“Then He said to His disciples,
 “The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few, ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore,
 to send out workers into His harvest field.”  
 Matthew 9:37-38 (NIV) 

The effective soldier has to be thoroughly and completely prepared – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Never underestimate the spiritual dimension of soldier readiness.

The MCF has a very special mission within the SAF. My earliest interactions with the MCF was in the early days when the SAF was going through a very significant improvement in battle preparedness, having begun as a unified command, then going on to a tri-service organization of Army, Navy, and Air Force, and finally developing into an integrated capacity in the joint command.

The sense was strong that the SAF has to be always alert, flexible, and responsive, not just in equipment but even more so in soldier readiness, morale and motivation. While the SAF may be continually improving in organization and professionalism and equipment, the necessity to recognize the needs of the spirit remains great. This battle for spiritual capacity is ongoing. Do not run away from it. Stop avoiding it. You have to stand your ground and to persist in standing.

Breakthrough is assured but it comes with effort and commitment, obedience and relying totally on the Lord. He provides the armour. He provides the power. We must provide the body to get the job done. We need a sense of urgency to fit ourselves for spiritual capacity. It is the capacity to meet spiritual needs. The driving force to get such a sense of urgency lies in us being overwhelmed by such love for people that we have no other choice and no other desire than to be able to help them. And the more people we can rally, the more capable we will be in this mission.

The battle for spiritual capacity and the ability to offer spiritual succour is there day by day, moment by moment. We must not run away from the battle and allow the devil to win by default. If we engage in battle, we will win because Jesus has won the victory and the Lord has given us His Holy Spirit to overcome the obstacles that will come our way. Human effort is inadequate but God’s power is invincible.

Let me close with a story about fulfilling our trust. It is a story of a boy with a collection of marbles and a girl with a collection of sweets. They agreed to an exchange, as they each liked what the other had. So the evening the girl packed up all her sweets for the exchange. The boy started to pack his marbles, but decided to keep the 3 or 4 best marbles, hid them under his pillow, and packed off the rest for the exchange the next day.

The night after the exchange, the girl had a good night’s sleep, happy with what she got. The boy could not sleep, tormented by the question, “Did the girl give me all her sweets?”

In similar fashion, many Christians do not give their all, always wondering whether what they hand over to God is enough for God to continue to bless them. All the time they are trying to figure out how much is enough to keep God satisfied. Their approach is: I don’t give God all, but hope He still will give me His all. When life’s troubles come their way, they wonder whether God was giving them everything He could. Their own lack of surrender causes them to wonder about God’s faithfulness.

When we have given our all, we will begin to realize the utterness of our inadequacy – that even our all is not enough to match what God has freely given us – and we feel an overwhelming sense of shame of having thought of holding back. Today the MCF has to urge its members to give their all in building spiritual capacity to serve the people in the SAF. Like soldiers have to give their all in response to their commanders, here is God expecting your response of love and obedience. There is a total obligation to obey the command of the Lord, and the total need to depend on Him. Your people depend on you, in peacetime and in war, to serve their well-being in body, soul, and spirit.


Almighty God, open our eyes to see what is going on in the spiritual realm and open our hearts to resolve to obey Your order. Fill our hearts with a love so strong and so overflowing as to sense the urgency to bring people into Your love and Your comfort and Your peace. Give us grace and courage to speak the words of victory to meet the spiritual needs of our people. And let us speak with wisdom and with knowledge and with understanding, and without doubt. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

By Lim Siong Guan – Former Permanent Secretary of Defence (1981-1994)
Reproduced and adapted from MCF Onward Soldiers (3rd Quarter, 1995)