Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sifting Like Wheat

Have you ever liked a pop quiz in school? For me it depended on the subject. I hated the ones in English because I can promise you I never read the assignments. I don't like to read that much! But if it was a pop quiz in calculus - bring it on! Love math and science. But all in all, I was not crazy about a pop quiz because I didn't like the idea of not being ready or not being warned it was coming.

Lord, I just read in your word about Jesus kind of giving Peter a warning - it was really addressed to the whole church according to the Greek translations - but Jesus was emphasizing to Peter that his pop quiz was coming? This is the same thing that would happen if you had 5th hour calculus - 2nd hour would warn us it was coming. So was it really a pop quiz - yes, I hadn't had time to prepare for it the night before! I like to prepare. I get it honest, from my dad!

It is quite funny because the disciples were just talking about who was the greatest and who serves who and all that. Jesus sets them straight and in a matter of fact kind of way says, "Simon, Simon (He has to say his name twice to get his attention - Boy I am talking to you and you better listen up. I will not repeat myself, do you hear me?) Satan has asked to sift you as wheat."

Wow - I am just awe struck by that. Satan would ask permission to sift us - Praise the Lord, we are never being attacked without Christ knowing and I must add, His approval. But Satan would take the time to try to trip us up when we are already secure in His arms. It seems like we are a lost cause to Satan, but He knows we might say something to get the lost thinking. We might do something that might sway the other side. We might be interesting enough to get others to notice the peace, love, joy, etc. He can't let the other side see the victory of serving Him!

I have a few friends and relatives right now that are going through a sifting time. One has found a lump in her breast and is doing the waiting game right now. One have lost their son, daughter in law, and 2 grandsons in a tornado. One is doing the waiting game to see her future in ministry. One is left standing alone with 3 kids to raise because her husband just can't decide what He wants. One is left with a dream to explore but has been called to wait.

The whole process of sifting wheat can be very difficult. Does the process have to always be a tragedy? I am not sure. But I am pretty sure it has to be something that shakes us up so much that the real separates from the unreal, or the useless gets tore away from the useful. My aunt and uncle are left to see what their faith is really made of. My friends are left to see in whom they place their trust. I am left to see what is next - how we can rid of the chaff?

Father in a way, we are to be grateful and thankful for the opportunity to be sifted. I think it means You have the confidence in us to see us come out shining like your stars - reflecting Your glory. Lord, may we all be found faithful and thank you thank you for your redemption when through the sifting not much good is found!! Forgive me Lord!

One more thought - Why would Satan want to do this?
1) to break Jesus heart
2) to use us to destroy the church
3) so Satan can mock God's grace
4) He wants to destroy our joy!

Live in freedom my friends!! Be bound to His grace and fly freely!

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