We are not anxious about the necessities of life, because, when we can perform these labors, he feeds and clothes us as men in general are fed and clothed. When, however, we are not able to work, then he feeds and clothes us just as the birds are fed and the lilies clothed, since we are of more value than they. Therefore, in this warfare of ours, we give no thought to the morrow, because it is not by temporal concerns pertaining to the morrow but by eternal matters, the concern of the everlasting today, that we have proved ourselves to him whom we cannot please if we are entangled in worldly affairs.
Where is Christ, the King? In heaven, to be sure. In this direction it behooves you, soldier of Christ, to direct your course. Forget all earthly delights. A soldier does not build a house. He does not aspire to the possession of lands. He does not concern himself with devious, coinpurveying trade…. The soldier enjoys a sustenance provided by the king. He need not furnish his own nor vex himself in this regard. .
For it is written: "No man that warreth for God entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him to whom he has pledged himself.".
And again: "No man that warreth for God binds himself to anxieties of this world, that he may be able to please Him to whom he hath approved himself. Moreover, also, if a man should contend, he will not be crowned unless he have fought lawfully.".
Concerning this same thing to Timothy: "No man that warreth for God bindeth himself with worldly annoyances, that he may please Him to whom he hath approved himself. But and if a man should contend, he will not be crowned unless he fight lawfully."
No man.entangleth himself with worldly concerns: with other affairs of the world: much less must the soldier of Christ, who striveth, (better than fighteth ) which belongs to the first comparison. (Witham)
Pay attention to the bishop so that God will pay attention to you. I give my life as a sacrifice (poor as it is) for those who are obedient to the bishop, the presbyters and the deacons. Along with them may I get my share of God’s reward! Share your hard training together—wrestle together, run together, suffer together, retire together, get up together, as God’s stewards, assessors and assistants. Give satisfaction to him in whose ranks you serve and from whom you get your pay. Let none of you be a deserter. Let your baptism be your arms; your faith, your helmet; your love, your spear; your endurance, your armor.
"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier; and if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned except he strive lawfully."
You are a spiritual soldier. This kind of soldier does not sleep on an ivory bed but on the ground. He is not anointed with perfumed oils. These are the concern of those corrupt men who dally with courtesans, of those who act on the stage, of those who live carelessly. You must not smell of perfumes but of virtue.
These things are said indeed to Timothy, but through him they are addressed to every teacher and disciple. Let no one therefore of those who hold the office of a Bishop disdain to hear these things, but let him be ashamed not to do them. If any one strive for masteries, he says, he is not crowned, except he strive lawfully. What is meant by lawfully? It is not enough that he enters into the lists, that he is anointed, and even engages, unless he comply with all the laws of the exercise, with respect to diet, to temperance and sobriety, and all the rules of the wrestling school, unless, in short, he go through all that is befitting for a wrestler, he is not crowned. And observe the wisdom of Paul. He mentions wrestlers and soldiers, the one to prepare him for slaughter and blood, the other with reference to endurance, that he might bear everything with fortitude, and be ever in exercise.
Clerics do not seem to be on military service in the world, yet they are nonetheless soldiers for God and the Lord. As the apostle says, No one soldiering for God involves himself in secular affairs. We seem, I say, not to be soldiers in our loose and flowing tunics, but we have our military belt, by which we are bound to an interior purity.