“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” – Luke 22:31-32 NLT
Life can come at you quick, fast, and in a hurry. It can come at you hard and often times feel relentless. You may find yourself experiencing Job moments where you feel like your life is one big test. And you may also feel like Satan has approached the throne of God to receive permission to test you or to sift you as wheat. You wouldn’t be the first person to think that nor the last. Yet this week, I want to focus once again on the last recorded conversation between Peter and the pre-resurrected Christ.
In Luke 22, we are given the opportunity to witness something unique. We witness Jesus giving Peter his personal assignment and the beginning clues to his own individual purpose. Peter, who has followed Christ for three years, has self-proclaimed that he would never deny Christ and basically that he would be what we call in today’s terms His “ride-or-die” friend. Yet instead of Jesus accepting that, he tells Peter that Satan has asked to sift each of them – the disciples– like wheat. In order words, to tear apart and separate through a threshing process. However, Christ tells Peter He has specifically prayed for him and that after his repentance, He desired something more from Peter. Notice that Christ did not tell Peter, the answer to Satan’s request was no. Instead, we see Christ prepare Peter and give him his assignment.
Christ knew what Peter would soon face, but He also knew what was on the other side of that sifting. Even though Christ knew Peter would falter and deny Him, He also knew Peter had more in him beyond his failure. The importance of Jesus’ statement was NOT that Satan had his eye on Peter, not that Peter would stumble, not even that Jesus encouraged Peter, but that Jesus gave Peter an assignment to do after the sifting.
Friends, Christ knows how life has been for you. He knows you have faced some hard moments and that you have had some personal failures. He also knows the areas in which you have stumbled in your commitment to Him and your service. He knows all of that, but He also knows there is something greater beyond the sifting, the failure, and stumbling. That something greater is the assignment and purpose He has given you after you return to Him.
After Peter’s eventual denial of Christ, he wept bitterly with remorse. Peter recognized that he was not the person he thought he was, but the beautiful thing is that after he met the resurrected Christ, Peter then became the person Christ always knew he would be. Peter became the rock of the church and would lead the disciples to greater devotion to Christ. After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, Peter would deliver words that would turn the hearts of thousands to Christ. Peter. The man that Satan asked to sift as wheat.
Each of us, in some way, will face sifting moments in life that can stunt our growth or we can use it to spur our growth into something greater. Something Christ desires for us. So my question to each of you is what will you do after the sifting?
Walk with Him this week,
Shaniqua & the Great Is Team