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."
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.
thought to himself, "It will be an task to
devour Peter, I will sift him like wheat,
and when I am finished, there won't be
anything left of OLE Peter!"
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
many others. He will 'suit' the sifter to
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
financial difficulties, we realize that God
is our source, and we must depend on Him. He
has promised to meet all out needs.
temptations, we rely on the Word to help us
combat them. Jesus repeated, "It is
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
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!
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!
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:
asks for you by name
can only go so far
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.
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.
is the God of all comfort!