“It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.” (Acts 12:1–3, NIV84)
I write this devotion to remind us of a couple very important things. First, we have to always keep in mind that we are at war with a deadly enemy. Even while the church was growing, Satan continued to work through the likes of King Herod. Herod killed the Apostle James and continued to persecute the growing church because he liked that it pleased the Jews. He performed these atrocities for personal and political gain. We need to remember that Jesus Himself told us that Satan was not only a liar but a murderer. Jesus tells us in John 10:10 that, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.” It would serve us well to be reminded daily that we are war with a spiritual force that wants to destroy us and our faith.
Second, we need to be reminded that “He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.” We need to know that although we may face trials and suffering at the hand of our enemy, he cannot take our faith and salvation. Our enemy is already defeated because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. We are protected by the Spirit of God that dwells in us. We are protected by the spiritual armor that God provides us through His Word. As Paul says in Romans 8:37, “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Martin Luther once said that we must be mindful of the fact that, because of our faith in Jesus Christ, Satan may growl like a ferocious lion, but he has no bite because he has no teeth. Our Savior and King has crushed His head and knocked them out. Satan can make a lot of noise but can’t do anything to stop the spread of the kingdom of God.
May we be armed and ready to face the attacks that the evil one will bring to our lives on a daily basis.