God’s soldier marches as to war –
A soldier on an alien shore,
A soldier true, a soldier who
Will keep the highest aims in view.
God’s soldier goes where sin is found;
Where evil reigns, his battleground,
A cunning foe to overthrow
And strike for truth a telling blow.
We’re going to fill, fill, fill the world with glory;
We’re going to smile, smile, smile and not frown;
We’re going to sing, sing, sing the Gospel story;
We’re going to turn the world upside down.
God’s soldier has to stand alone,
Accepting burdens not his own –
A lonely work he cannot shirk,
Where dark and deadly dangers lurk.
God’s soldier must courageous be
And from his duties never flee,
For millions wait whose need is great,
And he must not God’s plan frustrate.
As a new season of regular work, school, church and other activities begins, we are reminded that we Christians are soldiers for the Lord, fighting against evil influences in our world. This song’s author, retired S.A. Commissioner Harry Read, knew what it was like to fight when, as a layman, he served in the British Army during World War 2. In 2016 he was made a Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur of France. He recently relived some of this experience and was featured in news articles and interviews in various places because of his successful parachute jumping, particularly one into Normandy, France, on June 5, 2019 – the day before the D-Day 75th anniversary celebrations. In doing so, he asked for sponsors whose donations would be used to fight human trafficking and slavery. And at this time Harry Read was 95 years old!S.A. Commissioner Harry Read, knew what it was like to fight Click To Tweet
As a Salvation Army officer, Harry Read, from Edinburgh, Scotland, served in several British corps and divisional appointments as well as on the staff of the International Training College, becoming its principal from 1978-81. During his days at the college he wrote several songs for the commissioning of cadets. Commissioner Read was also Director of Information Services at International Headquarters, Chief Secretary in the Canada and Bermuda Territory, and Territorial Commander in Eastern Australia. His final appointment was as a British Commissioner. In 2019 Commissioner Read was admitted to the Order of the Founder, the Salvation Army’s highest honour. Current General Brian Peddle stated that this was “in recognition of a life of outstanding Christian witness in word, verse and deed spanning 75 years, with a recent and relevant witness through social media, captivating a global audience with the authentic message of reconciliation, hope and peace.”
WORDS: HARRY READ; MUSIC: JOHN LARSSON
S.A. SONG BOOK, 2015 EDITION, #954
REFERENCES: USAWEST.ORG; JUSTGIVING.COM; SALVATIONIST.CA – SEPT. 2019