Luke 22:31-32 (ESV) Jesus said, "Simon, listen to me! Satan has demanded the right to test each one of you, as a farmer does when he separates wheat from the husks. (32) But Simon, I have prayed that your faith will be strong. And when you have come back to me, help the others."
Luke 22:31-32 (NIV) "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. (32) But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
The word "sift" in the Greek means "to shake excessively, to agitate, to crush"
Satan wanted to shake, agitate and crush Simon Peter and the other disciples like grains of wheat. He hoped to find only chaff and blow it away. But Jesus assured Peter that his faith, although it would falter, would not be destroyed. It would be renewed, and Peter would become a powerful leader.
Satan also wants to shake, agitate and crush you. How you respond to this time of shaking will give you a good look into the depth of your relationship with Jesus!
Hebrews 12:26-29 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." (27) The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken-that is, created things-so that what cannot be shaken may remain. (28) Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, (29) for our "God is a consuming fire."
Tests and trials locate us; they determine where we are spiritually! Under pressure you get to meet - the real you. Jesus said to Peter, "Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat" (Luke 22:31). Another meaning for the the word sift is "to shake as in a sieve, to inwardly try one's faith to the verge of overthrow."
Some of us would have said Satan was attacking Peter, and that we needed to pray and rebuke him. But Jesus told Peter, "I have prayed for you that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to me, strengthen your brethren" (Luke 22:32).
Jesus did not pray that Peter would escape his intense shaking. No, he prayed that his faith wouldn't fail in the process. The Master knew that out of this trial would emerge new character, the type Simon Peter needed to fulfil his destiny and strengthen others.
There are five reasons for shaking anything: (1) To awaken it. (2) To remove what's dead. (3) To thoroughly mix together so that it can't be separated. (4) To bring it closer to its foundation. (5) To harvest what's ready.
If God's permitting your life to be shaken today, then take a closer look. He may be doing it because He wants to awaken you... remove the dead things of the past that are still clinging to you... draw you closer to Him... place you on a strong foundation... or make you more fruitful.
Think about it...meditate on it...pray about it...act upon it!
"Lord, just as satan asked for permission to "sift" Simon Peter, He has asked for permission to sift me. My faith, my confidence in You, my trust in You, my dependence on You, can not grow beyond what is right now until I am sifted. The enemy will try everything in his power to shake my faith. He will try to use people that I love, and trust, to hurt me, to gossip about me, to cowardly back bite me. He will try to use situations and circumstances to attack my character, integrity and reputation. He will USE Your people, Lord, to carry lies, and sow seeds of discord to try and tear down YOUR Church. These things must happen for my faith to grow. I declare that my faith and confidence will continue to be in You, Lord regardless of what satan puts in my way. Regardless of who satan tries to use. Help my confidence, faith, and hope to be in you. Then during the time of shaking, agitation, and crushing I will not be destroyed but strengthened. In Jesus' name, amen!"
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 9:07 AM