We Are Soldiers Of The Lord,
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Rom.8:18No one would think of entering an army in time of war, hoping to have ease and self-indulgence and a real pleasant and profitable time. They know that hardships and privations are the liabilities; and as long as the war lasts, they will have coarse food and often short rations, long weary marches by day, enduring the heat of the burning sun, camping out at night in the open air, exposed to drenching rains and chilling frosts, venturing health and life itself as they stand as targets for the enemy. The Christian life is compared to the life of a soldier, and there can be no bribes presented of ease and self-indulgence. The idea that Christian soldiers are to be excused from the conflicts, experiencing no trials, having all temporal comforts to enjoy, and even the luxuries of life, is a farce. The Christian conflict is a battle and a march, calling for endurance. Difficult work has to be done. It often proves fatal to the Christianity of those who, with false ideas of pleasantness and ease, enlist as soldiers in Christ’s army and then experience trials. God does not present the reward to those whose whole life in this world has been one of self-indulgence and pleasure…. Those who serve under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel are expected to do difficult work that will tax every power God has given them. They will have painful trials to endure for Christ’s sake. They will have conflicts that rend the soul, but if they are faithful soldiers they will say with Paul, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”… An army would be demoralized if it did not learn to obey the orders of the captain. Each soldier must act in concert. Union is strength; without union, efforts are meaningless. Whatever excellent qualities soldiers may possess, they cannot be safe, trustworthy soldiers if they claim a right to act independently of their comrades. This independent action cannot be maintained in the service of Christ…. Those who prefer to act alone are not good soldiers; they have some crookedness in their character that needs to be straightened. They may think themselves conscientious, but they do not the works of Christ. They cannot render efficient service. Their work will be of a character to draw apart when Christ’s prayer was that His disciples might be one as He was one with the Father.—Letter 62, 1886.