“Satan has asked permission to sift you, Sharon” my friend said.
My mom who lives with us was in excruciating pain, and she had no one to help her- but me. Same hour, my daughter (who was due to have a baby) called and said that the Dr. was sending her to the hospital because her blood pressure was skyrocketing. She couldn’t get a hold of her husband, so I wanted to be there ASAP in case they delivered the baby. My husband had taken our only car to help someone and was not picking up his phone. He was out of range. Two weddings were scheduled to take place in our barn and one was renting our house- all in less than 36 hours.
Brides and vendors were calling, emailing, texting. My mom was groaning, my daughter needed me and I was supposed to be preparing messages for a retreat that I would leave for in less than 36 hours! My phone was blowing up and so was I. I didn’t know which emergency took precedence. Without realizing, I started to get mad at Dale for not answering his phone and leaving me without a car. He was innocent, but I was flailing. My faith started to quiver in fear. Despair attempted to envelope me. The day was brutal. I finally called a friend. She firmly said, “Sharon, Satan is sifting you like wheat.” She reminded me of Peter in the Bible. I got off the phone and went into prayer, laying my load at the feet of Jesus. Then, I picked up the Word and read the story of Peter. If you’re visiting me from Proverbs 31 devotions today, welcome!
It’s the night before Jesus is crucified. He’s eating the “Last Supper” with His disciples…
He turns to Peter and says, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked permission to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen the brethren.” Luke 22:31-32
A few hours later, Satan pulled out his first round of ammunition on Peter. In the first round, he used fear to get Peter to deny Christ (whenever fear rears its ugly head, know you’ve got the drags of Hell scheming against you). Satan knows that if he can get Peter/us to fall for fear, our faith may fail. If we fall and our faith fails, the second round of ammunition is stronger than the first. He sends the atomic bomb of shame and embarrassment, because we failed.
A “sifter” is a machine that crushes grain and turns it into soft flour.
Satan was asking permission to crush and pulverize Peter.
It’s clear from this scripture that Jesus gave Satan right to pulverize him. But He tells Peter that He would pray for him that his faith would not fail and when he would come back, to strengthen the brethren. I love this. We know from John 21 that Jesus did restore Peter and asked him to feed His sheep.
Three things we need to know in our troubles:
1. Satan goes before the throne of God and accuses us just like Peter and Job (Revelation 12:10). We are no different from Job (Job 1:8) and Peter. He asks if he may sift and pulverize us. Jesus tells us in Rev 12:11 that we overcome these accusations by; 1. Blood of Lamb, 2. Word of our testimony, 3. Don’t love our life- even unto death. In middle of trials only a fool vents all of his feelings, but the wise holds them in. We need to speak truth out loud in middle of our trials, not defeat.
Romans 8:28, “God works all things for the good of those who love Him.”
2. Jesus is praying for us, that our faith fail not. He allows these things for divine purposes. Our faith is increased each time and we learn to trust God’s faithfulness. Our faith is increased and our testimony stronger. Peter was stronger than ever- after his failure. He knew Jesus was merciful and forgave him. Jesus is merciful and forgives us as well.
“And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast” 1 Peter 5:10.
Peter learned this lesson, not from his success, but from his failure.
3. Even when we fail horribly, He quickly forgives when we ask and uses our weaknesses for His glory. Peter was used to preach the gospel powerfully and his words are still preached today! If our faith fails us- we need to immediately ask forgiveness and move into a triumphant life not bogged down with guilt from self condemnation.
Self condemnation is probably one of the worse weapons of torture Satan tries to defeat us with. DON’T let self condemnation make your faith fail, but if it does- RETURN and strengthen others!
In my weakness the Lord was more than POWERFUL at the retreat last weekend. The weddings were a huge success (thank you Rachel Moberley). My daughter’s blood pressure came down and she delivered her baby naturally, yesterday, after I got back from speaking! My mom is still in pain, we’re going to a surgeon today.
Has Satan been sifting you lately? Don’t believe his lies! God is more than faithful and will do more than you could think or imagine. Read the Word for truth, and pray!
Tell me in one word what you would like for me to pray for you. It will enter your name for the drawing to win The Confident Heart Devotional and earrings with Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” inscribed on them.