Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
—Ephesians 6:11 (NIV)
In the 1980’s, an Open Doors co-worker visited Pastor Tu in Vietnam—leader of the fastest growing house church network at that time. It was reported to the pastor by a member of his house church that the authorities were threatening to imprison him. Pastor Tu 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 percent 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 dont’s so not to invite persecution unnecessarily
- 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.
PRAYER: Pray that Christians in all restricted countries will understand these three aspects of the spiritual battle and preparation.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.