PREPARE TO TAKE YOUR STAND
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11
In the 1980’s, an Open Doors co-worker visited Pastor Tu in Vietnam—leader of the fastest growing house church network. It was reported that the authorities were threatening him with imprisonment. He told our colleague, “I know it is coming. I have prepared my people for my imprisonment. I am ready for prison.”
Shortly after that, Pastor Tu did spend three years in prison. When he was released, he found his house church network had grown three hundred per cent in his absence. I received a Christmas card from him the following year that read: “…God greatly gives our church 20,203 more new believers this year. Hallelujah!”
The pastor’s comment to our colleague reveals three areas of preparation for coming storms:
Intellectually – “I know it is coming.”
Practically – “I have prepared my people for my imprisonment.”
Spiritually – “I am ready for prison.”
1. Preparation intellectually involves:
- understanding what the Bible teaches about persecution
- understanding what is God’s purpose in persecution
2. Preparation practically involves:
- practicing the do’s and don’ts so not to invite persecution
- knowing what programs and forms to undertake so the church can continue to function under pressure and persecution
- knowing your rights as a citizen (Acts 22 & 25)
3. Preparation spiritually involves:
- engaging in activities that stress the importance of fighting the spiritual battle
RESPONSE: Today I will prepare intellectually, practically and spiritually for any coming storms by first putting on the full armor of God.
PRAYER: Pray for Christians in restricted countries that they will understand these three aspects of the spiritual battle and prepare.
STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM (SSTS) -A daily devotional message by Paul Estabrooks
© 2010 Open Doors International. Used by permission
“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.” Proverbs 10:25
Right now millions of Christians face persecution because of their faith in Christ. Register to receive the Open Doors USA Weekly Prayer Alert email. Join alongside thousands of others praying for our brothers and sisters worldwide to stand strong in the midst of their struggles. Also learn more about countries where the persecution of Christians is most severe by visiting the Open Doors website today.