29th June 2020

The Sifting Process

Shortly before His death Jesus said to Simon: “Simon, Simon Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat.”
Luke 22:31 (NLT)

In Jesus day, the women sifted wheat by grasping a sieve in both hands and shaking it forcefully from side to side. Next they would move the sieve in a seesaw motion while blowing over the wheat to remove the chaff. It was a vigorous process. This is the picture the Lord used to warn His disciples of the great testing they would face when He went to the cross. They would be like the wheat, and the sifter would be their powerful enemy Satan.

After Jesus said to the disciples that Satan had asked to sift then like wheat, Jesus singled out Peter and told him, “But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail” (verse 32). But wasn’t Peter’s denial of Him in verses 54-62 a failure of his faith?

Satan relentlessly attacked Jesus disciples back then, and he attacks Jesus followers today. And so we are told in Ephesians 6:11 to “Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand against all strategies (including sifting) of the Devil.” It is true, not every difficulty we face in life is directly caused by Satan. King Solomon muses, “I returned and saw under the sun that—the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favour to men of skill, but time and chance happen to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11 NKJV). Satan may try to sift us like wheat, but in God’s strength, we can take our stand against him, solid in our faith. 1 Peter 5:9 (NKJV) says “Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.”

From the header scripture, Luke 22, Verse 32 goes on to say, “So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter’s failure was only temporary and his faith grew and was a great inspiration to the world then and to us today.

Prayer
Almighty God, Your Word tells us that no weapon against your people will prevail. We pray for strength and guidance to overcome the evil one and to be on our guard and mindful of Satan’s devices; that our faith, like Peter’s will not fail. In Jesus name.
Amen

Study by Dennis Payne
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About the Author:
Dennis Payne is a Deacon in the North London Congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion International London
Indian YMCA
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
LONDON
W1T 6AQ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2:30pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email: london@gracecom.church