During my quiet time, beside my Bible reading and a devotional book, I read (no singing) a hymn, so I focus on the lyrics and not necessarily on the melody. Today’s hymn for my quiet time was the hymn “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?”
This might be a little obscure hymn for you but the author of this old hymn was Isaac Watts, and you know several of his hymns, “Joy to the World,” “O God Our Help in Ages Past.” Isaac Watts based this hymn on 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” He preached a sermon based on this passage and he included these lyrics as part of his sermon, that is why, during Watts’ time, this hymn was never included in his hymns collection, but in his sermons collection.
Over a century after, D. L. Moody was looking for a musician to lead singing at his meetings. On 1870 he was preaching and at the last minute a tax collector named Ira Sankey was asked to lead singing. Then Moody told him that he need him for future revival meetings. The next day, Sankey received a card from Moody to meet him in certain corner that evening at six. Sankey arrived first, and then Moody came, went to a nearby store and came with a large box, then he told Sankey to stand on and sing. With a powerful voice, Sankey sang Isaac Watts’ “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?” and that was the beginning of a 30 years of ministry of these two men.
Read these lyrics and rejoice in the Lord that you are part of his army.
1 Am I a soldier of the cross,
A foll'wer of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cause
Or blush to speak His name?
2 Must I be carried to the skies
On flow'ry beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize
And sailed through bloody seas?
3 Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?
4 Sure I must fight if I would reign:
Increase my courage, Lord;
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy word.
In His service,