Summary: Satan’s attempts to destroy God’s People are just as they were in the days when Peter was being sifted, but Jesus limits Satan’s sifting power.
Living with the Sifter
By Pastor Jim May
31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.
36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
SIFT - To put (flour, for example) through a sieve or other straining device in order to separate the fine from the coarse particles. To apply by scattering with or as if with a sieve. To examine and sort carefully.
I can remember not too many years ago when we used an old hand operated flour sifter. It was a simple little contraption that consisted of a little tin can with a screen in the bottom and a crank that turned a wire against that screen. Flour wasn’t as fine in those days as it is now and it always needed sifting to get rid of the lumps.
The fine particles that made it through were used in the baking process but there was always some rock-hard pieces left over that were useless and were cast away.
Our lives are placed through a sifter. With each new day, the crank is turned and a few more of our rough edges disappear as the finer parts of our new man and the coarse parts of our sinful, fleshly nature are revealed so that these character flaws can be discarded.
Satan’s desire is to destroy those that love Jesus!
He is ever standing before the Father in heaven pointing his fingers of accusation against the Child of God, trying to prove that he has legal right to their immortal soul.
The Devil knows how to sift you. He knows what strings to pull to get your anger to rise. He knows what financial pressure will do for your blood pressure. He knows how to trigger your impatience. He knows how to “get under your skin” and get you all frustrated.
Revelation 12:10, "…for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."
Jesus warning to Peter is the same to you and I today. Satan is trying to sift you, to destroy all that you are and to break your spirit, your heart, your family, and your faith in God.
Every time there is a problem with your kids, Satan is sifting.
Every time you can’t pay a bill even though you work hard and are financially responsible and trying do your best to keep up – Satan is sifting.
Every time you get angry for any reason – Satan is sifting.
Every time you have a temptation to do wrong – Satan is sifting.
Every time your faith is put to the test – Satan is sifting.
The sifting process never stops and it is very uncomfortable.
It’s never pleasant to realize that there is still some impatience within us, to see that there are lumps of anger that still exist, or that we have a lumpy, weak faith in God.
We have an Advocate with our Father!
1 John 2:1, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:"
Luke 22:32, "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
Jesus is not just any defense lawyer who stands in my defense. He holds the title deed to my soul and my life. I belong to Him and Satan can’t touch me without the permission of my owner.
What has Jesus done for me in order that He can stand in my defense?
Propitiation (our Sin-offering) - I John 2:2
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Redemption - 1 Corinthians 1:30
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
Righteous Judge - 2 Tim 4:8
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.