"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
One day Satan, walking to & fro in the earth, seeking new prey like a hungry, roaring lion, saw Peter. Peter the Apostle, is brash, impudent, and impulsive.
Satan thought to himself, "It will be an easy task to devour Peter, I will sift him like wheat, and when I am finished, there won't be anything left of OLE Peter!"
Satan was well aware he had to get permission from God to do this. He presented himself before God. It really annoyed him that he could do nothing without first obtaining permission like a child. It was an insult!
"If I had my way, he grumbled, I'd immediately destroy every believer in Christ! After all, was not his mission to 'steal, kill, and destroy?" But no, all he could do was what God allowed him to.
When God granted him permission he was jubilant! He knew Peter was always messing up!
He thought back to the time Peter and the other disciples argued over which of them was going to betray Christ. Peter had been in the midst of the strife that had arisen over which of them should be accounted the greatest!
He chuckled gleefully with smug satisfaction. "Pride! I get a lot of folks with that one!
Meanwhile, Jesus was with Peter. He told him, "Peter, Satan wants you. He wants to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, that your faith will not fail."
Peter brashly, boldly declared. "Lord, I am ready to go with you anywhere! I am even ready to go with you until death! Jesus, knowing what would happen, looked sadly at Peter and said, "Peter, you will deny me three times before the cock crows. But after you are converted, strengthen the brethren."
Satan asked to sift Peter so that nothing good was left. God allowed this because He had a different goal in mind. He permitted the sifting so that the good would be left and the chaff (bad) would be removed.
Biblical references to 'sifting' wheat was the process of separating or filtering the good from the bad, the wheat from the chaff. Sifting is used to purify a product. The process involved winnowing wheat on large forks with six prongs. The forks were waved in the wind until the chaff blew off. Undesirable chaff would at times cling tenaciously to the fork.
The women then took the wheat and put it in a large sifter, wrapping their arms around it and shaking it back and forth. This was done until all the chaff was gone and all that remained was the best wheat. This process allowed the undesirable to be 'winnowed out' without destroying the wheat.
God has His own mission when He allows Satan to sift us. He wants us to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
God has the final say in our lives and grants Satan only limited influence. God allows testing and trials, but Satan cannot go beyond the boundaries He has set. He has promised to never leave or forsake us, and everything that happens is first filtered through His loving hands. He takes what Satan meant for harm and turn it to our good and His glory.
Romans 8:28..." And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." His purpose is to conform us to the image of His Son.
"Sifters" Satan may use include:
Among many others. He will 'suit' the sifter to the person.
When we are suffering it is hard not to question why God, who loves us so much, would allow such. But He allows this because He loves us! When we are suffering, we reevaluate our priorities, we slow down and are forced to look at where we are and where we need to be.
In financial difficulties, we realize that God is our source, and we must depend on Him. He has promised to meet all out needs.
In temptations, we rely on the Word to help us combat them. Jesus repeated, "It is written."
Although we have to work in this life, (if a man don't work, let him not eat) we need to realize that the 'people' in our lives are more important than possessions. Sadly, too many people realize this too late.
Responses to being 'sifted' are as varied as the people. We may fight against it, whining and complaining, trying to escape the sifting.
We may try to blame God, or others. The 'blame game' is a favorite tool of our adversary. As long as we blame God or someone else we will never accept the responsibility, never admit that we, ourselves, are to blame for the situation we are in. Wrong choices lead to adverse situations!
We may try to 'escape' the sifting, aborting the purpose God had in mind in allowing the sifting to take place. The Israelites went around the same mountain for forty years!
C.S. Lewis said: "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a dead world."
Friends, if you are being sifted by Satan now, I want you to remember these things:
Satan asks for you by name
Satan can only go so far
God is in control
The suffering is purifying you and getting rid of the things that shouldn't be in your life. You are being conformed to the image of Jesus, becoming more and more like Him, going from glory to glory.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal; but the things not seen are eternal.
"God is the God of all comfort!
Written By My Mom