During World War II a young soldier named David Webster of Easy Company of the 101st Airborne wrote his mother: "Stop worrying about me. I joined the parachutists to fight. I intend to fight. If necessary, I shall die fighting, but don’t worry about this because no war can be won without young men dying. Those things which are precious are saved only by sacrifice."
Scripture often refers to the Christian life as a war—a spiritual battlefield. To answer the question of hymn writer Isaac Watts, we will not be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease. And there is no victory apart from sacrifice. Just as our salvation was purchased at great cost, overcoming the enemy and walking in the Spirit require that we be willing to give up some things in order to triumph.