The decision on whether to follow Christ has eternal consequences.
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)
Those are some very strong words from the Messiah Himself. Words that we should all take to heart. But the Messiah goes on to tell us of rewards to come.
“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:40-42)
So Christian soldier, do not lose heart. Do not grow weary of discipleship. And most of all, do not fear anything worldly. I will leave you with these encouraging words from the Messiah:
“Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:26-31)
The Steadfast Watchman