Thursday, September 22

Sift, Lord, Sift!

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." Luke 22: 31-32

I have a favorite Bible study writer.... Beth Moore. Those of you that read this blog know that. I have several favorite studies of hers. One of them is When Godly People Do Ungodly Things. I've done that particular study 4 times!!! And, now, I'm doing it a fifth time! Each time, God has ministered to me in a different way through Beth's message and God's Word. This time, each day's study is exactly what I need for that day.

The most powerful lesson so far is a study of Peter's sifting. Peter was a pretty big New Testament player. In fact, Christ called him the Rock that He would build the church upon. However, Peter also had some struggles. He rebuked Jesus for telling him that He (Christ) would have to endure sufferings, he had quite the temper, cut off the ear of a soldier and at his very lowest denied Christ three times! As a matter of fact after Peter was told that He would play a key role in the building of Christ's church, Jesus had to say to him, "Get behind me, Satan!"

Yes. Peter had struggles. But, as the verse at the top of this post points out, Peter had more than just struggles. He was facing Satanic attack. And what Beth Moore points out in her Bible study is that Satan must gain permission to launch a full scale attack on one of God's children. The obvious question here is "Why?" Well, I believe that if God allows it, there is a purpose. He knows that HE can work all things together for good.

I may be losing some of you. Please understand that I am NOT saying that God caused the sins that have done serious damage to my marriage and our family. No way! This was NOT his plan for our marriage. BUT, can He use it? Absolutely. And He already is.

The point is that sometimes warfare enters a believers life because, just like Peter, there is something in that life that needs sifting. Peter's devotion to Christ was pure even though the rest of his character needed a little work. And, the only reason that God would grant Satan permission to 'sift Peter like wheat' is... Something needed sifting! Today, why would God allow someone with a whole hearted, sincere, and
pure devotion to Christ to get caught in the snare of demonic seduction? I LOVE Beth's answer, even though it sort of makes me shudder...

"Because, not unlike Peter, something needs removing, sifting, changing that an intense encounter with the kingdom of hell would best accomplish."

Do you have chills? Satan got used! That makes me smile. Maybe there IS a competitor deep within me, because the fact that there are
occasions when Satan thinks He is winning a battle only to find out he was USED to accomplish God's greater purpose makes me want to
stand up and fight. I want to be a part of the winning team!

One more thing... I realize that I wasn't the one caught in Satan's lies. It may seem unfair to some that I must reap the consequences when the attack and sift was meant for Scotty. In other words, if there was something in Scotty that needed removing, couldn't He have used something that would have affected only Scotty. Let me answer that. I will not know God's ultimate purpose this side of heaven. But here's
what I do know... My Heavenly Father LOVES me! And, He would NOT have allowed these horrible things to have happened to me if He
could not turn them into good FOR ME! AND, in the process, I could use a good sifting as well. I believe that and I trust HIM! So, it is in that trust that I say, "Sift, LORD, sift!"

5 comments:

ginny said...

God AMAZES me through your testimony!

Carly Winborne said...

I don't think I'll ever sift another cup of flour for the rest of my life without thinking of this post. And when I do, even if I'm 60 years old, I will pray for you again and praise God for who He is through this all.

Kate said...

Amy,

God is using you and your family in amazing ways! Thank you for your submission to what He is doing. I stand in awe of our amazing God. Thank you so much for sharing!

--Katie Kyzar

Dickinson Family said...

Thank you for being so open. What a testimony God has through you! Love you.

jenny winstead said...

i love that you love your husband enough to fight, to grow, to explore all areas of your lives and be molded into exactly who God intended you both to be. i, too, am amazed.