Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6.13
It is not just about resistance, the objective of prevailing is to survive! That principle lies at the heart of those para-church organisations working tirelessly to champion the cause of those who are persecuted for their beliefs - most of whom are Christians. Without the efforts of such as Open Doors, Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Release International we might know nothing of the plight of our persecuted brothers and sisters because their voice is silenced by the oppressive regimes and/ or the suppressive communities, in which they seek to follow Jesus.
Which is why it was a privilege to tune into last night's prayer event, hosted by the Evangelical Alliance. We heard stories from China, Cuba and Pakistan before being led in prayer by representatives of the aforementioned para-church organisations. While moved by the personal accounts of suffering, we were encouraged by stories of miraculous answers to prayer. Those at the sharp end will have been fortified to know that they are not forgotten by their fellow believers, while those of us who enjoy easier circumstances can draw strength from knowing that, while the Church may seem to be in retreat in the face of aggressive secular-materialism, actually it is spreading fast underground.
Imagine the day when the hundreds of underground Christians in Afghanistan and the thousands of underground Christians in North Korea and the millions of underground Christians in China are revealed! Heaven is already rejoicing and one day so shall the earth, when the two - heaven and earth - are reconciled on the return of the Lord Jesus. Every day brings that glorious prospect closer. So may it stiffen the resolve of all who seek to live faithfully, whatever our circumstances...