Invest in the Eternal - The Warrior's Journey®

Invest in the Eternal

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8) 

Throughout his teachings Paul saw both athletes and soldiers as true metaphors for Christian believers (1 Corinthians 9:7, 24-27; 2 Corinthians 10:4; Philippians 3:12-14; 1 Timothy 1:18; 2 Timothy 2:3-4; 4:7). Why? Because both exercise discipline, self-control, dedication to a cause. Both devote themselves to long hours of training. And when it comes to both boxers and soldiers, both are engaged in a battle – as are Christian believers with the spiritual forces of wickedness (Ephesians 6:10-18). 

However, there is significant differences between athletes, soldiers, and Christian believers. What athletes and soldiers achieve is only temporary. Regardless of the level of fitness that athletes reach, their health will inevitably decline (2 Corinthians 4:16). Whatever wars that soldiers fight, will eventually have to be fought again.   

Now, in fairness to athletes and soldiers, let me say this. The temporary physical fitness that the athlete reaches and the glory of their victory make all the discomfort of discipline worth it. And the wars that warriors fight, no matter how deeply the sacrifices cut, are always preferable to peace under tyranny and enslavement. 

But what the Christian believer accomplishes will last for eternity. His struggle against sin is a winning battle and it’s a battle that won’t last long. And the believer’s enemies, the devil and his angels, are already defeated and now it’s only a matter of “mopping up” (Luke 11:20-22; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8). The ultimate peace that he and his Savior achieve through the gospel will endure forever.   

And although physical exercise and training accomplish much, the spiritual disciplines of prayer, feeding upon the Scripture, exercising our faith, and testifying for Jesus accomplish infinitely more (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). They will secure eternal life for both the believer and those who believe in Jesus through their witness and prayer. And while the athlete competes to win a perishable crown, Christian believers participate to win an eternal crown (1 Corinthians 9:25). The glory they share will outshine the sun and will never fade away (Daniel 12:3; Matthew 13:43). When we first enter heaven and behold its glory, beauty, and joy, we will all exclaim, “This is what I was created for.” 


  • What is the state of your physical fitness and readiness for combat? 
  • Does it match your spiritual fitness so that you are able to face both catastrophe and death? Will your faith in and relationship with God preserve you in combat? 
  • Let’s not only invest in the outer man, which is perishing. Let’s invest in the inner man whom God is preparing for eternity in heaven (2 Corinthians 4:16-17).  

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